How small is small enough? A (partial) answer

“Striking/fielding games such as cricket, baseball, and rounders share:

the concept of scoring by striking a ball into open spaces;
fielders being placed strategically to prevent runs from being scored”

quoted in Kirk, D. and MacPhail, A. (2002) ‘Teaching Games for Understanding and Situated Learning: Rethinking the Bunker-Thorpe Model’, Journal of Teaching in Physical Education 21(2), pp. 177-192.

So this might be the starting point for a minimal cricket(-like) game:

  • perhaps 3-4 fielders (“must have one foot on your mat”), with the batter trying to hit the ball between & beyond them;
  • coach feed, to start with;
  • fielders can stop & catch, then throw the ball to the coach;
  • batter can score runs (I have scored this in (high)fives – run to the coach and get a high five; run back to the batting crease; repeat) until the ball is returned by the fielders.

The game isn’t new, I know.

But how we use it might be – more emphasis on having the children (start to) understand how the game works (batter vs. fielders), hopefully some understanding of how to win the game (hit the gaps when batting; return the ball quickly when fielding), then when we do work on technique it will, hopefully, make more sense than it does now.


The description of the “minimal” form for striking & fielding games is quoted from Kirk, D. and MacPhail, A. (2002).

The paper also discusses some definitions of “Teaching Games for Understanding”, a PE methodology intended to develop game awareness as much as specific playing skills, which matches the requirement of coaching cricket with children with little or no understanding of what cricket actually is!

Published by

Andrew Beaven

Cricket coach, fascinated by the possibilities offered by the game. More formally - ECB level 2 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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