Jim Nicholls has posted a video of the teams final on youtube.
The 2013 New South Wales Gateball Championship was held at Canberra Croquet Club from 22-24 November. This year’s tournament broke a number of records including most days of competition (3 days rather than the previous two day format), most teams (11), most pairs (22), most competitors (66) and most matches (113).
The event attracted teams from Queensland (1), New South Wales (4), Canberra (2) and Victoria (1). We were also very pleased to welcome two teams from the Iwate province in Japan. Jun Nogami also attended the competition as a representative of the World Gateball Union.
Four gateball courts were set up for the competition which were fully utilised with continuous matches over the three days. The competition was played in fine weather with temperatures in the mid-to-low 20’s. Will Antill (Wagga) was Tournament Referee.
Friday, 22 November saw a very busy schedule with 50 matches in the block phase of the pairs event. The top two pairs from each block advanced to the knockout phase with the final make-up of the quarter-finals including four pairs from Japan and four pairs from Australia.
Saturday morning saw the knockout rounds of the pairs event culminating in the final which was played between an Australian pair, Alec and Maxine from Kew (Victoria) against Msashi Tanifuji and Masamichi Endo from Japan. The Japanese pair had a strong match, building an early lead and controlling the match on their way to a 16-10 victory.
The opening ceremony followed the completion of the final with John Compton (President Croquet NSW) presenting the medals to the runners-up and winners. Nick Chapman (President Canberra Croquet Club) welcomed competitors to the club and opened the teams competition by hitting a ball through the ceremonial gate.
The remainder of Saturday saw the completion of half the matches in the block phase with Canberra Green going into the evening as clubhouse leaders with 5 wins from 5 matches.
Teams socialised at an informal dinner at Eastlakes Football Club with players reminiscing the days matches and promises to catch up at future tournaments including, in some instances, the World Championships in Japan.
Sunday saw the remainder of the teams group phase with the two Japanese teams (Team Iwate A and B) claiming first and second place after combining to win 17 of their 20 matches.
Competition for third place was tight with Queensland Globetrotters, Canberra Blue, Wagga Wagga, Canberra Green and defending champions Kew all finishing with 6 wins from 10 matches. The Queensland Globetrtters ended up claiming third with the best net hoops.
Around sixty spectators watched the final which was dominated by Team Iwate B for the first 25 minutes. However a late fight back including a gate and touch on the final turn gave Team Iwate A chance for victory. The final turn required ball four to pass gate two, gate three and hit the peg on the same turn. Unfortunately the shot on the peg missed by a matter of millimetres allowing Team Iwate B to hold on for a 11-9 victory.
Nick Chapman awarded the prizes to the winning team and runners-up while John Park announced Jamberoo as the winners of the “Best New Team” award. This was Jamberoo’s first tournament and they fought bravely in their 10 matches with some close results.
Teams left Canberra looking forward to catching up again at gateball competitions throughout 2014. Thanks to all the competitors who travelled to Canberra and to all those who assisted in organising catering and other aspects of the event.
Photos courtesy of Peter Freer.
Hunter Plovers in the “Plovers Nest”
Team Iwate B – Team Winners
New Team – Jamberoo
Teams Event – Award Winners
Photos courtesy of Kristina Whitehead and Tim Goodland
Epping Eastwood Killara vs Jamberoo
Blue Mountains v Wagga
Pairs Prize Winners
Crowd watching the Teams Final
Shot for the win