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By Mrs Price, Head of Physical Education

Blog published 13th December 2018 | Category: New College Worcester

At New College Worcester, we are always looking for new activities to get involved in, so when we heard about Table Cricket we couldn’t wait to have a go!

For young people with a disability, Table Cricket presents many social and developmental benefits, and helps players improve valuable skills whilst having fun and competing in a team! The emphasis is on teamwork and sportsmanship in an informal and enjoyable environment.

Table Cricket was originally developed by Doug Williamson in 1990, through Project Adapted at Nottingham Trent University. The game is more commonly used for young people with Cerebal Palsey, but has since been adapted to widen the inclusiveness with the support of The Lord’s Taverners – leading cricket and youth disability sports charity.

The Lord’s Taverners have been supporting Table Cricket since 2002 and are now embarking on a nationwide development programme, working alongside the County Cricket Boards.

As part of this, we were fortunate enough to have Worcestershire County Cricket Club visit us to introduce Table Cricket as an accessible game for the blind and visually impaired.

How to play

The game is played on a table tennis table. Side panels and sliding fielders are placed around the table to create an arena, a small audible ball and ramp are used to bowl, and a wooden bat enables players to score runs, simulating a game of cricket.

Teams of 6 are picked and the equipment is all in position, now to decide who bats first.

Each team starts batting with a total of 200 runs, and each batter faces one over (six balls), regardless of how many times they are out.

Although teams are usually of 6, the game is very adaptable to suit varying needs and in our case, varying visual impairment levels.

Batting

The challenge for the batter is to aim for the scoring zones around the table to earn two, four, or six runs.

We have adapted the batting over the last couple of weeks. We began by using a blind tennis ball for those with little or no sight and we also adapted the batting position using either a horizontal position or a vertical position.

Bowling

When bowling, the ball is sent down the ramp towards the batter. For every wicket taken, five runs are deducted from the opposition’s score. Each bowler bowls six balls.

At the end of the over and after the next batsman has come to the table, the captain of the fielding team chooses the next player to bowl. The new bowler then switches places with the preceding one; all other fielding players remain in the same position!

Fielding

Never underestimate the importance of fielding in Table Cricket!

Fielders can make a match-winning contribution by taking a smart catch or preventing a boundary from being scored.

There are usually nine fielders around the edge of the table - four of which are and five which can be moved side to side.

As we have a smaller table when playing, we had two fielders either side.

Scoring

When batting, if the ball hits a white section of a fielder, no runs are scored (dot ball).

If the ball hits the red section, it is out, caught and five runs are deducted from the batting team’s score!

Five runs are also deducted if the batsman is bowled (misses the ball), caught and bowled (caught by the bowling ramp), LBW (the ball hits their hand), or caught behind (hits the ball but it goes off the edge of the table at the batting end).

We were also working on adapting the scoring system when participants have different sight classifications.

Table Cricket is a fantastic inclusive game which can be adapted to suit varying levels of ability and impairment, and has benefits for both body and mind: people with physical disabilities can play cricket in a team just like their non-disabled peers, while those with challenging behaviour can learn to focus on tasks and work together in a group.

Feedback from Year 9 students on the game was very positive, and we are looking forward to incorporating it in to future PE lessons!

For more information on Table Cricket, visit The Lord's Taverners

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