Knock ‘em down — ‘video game design’ pt1

‘Knock ‘em down’ is a team bowling game, based on the bowling relay drill.

Teams have multiple sets of stumps to aim at, and progress to higher (harder) levels as they win a round — targets get smaller as stumps are removed as the team progresses up the levels.

This is my first game that incorporates the video game “levels” concept – more a gamified bowling drill, but it does seem to engage players more than simply bowling for 5 minutes and counting hits.

Set up

Standard bowling relay – bowler, wicket-keeper (plus back-stop if the ‘keeper is not reliable or the bowling likely to be wayward), plus line of waiting bowlers

Bowler bowls to hit the wicket(s) and then follows the ball to become ‘keeper (or back-stop); ‘keeper retrieves the ball, carries it back to the line of waiting bowlers, and joins the line.

Each team has three sets of stumps, side-by-side.

Moving up the levels

1st team to knock over (or hit) all their sets of stumps wins the round, and progresses to the next level — take away one set of stumps.

Next round — as above; winner moves up a level.


When only one set of stumps remain, levels progress by removing a stump, leaving two, then just a single stump to bowl at.

Winning the game

Winner is the first team to end the game by knocking over the single stump, or the team(s) on the highest level when an agreed time limit elapses.

Developing the game

I have played this game with the stumps set only 12m apart, to enable even the younger players to achieve some success; moving up a level might entail bowling from further away.

The set-up will probably work for fielding games as well.

Published by Andrew Beaven

Cricket coach, fascinated by the possibilities offered by the game. More formally - ECB level 2 cricket coach; ECB National Programmes (All Stars & Dynamos Cricket) Activator Tutor; Chance to Shine & Team Up (cricket) deliverer; ECB ACO umpire.

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