This session starts with a modified fielding activity from icoachcricket — “all round fielding” (I have also seen this called “fielder’s wheel”, “modified T-drill”, or Williams’ wheel (a reference to a colleague who particularly favours this activity), but then adds a competitive element — fielders vs. runners — to try out the skills under simulated game intensity.
With the group I am working with this term (u11, transition to hardball), I had wanted to use￼ a hard ball (or possibly a lightweight bowling machine ball) to get them accustomed to stopping and throwing a hard(er) ball, with the coaches taking any direct throws, catching with a mitt if required, switching to an “incrediball” when a runner is introduced.
In the event, we stuck with the incredi throughout, for safety.
But I think this works as a more active variant of the ground fielding drills we sometimes run with.
All round fielding plus
Ground fielding and throwing — run out chance!
- All round fielding plus (30 mins)
- Run out chance — all round fielding vs. runners (10 mins)
- Game — Super over (15 mins)
All round fielding plus
Fielders start at one of 4 stations (B, C, D & E), each 10-20m from the pitch, and take it in turns to field the ball — first in line must complete the throw from each station, although the others can be encouraged to back-up extremely wayward throws!
Coach A feeds the ball to the first station (B), where the fielder performs a pick-up (ideally the “1-hand intercept”) and underarm throw to coach A at “batter’s end”.
Fielder from station C backs up wayward throws from B, or fields the ball relayed by coach A, then throws overarm to hit the stumps at the far end (“runner’s end”).
This throw is backed up by fielders at E, who then underarm to the stumps at the runner’s end for a fielder coming in from D, who breaks the wicket at the runner’s end then throws overarm back to the coach A.
Players rotate to the next station (B->C->D->E) and the drill repeats.
After all players have had a couple of goes at each station, the ball (and players) reverse direction.
Run out chance
As above, but with a pair of runners (X on the diagram) attempting to score as many runs as possible before the ball is returned to the coach at A.
Runners to run wide of the wickets, to avoid being hit by thrown ball (also to become accustomed to running off the pitch, as required by the Laws).
A direct hit at the runner’s end from C ends that circuit immediately — no more runs can be scored.
Similarly, if the throw from D finds the runner run out at the batter’s end (direct hit from fielder D or via coach), that also ends the circuit, and no runs are scored.
Super-over — indoor rules (1 run for hitting side or back net, boundaries for hitting the net behind the bowler without first hitting side net).
Emphasise the importance of being quick to the ball and quick to release, but also the need for control — fast+wild=overthrows!
Reiterate coaching points re one- or two-hand intercept, under- and over-arm throw, as required, but maintain intensity as far as possible.
In run out chance, fielders have to balance throwing as quickly as they can to reduce the time available for the runners to score with a degree of control — “buzzers” might prove costly!
Runners need to be encouraged to run hard, to put the fielders under some pressure, but also to be realistic in their running — hence the severe penalty for being run out at the batter’s end.
I always like to finish with a game of Super-over if the session does not otherwise include any batter vs. bowler. To reinforce this week’s theme, a run out with a direct hit will end the batters innings immediately.