Bring the ropes in…a conversation with @ballsrightsreas

Interesting conversation with Dave C, aka @ballsrightareas, on setting boundaries for junior cricket.

Should we bring the ropes in, to encourage batters to (try to) hit boundaries?

But risk having games dominated by batters mis-hitting 6s?

Or set the line back, and reward the strokeplayers who can exploit the wide open spaces?

But see games dragged out as young fielders trudge after the ball as it pulls up short of a full-size boundary?

No answers, but a few further thoughts from me.

Shorter boundaries – pros

The game needs to be kept moving.  Not just because that is what happens in T20 (although that is definitely a factor), but because we have to keep players involved and engaged, and watching batsmen blocking and taking occasional singles simply won’t engage anyone.

Bringing the ropes in, to make it easier for every player to hit boundaries, keeps the scoreboard ticking over.

Shorter boundaries – cons

Balls hit beyond the boundary will be recovered more slowly than one that pulls up just short of the line – lots of big hitting could actually slow down the game.

Fielders will spend more time retrieving hits from beyond than boundary than fielding “live” balls.

Bowlers will become discouraged if they are (mis-)hit for multiple boundaries each over.

A suggestion

How about setting a tactical and technical challenge, with an asymmetric boundary – 40 yards on one side, 60 on the other?

Now, the batters have to decide whether to play a (potentially) risky shot to the short boundary, for a greater reward, or take the safe(r) option of hitting into the open spaces on the longer boundary?  Bowlers and captains then have to think about bowling lines and field settings, and who bowls from which end.


Click on one of the embedded tweets (above) to see the original conversation.

Published by

Andrew Beaven

Cricket coach, fascinated by the possibilities offered by the game. More formally - ECB CA cricket coach working at the MCC Academy, the Essex Indoor Cricket Centre, and with the junior sections at Oakfield Parkonians CC & Regent's Park CC; All Stars Cricket Activator; ECB ACO umpire.

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