Indoor Cricket World - the Rules

An analysis and explanation (where possible) of the Rules of Indoor Cricket


A. The umpire will not give a batsman out unless appealed to by at least one member of the fielding team. An appeal must be made prior to the next ball being bowled. Traditionally, appeals consist of a fielder asking the umpire "howzat?" ... or, for those more particular in the use of English like it's spoke real good, "how is that?".

B. An appeal will cover all possible dismissals - it is not necessary to ask "howzat for LBW?" or whatever.

C. The umpire of course is the sole arbiter on the outcome of appeals. An umpire can alter their decision provided it is done promptly - and explained to the players. By following the umpire's tips and tricks in the Umpiring section however, this will rarely be necessary.


The batsman on strike will retain the strike, after being dismissed, unless the batsmen have crossed prior to the dismissal - except when a batsman is out "bowled" or LBW - in those two cases, the batsman "out" will retain the strike even if the batsmen crossed.

A batsman can be given "Out" for any of the following reasons:

A. Bowled: If the ball is bowled and the wickets are struck by the ball, including if the ball comes from the batsman's person or equipment, and at least one of the bails is completely and permanently dislodged from the stumps. Note: The base plate of the stumps is considered to be part of the wickets. back to Dismissal Index

B. Caught: If a ball, coming from the striker's bat or their hand(s) holding the bat, is caught before it touches the ground. The striker will be out "caught" should the ball pass from the bat onto the striker's body, or vice versa, before being caught.

i. A catch may be taken off all boundary netting except a direct hit on the full to the 6 net (Zone D). A ball passing from a fielder's hand or body directly onto the 6 net, on the full, and then caught, will result in the striker being not out and the bonus runs will count - because this still constitutes a hit directly to the back net. The striker will be out "caught" if a ball is hit into the side netting (Zones B or C) before passing onto the back net (Zone D) and is caught without touching the ground - as this is NOT considered a direct hit to the back net. It can be seen then that the definition of "direct hit" is simply one that doesn't touch any other scoring-zone net.

ii. Should a ball hit the non-striker and then be caught before touching the ground, the striker will be out - because the ball still hasn't hit the ground..

iii. The striker will be given out if the ball is caught after it has come from their bat or the hand(s) holding the bat and then deflected onto their protective equipment - goes without saying really.

iv. A batsman will NOT be out "caught" if the ball came from the bottom wire/cable supporting the net.



C. Stumped & Run Out: According to the AICF rulebook, the difference between "run out" and "stumped" is that in a "run out" the batsman is attempting to make a run, whilst in "stumped", the batsman is stranded out of their crease after playing a shot and is attempting to regain their batting crease. The reality is that a batsman who leaves his crease to play a shot will not always try to get back if he misses the ball, but may clearly not be attempting a run either. He might just stop and hang (or bang) his head at such a stupid move. Or the momentum of charging out of his crease may take him a few steps past the point at which he missed the ball. In both these circumstances, the AICF rules would have him out "run out". I'd mark him out "stumped" unless he continued to run to the other end. But if he stopped and just stood there, he would have to be out stumped, in my opinion.
However, things become a little more complicated if the ball is a no-ball - you can't be stumped off a no-ball, but you can be run out. In that case, the rules state that you aren't out off a no-ball if you are attempting to regain your crease when you are stumped. In that particular scenario, the "attempting to regain their batting crease" has to come in, to allow the umpire to make the distinction between "out" and "not out" off a no-ball. It is clear the definition of Stumped and RunOut above is to equate with the no-ball situation. I would go so far as to make the determining factor whether or not the batsman tried to complete the run (on a legal delivery he would still be out no matter what the definition), then add the "attempting to regain his crease" in the situations involving a no-ball. Too complicated for some I'm sure, but maybe it's a way around the silly situation where a batsman is clearly not attempting a run, but is also not busting a gut trying to regain his crease, and is given out "run out" instead of "stumped". back to Dismissal Index

i. Stumped. Continuing on from above ... a batsman is stumped when the wicket keeper legally removes the bail(s) before the striker (who has advanced down the pitch) is able to get any part of their bat or body grounded inside their crease. The wicket keeper may use the hand(s), or the forearm of the hand(s), holding the ball or as a result of the ball rebounding from the keeper's body onto the stumps.

a. If the wicket keeper attempts to take the ball either in front of, or from the side of the wickets, with the exception of AFTER the ball has struck the batter's person or equipment, the umpire will call "No Ball". This means the 'keeper must take the ball behind the imaginary line formed by and extending from the base of the three stumps, until the ball has been struck by (or has struck) the batsman's person or equipment.

b. A batsman can not be stumped off a No Ball - see "C" above.

c. The striker can be given "Run Out" off a No Ball, by the wicket keeper, if in the opinion of the umpire the striker did not make an immediate and deliberate attempt to regain their crease - as discussed above.

d. On the line is out. This trite little epithet requires explanation - a part of the batsman's bat or person must be grounded behind the crease line (at the moment the bails are removed) to be adjudged not out. If any part of the bat or body-part is not behind the line, the batsman is out ... so, part of the bat or body-part on the line but not behind the line is ... out.

