The 11 undisputed rules of Backyard Cricket

The author's family take Backyard Cricket very seriously

A recent survey (of the Stuck On You team) has revealed that backyard cricket is the number one preferred sport to play on Australia Day. It’s also the number one reason behind most of the arguments that break out on this particular day.

In the spirit of mateship, fairness and a bloody good time here are the official, undisputed, absolutely 100% final (unless your mum disagrees) rules of Backyard Cricket:

1. Choosing teams

  • Teams should be equally balanced in terms of numbers, abilities and sobriety
  • Kids v Adults is a terrible idea and will end in tears (not always the kids’)
  • The dog does not count as a team member
  • Nanna does
Our Design Manager Roger in action
Our Design Manager Roger in action

2. Equipment

  • Only tennis balls less than three years old may be used. No taped balls
  • If the dog gets hold of the ball it is the bowler’s responsibility to clean off the slobber
  • Host receives home-ground equipment advantage – unless visitor has bought round a bat bearing Boony’s signature
  • Crease must be clearly marked by chalk, a crack in the cement or by a dead section of grass

3. First ball not out

  • A batsman cannot go out on the first ball
  • This slightly annoying rule has been designed to minimise the amount of tears soaking the lawn
  • No running between wickets (it’s too hot and we’ve all eaten too much dip)

4. No LBW (not even for Nanna)

  • The LBW rule is too hard to enforce
  • Bowlers cannot be trusted to offer an impartial ruling
  • If any batsman is caught deliberately blocking the ball, they will be sent to the end of the BBQ queue at lunch

5. Tippity Run

  • If it nicks the bat, you have to run
  • Tears will not be tolerated
  • Hysterical screams of “Tippity run! Tippity run!” can help remind the batsman of the rules

6. Underarm bowling

  • Only permitted for people under the age of 12 and over the age of 78
  • The kids will usually get bored after the first hour, so suck it up and let them have a go
Pip looks on as her boyfriend takes a swing (no word yet on whether she was sledging)
Pip looks on as her boyfriend takes a swing (no word yet on whether she was sledging)

7. Sledging

  • Sledging is encouraged, but swearing is off-limits – players must get creative instead
  • Acceptable topics include clothing choices, personal hygiene, chosen sports team and grooming ability
  • Mums cannot step in and force the sledging to stop (unless child begins to cry)

8. One hand one bounce

  • If the ball only bounces once, fielders can catch with one hand and batsman is considered out
  • This rule helps avoid the batsman’s temptation to show off

9. Six and out

Pip (our awesome designer) shared this shot of her boyfriend retrieving his ball
Pip (our awesome designer) shared this shot of her boyfriend retrieving his ball
  • Smashing the ball over the fence or into the pool will get you 6 runs, but you’re automatically out
  • Batsman has to retrieve the ball
  • Any ball caught by the dog falls under the “Six and out” rule
  • This rule is non-negotiable

10. Enforced retirement

Batsman must instantly retire if any ball:

  • Smashes a window
  • Knocks over a plant
  • Hits the cat (the dog can handle it)
  • Hits a small child and causes tears
  • Dents a car
  • Lands in the food

11. End of the match

  • An empty esky is not a reason for the game to end
  • Game shall be deemed over when lunch is ready
  • Game shall be deemed over if all the balls have been hit over the fence and are considered irretrievable
  • Game shall be deemed over if it’s too dark to see anymore

Don’t forget to order a set of personalised Cricket Stump stickers for your wheelie bin!

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