Cricket. It's the funny game where those people seem to stand around in white clothes doing, well, something for a very, very long time. Boring and stuffy, you say. Well, pick up a cricket bat and you'll soon discover that even those with hand-and-eye coordination issues can hit a ball over the boundary line.
Try knocking the bails off the wickets and you and your teammates will be screaming with delight as they fall. Swing at the ball and you and your partner will be running past one another calling out encouragement. The game is infectious. So invite your family and friends over, stock the ice chest with drinks, and put these backyard rules to the test -- there's a game of cricket that needs playing.
A bowler stands behind one crease and throws the ball to the batter standing in front of the opposite crease. The batter attempts to hit the ball as far as he or she can so the batters have more time to run between the wickets and score points. Similar to baseball, fielders will either catch the ball or run it down. When the batters run to switch places in an attempt to score a run, fielders try to knock the bails off the stumps before a batter safely gets a bat or body part across the crease.
Fielders can run and throw the ball from anywhere. A fielder out by the boundary line would typically throw the ball to a fielder standing directly by the wickets, called a wicket keeper, which is similar to a catcher. The wicket keeper would then throw the ball at the wicket in an attempt to knock the bails off the stumps. If the batters have stopped running and are safe, the fielder would throw the ball back to the bowler, who would bowl again.
Depending on the type of cricket being played, the length of a game can vary from an afternoon to five days. We don't imagine your guests want to sit around for five days -- no matter how good your cooking might be -- so we've shortened the game considerably and taken broad liberties with the rules. You need just a few pieces of equipment to get started.
Use flour to create the lines delineating the rectangular pitch. You will need to make crease or safety lines inside the ends of the pitch.
Cricket is usually played with the pitch centered in an oval, so designate a boundary. Use backyard elements to form the boundary, such as a group of trees, the house, an arbor, etc. Everyone should agree where the boundary line is. For our backyard game, the house and the flowerbeds served as the boundary.
Balance bails on top of the stumps. Use the bails to help you determine how far apart the stumps should be placed from one another. The stumps are spiked on one end. Push them into the ground with your hands, then balance the bails on top.
Ensure everyone gets to play continuously by creating teams of two people. Create as many teams as you have people to play.
For a backyard game, create four teams of two. Team A bats first, while team B, C, and D all field, working together to stop Team A from scoring. Each team gets an opportunity to bat while the others are in the field. When you call an end to the game, the winner is the team with the most runs (or points). To shorten the game, each team has the opportunity to play up to five overs (six thrown balls).
A team can strike out three times within the five overs. On strikeout number three, the batting team's turn is over -- even if its five overs are not up. The team takes the score it has earned up to that point. You can adjust the number of strikeouts to the ability of the those playing.
Batters score points by one of the following methods:
Batters go out by one of the following methods: