There are many reasons why we think Table Cricket is a great game, but instead of telling you what we think we are going to let some quotes from participants of the game and their parents/carers speak for themselves.
“Gino really enjoyed it. Lovely social element to it. Great for teaching turn taking & actively listening to instructions. Naomi was also excellent at encouraging & keeping the kids engaged & made it fun!”
“I think what Deeqo got out of the table cricket was ‘fun’ she enjoyed the giggles and laughing and playing in small groups also is good for her and it’s not so serious”
“Andre loved the table cricket, he was able to remember the hand signals for the scores, it's was great for turn taking and also working as a team. Overall I felt it was very well run and taught to the children”
“both Cillian and Oscar really enjoyed the table cricket and had great fun! Plus it was an opportunity for them to mix and have a laugh with other children in the school.”
Over the past 6 years that Cricket Leinster have delivered table cricket we have seen the game improve fine motor skills and numeracy skills across the board, particularly when we do multi-week sessions in a school setting, we see the week to week changes in the participants. We often hear feedback from teachers or carers saying that the child doesn’t participate in any other sports but is loving the cricket because “it’s not as loud” or because they “get a turn at everything”. In the multi-week sessions we learn umpires signals with the kids as well as take turns at scoring the game. This lets them practice their addition and subtraction as well as getting to understand the game more.
Research has shown that disability cricket improves participants’ self-esteem, self-confidence, social skills, communication skills as well as overall happiness and physical health (Disability Cricket Programme, Annual Report 2017, Lord’s Taverners, pg. 17).
So what is table cricket? It is an adapted version of cricket, played on a table tennis table. Imagine side-panels on three sides of a table tennis table, with one end open and the net removed. At the open end a batter stands/sits and attempts to hit the ball with a mini bat. He/she will get 6 balls bowled to them, which they will try and hit into different scoring zones marked out on the side panels. The bowler bowls the mini ball down a ramp to the batter. They have a choice to use two different types of balls: an equally weighted one; or one with a biased ball which will make it swing as it moves down the table to the batter. When the batter hits the ball there are fielders around the table trying to block the ball from hitting the scoring zones. The fielders slide along the side panels on the table. There is a white and a red part to the fielder. If the ball hits the white the fielder has saved the ball, if it hits the red the fielder has made a catch and the batter is out. Usually when the batter is out we minus runs to their score and the batter continues to bat until their 6 goes are finished. The game can be played as a team game or as individuals. In a competition there would be 6 players on a team.
As well as table cricket, Cricket Leinster and some of the cricket clubs in Leinster run Cricket4All sessions. This combines cricket skills and small sided games with table cricket. It’s amazing how you can adapt the game for your participants if you think about what they can do, not what they can’t do. There are also a number of clubs in Leinster that have kids with additional needs fully integrated into their mainstream sessions. This is inclusion at it’s best. If your club is interested in hearing more about how to become more inclusive of kids, and adults, with a disability please don’t hesitate to get in contact with your local Development Officer (click here).
As always, these disability cricket programmes could not be possible without the support of our charity partners Lord’s Taverners Ireland as well as the local county councils and sports partnerships across Leinster.
We will leave you with two more quotes from parents of participants at Cricket4All sessions:
“Hadi loved it! I think he enjoyed the small group and he felt he was good at it. He also really enjoyed the day Naomi took them outside and taught them throwing and catching skils”
“Áine loves Cricket for All because you are so patient & encouraging of her efforts. There's a good variety of movements. Indoor & outdoor activities. She likes meeting new people especially the young helpers/volunteers. They're fantastic! I feel it's a great opportunity for these young people to experience helping people with special needs. It really embraces the true spirit of Sports/ Cricket for ALL.”