January 19, 2016
VIDEO: 1st Graders Practice Throwing At The Stumps
In the past two months, USYCA President Jamie Harrison, who works full-time at a university, has spent entire days working with students at four elementary schools in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. These schools are looking forward to the start of an elementary school cricket league this spring, modeled after the BEST league in neighboring Prince George's County schools.
In each of his visits, Harrison would take over the instruction of that day's Physical Education classes. He would first give the students a brief, five-minute overview of the rules of the game, and then quickly split the class into two teams. The two teams would then play a "match," with additional instruction being delivered during the game. Because there are typically 20-25 children in each class, and only 30 minutes or less of instruction time, moving quickly is key. Each student was allowed one run (or out made) and then it was on to the next batter.
The puropse of these sessions is not so much to deliver bonafide cricket coaching, as it is to give many children a chance to experience the game. It is hoped that a certain percentage will enjoy playing cricket enough to want to come back for their school team, and then for more serious coaching. In this way, children can be gradually brought up in what is, to them, a brand new sport.
The entire cost of delivering cricket to a school of 300 students is only the price of a lightweight plastic cricket set, which, in most cases is available online for about $75 or less. USYCA believes American children are worth the investment!