e. Only a wicket keeper can "Stump" a batsman ... a scenario - the bastman charges way down the pitch as the bowler bowls a very fast no-ball. The 'keeper takes the ball, the batsman turns and begins to run back toward the crease so he will be adjudged not out stumped (as he is trying to "regain his crease"). The 'keeper flicks the ball to the nearest fielder who runs in and removes the bails before the batsman has regained his crease. Your verdict? Is your verdict in accordance with every rule above? Is your verdict fair to the batsman? Let me know. back to Dismissal Index

ii. Run out:

a. A batsman is run out when either batsman has left their crease, while the ball is "live", and the bails are dislodged by the ball held by or coming directly from a fielder, before any of the batsman's body parts or equipment is grounded behind the line of the crease at which end the bails have been removed. Once a batsman is safely behind the line of the crease they cannot be given out - which means a batsman who has made his crease may then jump for joy, jump to avoid being hit by the ball or jump into the net to break his run and NOT be out if the bails are broken while all his body parts and bat are in the air and not touching the ground.

b. A fielder is able to "Run Out" a batsman with either their hand(s) or the forearm of their hand(s) holding the ball, provided the ball is retained in the hand when they completely remove the bail(s) from the top of the wickets.

c. Either batter can be run out off a No Ball as per the conditions described in Rule 17C(ii(a)) above.

d. If a batsman is attempting to regain the crease and the bail(s) are not completely removed until after the batter makes good their crease, the batsman is not out - which means the ball can strike the wicket while the batsman is clearly out of his crease, but the bails may not fall off until well AFTER the batsman is behind the crease. This happens reasonable frequently, especially where the ball hits the base-plate or just flicks a stump. Fielders will appeal on the sound, but the good umpire is looking closely and won't decide until he sees the bails dislodge.

e. No batsman may be out if the ball breaks the wicket after coming directly from a net. The AICF rules then go on to state "Conversely, a batter will be out should the ball, having come from a net, be touched by a member of the fielding side before breaking the wicket". In other words, the ball came directly from a member of the fielding side, so of course it's out. Sheesh.

f. The stumps, when standing, are always live irrespective of the bail(s) having been removed during play. If the wickets, whilst standing, have had the bail(s) removed but the ball is "live", the fielding side need only hit an upright stump again with the ball or the hand(s) holding the ball to enable an appeal for a run out.

g. The stumps, when standing, must have some part of their base-plate in the normal position to enable a wicket to be taken. The position of the base-plate is marked on the court ... so part of the base-plate should be touching this marking.

h. If the stumps are lying off their base on the ground, the fielding side must restand the stumps upright with some part of the base in its normal position. The fielder need only hit an upright stump with the ball or the hand(s) holding the ball and appeal to enable a wicket to be taken.

i. On the line is out - see 'Cd' above. j. The base plate is considered to be part of the stumps - therefore, a batsman will be adjudged out if the bail(s) are dislodged as a result of the ball hitting the baseplate



D. Leg Before Wicket (LBW).:

If the ball hits the striker's body and the striker has made no attempt to hit the ball, the batter will be adjudged LBW if, in the opinion of the umpire, the ball would have struck the stumps ... as long as it was a legal delivery of course.

E. Hit Wicket:

The striker will be out "Hit Wicket" if their person or equipment dislodges the bails whilst either playing the ball or immediately as they set off for the first run after, according to the AICF rulebook, playing at the ball. The AICF rules are insufficient here - the batsman doesn't have to had played at the ball. The batsman can "shoulder arms", deliberately raising his bat out of the line of the ball and most definitely not "playing at the ball". If the 'keeper then fumbled the ball and the batsman took off for a run, the batsman would be out 'hit wicket' if he dislodged the bails immediately as he set off for that run - in contradiction to the AICF's definition. The baseplate of the stumps is considered to be part of the stumps. A batsman is not out should they break the stumps trying to regain their crease or complete a run. back to Dismissal Index

F. Mankad: If the bowler completes a delivery action but doesn't release the ball, then breaks the stumps with the hand holding the ball, the non-striker will be out "Mankad" if no part of his bat or body is grounded behind the crease at the moment the stumps are broken. A mankad attempt does not have to be in one continuous motion but the ball must remain in the bowler's delivery hand throughout the mankad attempt. The determining factor is "completes a delivery action".

i. The AICF wants the bowler to have had the ball at the commencement of the delivery stride. It would be easier to just state that the bowler has to have been in possession of the ball from the commencement of the delivery (which as we all know by now is from the first step in the bowler's run-up).

ii. A legitimate mankad dismissal or attempt does not count as part of the over. In other words, it is not counted as one of the over's balls.

iii. If a bowler whilst attempting a mankad, releases the ball during the delivery action and breaks the stumps at the non-striker's end, the umpire will call "No Ball, Dead Ball". This delivery will not count as part of the over either, and incurs the "No Ball" penalty of 2 runs. And as with all other Dead Ball situations, the umpire must call "Play Ball" to re-commence the game.

