AGC – players’ thoughts and comments

We asked competitors for their comments about the Australian Gateball Championships.We’ll add another post in a couple of days. so it’s not too late to send in your comments or stories to

Here’s what Philip Brown told us about the event.
For me, Kew’s three most memorable games were all against the Chinese teams – with an honourable mention to Barbara Northcott’s threading a ball through gate two without touching either of the two balls resting against the two gate legs.  I’m still not entirely sure how she managed it.  
In the block stage, Kew’s strong performance was mostly attributable to the team, not individuals.  Each player played their part – sometimes taking the glory shots and sometimes doing the team thing by placing their ball as a bridge, or blasting out an opponent’s ball near the line.
The game Kew came closest to losing was against eventual champions Shen Yang.  We were behind until an unintentional agari by one of the Chinese players.  Although the two points helped Shen Yang, the remaining 15 minutes were 5 balls against 4.  This allowed Kew to take control and, eventually, push past Shen Yang to take the game.  Thanks to a gate-and-touch by Kerry and a brilliant down-hill shot on Court 2 to touch the opponents ball.  
In the semi final against Hu Nan, Anthony’s incredible turn to score three points (gate two for himself and a very long range agari for another ball) will be with me for a long time.  The shot would have been difficult enough in fine weather, but to succeed at the spark during a rainstorm of such epic proportions was truly magnificent.  I could barely see the goal pole – that one’s for you Anthony – let alone spark a ball onto it!  
The third game, of course, was the final where Kew couldn’t quite make it happen for the win, but the game had a lot of twists and turns and was, I hope, entertaining to watch.  
I also feel I learned a lot  about captaincy during the tournament.  Kew is lucky enough to have multiple players who could captain, if needed, but whose advice and insight I could draw on during the game. We did this at multiple times throughout the tournament, often to very good effect.  This was also the first tournament where I had, deliberately, at about 5 minutes to go in a game, decided which ball I wanted to be the last to play.  A couple of times this meant deliberately speeding up so that we could score more points but leave our opponents nothing at the end (sorry to the Hunter Allsorts particularly on that score).
Despite Kew’s strong performance as Runners-Up, I think I am most proud that I managed to help organise a tournament where so many people had such a good time and so many games were played in such good spirit.  The ovation on returning to the club rooms was heartwarming.  I was also very pleased to see a few newer players seemingly bitten with the bug of gateball and asking questions about captaincy, about refereeing and more.  Welcome to the club. 
I am earth-shatteringly tired, but I wouldn’t have changed a thing.  Well, maybe I would like a do-over on one game…. but that’s going to have to wait for 2021!

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Philip Brown
Captain of Kew Gateball

Australian Gateball Championships

The Shen Yang team from China won last weekend’s Australian Gateball Championship after two days of intense play. 
Both Kew and Shen Yang had emerged from Block B. Kew had won all their games in the pool and were clear winners. Shen Yang’s run to the semis was much tighter. Along with Woodville’s International Friends and the Hunter Allsorts they had won 4 out of 7 games with losses to Kew, Multimacs and Woodville International Friends. They just made it to the semis by one point over Woodville.
In Block A, Join Korea registered 7 wins but with one loss to Southport White. 3 other teams, Canberra, Southport White and Hu Nan, all achieved 6 wins. Hu Nan had a clear advantage of 30 points and so progressed to the semis.
The semis saw improved performances from both Chinese teams. Shen Yang defeated the Korean team, Join, by a sizeable margin while previously dominant Kew relied on a count back to win against Hu Nan. A very heavy shower during the semis on a cold Melbourne day may have dampened the momentum of the two block winners.
As a result the final took place between the winner and runner up from Block B. Kew battled valiantly to become the third Australian team to win an Australain Gateball Championship but lost control of the game which saw Shen Yang win through.

