The 1st Central County Ground recently hosted three county table cricket tournaments this as part of Lord Taverners’ national competition.
18 teams and 125 young people from across Sussex took part in Cow Corner, with Northease Manor School, Brighton Metropolitan College and St Piers School sealing their place at the regional finals in May.
The regional finals will take place at Crawley’s K2 Leisure Centre, before the national finals are held at Lord’s, the Home of Cricket.
Held every year, the national six-a-side table cricket competition is run by Lord’s Taverners, and allows people with physical disabilities and learning difficulties the opportunity to play the game and compete in a structured tournament.
There is also the opportunity for participants to undertake a leadership award and develop their confidence and communication skills, as well as learning umpiring and scoring skills, and use this as a pathway to community coach roles with the Sussex Cricket Foundation.
Participations levels in table cricket is at an all-time high, with every county board now playing the game. To find out more about table cricket, and how to get involved, click here.
What is table cricket?
Table cricket is an adapted version of cricket, played on a table tennis table and specially designed to give young people with a disability the chance to play and compete in the sport we all love.
How does it work?
This is a very strategic game! There are different scoring zones around the table and, just like in regular cricket, fielders have to be carefully positioned to prevent runs or to get the batter out.
Teams of six take it in turn to bowl or bat, with the bowler using a ramp to deliver the ball (either a regular ball that runs true or a weighted one that swings around). The batter scores by hitting the ball into the scoring zones, avoiding the fielders if they can!
How does it help young people?
Alongside the enjoyment of playing the game and competing, table cricket has been shown to develop teamwork and social skills among players. It also helps coordination and cognitive skills.
The game is played by young people with both learning and physical disabilities. It enables young people to understand tactics, draw the best out of team players and to build a social life.
For the young volunteers involved in coaching and umpiring, table cricket helps to develop self-confidence, leadership skills and enhances their future employment prospects.