Leg-before rule given out in backyard bash

JO MOIR
Last updated 05:00 12/01/2013
Backyard cricket
FINE TRADITION: Backyard cricket in Christchurch. Andrew Hastie bowls while Johnny Quirk umpires.

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There's no debate around the "one hand, one bounce" rule in backyard cricket, but whether people should walk for a lbw is another story.

The traditionally friendly game is a popular summer sport and although the nation is divided on some of the rules, there is one that has proven universal.

Christchurch's Adam Reece, a self-professed professional backyard cricketer, has been holding an annual tournament with friends for the past four years.

Although he often changes the rules to suit himself, he says "one hand, one bounce" always applies and leg before wicket (lbw) doesn't.

"And anything down the leg side is an automatic wide."

Mr Reece doesn't normally allow past or present professional cricket players enter, but last month bent the rules for former Black Cap Craig McMillan.

"We tend to shun professionals but Craig got in by way of virtue by being a dad at the local school."

A national tourism survey released yesterday quizzed people on what the rules are and 41 per cent agreed with Mr Reece that the lbw was not in the spirit of the game. Twenty-seven per cent said it should be allowed but 32 per cent of those surveyed do not know what it is.

Kiwicaps, the official junior supporters club of the two national teams, has tried to quash some of the controversy by providing a backyard test cricket guide on its website.

The "six and out", "one hand, one bounce", "tip-and-run" and "hit-and-roll" are listed as key rules.

But when The Dominion Post asked Twitter users for their preferences a few variations arose. Shaun Crooks says a player cannot get out on the first ball and over the fence is out.

When playing against a wall or fence there is an automatic keeper, says Andy Burt.

Rules are changed by the oldest or bossiest player, "but if you hit the ball too far you had to go find it", is the experience of Anneke Louise.

And if there's a contentious decision to be made, Andy Bedford's recommendation is the grandparents or a nominated non-player acts as third umpire.

BACKYARD CRICKET RULES

Six and out: Hitting the ball over the fence, on to the roof, into a hedge or some other area where the ball is difficult to retrieve counts as 6 runs and the batter is out.

One hand, one bounce: The batter can be caught out after the ball bounces if the fielder takes it in one hand. The ball can only bounce once, however, hence the name.

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Tip-and-run: The batter must run if they hit the ball regardless of where or how far it has been hit.

Hit-and-roll: A fielder stops the ball hit by the batter. The batter must lay the bat down flat on the ground facing the fielder. The fielder then rolls the ball towards the bat. If it hits the bat the batter is out and is replaced by that fielder.

A LAYMAN'S GUIDE TO LBW

You can get given out lbw if the ball hits your pad in line with the stumps and would likely have hit the stumps.

You can also be given out if the ball hits your pad outside the line of the off stump, but you are not playing a shot, and the umpire deems the ball would have carried on to hit the stumps.

You should not be given out if the ball has pitched outside the line of leg stump or if you have hit the ball before it strikes your pad.

- The Dominion Post

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