Power play is a popular backyard cricket game that is enjoyed by people of all ages in St Lucia. It is a fast paced, action packed version of cricket that requires strategy, quick thinking and teamwork. Power play is easy to learn but takes skill to master. Here is an overview of how to play power play cricket in St Lucia.
What is Power Play Cricket?
Power play is a variation of backyard or street cricket. It is designed to be played in small spaces with fewer players than a traditional cricket match.
Power play has fast paced gameplay with batting, bowling and fielding taking place simultaneously. The key differences from regular cricket include:
- Each batting partnership lasts only 2 overs
- Each bowler bowls 1 over at a time
- There are no individual scores, only a team score
- Wickets carry over between batting partnerships
The emphasis is on fast, fun action that relies on teamwork. Games are short so new games can be started quickly. It is an exciting form of cricket played in backyards and on beaches across St Lucia.
Objective of the Game
The objective of power play cricket is to score more runs than the opposing team within the allotted amount of overs.
Each team bats for their allotted number of overs. The team with the higher score at the end wins.
As wickets carry over, losing wickets makes it harder to score runs so protecting your wickets is also crucial.
Power Play Rules
Power play has slightly modified rules from regular backyard cricket designed to make games faster and more exciting. The main rules are:
- Each batting partnership is 2 overs
- Each bowler bowls 1 over at a time
- The batting team continues until they are all out or the overs are completed
- Wickets carry over between partnerships
- LBWs are not allowed
- No balls and wides result in a free hit
The standard rules of cricket otherwise apply in terms of dismissals, byes, leg byes and the no balling of dangerous deliveries at the batter’s head.
Number of Players
Power play is best played with 4 to 8 players on each team but can be played with more or less.
The ideal number is 4 to 5 per team. This allows for 2 batting pairs and 2-3 fielders which keeps the action flowing.
With fewer players, each batter faces more balls per over. With more players, the fielding team has more options to stop runs and take wickets.
Power play requires basic cricket equipment including:
- Cricket bat – preferably short handled for quick hitting
- Cricket ball – tennis ball, soft ball or regular cricket ball
- Wickets – portable plastic wickets or improvised markers
- Cones or chalk to mark batting crease
- Boundary markers – cones, ropes or chalk marking boundary
Optional equipment can include batting pads, batting gloves and protective gear like helmets. But a bat and ball are enough to play an exciting match!
Before starting the match, you need to set up the field. This includes:
- Marking a 10-20 meter circle as the boundary
- Placing the wickets 22 meters apart in the center of the circle
- Marking 1 meter ‘popping’ creases in front of each wicket
Use whatever markers fit the space available like cones, ropes, bricks, jumpers or chalk lines. The aim is to create a circular or oval shaped field area.
Before the match, each team must decide on a batting order. This is the order in which batters will play. Options include:
- Taking turns in a set order
- Openers batting first then a rotational order
- Captains nominating the batting order
- Random order
The order can be changed between innings if desired. The openers bat first with each pair batting for 2 overs at a time.
The bowling order is also decided before play starts. Ways to choose the bowling order include:
- Captain nominates order
- Taking turns bowling an over each
- Bowlers volunteer based on preference
- Random allocation of overs
Each bowler bowls 1 over at a time from alternating ends. Bowlers should rotate each over so batters face variety.
To start play, the umpire calls ‘Play’ and the first batting pair take position with the first bowler starting their over.
The first batting pair bats for the first 2 overs. The second batting pair then comes in for the next 2 overs and so on until the allocated overs are completed or the team is all out.
If a batter gets out, the next batter comes in to complete the 2 over partnership. Each wicket taken stays down for the rest of the innings.
Runs are scored by batters running between the wickets or hitting boundaries in the typical cricket manner. However, some rules are modified:
- Only one run can be taken when the ball is hit along the ground.
- Batters must run even if the ball reaches the boundary.
- There are no individual batter scores – only a team total.
With no individual scores, the emphasis is on running aggressively and hitting boundaries. There is no need to protect your wicket.
Batters can be dismissed in all the typical cricket ways except LBWs. Dismissals include:
- Hit wicket
- Run out
Each dismissal sees the batter leave the field and be replaced by a new batter. Fielding teams should tailor field placing to try and achieve dismissals.
No Balls & Wides
No balls and wides are called by the umpire like regular cricket. However, they result in a ‘free hit’ for the batting team. The next ball is called a ‘Free Hit’:
- Batters cannot get out on a free hit
- Batters can only score 1 run when hitting the ball along the ground
- Any other shot is scored as normal including boundaries
Free hits encourage batters to attack the ball knowing they cannot get out. This makes games faster paced and higher scoring.
