In May 2021, the World Masters Games, held every four year, is planned for Kansai, Japan. With an expectation of more than 50,000 competitors involved in over 30 sports, it will be a hub of sporting ‘tragics’. Since Gateball is now included in the World Masters Games, all Gateball players would feel very much a part of the action.
Tokyo is hosting the Olympics this year so it is the turn of another part of Japan to demonstrate their organisational skills. The Kansai region is in the central area of the main island of Honshu. This huge region is full of heritage, beautiful scenery and very welcoming people. Gateball is being held in Kyoto which attracts so many tourists each year.
If there is interest in attending, please read the attachments. The entry fee is approx $325 at the present exchange rates. But this allows you to enter in 4 other sporting events!
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So create a team from your club, or form a composite team. Contact your friends, the National Coordinator, John Park, or the State Coordinators.
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But don’t forget there is the Australian Gateball Championships to be held at the Gold Coast 17-19th September 2021.
Day 1 (Friday) at the Australian Gateball Championships is primarily a day for practice as teams often arrive during the course of the day.
Overseas teams are kept busy as they are scheduled to play Australian teams from the opposite pool. Games are also scheduled between teams in opposite pools but from different states. The games are played in a casual manner without referees.
In 2019 other activities were fitted in to the program. Gilon Smith, our latest international and tournament referee, conducted a session for all those not qualified as referees but who would be involved in duties as lines people and recorders. National Coordinator John Park held a meeting with State Coordinators and their nominees to look at future directions for gateball.
The opening ceremony started at around 4.30. Chaired by VCA’s Gateball Coordinator Philip Brown, the assembled players were addressed by the Vice Chair of the VCA, the Mayor of Brimbank and ACA Deputy Chair Jim Nicolls. The mayor opened the event by stroking a ball through gate 1 – after removing her heels out of respect for the Cairnlea lawns. The Melbourne singers entranced us with a great rendition of the national anthem, “We are one we are many” and an encore at the end as our opening ceremony finished early! Finger food followed before the crowd dispersed.
Dennis Bulloch from the Rose Garden Croquet Club at Palmerston North in New Zealand has recently been in touch with Gateball Australia about a Gateball Tournament which will be held next year in New Zealand. The event has been posted on the WGU website . Dennis has played Gateball at Ripon in England, along with Gateball Australia’s long-standing friend and mentor, Keiichi Imagawa. He also played in Germany and wishes to hold a competition at his Croquet Club in Palmerston North. He has already made great strides, with 25 people playing Gateball at his Club!
Dennis tells us “Our gateball players are able to play three set times per week (Wednesday and Sunday at 1.00 PM and Thursday at 5.00 PM which provides competition for workers and those still at school) and some go the club to play Gateball of their own accord. We have excellent quality lawns which are quite fast and the sets of Gateball gear are in good condition. Our gateball sticks vary from ancient but serviceable to modernish but worn. Something to invest in in the near future! I’m in the process of organizing a Gymkhana based on gateball for our players. Will let you know how I get on! They seem enthusiastic about the idea.”
A fortuitous link with New Zealand has also been forged through the Southport Croquet Club. The new President of Croquet New Zealand is Kathie Grant. Many Queensland players met her because she is a member of Southport Croquet Club and played in the Mallet Sports Competition this year. Southport players are keen to participate in the NZ event and, for some, this is because they are closely connected to NZ by birth or through family members.
Previous attempts have been made to establish Gateball in New Zealand. Keiichi Imagawa recently reminded us that he visited Takapuna, New Zealand with Jun Nogami to promote Gateball in 2000 when he was the Director General of the World Gateball Union. Shortly after some NZ teams played at the Australian Gateball Championship in the early 2000s
Our next contact with NZ is recorded two posts on our website: https://gateball.com.au/wordpress/?p=2304 and https://gateball.com.au/wordpress/?p=4167
Since that time we have not heard any more and the link to the NZ GB website no longer functions.
Dennis’ recent contact and Kathie’s interest will hopefully see the game on a sound footing in NZ.
The draw has been completed for the Australian Gateball Championship.
Hu Nan, China
Southport White, Queensland
Pine Rivers, Queensland
Essendon, Victoria & CNSW
Woodville Australian Friends, South Australia
Sydney Epstars, CNSW
Shen Yang, China
Southport Red, Queensland
Redcliffe Roses, Queensland
Lithgow Lightning, CNSW
Hunter Allsorts, CNSW
Glen Whitehead completed the draw and is working to produce a playing schedule. The draw was nested to ensure that teams from different states or clubs are shared evenly between the pools. For example, each of the two Southport, Victorian and Chinese teams were randomly placed in different pools. Where there was larger representation, for example from CNSW and Queensland, teams were randomly allocated, with the proviso that only half the teams were allocated to each pool.
A team from Pakistan who registered several months ago, were refused visas. Kings, India and the Chinese teams are waiting to hear the outcomes of their visa applications. This process has become more difficult over the course of the last three Australian Gateball Championships. No teams were rejected for the 2015 event in Queensland but in 2017 we lost two teams. Let us hope there is only one rejection for 2019!
In 2017, Korea’s Unicorn team won the Australian Gateball Championship. They are back to defend their title at Cairnlea in 2019. Only two of the players from the original team are playing and they have renamed themselves “Join”
They were a highly skilled team and look like being so again. Their name change was explained as follows:
“I named my team “Join”. Before the gateball, my teams were all different. I went to the gateballs where they lived, and I built up friendships.
Gateball is a sport that connects balls to balls, and you can play good games only when the balls are gathered and connected. The player is the same. Only when you connect with the next player will a good game be created.
So I named it “Join”, the most suitable word for a gateball.”
They are coming to play in Sydney and the Blue Mountains before the Australian Gateball Championships in Melbourne the following weekend. Anyone interested or passing through Sydney is invited to turn up at one of the venues where the Koreans are playing.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to play the Koreans before they head to Cairnlea. Your enquiry will be passed to the appropriate club. It’s an opportunity not to be missed.
The program is listed below:
-Thursday 21st November,Epping Croquet Club
-Friday 22nd November, Mosman Croquet Club.
-Saturday 23rd November to Monday 25th November, Blue Mountains and Lithgow Croquet Club
-Tuesday 26th November, Strathfield Croquet Club