Backyard cricket may not be governed by the International Cricket Council, but it has laws nonetheless. In case you need to refer to them this Christmas, here are some suggestions.
Rules for backyard cricket
1. One hand, one bounce. This rule is as old as the game itself.
2. The stumps shall be drawn on a wall, esky or wheelie bin.
3. The automatic wicketkeeper is infallible and has an infinite reach.
4. Six and out.
5. Dad is fully entitled to blame his crook shoulder after every wide or no-ball that he bowls.
6. Mum must shout ‘mind the roses’ at 15-minute intervals.
7. Nobody is ever out leg before wicket, no matter how plumb.
“Unfortunately, as fun as backyard cricket is, it does pose a risk of eye injuries,” says Dr Tim Roberts from Vision Eye Institute. “This is particularly so for those who may be slightly inebriated. In fact, worldwide studies have confirmed that alcohol is listed as a contributing factor for between 14% and 66% of ocular trauma cases.”
“While we want people to have a good time, we also want them to be safe and there are some simple things you can do to protect your vision,” continued Dr Roberts.
Rather than miss the best part of Christmas Day festivities, Dr Roberts offers the following tips to protect your peepers.
• Do NOT use a cricket ball – use a tennis ball or foam ball
• Wear heavy-duty wraparound sunglasses just like real cricketers – these will give you both physical protection and protection from UV rays
• Proudly don a test helmet like a true tail-order batsman
• Increase the length of the pitch (anything less than 5 metres is asking for trouble)
• Play before you start drinking alcoholic beverages (and, yes, Nanna’s sherry does count)
• Make the adults bowl underarm rather than attempt to emulate Mitchell Starc off a long run
“We want everyone to enjoy the festive season, but just remember that it’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye. So be merry but, more importantly, be safe.”
Contributed by Vision Eye Institute