Our first two entrants for this years Australian Gateball Championships were the Capricorns and Pine Rivers. Read their stories below. Other teams entering the AGC are invited to send similar stories.
The Capricornians entering this year’s AGC is a mixed team comprising two players from each of the three CQ clubs, Capricorn Coast [Robyn Lyon, Kathleen Hayes], Gracemere [Peter Kajewski, RoseAnne Mathewsen] and Rockhampton [Steve and Cheryl Kele].
We have only been playing Gateball at Capricorn Coast for just under two years. Greg Featherstone has been an able and willing coach. So far, the Capricorn Coast team has competed at the Rockhampton Gateball Challenge in 2018 and 2019 and the State Championships in Rockhamptonton in 2018. We travelled south to play at Caloundra in 2018 and won five games there. This year we competed at McIlwraith for the first time.
We average about eight players each club play day on Wednesday mornings from 8-10am.
In early March this year some gateball enthusiasts, welcomed by Secretary Carolyn Ribone and President Sep Hines, joined the happy membership at Pine Rivers Croquet Club in the north of Brisbane. With some equipment loaned from the ACA (through John Park) and CAQ ( via Barbara Northcott) we held some demonstration games in early March. Sep was clever enough to make some additional equipment and we were blessed to have a dedicated gateball green marked out by the wonderful volunteer greenkeepers.
After only a few games some of the members were hooked on gateball and by the end of March, Pine Rivers entered their first gateball competition at McIlwraith. Max and Judy Stringer had previously never played in a gateball tournament but learned quickly and played exceptionally well. Their experience in Ricochet made their transition look easy! Thrilled with a few wins and a wonderful day out, the news spilled over to other members of how much fun gateball is.
In early June, Pine Rivers competed at the Ipswich tournament, winning 5 out of 8 matches under the captaining of Emma Mauceri and Warren Dowse. This time, Robert Roose and Sep Hines joined the competition team for the first time. Again, it was easy to see how their ricochet skills transferred to gateball. An impressive 4th place at this event encouraged the team to enter more competitions.
On the 15th June at the Brisbane North Regional Doubles Gateball tournament, Max and Robert placed 2nd and Judy and Sep placed 3rd. A fantastic result given the amount of time they have all been playing.
We have just started planning for our adventure to the Australian Gateball Championship to be held in Victoria in November this year and look forward to meeting more gateball enthusiasts from around the globe.
We are all looking forward to playing and learning more together as a team and encouraging more people to come and play gateball with us.
A brief summary of the minimal changes are available here. All International, Level 1 referees and State Coordinators have a more detailed version of the changes and can clarify any questions you may have. No doubt explanations will be forthcoming at future events.
Hard copies of the new rule books will be forwarded by the WGU to the Gateball Australia National Coordinator when they are prepared. All current referees and Gateball playing clubs will receive a copy.
Volunteers are adjusting the Level 1 and 2 exams and states informed when these changes are completed.
Please also note that a Q&A facility has been added to this website. Go to About Gateball/Officiating, Rules and Refereeing/ then select “Click here for the Q&A forum.” You can reply to one of the posts already on the page or post a new question in the Leave a Reply Box which starts a new thread. Remember when you post a question to tick the boxes below to make sure you know when your question is answered.
At the SACA headquarters at Hutt Road, Adelaide, 8 pairs contested the SA President’s trophy. Clear winners by Sunday lunchtime were the pairing of Leah O’Neill from Mt Gambier and Philip Brown from Kew, Victoria. The pair had been undefeated throughout the competition. Leah’s accuracy as an experienced AC player who has played for state teams paired well with Philip’s skills and sound strategic understanding of Gateball. Runners up were John and Penny Park from Lithgow, NSW.
Players from Hyde Park, Woodville and Mt Gambier constituted the South Australian contingent at the competition. Both Woodville and Hyde Park hold weekly playing sessions and pairs from both clubs played skillfully and achieved some good wins. Mt Gambier have recently become re-enthused and return home intending to encourage others to play more Gateball.
Unfortunately, on Sunday, one of the Hyde Park pairings had to withdraw from the competition because of sickness. Rather than using the recently posted Gateball Australia default forfeit procedure, it was decided to delete all previous games by this pair from the scoring records.
On both afternoons some short courses were conducted. On Saturday afternoon 4 existing coaches of other codes of mallet sports completed the Gateball endorsement. Another group were introduced to draft level 2 coaching materials for gateball and tried their hand at the draft level 2 skills card which is available to all on this website. On Sunday a rather tired group were briefed on how to become a referee. They were left with self help materials which the state’s only existing referee, Geoff Crook, will hopefully be able to use to support and encourage others in becoming referees.
Graeme Thomas made a great job of organising the competition and his efforts were appreciated by all. Graeme recently resigned from his position on the ACA board, where, as well as being the Hon. Sec., he has been a committed and effective advocate for Gateball over the past few years. He was thanked by the National Coordinator for his efforts and a small presentation was made.
(Story contributed by Philip Brown, VCA Gateball Coordinator. Picture: New players to VCA GB champs stroke their balls through the ceremonial gate.)
A windswept but undaunted Victorian Gateball Championships were held over 29-31 March at the Victorian Croquet Centre at Cairnlea.
For the second consecutive year Kew prevailed as the Teams Champion, though the final standings were very close this year. Kew won four games of six, as did Canberra. However Kew prevailed with a much higher net hoops score of +32 compared to the second-placed Canberra who had +10.
The matches were of high quality and with a diverse range of tactics on display. Your correspondent was both heartened and slightly miffed to see successful tactics I had used at previous tournaments being used back against my team with clear success.
The Championships continue to attract players of a large age range and with vastly different levels of experience. There were two teenagers playing, as well as octogenarians and most decades in between. There were players with decades of experience and newcomers with only a few months’ worth. The active role of Gateball captains makes the team game a wonderful way for payers to learn the sport without needing to worry about the tactics of the game. The Kew team included two of those newcomers and still secured the Championship.
In the pairs, the rise of John and Penny Park continues. The pair had previously won the NSW Pairs Championship last November and prevailed again in Victoria by going undefeated in the block. They were presented with the John Bradley trophy for winning the Victorian Pairs Championship. The runners up were Elaine Coverdale and Maxine Maclachlan.
A special mention should be given to Chas Quinn and Heather Fraser, who’s high-risk, high-return approach to the Pairs competition created some very memorable games. Their game against Geoff Crook and Trish Fazackerly looked as if it might finish at 21 all, until some missed shots at the goal pole left the final score at the still-memorable 21-17.
The rise of the South Australian Gateball players cannot be ignored. The game there is growing and they are starting to complement their already excellent hitting with a more nuanced understanding of the tactics of the game. The South Australian Gateball Pairs competition over the weekend of 13-14 April should be an excellent example of the game.
Victoria was pleased to welcome visitors from NSW, ACT and South Australia competing in this tournament. There will be even more visitors, and from further afield, when the National Gateball Championships are held at Cairnlea in late November.