Increase in number of natural
grass courts and fostering of juniors progressing at a fast pitch China, which demonstrated its power at the 3rd Asian Championships held locally
in 2000, found it could not repeat that record at the World Games the year before
last or at the World Championships last year. The natural grass courts in Japan
seemed to prevent it from repeating it earlier show of strength. To overcome this,
new grass courts are being constructed at a fast rate to replace the slippery
dirt courts in use until now. example, the Chinese Sha Jing Team which participated
in the World Championships - a team made up from staff of an education center
similar to that of a Japanese board of education center - has 10 courts of dirt
and grass within the center.
On top of this, the China Gateball Association is putting a big effort to promote
junior (6 -15 year olds) gateball. There are about 40 junior teams in the Beijing
area alone. The Primary School Childrens Team participated in the international
tournament held in Macao in December last year. Although they are elementary school
children, they have developed skills and techniques to match an adult team.
This year, the customary international tournament is planned to be held and teams
from many countries including Japan will hopefully participate.
Junior team debuts
Primary School Team (12- 13-year olds) makes its first appearance in the Macao
international tournament. The team received special permission to participate
in the event. They would match the top level of the Japanese junior 2nd class
A young team centered around 20-year olds
The Shanghai team that won the Singapore international tournament. The young team
is made up of players between 20 and 40 years old (youngest player is 21 years
old). Although they showed some hesitancy at first on the natural grass court,
they later displayed their true strength.
ARailway Companys Ladies Team
Railway Company team that competed with the Shanghai team for 1st and 2nd places
in Singapore. The team is composed of women between 30 and 50 years old employed
at a Railway Company (youngest member is 38). As can be seen in the above photo,
care has been taken to avoid the hem of the pants touching the ball.