Squares…with a twist

We have probably all played the catching game ‘squares’ (sometimes called ‘catching tennis’) – two opposing teams trying to throw a ball so that it bounces in the other side’s “square”, and defending by catching the ball before it bounces.

It is a very simple game to develop catching and throwing skills, and one that can be readily modified to challenge the skills of the players involved, by making the target squares larger or smaller, or closer together or further apart, by allowing one hand, one bounce catches, and by changing the type of ball.

But this simple game can easily break down if the initial throwing is poor – rules like “underarm only” and “over head height” seem to get forgotten very quickly.

So this simple variant, from Damo Wilson, is well worth trying.

Introduce a third team as the ‘net’, between the two competing teams.  Encourage the ‘net’ to block low throws; if they can catch the ball, they replace the throwers in playing the game.

In effect, a game of mass ‘piggy-in-the-middle’.

The quality of throws rapidly improved when we tried this, as did the level of competition (and engagement).

Well worth a try, especially if your ‘squares’ degenerates into a game of skittles!

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; Chance to Shine; ECB ACO umpire.

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