“Cricket Penalties” is a game I have invented to promote the following skills in young players:

  • BOWLING TO A TARGET – eg/ not necessarily at the stumps. This game emphasizes that a) sometimes it is better to aim outside the stumps, and b) wherever you bowl, aiming and driving to that target is essential
  • DEFENDING – the concept of “stopping a penalty” can encourage batter to be watchful, and make sure the ball comes right to their bat
  • BODY MOVEMENT – proving how important it is to move into line with a ball, and avoid dangling the bat away from your body
  • SHOT SELECTION – picking which balls can be attacked and which have to be defended

HOW IT WORKS

  • 2 TEAMS (1 BATTING, 1 BOWLING)
  • EACH BATTER FACES 2 BALLS (IN A ROW), EACH BOWLER BOWLS 2 BALLS (1 BALL EACH)
  • SET UP A CRICKET PITCH, BUT PLACE A CONE EITHER SIDE OF THE BATTER’S STUMPS, TO MAKE A “GOAL”
  • SET UP A BOUNDARY ABOUT 5-10M BEHIND THE BOWLING END

POINTS

  • BATTER HITS BALL FORWARDS = 1 POINT TO BATTERS
  • BOWLER BOWLS BALL THROUGH GOAL = 1 POINT TO BOWLERS
  • BALL HITS BATTER’S LEGS/BODY = 1 POINT TO BOWLERS
  • BATTER HITS BALL OVER BOUNDARY = 4 POINTS TO BATTERS
  • BOWLER HITS GETS WICKET (BOWLED/CAUGHT) = 5 POINTS TO BOWLERS

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4 thoughts on “GAMES FOR UNDERSTANDING: cricket penalties

  1. Great little game – 
I like how it rewards bowling skills in a tangible way, so that the fielding team are not “just” stopping the batters from scoring runs.

    I shall certainly be trying this out with one of our Colts squads when we move outdoors in a couple of weeks.
    One slight (philosophical) concern. Is there any risk that, by giving points for bowling straight, we might develop bowlers who _expect_ to be rewarded for “doing their job”? Who, if they don’t get their reward, might be dis-incentivised from carrying on?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks very much Andrew. You make a really good point, and it’s very valid. I always seem to face these dilemmas – incentives for young players to do what is good for them, they understanding they have to do them for its own sake (not, as you mention, immediate reward).

      I’ve found that the concept that aiming at the stumps isn’t always the best strategy is difficult to really instill. I use it as a sort of gateway: strategy 101. So I can start a dialogue, and introduce more complex concepts of batting/bowling plans, or strengths and weaknesses.

      You are definitely right that bowlers need to know how to persevere, and stick to good habits when you aren’t going to get points every ball. Perhaps I could play it “Tennis style”, using games and sets….so that they never get too relaxed about leading. I use a variation of this in net practice….based around the idea of “joining up” good balls/shots (not settling with just one). Think I’ll write about next.

      It is really fascinating how different children respond to different drills and activities – psychologically and physically. Some get negative very quickly, while others adapt quite fast. Some i have found really exaggerate poor technique when they want to bowl a bit wider (eg/ massive slinging arm and opening up body). This means the best feedback can vary a lot from group to group. It’s always interesting to observe for a few minutes, and observe their reactions.

      Or sometimes I use it as a 5min warm-up! Thanks again for reading and insightful comment. If you have any useful activities I’d love to hear about them, do feel free to get in touch! I set up this blog to share ideas and knowledge for coaches, and give new volunteers/parents a helping hand!

      Hope you have a great Summer. Robin

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s good to see another coach blog.

        I follow David Hinchliffe (david25.com) and a couple of others on twitter, but there aren’t enough grassroots coaches active on social media.

        Like

  2. Reblogged this on The Teesra and commented:
    Great little game from Robin Maslin.

    I really like how it rewards bowling skills in a tangible way, so that the fielding team are not “just” stopping the batters from scoring runs.

    I shall certainly be trying this out with one of our Colts squads when we move outdoors in a couple of weeks.

    One slight (philosophical) concern. Is there any risk that, by giving points for bowling straight, we might develop bowlers who _expect_ to be rewarded for “doing their job”? Who, if they don’t get their reward, might be dis-incentivised from carrying on?

    Like

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