Gateball in South Australia

Despite the Covid 19 restrictions, Gateball in South Australia is almost back in full swing.

Hyde Park have been playing on Wednesday afternoons for some weeks now with up to 8 players enjoying each session, with another new player interested in joining the fun soon.

A big thank you to Hyde Park for spreading the word, and increasing the numbers playing Gateball in Adelaide.

Not to be outdone, Mount Gambier are also powering ahead with 6 players regularly attending their Monday morning sessions – well done Leah and Robert for your enthusiastic encouragement of your new players.

Rather embarrassingly, Woodville has only managed one two sessions since June 2020 with 3 attendees, but we hope to hold more Sunday afternoon sessions now that the weather is improving.

Geoff Crook
Woodville CC

Peter at Hyde Park practising social distancing on the Gateball court

Hazelbrook NSW discovers Gateball

Hazelbrook Croquet Club members play on a bowling green, flat and smooth and a couple of months ago some of the  Blue Mountains-dwelling, temporarily homeless Lithgow Gateball fraternity heard about it! What a win/win! 

The croquet players could recognise many individual skills but watching the speed of decision making, the teamwork strategy required in a game all done in 30 mins earned a ready respect. With exuberance and passion our visitors soon had those spectators drawn into play. Intoxicating! Now laughter, oooo’s and anguished cries can be heard Thursday and Sunday mornings! 

With readily adjustable, lighter sticks, young school age kids have found their way onto the green and are quickly picking up the game delights of sparking and wow that can look and feel spectacular too! 

A captivated fan from Hazelbrook!

The History of Gateball at Rockhampton Mallet Sports Club, QLD.

Gateball History – Rockhampton Mallet Sports Club Inc.

In late 2002 membership of Rockhampton Croquet Club was dwindling fast and we needed to look further afield to boost numbers and offering gateball as an added game looked attractive, but how?

We held an open day – nineteen attended – eight agreed to come again. The next three Saturdays saw nine, then thirteen, then eleven persons attended.

By December we had new balls and sticks, also gates, poles and score boards made be member Les Feddersen.

In February 2003 Edna Vincent visited with twenty-seven players from all clubs in the region attending her demonstrations. We then applied to Australian Croquet Association for funding assistance for gateball – we received $300.00 to buy equipment for school programs. By this time we had seven new members join the club, and Ethel, Averil, and May were busy making bibs for our seventeen gateball players. We were going great guns!

With much hesitation and trepidation and with Keith McLeod’s encouragement, we agreed to play in the Australian Championships at Caloundra in November 2003. We excitedly decided on a uniform of gold shirt with white slacks/shorts and had to make another set of bibs with up to twenty players on Saturday morning enjoying the game. We still value greatly our “Bravery Award” for competing in this competition. In 2004 our club won the Midas Cup in Caloundra and in 2005 two teams, (Gaters and Gold) competed in the Inaugural State Titles in Ipswich with Gaters winning the trophy with six wins from six games played and Gold winning two. Six players (Steven O’Connor, Norm and Bette Bull, Ethel and Eric Hughes, and Greg Featherstone) competed in the Australia Titles in Mosman, Sydney and our club was buoyed by our success, so much so that we applied to host the State Titles in Rockhampton in August 2006. In May 2005 we won the Inaugural inter-regional Championships at the McIlwraith Club. The team was Margaret Daniel, Margaret and Ron Gall, Ethel and Eric Hughes, and Steven O’Connor.

We were now well equipped and our membership had grown substantially and we often had up to twenty-two members attending. The State Titles saw eleven teams competing, three of them from our club. In 2007 we ventured into playing doubles gateball and this proved popular at our C.Q. Gateball Tournament with a total of seven teams, three of them from Rockhampton plus nine doubles combinations.

In four years we had come a long way and would continue competing in State titles annually. In November 2007 Bette and Norm Bull, John Dargel, Lynne Farry, Ethel and Eric Hughes competed in the Australian Championships at Cairnlea in Melbourne. In 2008 Rockhampton Gold (Margaret Daniel, Lynne Farry, Bette and Norm Bull, Margaret Gall, and Greg Featherstone) won the Ipswich Heritage Cup and in 2009 we were honoured to host the Australian International Gateball Championships. There were many months of organisation led by Ethel Hughes and her teams, Magpies and Herons. Credit must be given to John Hoffman and Vince Hagen for their valuable assistance in preparing for the event and throughout the tournament.

We are always thankful for the support and encouragement we received from other clubs and especially from Keith McLeod, Bruce McAllister, and Edna Vincent without whose initial encouragement we may never have started.

We continue to play locally, competing in competitions whenever possible and are thankful that gateball added another dimension to our club’s activities.

May Feddersen/Ethel Hughes

The leafy surrounds at Rockhampton MSC

The leafy surrounds at Rockhampton MSC

Newest addition to the ClubThe main Club House

Lumpy Lawn No More

Work on Lithgow Croquet Club’s lawn upgrade and extension commenced in early March and has progressed quite quickly despite some heavy rain events which stopped work several times.
 

3rd March

Members have been avidly watching the transformation and taking progress photos.
 

12th March

It will take a while for the lawn to establish properly and it is hoped the coming winter won’t slow it down too much. 
 

24th March

 
 
 

5th April

We don’t know at this stage whether the September Gateball Tournament will be able to proceed due to the current health crisis. But whenever it is, we look forward to welcoming everyone to Lithgow for a great tournament on a great lawn.

Cass Hawkins
Lithgow Croquet Club

Kew Croquet Gives Gateball a Go

On the recent Australia Day holiday Monday Kew Croquet Club held a “Give Gateball a Go” day. The aim was to spread our game to other members of the croquet club and to complete beginners as well.  
 
We had a wonderful day weather-wise and 30 people came to try a sport that very few had every played before.  
 
We had a few from Kew Croquet Club, but also visitors from two clubs (hopefully) interested in taking up the game: Ivanhoe Park and Yarrawonga.  Special kudos to the Yarrawonga members who’d driven a long way to get there.
 
We used a relatively standard approach of having some drills and learning the basic skills first before having a couple of competitive games.  Having learnt from previous experience the emphasis was on teaching croquet players to hit the ball gently and teaching the newcomers to hit it straight….  
 
We also incorporated some drills that might seem more advanced, like deliberately hitting the left side or the right side of the ball.  But this was taken to well by the guests and seemed to give a better feel for the game very early on.  A game learned in Canberra called “International Box” was a big hit.  
 
Philip Brown
Kew Croquet Club