Most kids are familiar with the much-loved games of dodgeball and kickball, but have your kids ever heard of French Cricket? This outdoor game is a fun mix of dodgeball and tag that's easy to set-up and easy to play. All you need is a baseball bat, a tennis ball, some excited players, and you're ready to go!
What You Do:
- The aim of French Cricket is for the thrower to successfully toss a ball at the batter so that it taps him below his knees. The thrower 'wins' if he taps the batter, and the batter 'wins' if he manages to dodge or divert the ball away from him.
- Choose one player to be the first batsman and give him the bat. Choose another player to be the first thrower and give him the tennis ball. The remaining players, called fielders, spread out around the thrower and the batter.
- The thrower begins by rolling the ball underhand at the batter, trying to tap him below the knees. The thrower can bowl the ball from any angle he chooses. If the thrower does not hit the batsman, a fielder becomes the next thrower.
- The batsman tries to protect himself by hitting the ball away with the bat. The batsman is not allowed to move his feet while defending himself. Only when the batsman hits the ball away can he move his feet and turn to face another direction.
- The fielders, meanwhile, try to catch any ball diverted by the batsman before it bounces.
- Players take turns being throwers and fielders until either the thrower scores a hit on the batsman's leg or until a fielder catches the ball. The player who caught the ball or scored the hit then becomes the new batsman.
Variations: Standing still can often be difficult, so you might want to consider letting younger players move their feet.
Adapted with permission from 101 Family Vacation Games, Have Fun While Traveling , Camping or Celebrating at Home by Shando Varda. Hunter House Publishers (2006).