One of our favourite Australian summer traditions is Backyard Cricket.
If you’re lucky enough to have a big backyard, the game is pretty simple. It is essentially two non-existent teams, where everyone gets a go. Sometimes things get pretty heated, pretty quickly, when brothers and sisters don’t get their turn, or someone isn’t playing “fair”. That’s what family is about though, right? Occasional arguments – even on Christmas day.
However, for some, the backyard is not an option. The game of Backyard Cricket can be taken to the driveway, the street, the local park or even the beach. Boundaries then become a little more complex but one rule stays constant – if you hit it too far, you’re 6 runs and out. Plus, you have to go fetch the ball. This rule is essentially put in place to avoid super strong batters like your cousin who goes to the gym every day individually beating the other “team”. Once you hit like that – you’re out.
Backyard Cricket is a game for the whole family. As you may know if you follow the game, there’s not a whole lot of running required, but the best part of the game is rules can be bent to suit pretty much everyone. If Dad says he can’t run, he can get someone to run for him. If you have a dog, he can field the ball! It really is fun for the whole family.
We’ve touched on a few of the “rules” above, however read on for a few more!
- Hit the ball onto a nearby roof? Unlike 6 and out, the runs you make don’t count. This rule isn’t an issue if you’re in a park or at the beach though.
- Lost the ball? If the fielders can’t find it, the batsman has to go find it. If the batsman can’t – it’s up to your group to decide the punishment. Or, if the batsman refuses to go looking, they’re out!
- LBW? No such thing in Backyard Cricket! If an inexperienced player does it, just point out their mistake and guide them so they won’t do it again. Simple.
- Everyone thought they heard the ball touch the bat but they’re not running? RUN! If everyone thinks you’ve made contact with the bat, majority rules and you must run.
We’re sure there are many more rules to Backyard Cricket, but these are a few that we think everyone needs to know. Essentially, there are “rules” but they’re so loose, they’re hardly rules at all.
By the way, a game of Backyard Cricket ends when dessert is served, or it gets too dark outside to play.
Go out, have fun, stay Sun Smart, and enjoy is Aussie tradition.