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The competition was held in great spirit, with many competitors remarking on the friendly nature of the event. Saturday evening’s BBQ was well attended and overseas players were all given small gifts as a token of appreciation for their having made the effort to come to the 10th Australian Championship. Quiz sheets kept players racking their brains while they awaited their turn to line up for their meals

At the close of the event, ACA Deputy Chair, Jim Nicolls presented trophies and thanked players and organisers. The event program reminded participants that Gateball Australia’s first State Championships would be held in Victoria on the weekend of the 27th to 29th March.
John Park
National Coordinator – Gateball Australia

Gateball on ABC Radio National

ABC Radio National’s ‘ Sporty’ program
Saturday 7th December at 10.30 AEDT
Monday 9th December at 05.30 AEDT

Amanda Smith, presenter of ABC radio program ‘Sporty’, recently interviewed various players at the Australian Gateball Championships with the aim of publicising our sport and encouraging new players. 

Check out ‘Sporty’ on Radio National on your local frequency. If you can’t listen at these times, you should be able to find it on the ‘Sporty’ page of the ABC website from Saturday
or on the ABC Listen App.

Interviewees included:

    • Glen Whitehead Canberra Croquet Club – a qualified ref, one of the first players in Canberra
    • John Park – National Coordinator of Gateball Australia and captain of the Lithgow team
    • Ethan, Julia and John – three generations playing for Southport Croquet Club
    • Korean player- Son Suk Ya and her son Jay, and
    • Trish Fazackerly – Woodville SA Friends International team 

Judy Tier
Canberra Croquet Club

Southwest Games, Gateball Championship, Terang 2019

The first Tuesday in November in Melbourne means one thing: remembering the Terang Gateball Championship!

Once again gateballers from across Southern Australia gathered in Terang for the customary first weekend in November as part of the Southwest Games.  We had four teams and seven pairs competing.  As well as two Terang teams, players from Kew and Essendon in Melbourne, Mt Gambier in South Australia and Woodville from Adelaide were all present.

Victoria has been experiencing unusual weather of late, with warm sunny days interspersed with rain creating almost perfect growing conditions for grass.  The courts at Terang were slower than most had been used to and started the morning with a heavy dew.  But as Friday’s overnight thunderstorms gave way to a (mostly!) clear and pleasant Saturday the four teams competed in a double round-robin.  The Westerners from South Australia were far too strong, winning all six of their games and taking out the championship.  Congratulations to them on a well-deserved victory.

In the Pairs on Sunday, Terang used a randomised pairing procedure, matching more experienced players with newer ones.  This gave many pairings a fighting chance.  The winners were Philip Brown of Kew and Aileen Bell of Terang who snuck home with five wins.  There were three pairs who all finished on four wins.  Placing second on net hoops was the only triple team, Geoff Crook, Trish Fazakerley and David Pryor.

The tournament in Terang may only be small – but it has easily the best viewing platform in Australian gateball.  The courts are cut into the side of the hill below the main road, with a playground and viewing platform above them.  No need for Spidercam here!

Congratulations and heartfelt thanks to Heather Fraser and all from Terang, who once again hosted a lovely, friendly, superbly-catered and inviting tournament. 

Philip Brown
Kew Croquet Club

Heather Fraser presenting medals to The Westerners

Hong Kong Duo play in WA before heading to Cairnlea at the end of November for the Australian Championship

WA’s gateball fraternity might be small and relatively recently  underway, but when 2 visitors from Hong Kong expressed a hope to catch some play  while here on holiday , a call to accommodate brought a fine response.

Cambridge Croquet club hosted the morning and, in perfect sunshine, we gave Nicole and her sister Julie a taste of play that might come close to conditions they will experience in Melbourne next month.

 Not sure about the quality of competition they sampled!

These two delightful ladies were very appreciative and we now constitute a fan club that will follow their fortunes in the Nationals.

Pictured…Murray, Judy, Kerry ,Robyn, Sandy ,Nicole  and Julie.

With Brian obligingly behind the camera.

Takayoshi UemuraThanks Gateballwest for the story. Nicole and Julie are joining Woodville International Friends for the forthcoming Australian Gateball Championships at Cairnlea. other members of the team are Woodville’s Chris Crook and Trish Fazackerley, Graeme Thomas of Hyde Park, Takayoshi Uemura and Tadashi Takahashi of Japan

The list of teams participating in the event is



Pine Rivers


Southport Red

Southport White

Redcliffe Roses



Lithgow Lightning

Sydney Epstars


Hunter Allsorts



Woodville (Aus)







Join, Korea

Woodville (International)

Kings, India

China 1 (The CGA still have to provide the names of their teams)

China 2