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Backyard cricket rule book

News & Events / Backyard cricket rule book

Sand, gravel or grass, as the days get longer, make-shift cricket pitches have begun to pop up in Australian communities all across Australia. They don’t call it the ‘summer of cricket’ for nothing.

And while the backyard pitch may not be as world-renowned at the hallowed turf of the MCG, rules are taken just as seriously.

At Good Sports, we love the way that a bat and ball can bring families, friends and communities together. No matter your age or ability, backyard cricket is everyone’s game.

So here’s our definitive Good Sports Backyard Cricket Rule Book. We’ve done the deliberating for you so that you can focus on the fun! Print out the rules here to use over the summer.

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Rule 1: No sunscreen, no play

If it’s a hot one, sunscreen is mandatory. It means you can spend longer on the pitch and be in fine form for a rematch tomorrow.


Rule 2: First ball immunity

Everyone deserves their time in the sun, especially if they’ve been doing their bit as a bowler. Any first ball wicket is just a test-run.


Rule 3: Six and Out

Any player that hits the ball out of the backyard or beyond the established boundaries forfeits their right to the bat. It’s just not backyard cricket.


Rule 4: One hand one bounce

If you’re skilled enough to read the bounce of a makeshift cricket ball on the bumpy backyard pitch, surely you deserve the wicket. The same applies for any catch taken from a ball coming off a house, tree or fence.

This rule also helps to ensure the batters make an effort to keep the ball on the ground – saving lots of broken windows in the process.


Rule 5: Respect the ref

Remember, without no rules, we don’t have a game. Appoint an umpire (mum and dad are a good pick) to keep the game fair and fast. And most importantly, respect their decisions.


Rule 6: Tip-and-run

Quick game’s a good game right? Making a concerted effort to be run out (and give someone else a turn to bat) is in the spirit of the game.

That being said if you have time for a longer session, feel free to consult the umpire and scrap this one.


Rule 7: No LBW

Backyard cricket is about fun, not sweating the small stuff. The LBW rule is too tricky to umpire. Instead, batters are ‘strongly encouraged’ not to block the wicket with their legs.


Rule 8: Dogs are teammates too

You’re on their turf, so it’s only fair that dogs get a call-up for the fielding team. Any catch taken by a pet is considered fair-play. Likewise, any time spent chasing said pet to release the ball is more time for batters to notch up runs.


Rule 9: Good Sportsmanship

In the spirit of the game, batters should be prepared to start hitting catches after 10 minutes at the crease. Bowlers must also assess the skill of the batter when choosing how to bowl.


Rule 10: End of game

If dinner’s ready or light is fading, the game shall be called off. But only after everyone’s had the chance to face at least two balls.

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