Gateball rocks seniors into action

Gateball was invented by Eiji Suzuki in Hokkaido, Japan; Suzuki developed the game as a sport for children, which would require minimal equipment and space in the post-war era. It is played on a rectangular court 20-25 meters long and 15-20 meters wide, with three gates and a goal pole. The game is played by two teams (red and white) of five players. Each player has a red or white numbered ball corresponding to their playing order. Teams score one point for each ball hit through a gate and two points for hitting the goal pole, in accordance with the rules and a game of gateball lasts 30 minutes.

As a large group from the Play And Learn Sessions (PALS) provided rousing music from Hawaiian hymns to traditional children’s songs, Terada spoke with Gladys Brown; co-organizer of the trip and Vice President of the Molokai AARP; in order to leave equipment to set up a Molokai team.

There are currently 15 affiliated members of the World Gateball Union (WGU) and more than 8 million people play gateball worldwide. The appeal of the sport was explained by Nancy Unemori who watched Friday’s tournament. Her simple interest in the game came from a desire “to see something different.” Her interest piqued, Unemori hoped for enough players to create a team.

If you would like more information on joining the Molokai Gateball Team, please contact Gladys Brown on 553 5375.


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