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Starter stoolball

These are the 10 essential rules you need to play stoolball, perfect for trying out the sport, leading a school PE lesson, or a quick match in the park. Print them out and stick them to the back of your wicket.

  1. Set the wickets 16 paces apart (13 for juniors). Mark a line to bowl from, 10 paces (8 for juniors) away from the batsman’s wicket.
  2. The captains start by deciding how long the match will last and who will field first and who will bat first, usually by tossing a coin.
  3. Batsmen: hit the ball and aim to score as many runs as you can. Run down the left side, and touch the wicket when you get to the other end to score a run. Good communication with your partner is vital.
  4. If you hit the ball to the edge of the playing area, you score 4 runs. If it didn’t touch the ground on the way, you score 6 runs.
  5. Bowlers: Bowl underarm only, with 8 balls per over (not counting no balls and wides).
  6. A no ball is when you bowl below the line on the wicket. The batting team gets 1 run and you have to bowl another ball. The batsman can hit a no ball and score more runs.
  7. A wide ball is when you bowl a ball too high or wide for the batsman to hit. The batting team gets 1 run and you have to bowl another ball. If the wicket-keeper misses the ball the batsmen can score more runs.
  8. If you think someone is out you must appeal to the umpire by shouting ‘How’s that?’ A batsman can be out in 3 ways:
    • Caught (you can’t be caught out on a no ball, but you can be run-out)
    • Bowled (the ball has hit the square on the wicket)
    • Run-out (the ball is thrown or placed on the front or the sides of the square before the batsman gets there).
  9. The wicket-keeper and bowler should run to the wickets if the ball has been hit, making sure they are standing on the same side as the ball. The fielder should throw the ball into either of the wickets to try to run-out the batsman.
  10. Halfway through the match, swop sides so that the fielding team gets to bat and the batting team gets to field.

Most importantly: Have fun!