This year has made us all very patient and resilient because of the factors associated with the Covid 19 pandemic. The year has also seemed to be longer than normal. One person who knows this better than most is Greg Bury who is the National Coaching Director for the Australian Croquet Association. The huge challenge Greg faced was the production of new Coaching Manuals in all four codes of Croquet in Australia. It will be exciting when the Gateball Coaching Manuals 1, 2 and 3 are released.
One young person who will be very interested in these manuals is fifteen year old Ethan Chilton from Southport Croquet Club. Ethan has been playing Gateball for 3 years fitting it in with his studies at High School. Back in March Ethan agreed to be photographed demonstrating the skills for the new Coaching Manuals. More photos were needed so Ethan returned for these to be taken. Then he had to be called back to the Club for an update in photos so they were “shot again” at a high enough resolution for the books. Last of all, in December, he agreed to participate in the filming of videos that will be used in conjunction with the Manuals. This represents many hours of his time.
The photographic sessions demonstrated the flexibility and adaptiveness of Ethan to the many requests and changes required to obtain the best photo or video. His unfailing good humour and patience was on show the whole time. Ethan plays all four codes and is even in the Golf Croquet Manual. Thank you Ethan from all of us who will be using and benefitting from the production of the new Gateball Coaching Manuals.
Once again all CAQ Gateball players were invited to play at Caloundra from 14-16th November. This time it was their Annual Masters and Apprentices Competition. Following on from the State Championship in August, there were plenty of marquees available because 11 teams and 15 pairs of Doubles attended the three-day Tournament. With the support of Caloundra’s Club Members the courts were in great condition; catering was handled very speedily and efficiently; and there were no problems in keeping to the Covid Safe regulations. Many new players attended a Gateball competition for the first time so that was another good feature of the Tournament.
The winning team was from Rockhampton. This Club won the State Championships several months earlier- albeit with a few different members. Congratulations must go to them not least because they travelled the furtherest to arrive in Caloundra. It was a very determined and committed group. In second place was Toowoomba and Moreton Bay came third.
The Doubles Tournament was split into two Blocks. Again, there were quite a few players who were experiencing this version of Gateball for the first time and all enjoyed themselves. So many people remarked on the delightful atmosphere that existed in the Doubles Competition. There was not much time between games. One game went to a lengthy ‘shoot out’ in order to secure a winner.
The Final was between a pair with plenty of experience- The Wanderers team consisting of Peter Sweet ( Southport) and Bruce McAlister (Ipswich) – and a new combination of experienced players- Fran Buckle (Eildon) and Robyn Brown ( Caloundra). Both teams had won their respective Block so it was a close game. The experience of the Wanderers Team prevailed. Congratulations to them and a “well done” to the runners up.
At the Caloundra Masters and Apprentices Gateball Teams Competition held Sunday 15th- Monday 16th November one of the games resulted in a draw after the normal 30 minutes game. The team called Sparks ( Lynne and Coral from Rockhampton) was playing against the team called Blue Crew ( Robyn and Kath from Capricorn Coast).
The Shoot Out was conducted and both teams scored a 100% success rate of balls passing through Gate 1. So began the sudden death round. It took until the 3rd round of sudden death that a result was obtained. It was not until #8 ball did not pass through Gate 1 that there was a result. So the Sparks Doubles team won the marathon shoot out.
Has any other game of Gateball that you know of has required 4 rounds to obtain a winning team? We all think this is a record. As the Referee, I was getting so concerned with the delay in the schedule. These players were ‘in the zone’ and very focused. Congratulations to both pairs of Doubles on your wonderful spirit of friendship in this game and throughout the competition.
At Caloundra’s Masters and Apprentices Gateball Teams and Doubles Competitions the CAQ Director of Gateball Referees, Margaret Barnard, was able to complete her assessment as to the practical knowledge of five Referees who had passed the theory exam for Level 2. As a volunteer for CAQ, Margaret ensures that providing Qualifications for Referees is an ongoing commitment available to registered members of ACA and CAQ. Receiving their badges were the following players- Robert Roose from Pine Rivers Croquet Club and Mary-Ann Waters, Tony Waters, Warren Dowse and Emma Mauceri from Moreton Bay Gateball Club. Congratulations to all of these players.