Cricket is a great game for kids, and they can start learning the game from a young age. However, sometimes it can be hard to get them to focus on a full game, and they might want to try some other activities. If you have a cricket bat and balls, then there are endless activities you can try, and lots of ways to put a twist on a traditional game of cricket. Here are some fun things to try next time you’ve got to entertain a crowd. Here are some ideas that’ll improve their games as they have fun.
- French cricket
A great way to practice batting and catching skills, French cricket is a quick game that also helps with team building. You simply need to visit a cricket store for a suitable sized bat and ball. The game has one batsman, who stands with the other kids in a circle around them. Using the bat to shield them below the knees, the other players take it in turns to take the batsman ‘out’, either by hitting them below the knee, or catching a ball that they’ve hit. Whoever gets them out, gets to be batsman in the next round.
A batsman stands with his legs apart, holding the bat in the middle. Your pitcher has to roll the ball between their legs, and this gives the batsman a good way to practice bat control. You can buy a cricket bat online, and this game can be played with as few as two players, making it ideal for small group activities.
- Backyard cricket
A simple version of the game that’s great for families, perhaps when the parents come to pick up their kids, and much quicker than a full game. Backyard cricket is loosely based on cricket, but has much more relaxed rules, making it fun for practice. You just need two stumps, about 25 feet apart, and basic cricket gear such as a bat and ball. It’s even possible to play without formal teams, just take it in turns to bat and enjoy it.
Some people who want to play cricket can find it inaccessible at first due to the rules being difficult to learn. Backyard cricket allows people to just get into the game and have some fun. It’s great for encouraging kids to try cricket, and you can slowly introduce more and more rules as they get older.
- Driving game
The driving game is a simple way to practice all sorts of skills.
- Nominate a batsman
- Four fielders stand around the batsman in a semi-circle
- The pitcher throws the ball to the batsman four times
- The aim is for the batsman to hit the ball to each one of the fielders
If you are starting a cricket team and think some of the kids need help with their skills, then this is an easy way to do so. You can find cricket bats in Australia that are suitable for kids, and you can always use practice balls before switching to leather.
- Six-a-side cricket
Six-a-side cricket is often the easiest form for kids to play, as games can be completed in less than an hour. With one innings and five overs, it’s easier to score a run, which also gives children a sense of accomplishment.
- Non-stop cricket
Also known as continuous cricket, this is a fun way for kids to practice their skills. Each team gets a set amount of time for batting, and the batsman runs whether the ball is hit or not. As soon as the batsman is caught out, the next one quickly takes their place, giving it a much faster pace. You can buy cricket bats online that are made in junior sizes, which makes it easier to play these quicker games. They also tend to be a bit lighter, which is safer when playing a fast game.
- Tug o’war
Split the kids into two teams, with a minimum of three players, and line them up at opposite sides of the playing field. In the middle, you place an object such as a soccer ball, and the aim is for players to push the ball to the other team using accurate throws. Because balls are being thrown around, you might want to find a cricket store online to stock up on safety gear, or choose to use soft balls until the kids’ aims have improved.
- Caterpillar catch
A classic game used by coaches, caterpillar catch can either be done in a group of six or more, or as teams. A set of cones are put out, and players line up behind them, facing their partner, and the first player has one to five balls. They throw one to the player opposite, then sprint along the line, catching the ball as it moves crossways down the line. Because each player repeats this motion, the group looks like a caterpillar moving down the line, and it’s a great way to teach proper catching positions. It’s also a good game for warming up, as it gets kids moving and focused.
- Cricket rounders
A fun hybrid of cricket and rounders when you want to keep things light, kids love a game of cricket rounders. Basically, you set up a rounders pitch, but use a Kookaburra cricket bat or similar instead of a rounders bat. You can also use a lighter ball if preferred. If you don’t have time for a cricket match, then a game of cricket rounders gets kids active, and helps them practice all their skills.
It’s easy to get cricket bats and other accessories online. Simply visit meulemans.com.au for quick delivery across Australia, and a range of cricket gear to suit all players. You’ll find bats in junior sizes, so even younger kids can get in on the action, and by teaching them some of the fun games above, they’ll soon develop an appreciation for cricket.