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Title: Gateball  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Croquet, Sport in Japan, List of sports, People's Park (Haikou), The Funeral (1984 film)
Collection: Croquet, Sport in Japan
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Playing Gateball
Highest governing body World Gateball Union
First played 1947
Contact No
Team members Yes
Mixed gender Yes
Type Mallet Sport
Equipment Gateball sticks, gateballs

Gateball (Japanese: ゲートボール Hepburn: gētobōru) is a mallet team sport similar to croquet. It is a fast-paced, non-contact, highly strategic team game, which can be played by anyone regardless of age or gender.

Gateball is played on a rectangular court 20 meters long and 15 meters wide. Each court has three gates and a goal pole. The game is played by two teams (red and white) of up to five players. Each player has a numbered ball corresponding to their playing order. The odd-numbered balls are red and the even-numbered balls are white. Teams score one point for each ball hit through a gate and two points for hitting the goal pole, in accordance with the rules. A game of gateball lasts for thirty minutes and the winner is the team with the most points at the end of the game.


  • History 1
  • Gameplay 2
  • Competitions 3
    • World Games 3.1
    • World Gateball Championship 3.2
  • References 4
  • External links 5


Gateball was invented in Japan by Suzuki Kazunobu in 1947. At the time there was a severe shortage of rubber needed to make the balls used in many sports. Suzuki, then working in the lumber industry on the northern island of Hokkaido, realised there was a ready supply of the wood used to make croquet balls and mallets. He revised the rules of croquet and created gateball as a game for young people.[1]

Gateball first became popular in the late 1950s when a physical education instructor introduced gateball to the women’s societies and senior citizens’ clubs of Kumamoto City. In 1962, the

  • World Gateball Union
  • Rules of Gateball

External links

  1. ^ a b Guttman, Allen and Lee Thompson (2001) Japanese Sport: A History. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press
  2. ^
  3. ^


The 11th World Championship will be held in Niigata city Japan on September 26-28.

The 10th World Championship was played on 17-19 September 2010 in Shanghai China. The competition was contested by 96 teams from 14 countries/regions including Australia, Brazil, China, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Paraguay, the Philippines, South Korea, Russia and the USA.[3]

The World Gateball Championships are held every four years. The inaugural championship in 1986 was played in Hokkaido with teams from Brazil, China, Chinese Taipei, Japan, Korea and the United States of America. Subsequent championships were held in Hawaii (1998); Toyama, Japan (2002); and Jeju, South Korea (2006).

World Gateball Championship

In 2001, gateball was included as an exhibition event at the 6th World Games. The competition was held in Akita Prefecture in Japan and was attended by teams from China, Japan, South Korea, the USA and Chinese Taipei. The final was won by a team of mostly teenage players from Japan.

World Games


One point is given for every gate the ball passes in order and two points for hitting the goal-pole. The winner is the team with the most points at the end of thirty minutes. As the red team always gets to play first, the white team always has the final turn, even if time has elapsed before the final white ball is called.

When stroking, if the ball hits another ball, this is called a "touch". If both the stroker's ball and the touched ball remain within the inside line, the stroker shall step on the stroker’s ball and place the other touched ball so that it is touching the stroker's ball, and hit the strokers ball with the stick (this play is called a “spark”), sending the other touched ball off as the result of the impact. By passing through a gate or sparking the ball, a player receives another turn.

Gateball is played between two teams of up to five people on a rectangular field 15-20 meters long and 20-25 wide. The two teams use five balls each, either red or white depending on the team, and play in an alternating fashion between red and white the balls numbered from 1 to 10. Each player plays the same ball throughout the game. At the beginning of the game the players, in order, place their ball in the designated “start area” and attempt to hit the ball through the first gate. If they successfully pass through the gate they may play again. If the player misses the first gate, or their ball passes through the first gate but ends up outside of the court, they pick up their ball and have to try again in the second round.


[2] In 1984, the


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