One of the games we play with the Colts at our Club is ‘Last Man Standing’ (not to be confused with Last Man Stands). It’s a lot of fun, with batters and fielders fully engaged, and in spite of the very simplistic rules there are a number of learning opportunities embedded in the format.
Batters come to the crease in rotation (as in racing/relay/carousel cricket) – if they get to the bowler’s end without being dismissed, they return to the line of waiting batters to have another go; if they get out, they join the fielding team; Last Man Standing is the winner.
Players quickly come to appreciate that there is more to batting than a perfect forward defensive or a reverse sweep.
[aside – no, I don’t directly coach either stroke.]
- Placement into gaps and fast running are as important as technique, very often more so.
- Players have to develop (and refine) tactics – do they block and run, or hit out for the open spaces? The latter can work well early on, when there are fewer fielders; less so as the outfield fills with a dozen or more of their team mates plus coaches and parents.
- The game introduces competition (and can be brutal – we generally play ‘if you are out, you are out, no ‘first ball grace’, no ‘three chances’).
- Fielding can be especially fierce – fielders enjoy trying to dismiss their teammates, and, with no penalties for overthrows, players are encouraged to (try to) throw down the stumps from any angle.