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
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.
Players from Nowra Croquet Club have shown an interest in gateball and for the past several weeks have been travelling to Jamberoo Croquet Club weekly to learn the complexities of the game. As interest has grown, Jamberoo decided to head south and open up the code to more of the members at Nowra.
6 experienced players from Jamberoo and Lithgow, joined quite a few interested Nowra players on the court as well as several spectators. A fun afternoon was had by all.
After a few short skill sessions with sparking, as always, proving a bit tricky, we played several games. Games started with no penalties for fouls or outballs. As the afternoon wore on most rules were applied and sparking fouls were minimal.
Nowra members remained very positive throughout the afternoon and are keen to adopt this code to their club. Making this possible is the ability to borrow gear from CNSW through Director of NSW Gateball Mary Dunn at firstname.lastname@example.org
Glenda and Manuel Gutierrez
Jamberoo Croquet Club
After play at Victoria Park Croquet Club in Week 1, the group was invited to move the Week 2 play to Forrest Park Croquet Club – headquarters of Croquet West. Forrest Park sent out a flyer to all WA croquet clubs inviting participation and that invitation explains the extra starters.
Regular play will now be Sunday mornings for the next two weeks, and already players have decided to continue after the introductory course, alternating weekly between clubs with the aim of setting up a three-way inter-club competition (the two Parks and E. Fremantle), as more players are gathered.
Several email enquiries this week suggest that even more new players will turn up over the next two Sundays.
An organisation of independent schools has organised a day, in October for sports groups to introduce their sport to high school students. Gateball will be there.
Croquet West runs an inter-generation GC tournament in October. Croquet players partner with younger generation to expose the sport. Gateball has been invited to participate.
Wednesday evening play at East Fremantle will begin again in September.
More information can be found on the Croquet West Website
The 24 teams competing in the Australian Gateball Championship have been drawn into three blocks as listed below.
The random draw was held with the following parameters:
- Two international teams in each block
- Three NSW teams in each block
- Two or three QLD teams in each block
- The two Chinese, Newcastle, Canberra and Southport teams were drawn in separate blocks.