Tape ball cricket is an amazing game - with very simple rules which are easy to follow and flexible - each game can be unique. Fast paced and great fun for all levels of players! The game is played with only a very small amount of gear required, and also only a small amount of players are required to get your next game under way.
The Bats - the bats can be any cricket bat, however usually for this game a lightweight bat will be the best. Over the years there have been a range of bats developed specifically with tape ball in mind - usually extremely light weight and made from poplar willow (a very light weight, hard timber ideal for hitting tennis balls) with unique design features ideal for tape ball cricket!
The Balls - the balls are a light weight tennis ball (although a regular tennis ball is also fine to use).
The Tape - the tape is similar to electrical tape (electrical tape can be used) but usually thinner and has quite good anti scuff properties. Usually one player from each team will be responsible for the ball taping - which can be a bit of an art form for some!
The Wickets - you should only need one set of wickets (which can be regular wickets or an alternative) to get under way at the batting end - you can use two sets (one at each end) if you prefer, but at the bowlers end you can just mark this with a drink bottle or any spare item. The actual wickets at the batting end can be a cardboard box, wheelie bin or what ever you have handy!
The rules can vary quite a lot depending on a number of factors, including the number of players, size of the area or ground you are using, and the skill level of the players playing - there are no limits to the rules, however once the rules are agreed to both teams follow the same rules. Usually the rules are based on standard cricket rules with the following changes -
No LBW - this usually means the batter will completely cover the stumps when facing up - and also eliminates the need for any skilled umpiring.
No leg byes, byes or caught behind - this rule certainly helps when you have smaller numbers of players - an opposing team member can then become the wicket keeper - allowing for very small groups to play.
Boundaries - the boundaries are usually around 50 meters from the batting end, and can be limited depending on the number of players you have. If you only have a small number of players, the boundaries can be limited to square of the wicket and forward of the batter - anything hit behind square will not count. If however you have enough payers, you can include the full 360 degrees of play and re-introduce caught behind if you have enough players to include a wicket keeper. Boundaries can be marked with anything really - or you could even use the individual environment (trees, landmarks) to mark the boundaries.
The Pitch - one of the greatest rules of the game, and a rule that makes each game unique is the pitch length. The pitch length is measured out at between 20-22 steps - meaning the pitch will not necessarily be the same length each match!
Overs - The standard 6 ball over is usually used - and the number of overs can be limited to as many as four, up to 10 or even more if time permits - however usually the shorter games make it more interesting!
The Tape Toss - To decide who bats first, you can use the tape. You will have up or down as the two choices - logo or writing inside the tape roll up or down when it lands will decide the winner of the toss!
Sighters - A new batter to the crease may ask for one "sighter ball" this will not count to the overall score, but allows the batter to "get their eye in" before facing their first ball.
Retiring - Depending on the number of overs you are playing, setting a limit for each batter before retiring is a good idea, this way each player gets a bat, and the retired players can then return to the crease if there are remaining overs left.
Other rule variations can be included - including, one hand one bounce, or even perhaps an auto-wicket keeper for caught behind - the rules can be altered to suit each game, or the players skill levels.
Tape ball cricket is fast paced, fun, and also allows for all levels of players to enjoy the strategies and excitement of the game!