World Masters Games, Kansai, 2021

In May 2021, the World Masters Games, held every four year, is planned for Kansai, Japan. With an expectation of more than 50,000 competitors involved in over 30 sports, it will be a hub of sporting ‘tragics’. Since Gateball is now included in the World Masters Games, all Gateball players would feel very much a part of the action.

Tokyo is hosting the Olympics this year so it is the turn of another part of Japan to demonstrate their organisational skills. The Kansai region is in the central area of the main island of Honshu. This huge region is full of heritage, beautiful scenery and very welcoming people. Gateball is being held in Kyoto which attracts so many tourists each year.

If there is interest in attending, please read the attachments. The entry fee is approx $325 at the present exchange rates. But this allows you to enter in 4 other sporting events!

Download (PDF, Unknown)

So create a team from your club, or form a composite team.  Contact your friends, the National Coordinator, John Park, or the State Coordinators. 

Download (PDF, Unknown)

But don’t forget there is the Australian Gateball Championships to be held at the Gold Coast 17-19th September 2021.

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

Canberra Croquet Club damaged in hailstorm

It was forecast to be destructive and it certainly was. I visited the club around 40 minutes after the storm. The lawns were covered to 50cm with leaves and twigs from surrounding deciduous trees, battered and dead ducks sat amongst it, the clubhouse verandah had huge holes in the roof as did the entire roof of the main building.

The lawns have been significantly pock marked by hail with holes the width and depth of golf balls so will be out of play for some time.

The clubhouse roof has been very severely damaged (ie a number of holes in tiles; vast numbers of cracked tiles; painted veneer protecting tiles has been shredded), the verandah awning has been smashed; and there are a couple of broken windows.

Because of the damage to the roof there has been some seepage of moisture into the roof cavity. It is closed until further notice. The tiles, which contain asbestos-containing materials also create a health risk.

The nearby yacht club suffered major damage to windows and boats, with forty dead seagulls and all cars in the area suffered broken windscreens and dents. The hail damaged our large organic garden – shredding tomato, zucchini and pumpkin leaves. I have not heard of any member’s house damage. The storm area was extremely limited to a narrow swathe from Belconnen, through the CSIRO, ANU, Museum, Parliament House to Fyshwick.

Judy Tier
Canberra Croquet Club

Visit to World and Japanese Gateball Union

At the request of the National Coordinator, Barbara and Jim Northcott represented Gateball Australia at the World and Japanese Gateball Union’s new office to make enquiries and update the organisation about gateball in Australia. They report that:
The new offices are in a huge building which has all of the Sports Federations/ Organisations in the one skyscraper. Japan Hockey is across the hall from Gateball. Rugby along the corridor. The Olympic Museum is on the ground floor and the Olympic Committee on the top floor. The building looks over the new Olympic Stadium which was officially opened last week. People everywhere gawking and taking photos just like we did.
Items discussed at the meeting included:

1. The recent interest shown by NZ Croquet in gateball and moves by that organisation to support the development of the game.

2. The 2019 Australian Gateball Championships were reported as being both successful and very friendly. Barbara explained the place and the venue for 2021 and hoped Japanese teams would visit and play. Fridge magnets were distributed

3. Additional copies of the 2019 rule book were reported as not having been printed yet. Ten copies were initially sent to Gateball Australia and others will follow in the new year.

4. The Asian Gateball Union Championships have been planned for Shen Zheng in Guangdong Province for November 2020. However with current uncertainties in Hong Kong there is doubt about that being a certainty because people from overseas have to fly via Hong Kong. A meeting will be held in January or February to clarify the situation

5. An update of issues facing Gateball Australia were clarified for the WGU
On another day, Jim and Barbara played gateball at Kita Park. They reported: Satoshi Kamijo, Keiichi Imagawa, Shoiichi Nakamura (he is playing in the World Croquet Champs in Melbourne as the only Japanese player involved), Taka, who played in Melbourne with Woodville) attended and are all English speakers . A mixed group of others – young, talented men  and older players, male and female, all met after Satoshi organised it. There were almost twenty of us. 
Good fun, interesting tactics and plenty of snacks kept us there from 10 to 3:30. I certainly spoke about 2021, gave out the fridge magnets, Keiichi translated, hotel accommodation and best airports were discussed. I feel positive there will be definite interest from this younger group as opposed to the players at Adachi where we normally play.

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AGC – players’ thoughts and comments – part 2

Penny Park – Lithgow
As far as the Lithgow team was concerned, the highlight of this competition was the pre-comp visit from the Korean ‘Join’ team. We had such fun hosting them in the mountains and then down at Lithgow. They were so generous in sharing their Gateball expertise and demonstrating play that is consummate in both strategy and execution. We did not perform as well as we can in this competition, but we all have happy memories of friendships made and rekindled and share in John’s relief that, after all the hard work, the competition was a huge success. Relaxed and refocussed, we will be back!

Julia Vickers – Southport
A great weekend was had by both Southport Teams at the National Gateball Championships held at Cairnlea Victoria. Southport White was especially excited winning their first six games in Block A. This included winning against both International teams in the block – South Korea (Join) and China (Hu Nan). Unfortunately, we then lost the final two games and ended up in coming fourth in the block. Although Southport Red did not do so well in block B, they had good close games.  We all play each other at the Club so really it is great for all Southport gateballers to have done so well.

What a great experience we all had playing local, state, national and international competitors in such good facilities. We all look forward to meeting again in 2021.

Helen Chalmers – Hunter Allsorts
Just writing to say a big thank you to the organisers for the AGC in Cairnlea.  The Hunter Allsorts thoroughly enjoyed themselves and were happy with most of their play.  The weather was absolutely awful but no one can do anything about that. Thank you to everyone for doing a great job.

Robert Roose – Pine Rivers Croquet Club.
I along with the rest of the Pine Rivers team had a great time (except for the bloody weather). The competition was played in a friendly although competitive manner. We as a small gateball club learnt a lot about strategy during the competition and I personally learnt that captaining a side is not as easy as I though it was ! but I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and can’t wait to have another go.
Judy Stringer – Pine Rivers Croquet Club
In my opinion the three days of Gateball were outstanding. One of the things that stands out for me was when we walked in the door every morning we were greeted by so many smiling faces and always felt welcome and part of this gateball community. On the courts all games were played in very good spirit, with as much friendliness at the beginning and end of each game as was extended to one and all in the clubhouse. Thank you Melbourne for a wonderful Australian Gateball Championship, you did the sport proud.
Kathleen Hayes and Robyn Lyon – Capricornians
A big highlight was firstly to be asked to join a team and travel to Melbourne to compete in the Australian Gateball Championships 2019. We found it all very exciting from the excellent Cairnlea Croquet Centre with its wonderful fast greens to competing against overseas and southern teams we had not previously met.
Coming from different clubs within the Central Queensland Region, this was the first time the Capricornians had competed as a whole team and we had not had much chance to practice together previously which meant we were rather outclassed. However we thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience.
Overall I think a wonderful highlight was to have defeated in practice 11/8 Shen Yang who later went on to win the Championship.
Son Suk Ja – Join, Korea

The Korean Join team had a great experience in Australia.

Our team had a number of incidents before this competition. In August, one player was absent, making it difficult to find a replacement. And I only had two exercises with the new member. In addition, one week before departure, one of our members was admitted to the hospital, and our team had to make a strategic decision. He was an important part of my team, so I and my team even thought about giving up on Australia.

This was because it was hard to travel to Australia with two members who had been practising for one year. In fact, my team had a lot of conflict before leaving the country a week before the departure. But for a month-long schedule with John Park, I decided to travel to Australia.

We had a hard time challenging the Australian championship with a hurried team, but thank you for completing this long Australian event. Thank you to everyone in Australia for the competitions from Korea Join team.