This evening, at 5.30 p.m., Tn. Hj. Kahadin, the Science Officer of Pahang State Education Department introduced the woodball game. To play the game, a player needs the game equipments consist of a mallet and a ball. The game is played in the woodball course and players have to hit the ball with the mallet. A player is considered finish when he managed to hit the ball to go through the gate.
We were very lucky as not far from our hotel (the WaWa Inn, next to Mara Junior Science College / MRSM Muadzam Shah), there is a woodball course with 24 gates. We took the chances to play the game. A staff of Muadzam Shah municipal council, En. Murad joined us in this game. We managed to play till 17 gates out of 24 gates.
*****BRIEF WOODBALL HISTORY
Woodball as a recreational game first started in the early 1990s by a person named Mr. Weng Meng Hui, a Taiwanese. Together with a colleague, he invented this game of woodball and introduced some basic rules for its conduct during playing.
The first woodball course in the world is the Grand Garden Woodball Course in Taiwan. And since then woodball has expanded and is now played in more than 25 countries worldwide. Woodball has also been recognized as a sporting event by the Asian Olympic Council in 1999.
In Malaysia, woodball was first introduced in 1995 and the first woodball course is the OUG Woodball Garden Course in Kuala Lumpur. It was built in 1996 and later upgraded in year 2002. It is a championship course and many local, regional and international tournaments are regularly held here. The Malaysian Woodball Association is located in Kuala Lumpur.
Malaysia, having been acknowledged as having the most international standard woodball courses, and perhaps the best in the world, has been appointed to organize and host the 2nd World Cup Woodball Championship in year 2006. The 1st World Cup Woodball Championship was held in Chinese Taipei in 2004.
*******WOODBALL IN BRIEF
The International Woodball Federation ("IWbF") is the governing world body for the game of woodball, with members from the woodball associations and bodies from different countries.
The IWbF establishes the rules and regulations governing the conduct of the game and also holds regular regional and World Cup Woodball Championships.
Woodball is similar to golf with all the excitement and thrill, although this game is far less complicated to learn. It is said that the woodball game is actually a cross between golf and the game of croquette. It is a lawn game but can still be played indoors or on any open spaces.
Like golf, competitive woodball is played on a course, with a tee area, fairway and putting area. For championship courses, there is normally a stipulation that the course should have at least four curving courses (two left and two right), to add extra challenges and excitement to the game.
Woodball is played with a swinging tee-shot and putting strokes. And just like golf, the player who completes the course (known as "gate" in woodball) with the fewest strokes wins the game. The length of a gate, from the starting area to the gate, ranges from 30 yards (par 3) to over 100 yards (par 5) or from 20 meters to 100 meters.
But unlike golf, which uses a number of driving clubs and a putter, a player uses only one club called a "mallet" which is made of wood (what else) for teeing off, fairway playing and putting.
And the ball for the woodball game is larger (3 ¾ inch in diameter) and heavier than a golf ball. Of course it is made of wood (hence the name of the game) and spherical in shape. As a result, the ball doesn’t fly when driving, as in golf, but instead it only bounces and rolls on the grass or ground.
Instead of a hole to complete the strokes as in golf, woodball uses a gate, which is like a tiny soccer goalpost. The gate is formed with two wooden bottle-shaped stumps, which are fixed apart on the ground and it is crossed with a swinging gatekeeper, when the ball rolls in between the two stumps.
In a woodball game, each team consists of 2 to 4 players. In some international tournaments, 6 players are allowed in a team, but the results of only the 4 best players in the team are used when tallying the strokes.
When playing on the woodball course, the objective is to complete 12 gates, or some other designated number of gates. In international competitions 24 gates or more are normally played.
Depending upon the number of players, it normally takes about 90 minutes to complete 12 gates.