Each year the National Coordinator is obliged to hold a Gateball Australia Referee Committee meeting. This has recently been held and this post is intended to give Gateball Australia members an overview of decisions and discussions.
Firstly, the Committee was pleased to note that Bruce McAlister and Keith McLeod have decided to continue as International Referees. They both remain active in this role and contribute significantly. We all need to thank this pair, as we do anyone who agrees to be a referee.
Decisions made at this year’s meeting are as follows:
Doubles and Triples Rules Somewhat unusually, our doubles and triples rules use two different systems. Our triples rules are written using a relation system. For example, the leading team players use balls 1 & 7, 3 & 9, and 5. Triples can also be played using a rotational system and some clubs prefer to do this, both for social play and club comps. Our doubles are played using a rotational system. Players use alternate balls, rotating through all the numbers. Doubles can also be played using a relation system. This means that one player, for example, uses balls 1,5 and 9, while the other member of the team uses 3 and 7. Given that, in Australia, clubs use both rotational and relation systems, the Committee decided this should be reflected in our rules for club play and club competition. Players can always refer to these rules on the Officiating, Rules and Refereeing page on our website. These are always worth checking before a competition. They do, for example, explain the consequences of strokers playing out of order.
The picture above shows a bib for relation triples.
Accrediting and re-accrediting as a Level 1 or International Referee. It has now become a requirement for referees wishing to accredit as Level 1 and as International Referees to have experience in being tournament referees, contributing to mentoring new referees, assisting at referee courses, preparing or presenting talks or materials for the benefit of the Gateball community. Details are included in the Gateball Australia Accreditation and Reaccreditation Procedure available on this website.
Signing off Referee Reaccreditation Cards All referees are usually expected to complete a Reaccreditation card each year. The sign-off by a peer should not be by a member of a player’s own club, except in circumstances where a club or player is isolated from other referees who can perform the duty. (This ruling cannot apply to cards already completed for 2020/21). Referees are reminded that only 1 card is due for the period January 2020 – mid September 2021 (this year’s Australian Gateball Championships). New cards from September 2021 to the end of 2022 will then be required.
Laser pointers. Laser pointers are used in some Gateball playing countries and have been a topic of discussion at WGU Rules meetings. A proposal was put to the Committee that, should someone wish to do so, it should support a trial of their use. It was noted that regulations varied from one state to another. In NSW, an online application can be made to use a laser pointer, similar to applying for a gun licence. While in NSW, an exemption for use in sports can be granted. This is not the case in Victoria. Committee members were evenly divided on whether or not this should be allowed as a trial. There was not enough support for this to proceed.
Video Exam. A proposal was received to trial some video exam questions for referees. The NCGB will obtain copies on a USB drive and share these to states. Interestingly, discussion on the matter also brought to light that exams could be put on line and that the ACA board could be asked to support this initiative. It needs to be noted that the exam would still require an invigilator and security concerns would also be addressed.
Pointing with a stick and related matters. Late in 2020, a referee in Queensland was challenged over their request for a captain not to point with their stick. The complainant wished to know where the supporting wording for this action was to be found in the rules. After some bureaucratic processes within CAQ, the matter was discussed at a special meeting of the GA Referee Committee in late 2020. Two statements were endorsed and are available on our website. In summary, captains should not point with their sticks and, after an initial warning, referees should take action under play interference rules. The WGU was informed and suggested further reasons why this action was inappropriate. GA has made a request that this item be included in the next version of the Q and A. As has already been the GA process for many years, any contentious issues arising during a competition should be brought to the attention of the Tournament Referee. If the player is still not satisfied, the matter should then be referred to the GA Referee Committee.
The Referee Committee is held annually and any player is invited to refer any issues they have about the rules and their application in Australia. Discussing your issue with your State Coordinator of Refereeing before submitting an item is advisable. However, if you wish to do so, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org directly.
Please note that these decisions will also be forwarded to the ACA Board.