For me, any things to do with kids that can be done on a beach is a win.
Beach cricket or backyard cricket (depending on where you play it) is a fun game to play as a group. Don’t worry if you think cricket on the television is boring, it’s not the same as when you are playing and don’t worry if you don’t play cricket in your country, I will explain how it’s played in it’s most basic (and fun) form.
First choose a straight strip of ground to be your pitch. A real cricket pitch is about 20 metres but yours will depend on the space your have but try to have at least 5 metres.
At either end of the pitch place and object like a bin to act as wickets. Wickets are there to be hit by a thrown ball if that helps in your decision.
Now you need two people with a bat each (cricket bat or something similar) and they stand at each end of the pitch. And a person to be the Bowler who will need a ball to bowl (like a tennis ball), I wouldn’t suggest using an actual cricket ball in a fun match because they are really hard. And, at the opposite end of the pitch to your bowler you need someone standing behind the wicket to be the wicket keeper. Everyone else who wants to play can stand anywhere they like as fieldsmen. It is best if they stand somewhere they think they will be able to catch the ball after it has been hit by the batsman.
The Bowler bowls the ball to the facing batsman (the batsman at the opposite end of the pitch) and the batsman tries to hit the ball as far as he can and then he runs up and down the pitch for as long as he feels it’s safe (meaning no one can throw the ball and hit either wicket or throw the ball to the bowler or the wicket keeper for them to touch the ball on the wicket). A completed run to each wicket is counted as 1 run for the batsman and the batsman that ends up facing the bowlers end is now the facing batsman to hit the ball.
So basically it’s the batsman’s job to hit the ball and make runs and its everyone else’s job to try and get the batsmen out by either catching the ball before it bounces or by hitting the wicket while 1 or more batsman are between the wickets – once they have run past the wicket they are safe BUT you must hit the wicket that the batsman is running to. For example; if one batsman is safe but the other is still running, you must hit the wicket that he is running to.
Finally; if you choose, you can also choose an area that, if the ball hits that boundary it is automatically counted as 4 runs or 6 runs. Your fence for example; if hit could be 4 runs and if you hit over the fence 6 runs (it is customary to yell “FOUR” or “SIX” when this occurs and it means the batsmen get the runs without needing to run), this is because it is understood that you will not get the ball back before they would make this many runs anyway.
You can swap bowlers (it is customary to bowl an ‘over’, there are 6 bowls in an over) and wicket keepers as you wish and when you get a batsman out they go to the field and someone else bats – maybe the person that got them out?
A beach / backyard cricket set can be purchased.
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