Tips & strategy

A player participation program in CNSW used a useful framework for pathways to improved performance in Gateball

FOUNDATION – for beginners, social players and those working towards playing in competitions.

Gateball Australia has produced Gateball for Beginners. Download it here

1. An introduction to the game of gateball The World Gateball Union has some useful introductory material. Follow the Lets Play Gateball and What’s Gateball links to get to this material. The WGU produces a booklet callled Spark Gateball A to Z. Lesson 1 describes the game, court and equipment, lesson 2, stroking, passing gates and finishing and lesson 3, touching sparking and outballs. These are great to print out for absolute beginners.  

2. Developing Routines for Stroking, Sparking and Sliding.

Being aware of the steps required and developing routines for these 3 macro skills is important. Being aware of steps in a routine enables a player to work out where they may be making errors.

-A stroking routine. State Croquet Association’s websites often have an introduction to the four elements of a stoking routine. For example, these links are to the CNSW website: GripStalk , Stance and Swing

Anthony Dask has produced some great videos for us illustrating stroking specifics for Gateball. See  Swing Series (Croquet Stance)

Although most players are encouraged to adopt a croquet swing, these videos introduce different aiming methods, including the Golf Style, in a video called Gateball Aiming Methods . More details on Golf Style and Chinese style are also available.

For absolute beginners, a game without sparking is an idea. See Aussie Gateball

-A sparking routine.  Developing a routine for sparking is as important as a stroking routine. See Sparking Tips

For left handers, Philip Brown of Victoria documents the process for those who need a left handed instructor.

-A sliding routine

Check here

3. Basic Drills to practise.  Skills cards have always been a useful tool to use. These activity cards match the skills card.  They can be set out on a court with the required equipment and players circulate from activity to activity during a session. 

Players often develop and use their own and these sets of activities were used in Rockhampton ,Pine Rivers and at Canberra. These Practice Routines   were developed by Gateball Australia almost 20 years ago but are still valid.

In 2011, a team from a local school trained to participate in the 2011 Australian Gateball Championships trough Wagga Wagga Croquet Club. GB players form CNSW visited the club on a roster to coach the players. A set of drills were developed which the team completed over a number of weeks. Results of the drill sessions were recorded and sent to the CNSW Coordinator who tabulated the results for the team and provided feedback. It was a great example of long distance coaching. The team from Wagga Wagga achieved a notable success at the AGC and even defeated a visiting Japanese team!

Anyone who develops variations of practise drills is invited to send them to for posting on this website

4. An introduction to strategy and tactics

It is important for beginners to develop the skills of working with a captain. A player and captain have only 10 seconds for a captain’s call to be made and for the player to carry it out.  A first step is to learn a team’s common language for parts of a court and then to understand the common calls a captain may make.

A useful series of videos has been produced by Satoshi, a JGU friend of Gateball Australia. They could be watched on court with a phone. See his videos:

Court and Equipment Passing Gates and Making an Agari  Touch and Spark
Sparking+  Touch Pass Slide Touch
Outball   Bombard Common Fouls
 Jumping Touch Pass Touch  


Activities were developed and trialled in early 2019 through the CNSW Player Pathways to Excellence Program. In most cases they require sequences of strokes and sparks that a player needs to carry out to achieve consistency in a competition. They are included in Gateball for Competition Players. Download it here

. Before using these activities, it is important to understand the differences between Block and Random Practice. This video is a good place to start


Gateball Australia continually updates a strategy document which players may wish to make occasional reference to. The latest version can be found here: Strategies . If you believe that approaches have become redundant or are aware of new strategies that are not listed please contact Gateball Australia on

A parallel compendium of skills has also been produced and can be updated by players when necessary.

Scenarios are a great way to train a team for a competition and to develop higher level skills and understanding. It is important to play and discuss them and not just see them as a pencil and paper puzzle.  A scenario and a link to others can be found on this website. Play them, reflect on what happened and give GA some feedback. Anyone who responds with their thoughts and a description, can, in some cases, be sent some discussion notes. Do please also forward further scenarios for inclusion on our website.

A really useful app to allow players to consider strategy is available on the Gateball.Asia website

Further reference materials can be accessed through this link