Backyard Cricket - Rules
With the world under lock down, there has never been a better opportunity for some Backyard Cricket.
But what rules do you play?
To help you get your games in order, Twenty20 Community Cricket have put together some rules which will work for any size playing area from a narrow driveway to a nice size lawn.
Send us some videos of your Backyard Cricket set up! Can you beat this one?
There shall be anything from 2 or more players taking part. Players can play in teams of 2 or more or as individuals.
Backyard cricket works under The Spirit of Cricket. All players should adhere to The Spirit of Cricket and judge dismissals accordingly. Any waiting batters can act as umpires judging wides, no balls and any other decisions.
Scoring will normally take place verbally, however there are some great apps you can download to help including Cricket Scorer for Android.
Any sensible ball can be used for Backyard Cricket. A tennis ball often makes the most suitable option. A harder foam ball can be used when there are too many breakable objects nearby.
The bat may be wooden or plastic. A plastic bat is encouraged where fielders are necessarily close.
The pitch may be of any length from 10-20 metres. 14 metres is the recommended length where there are very limited run-ups and a tennis ball is being used. The pitch itself can be grass, Astroturf or concrete.
A batting end crease is only necessary where players are running or there is a wicketkeeper. A bowling end crease should be marked for no balls, using anything available, e.g. jumpers, cones, small flowerpots, etc. It should be roughly a whole bat length plus a handle away from the stumps.
If stumps are not available, any other object may be used, e.g. a wheelie bin with stumps marked on, or a cardboard box of the right size. A lack of stumps shouldn't be a barrier to Backyard Cricket.
Backyard Cricket Toss is usually done by flipping the bat. All rules should be formally agreed at the Toss.
At the start of the game the format should be agreed. This might be a set number of wickets per team, e.g. 10, or players might rotate every wicket.
Matches might also be played over a certain number of overs – 10 overs is the recommended length for smaller sided (2 a side or less) games. An over will generally be 6 legal deliveries unless otherwise agreed. You may decide to play “The Hundred” format with overs in blocks of 5 or 10 balls.
There are several methods for scoring runs in Backyard Cricket. It is strongly recommended that no attacking shots are played.
We recommend one run for every hit on the bat that doesn’t result in a dismissal. This encourages players to hit the ball more often and negates the need to hit the ball too hard in a confined space.
You can set up bonus run scoring areas, for example using flowerpots. If the ball goes between those areas, 2 or 4 runs are scored (as agreed at the start). The bowling team can place the agreed number of scoring areas as they wish.
May only be scored based on the rules above. If you have a particularly large playing area you might like to adopt more standard scoring rules with garden fences acting as boundaries.
No balls and wides shall be applied as normal. Players are encouraged to set up wide markets on the pitch in advance, for example using flowerpots. There are no byes or leg byes in Backyard Cricket unless you have the space to adopt more standard scoring rules and have enough players per side, e.g. at least 3 players a side.
Players may be out in the following ways in Backyard Cricket: -
2. LBW – if there is a standing umpire
3. Caught by the bowler/fielder – one hand one bounce rule may apply if agreed at the start
4. Caught behind – if there is no wicketkeeper any snick in a designated area is deemed caught by the “AutoWickie” or “AutoSlips”. A garage door is ideal
5. Caught by an AutoFielder – the fielding team may choose to add fielders in the form of garden chairs. Any shot hitting such fielders on the full shall be deemed “Caught”
6. Run Out – if there is at least one fielder over and above the bowler
7. Stumped – if there is a wicketkeeper in play
8. Hit Wicket
9. Six and Out – any ball hit over a fence will be deemed “Out”
All Backyard Cricket should be played under The Spirit of Cricket in the knowledge that any variance will likely result in the game being abandoned!