What size cricket ball should I be using?
, 3 min reading time
, 3 min reading time
How many different size cricket balls are used at your nets and do you know what size cricket ball to use? Cricket nets tend to take place during the off season. Normally in the 3 months before the season starts. Additionally we have a mix of men, women and youth team players at these nets.
I was recently asked what size cricket ball players should be bowling with. I thought i knew but couldn’t explain what size (circumference) the ball should be as cricketers only seem to refer to size by weight alone.
The official law 5 on Cricket Balls, state the following sizes:-
Full Sized (Mens Cricket) 5 ½ ounces to 5 ¾ ounces (154g to 165g). It should also measure between 22.4cm and 22.9cm in circumference. The ball used in adult cricket is 5 1/2 oz which is 156g
Intermediate (Women’s Cricket) 4 15/16 ounces to 5 1/16 ounces (140g to 151g). It should measure between 21cm and 22.5cm in circumference. The ball used in intermediate or women's cricket is 5 oz which is 142g
Youth (Junior Cricket) (u13) 4 11/16 ounces to 5 1/16 ounces (133g to 144g). It should measure between 20.5cm and 22.5cm in circumference. The ball used in youth cricket is 4 3/4 oz which is 135g
Most people who know about cricket are under the assumption that the exact weight ball is required. This is not correct as there is a tolerance allowed for manufacturing purposes. All cricket balls have a tolerance of 11g. A junior ball can weigh between 133g to 144g, a women's or intermediate ball weighs between 140g to 151g and a full sized ball is 154 to 165g.
Cricket balls have been referred to as junior, women's and men's, for as long as I can remember but this is likely to change in the very near future. We understand discussions are ongoing about trying to update the categories to ensure the terminology is current. I have used the proposed terminology above and for clarity use the old size names in brackets. I think this is a wise move as a youth ball can weigh up to 144g and if the size is between 21cm and 22.5cm, then it can also be suitable for intermediate cricket.
This video should help you if you need further clarification on what size you should be using or buying
These sizes and weights are only applied to a new cricket ball.
We now provide 3 different sizes at our net sessions. The only problem is that they are not marked as men, women or junior. A new cricket ball might have the weight or size on them but, after regular use this fades away. Subsequently we find it quite difficult to tell the difference, as the sizing is so close. Surely would it not be possible for the manufacturers to introduce a marking system to make it easier to tell the difference?
It really would make sense, as it serves no purpose to practice with the wrong size ball. The cricket ball size should be correct for the player to improve their skills at the optimum rate.