Tuesday, November 15th, 2016

Worcs Cricket Board Staging ‘hit The Top’ Competition For Second Year

Worcs Cricket Board Staging ‘hit The Top’ Competition For Second Year

Worcestershire Cricket Board Limited are again taking the Lord's Taverners 'Hit The Top' table cricket competition into specialist schools and community groups after securing funding for a second successive year.

The game is played on a full-sized table tennis table and means even people with the severest physical disability can participate.  

The ball is the size of a ping pong ball and the bats signature-sized with boundaries clipped onto the edges of the table tennis table.  

WCBL coaches are involved with the project in eight schools and five community groups throughout the County after again obtaining the Lord's Taverners financial support.  

WCBL Game Development Officer for Disability and North West Worcestershire, Sam Wyles, said: "We secured some funding through the Lord's Taverners again for the second year running to run some table cricket within special schools throughout the county.  

"It is a really simple game. It allows anyone to play. That is the beauty of it. We can have someone with a severe physical disability that has got a very limited range of movement playing against someone that is quite able bodied.

"It is set up on top of a full sized table tennis table with a border around the edges and you score runs by hitting the border.  

"The bowler is at one end of the table the batter at the other and the ball is pushed down a ramp and the batter has a miniature signature-sized bat to hit the ball with.  

"Through the funding we received last year from the Taverners, we purchased four table tops so if a school hasn't got a table tennis table we can transport one in for them. The boundaries are clipped onto the outside of table.  

"We hold tournaments at New Road with all the schools and community groups we have been into take part. The best bit about the actual game is that teachers rank the players so the best player from one team plays against the best from another team. You bat and bowl against people of a similar standard.

"It is staged countrywide and we run our own regional competitions in Worcestershire and then it feeds into a national competition with a regional finals day at Edgbaston and a final at Lord's in 2017.  

"It is open to everyone but we have kept it mainly as a special schools offer."  

WCBL Cricket Development Director Tom Hill said the knock on effect of Hit The Top was to help participants with other skills.  

He said: "When you are coming away from the sessions and the teachers are saying they are seeing kids doing things they had not seen before, you feel like it is all worthwhile.  

"Aside from the cricket, it is about co-ordination, maths, team-work, tactics etc – all things that some children with certain disabilities really struggle with."