LAYOUT AND DIMENSIONS.
The Australian Indoor Cricket Federation sets a standard for all affiliated
courts in Australia. There are smaller courts of course, most of which
would find it too crowded for 8 fielders: hence the alternative of 6-a-side
competitions. But we'll concentrate on the AICF standard here.
- The pitch is
defined as the area between both sets of stumps, the bowling return
crease, and .... well, the edges of the pitch.
- Both sets of
stumps must be identically sized of course, and the individual stumps
must be close enough to prevent the ball passing between then without
touching them (don't laugh, I've seen it happen quite a few times).
Their tops will be 28 inches above the floor . . . well, to be exact,
the AICF's standard is that they will be 28.9921 inches (or 71.1 cms)
tall, but if you make them 28 inches, we won't mention it if you don't.
- A straight line
will be marked through the base of the three stumps at each end, and,
according to the AICF, this line will be 1.83 metres ( 6 feet will
suffice ) IN WIDTH at the batting end and 2.47 metres ( or
8 feet, one-and-a-quarter inches . . . sheesh, make it 8 feet ) IN
WIDTH at the bowling end. Now, I don't know about you, but a line
that wide will look silly, so we've changed the standard to be 1.83
and 2.47 metres IN LENGTH. The line should probably only be
a couple of inches in width--we think that's imminently more sensible
( in fact, in another section the AICF states that lines should be
55 mm wide ... not 1.83 metres thankfully ). The stumps will be in
the centre of these now more sensibly sized lines, and the two sets
of stumps will be 20 metres apart . . . hang on, that's only 21 yards,
2 feet and 7-and-three-eighths of an inch, not the customary 22 yards!!!
A curse on metrication!.
- The AICF then
goes on to tell us that the "popping crease" will be in
front of, and parallel to, the lines through the wickets at both
ends.... except that at the striker's end it will be called the
"batting crease" . . . . . well, that makes sense . . .
I guess. Still, the "popping crease and the popping-crease-called-the-batting-crease"
will have their back edges 1.22 metres ( a smidgeon over 48 inches
) from the nice and thin line drawn through the stumps. At the striker's
end, it will extend from one side of the court to the other and will,
as noted earlier, be called the "batting crease". At the
bowler's end, it will be the line extending between the return creases
( see below for explanation of "return crease" ) and will
be called the bowler's crease or the front foot line.
You got all that? Let me summarise: the popping crease is called the
batting crease at the striker's end, and is called the bowling crease
at the bowler's end. So the popping crease isn't called a popping
crease at all, except when the rules mention that it's called something
else . . . ummm . . . yes . . .
- The return creases
at the bowler's end will be lines at right angles to the bowling crease
The return creases will be 1.22 metres (the aforementioned smidgeon
over 48 inches) from the middle stump. The return creases may be considered
to extend back from the line of the stumps indefinitely for the purpose
of adjudication. The running crease (or non-striking batter's crease),
which is the edge of the crease marking nearest the bowling end, will
be parallel to the popping/batting/bowling creases and extend across
the whole court. The distance between the running crease and the batting
crease will be 11 metres.
- The court must
be no less than 28 metres ( a touch under 92 feet ) and no more than
30 metres ( a tad under 98 foot, 6 inches ) in length. It will be
no less than 10.5 metres ( 34 foot, 6 inches ) and no more than 12
metres ( close enough to 39 foot 4 inches ) in width, and the "top
net" should be no less than 4 metres ( 13 foot is near enough
) and no more than 4.5 metres ( 14 foot 9 inches ) above the playing
- The "legside
lines" are to be positioned with the inside edge 45 cms ( nearly
17 and three-quarters-of-an-inch ) from the middle stump, parallel
with the edge of the pitch. The legside lines should extend a minimum
of 15 cms back from the batting crease.
- The offside or
wide lines are to be positioned with the inside edge 90 cms from the
centre stump--which means the edge of the pitch should also be at
that position--which further means the pitch should be 1.8 metres
(just under 6 feet) wide.
- A fielding Exclusion
Zone will be marked--it is an arc measured from the centre of the
batting crease, with a radius of 3 metres ( 9 feet, 10 inches ).
- The underarm
line is marked across the pitch 7 metres from the striker's stumps.
- Despite information
to the contrary, the AICF finally restores sensibility and states
that all lines will be marked at a thickness of 55mm ( 2 inches is
close enough ).
- Two sets of
stumps ( a "set of stumps" is refered to as a "wicket"
), each 22.86 cms wide (fergawdsake, it's exactly 9 inches ... metrication
gone wild again), and consisting of 3 stumps with 2 bails upon the
top, will be placed opposite and parallel to each other at a distance
of 20 metres ( just under 22 yards). The AICF stipulate a particular
type of wickets ("Wilkins" style), which are attached to a steel baseplate
and are spring-loaded such that they bend at their base but return
to their normal standing position when struck. They are free standing,
but the baseplate could be bolted to the court if you didn't really
care about player safety.
- The bails will
be 11.1 cms in length (about 4 and-three-eighths of an inch), and
when in position will not extend more than 1.3 cms (half-an-inch)
above the top of the stumps. Whilst the AICF states that bails may
be wooden or plastic, they may in fact be of any light, durable, robust
material ... ivory (WWF sanctioned of course) or bone bails would
be a nice, exotic touch. The bails must be attached to the stumps
by cord, long enough for them to be dislodged but short enough for
them to not fly up and disappear up the 'keeper's nose.
TO RULES INDEX
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