The Lords Taverners - Table Cricket
Table Cricket is an adaptation of traditional cricket and is designed for individuals with a severe learning or physical disability. It provides these individuals with a chance to compete against friends, or in some cases other schools.
Although competition is a relatively regular occurrence for many students across the county, some individuals with a severe disability may have limited competitive opportunities, and thus table cricket helps to provide this experience!
Table Cricket, as a game is similar to that of indoor cricket, in that individuals score runs by striking the ball against a wall, which is attached to a table tennis table (see picture to right). Each batter faces six deliveries (bowled using a ramp) and attempts to accumulate as many runs as possible, without losing a wicket (-5 runs). The fielders attempt to restrict the runs scored by sliding their fielders along the walls, preventing ball-wall contact. Of course, there are many more rules but put simply, this is table cricket.
This year, Wiltshire Cricket have been working in association with The Lords Taverners to deliver a new table cricket initiative. The initiative consisted of 6 weeks of school curriculum delivery, whereby students at a range of schools were able to learn the rules of the game and participate as a whole class. Following these sessions, schools were provided with the opportunity to take part in a county competition.
The county final took place at Crowdys Hill School on Friday 9th February and saw 8 teams of students from Rowdeford, Uplands, Marlborough St Mary’s, Larkrise and Exeter House school participate. Young Leaders from Crowdys Hill also officiated each match, giving them leadership experience in the unique game. Each fixture encouraged students to meet new people and experience a competitive sporting match. In fact, one teacher commented that the competition was one of their first experiences of competitive sport, learning how to play against others and taught the values of sportsmanship...this will stay with them for a very long time to come.
The table cricket competition proved to be a great success this year. Rowdeford school came out victorious, but Wiltshire Cricket are confident that the competition will continue in future years, and many of the other schools will be confident that they can take the trophy back to their school next time..
Following the county finals day, Exeter House have been nominated to represent Wiltshire in the regional finals, which are taking place in April. If successful at a regional level, they will also have the opportunity to compete against the very best table cricket teams in England at the home of cricket, Lords Cricket Ground in June. This truly is a once in a lifetime experience and Wiltshire Cricket, with The Lords Taverners, hope that table cricket competitions continues to allow individuals with a disability to take home more than just a trophy!