Teams Popular with the Crowds
BRAZIL 6 (BRA)
A team of third-generation Japanese in their 20's. All members have been playing since childhood having been influenced by their first-generation grandparents. Won the 2000 South American Championships and the 2002 and 2006 Brazilian National Championships.
A team of men aged 18 to 26 who belong to a sports club in Sakhalin. “We want to utilize our experience at this competition in the future.”
A team of youngsters from the capital city Canberra, taking part in these Championships for the second time in a row. They train on the basics twice a week. Have won the Australian National Championships twice.
KAUAI- USA TEAM (USA)
A team of players mainly in their 50s and 60s from Kauai, Hawaii. Daniel Nishiguchi (far left of front row, 63), a Japanese-American with 25 years of gateball experience, formed the team about one year ago to popularize the sport in his country.
PARAGUAY A (PRY)
A team of ethnic Japanese in their 60s and 70s from the capital city Asuncion. These first-generation Japanese retirees have more than 20 years experience of gateball and enjoy playing three or four times a week.
HONG KONG, CHINA TEAM NO.4 (HKG)
A team of players in their 60s and 70s from Kowloon who average seven years of gateball experience. Nearly all retirees, they play every day for health as well as social interaction.
MACAU GATEBALL TEAM 4 (MAC)
A team of players in their 60s entering these Championships for the second time. All players are retirees who train four times a week. “International competitions help us to improve our skills.”
Incheon Kyodong C (S. Korea)
A team of players in their 40s and 50s from Yeongjong Island near Incheon International Airport. About half of the island's 2,300 population love gateball. The team have previously won international competitions.
A team composed of players in their 50s and 60s from Miaoli County and neighboring Hsinchu County in north-west Taiwan. Includes players rich in experience such as being runners-up in the Taiwan National Championships.
Switzerland and Latvia, the latest countries to take up gateball, came to observe!
Gateball is becoming popular at croquet clubs in regions around Europe since last year. CERN ･ Croquet Club(Switzerland) is one such club which operates in the suburbs of Geneva, and one of its players, David Underhill, came to these World Gateball Championships to observe. “The way the top teams play is thrilling!” said Mr Underhill excitedly. “I'm going to try hard to make gateball popular when I get back home.”
Also watching keenly was Roberts STAFECKIS of the Latvia Croquet Association in north-east Europe, who is also very interested in gateball. It was later reported that Mr. STAFECKIS organized the first ever game of gateball in Latvia on October 10.
We look forward to gateball spreading to other parts of Europe too.
- From left: Yoshihiro Endo, President of World Gateball Union; David Underhill, Switzerland; Kiyoko Ono, Chairperson of World Gateball Union; Roberts STAFECKIS, Latvia (at Shanghai competition venue)
- Latvian player hitting with a between-the-legs swing, influenced by croquet
- Historical moment when a gateball match was first played in Latvia