Table Cricket is a game for everyone to play and enjoy – young or old, disabled and non-disabled – and is a great way to teach the basic rules of cricket, all on a table top.
Table Cricket was originally developed by Doug Williamson in 1990, through Project Adapted at Nottingham Trent University. It stemmed from the desire to devise another appropriate sporting opportunity for youngsters who could not take part in the traditional Paralympic sports. It was created especially for those with more severe physical impairments, and trials were conducted in Nottingham and at Stoke Mandeville.
In 1998, the Youth Sport Trust adopted Table Cricket and added it to the Sportsability Bag of adapted equipment that was then distributed to 1,500 schools throughout England and Wales. The game involves a table tennis table, or similar surface area, side panels with sliding fielders, a ball launcher, a plastic ball and a wooden bat to simulate a game of cricket.
Table Cricket is a sport played in schools across the country, culminating each year with a National Final at Lord’s, the ‘Home of Cricket’ through the work of The Lord’s Taverners. Further development of the game has come through Cerebral Palsy Sport ’s National Table Cricket Community League Inclusive Sport Fund project, rolling out the game to a wider audience and ages at recreational level, with local county and regional heats and the National Finals Competition.
Between 2010 and 2013, Cerebral Palsy Sport and The Lord’s Taverners worked together in developing the Table Cricket Development Plan by employing a National Table Cricket Officer. As a result of this partnership, the participation numbers have dramatically increased across the country. During this time, ‘A Guide to Table Cricket’ has been produced, tutor courses and leadership courses have been put together and run to increase the numbers involved within the sport. Adaptations such as TC20 have allowed the game to expand and to be played by just two players. The game is fast, interactive and enjoyable for all involved.
Table cricket is played in schools, residential care homes, day centres and more, right across the country.
In 2013, Cerebral Palsy Sport were successful in securing financial support from the Sport England Inclusive Sport Fund to develop a Cerebral Palsy Sport National Table Cricket Community League. The project was a three-year development programme to increase participation by people with cerebral palsy and other physical disabilities to enjoy the game of Table Cricket and achieved 32 different county leagues by the end of year 3.
A National Community League finals has been held each year with the 2016 Finals being held at Edgbaston Cricket Ground.
In 2017 Cerebral Palsy Sport has been awarded a further one years of funding by Sport England’s Inclusive Sport Fund to develop the sustainable table cricket offer and our Table Cricket Activators programme across the country.
Thank you also to the DM Thomas Foundation and the Paul Bush Foundation for supporting our table cricket development programme.