End of an Innings
An innings is completed when:
- The allocated overs are completed
- Or the batting team is all out
At the end of the innings, the teams switch batting and fielding roles. The innings runs are counted to calculate the match result.
Winning the Game
The team with the higher total score at the end of both innings wins the match.
If scores are level, the match is a tie unless otherwise decided before the game.
As wickets carry over, preserving wickets is an important factor in winning. The aim is to score quick runs while minimizing dot balls and dismissals.
Tactics and Strategy
There are important tactics and strategies that can help you win power play matches:
- Aim to maintain a fast run rate above 6 runs per over
- Call loudly and run aggressively to convert ones into twos
- Target the shorter boundary for boundaries
- Use angled bats to deflect the ball into gaps
- Take advantage of free hits by hitting aggressively
- Bowl fast, straight and full to restrict boundary hitting
- Use slower balls and yorkers to deceive batters
- Aim for dismissals like bowled, LBW and caught
- Change pace frequently to keep batters guessing
- Use accurate throws when fielding to runout batters
- Employ attacking fields like ring fields to create pressure
- Position agile fielders to cut off quick singles
- Backup throws to prevent extra overthrows
- Get in front of the ball when throwing to the wickets
- Hit the wickets directly rather than attempting a runout
Like all cricket, power play requires players to think strategically, play to their strengths and exploit the opposition’s weaknesses.
Power Play Variations
There are many variations that can be used to change up power play rules and gameplay:
- Single Wicket – Each batter bats alone for 1 over
- Last Man Stands – When a batter gets out, the innings ends immediately
- Super Overs – A tied match is decided by a 1 over per team playoff
- Blind Wickets – Batters don’t know where fielders are positioned
- Bonus Runs – Bonus runs for big hitting or hat tricks
You can also experiment with different sized boundaries, bat size restrictions and modified dismissal rules.
Where to Play Power Play in St Lucia
Power play can be played anywhere in St Lucia. Good locations include:
- Beaches – Wide open spaces and smooth sand
- Sports parks – Well mowed fields marked as cricket pitches
- Backyards – Most houses have some open space to setup
- School yards – Accessible after hours and weekends
- Hotel grounds – Ask the staff if you can use vacant areas
All you need is a flat open space about 30 meters long and 20 meters wide. Many hotels and resorts around the island will even have gear available to borrow.
Power Play Events and Competitions in St Lucia
There are many competitive power play cricket competitions across St Lucia. These include:
St Lucia Power Play Association
The St Lucia Power Play Association runs an annual calendar of local and national championships. Divisions include:
- Open Age Championships
- Senior League (Over 40 Years)
- Women’s League
- Junior League (Under 16)
Competitions take place on weekends with both club and invitational based tournaments. It is a great way to test your skills against quality opposition.
Beach Power Play Tournaments
Beach power play competitions are held regularly at resorts and public beaches. These include:
- Anse Chastanet Beach Tournament – Held every January
- Sugar Beach Power Play – Weekly competitions year round
- Gros Islet Park Beach – Local club and school events
With idyllic tropical beach settings, these are fun events for tourists and locals to enter.
Corporate Power Play League
The Corporate Power Play League sees businesses across St Lucia enter teams to compete. Matches take place after work hours midweek.
It provides networking opportunities while enjoying St Lucia’s favorite backyard cricket game. Teams wear corporate uniforms and branding.
Schools across St Lucia compete in inter-school power play competitions. These help develop cricketing skills and are hotly contested between rival schools.
Events include district championships and a national school championship played on weekends. Students must maintain academic standards to represent their school.
Power Play Gives Everyone a Chance to Play Cricket in St Lucia
While St Lucia has produced world class cricketers like Darren Sammy, power play gives everyone a chance to enjoy cricket. The fast paced gameplay and flexible rules accommodate all ages and skill levels.
So whether you want to play beach cricket while on vacation, join a local club or enter tournaments, power play is a great way to experience cricket in St Lucia.
Power play cricket is an action packed version of the game custom made for backyards and beaches. With strategic gameplay, quick innings and emphasis on big hitting and wickets, it is fun for new and seasoned players alike.
The rules are easy to pick up while still allowing for skilful play. You can get a game going in any outdoor space with just basic equipment. It is a popular social activity as well as a serious competitive sport across St Lucia.
So pick up a bat and ball, gather some friends or family and start enjoying power play cricket the St Lucian way!