iv. If a bowler makes more than 2 unsuccessful (but otherwise legal) mankad attempts in any one over, the third unsuccessful (but otherwise legal) attempt will be called "No Ball, Dead Ball". The ball will not be counted as part of the over and 2 runs will be credited to the batting team's score.

v. A mankad attempt where the bails are not removed is still considered an unsuccessful mankad attempt if the bowler, in the opinion of the umpire, did attempt a mankad, albeit unsuccessful. This rule takes into account that often a mankad attempt will result in the bowler actually trying to break the stumps but missing the lot. I kid you not. It also allows for the fact that most players will warn the non-striker not to back-up too early by going through a bowling action but hanging on to the ball - and letting the non-strker regain his crease without removing the bails. This 'warning' action is not penalised under this rule.

vi. Where an umpire considers the bowler is wasting time rather than attempting a legitimate mankad, the bowler may be warned for time wasting and subsequently penalised 5 runs for misconduct if the action is repeated.

vii. If the mankad attempt is successful, the ball does not count as part of the over and does not affect the score off the previous or following delivery. You simply deduct 5 runs off whatever the score was at that time.

G. Interference:

A batsman can be given out for interference:

i. If either batsman deliberately interferes with the ball whilst it is in play.

ii. If either batsman deliberately obstructs or interferes with any of the fielding team players, bearing in mind that the fielder has the right of way provided they are legitimately fielding the ball. Note: Even if they are running in a "straight line" between the batting creases, it is the batsmens' responsibility to avoid fielders. The "fielder has right of way" is often quoted, usually without the qualifying "provided they are legitimately fielding the ball".

iii. If the ball is struck or stopped by the striker more than once except to prevent the ball from hitting the stumps. This may only be done with the bat or body but NOT with the hands (except if the hands are holding the bat at the time - an important point Graham Gooch once forgot in a Test Match, to his dismay). No runs may be scored as a direct result of such action. Any attempt to do so would constitute interference, and would be given out on appeal.

iv. The non-striker can not impede the line of delivery (aka the run-up ... or does it mean the actual line of the delivery? Either way, the rule applies) of a bowler. This will be deemed interference and the umpire will warn the non-striker to move. Refusal to heed the warning will result in a 5 run penalty. Note: Should any player deliberately endanger an opponent, irrespective of the right of way provisions, they will be dealt with under the Misconduct Rule. [See Rule 19].

H. Third Ball:

i. Should the score remain unchanged after two deliveries of the one batting partnership, the umpire will call "Third Ball". This call must be made prior to the commencement of the next delivery. Should the score be advanced in any way, or a dismissal occurs (including a Mankad), the Third Ball count will restart from the commencement of the next delivery.

ii. In the event an umpire fails to call "Third Ball", it will be the responsibility of the captain of the fielding side to clarify the situation prior to the commencement of the next delivery. Should both the umpire and the fielding team fail to recognise the Third Ball call, the following ball (ie the fourth ball) will then be called Third Ball if the score did not change from the delivery just completed.

iii. Regardless of when they occur in a batting partnership (of four overs), if two consecutive deliveries are scoreless, the Third Ball rule will apply to the next delivery. However, the Third Ball rule will not carry over from one batting partnership to the next.

iv. After a call of "Third Ball", once the ball is bowled and the non-striker leaves their crease, unless a legside, wide or a no-ball is bowled, or the striker is dismissed, the non-striker must continue to the batter's crease. Note: The non-striker is not required to run at the instant that the ball is released by the bowler, and the above only applies once the non-striker leaves the crease..

v. If the non-striker stops and/or attempts to return to their original crease, the umpire will give the striker out, "Third Ball".

vi. If the non-striker makes no clear attempt to make a physical run, the umpire will give the striker "Out, Third Ball". How long they wait is not stipulated, but it is not unreasonable to expect the non-striker to begin their run once the batsman has struck (or struck at) the ball.

vii. If once leaving their crease, the non-striker does not hesitate and completes a physical run, the onus will be on the fielding team to affect a Run Out of either batsman.

1. Once the "Out, Third Ball" dismissal is given, the ball is dead.
2. The "Out, Third Ball" dismissal is recorded against the striker - which is a bit stiff if for example the non-striker starts running then stops, resulting in the "Out, Third Ball" dismissal.
3. A striker can not be given out on a "Third Ball" dismissal if the umpire does not call "Third Ball" prior to the delivery.



About Sheldon

Played since the earliest years, and began umpiring in the late 1970s.

Represented Western Australia for over 10 years in National Masters and Vets championships, honours include Captaining Western Australia and winning the Player of the National Championships in 1987.

Umpired State, National and international matches, held the post of Umpire Coordinator in Western Australia for the now defunct Australia Indoor Cricket Federation (AICF).

invited to officially photograph the Indoor Cricket World Cup in Wellington, New Zealand in 2002

invited to officially photograph the Indoor Cricket Masters and Under 18 World Cups in Christchurch, New Zealand in 2003

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