Gateball comes to Twin City

In hot humid conditions Judy Tier (State Director, NSW Gateball) and Andrew Davies (Canberra Croquet Club Gateball Referee) spent Wednesday 16 December 2020 introducing ten Twin City and Yarrawonga Croquet Club members to Gateball at the Twin City Courts.

Gateball terminology such as sparking, slide touch, bombarding, touch tight to the line are no longer a mystery and we all realise that just because the balls are smaller and the ‘sticks’ (mallets) are lighter doesn’t mean it is an easier game than any of the croquet codes we are more familiar with.

Thank you to all who attended and Twin City will revamp its playing schedule to include a session of Gateball once a fortnight from January 2021 onwards.

Sarina Cevaal-Hewitt
Twin City Croquet Club

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Andrew Davies and I have just returned from coaching 10 so very keen potential gateballers in Albury. Thanks Philip for coaching Cheryl so well. We are suggesting the Captain and there are at least 6 players who would not embarrass themselves in a tournament. They have plans to attend the Nationals and I have suggested perhaps Victoria and NSW States first.

I planned a 5 hour day of exercises, instruction and we played 3 games – untimed and timed and refereed. My 4 page handout includes a page of YouTube videos and a page of practice drills for personal use and pre-game preparation. If anyone wants these I am happy to share.

Sarina at Twin Cities had prepared the group extremely well – most had watched many YouTube videos, checked out the Australia Gateball site and came to the coaching with knowledge of the court, game order, some rules and various slide/bombard and gate touch knowledge. What a joy to coach them.

Judy Tier
State Director, NSW Gateball

Gateball in 2020 in NSW/ACT

And here I was thinking I would  be preparing a report on the many successful tournaments we had fun playing in 2020 and the numbers of new players and clubs taking on our sport.

Then Covid 19 happened. Although we had less time on the court we all had more time for contemplation and reflection. What different effects Covid has had on our NSW/ACT clubs.  Some members have avoided playing, others play with caution and, especially at Canberra Croquet Club, members play more than ever because they have not been able to travel to warmer climes.

Palmerston North in NZ was the sole tournament for many players in our region where teams entered from Victoria and Queensland.

I congratulate the Strathfield gateballers for keeping the game alive in the Sydney region. The regular Sundays have gradually increased in numbers and you have been a beacon of hope for gateball in Sydney’s west and beyond.

At the Canberra Croquet Club numbers have surpassed previous years with new players recruited for the Tavender Trophy. We have 2 painted lawns and our two youngest recruits are slowly learning the complexities of maintaining a scoreboard while not distracting their parents.

Gateball has such a small membership in Australia. It cannot afford to be precious about itself. And it cannot be precious about disputes with referee decisions, the standard of referee competency or when and where tournaments may happen.

We all know it requires effort to initiate any change (like introducing a new discipline), we also know there will always be critics. These people are usually those who rely on the drive and enthusiasm of others. However all the drive and enthusiasm for something new like gateball will never be successful if there is no support from the Club, particularly their committee members. Eventually these drivers of change, these change champions, get tired and  this is the time for someone else to stand up and take the rudder.

Succession planning has never been a great feature of clubs and croquet clubs are no exception. I encourage all gateball players to use the remainder of 2020 to contemplate the future of our game in Australia. Consider who organises the game at your club, could you do more to assist and do you contribute enthusiasm?

Twin Cities Croquet Club in Albury is one such club that has put in strategies to encourage our game.

Next week Andrew Davies and I will be at this club to coach 12 new enthusiasts. They already have six players planning to be at the Nationals in September. Good on them!

I wish all Sparkers a very happy holiday time and loads of enthusiasm for our many tournaments planned for 2021.

 Judy Tier – State Director, NSW Gateball

Last Gateball Report from Jamberoo

This will be the last gateball report from Jamberoo Croquet Club.

Gateball has been played for over 5 years at Jamberoo but sadly the code is no longer being played. There are many reasons for this.

Jamberoo gateball has always been a dominant force in NSW. We have managed to win or take podium places in many a competition and achieved runner up at NSW State Championship. Jamberoo CC will be missed both as a competitor and a tournament host. We have run the most patronised tournament annually since Jamberoo has been playing gateball.

Our players have upskilled themselves to include 2 coaches, 1 Level 2 referee and 1 Level 1 referee. We have run refereeing clinics and coached many who have given the game a try.

Glenda and Manuel Gutierrez

Our last playing members – Manuel Gutierrez, Glenda Gutierrez, Eilis Golightly, Graham Shephard, Gai Bathe, Evan Bathe: Inset Gerry Hassett and Marilyn Benson.

Tavender Trophy

On Sunday October 25,  Peter Tavender presented his trophy to the winning pair in this annual high/low event.
Winners were newcomer Pamela Hunt and Captain Peter Freer. In a hard fought final they beat another newcomer Helen Druett and Captain Glen Whitehead 11 – 7.
The day was rather wintry but clear and the 8 doubles pairs played some very close games with each pair in the 2 blocks winning matches.
After a night of rain the lawns were very soggy which made sparking an extra challenge. We were all rather pleased that we were not conducting the Canberra Triples this weekend.
Judy Tier
Canberra Croquet Club

Greetings to all – from Strathfield Gateballers

You can be lucky!

On the 3rd Sunday in September, we had our usual morning Gateball session planned. To date, we had been lucky with the weather, since the club reopened in Mid-May. However, this last session was quite confusing. Normally we tell people, don’t worry about the weather, it always goes around the lawn, and we only have showers anyway in Strathfield! Not so this particular morning! The clouds opened, and the lawns were drenched, and there were rain clouds as far as the eye could see.

Some players coming from afar naturally pulled out, but five of us arrived dressed for all weathers. As it turned out, we needed all the different gear (heavy rain gear to gradual strip down). Torrential rain was replaced eventually by sunshine, and even the sunnies came out! We managed to have 3-4 games. It turned out to be perfect…hence the smiles in our socially distanced picture.

Our Club has been closed as the lawns undergo their annual maintenance work, so there will be no Sunday Gateball  on the 4th October at SCC,  as the grass needs to recover from its maintenance process.

As most of you know, we have Gateball at our club on the 1st and 3rd Sunday mornings normally. When we reopen, we also play several times during the week. Check out our website (Playing Session Timetable) for updated details.  If coming, do contact me first.

Sunday Gateball players Elizabeth Dolphin, Petula Shun, Greg Deakin and Julia Rizzo (a new SCC Gateballer)

Oh, another little snippet…I have been asked to present a talk on Zoom on the 14th October at 6pm. The session is titled ‘Coach the Coach’ and information about it is now on the CNSW Website, News page.

Kate McLoughlin (CNSW Board Member) is organising it, and Pam Gentle (NSW Coaching Director) will also partake. I am one of the presenters, and whilst I will talk about club coach development at our club, I will focus my talk on a case study – the School Croquet program I designed and manage. Gateball was included in the school  program in 2018. Golf Croquet remains the focus. However, you may be interested to know that in 2019, I included ‘An Introduction to Gateball segment’ in the latter part of the program. Golf Croquet remains the main focus. A QandA Session follows my talk.

We do hope that Gateball coaches will register for the Workshop.

Ruth Bridger – Strathfield Croquet Club Gateball Organiser and Coach