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Boxing Clever

Posted in ECB ACO

I had a break from scoring the other day when I volunteered to help out at a county 2nd XI match and work the scoreboard.

I found the job a refreshing change. I still had to keep a tally of the scores, but it was standing up instead of sitting, talking to the scorebox on a radio instead of face to face, not so much clock watching but more string pulling... all in all, great fun.

The scoreboard in question was at ground level which meant passers by tended not to pass by, but wanted to stop and pass the time of day, ask questions about the game - who was batting, etc. This was great when everything was quiet, but rather a distraction when overs ended, wickets fell, or a boundary was scored and I got a bit behind a couple of times just because someone wanted to know something.

Another issue I found was the scoreboard itself - you all know what happens, the numbers might, or might not, have clicked over despite the reassuring clunk and the change of number on your side of the wall, and you have to remember that the tens and units are the wrong way round.

Sometimes the strings get tangled and wickets 'fell' at one point when the offending string seemed to have glued itself to the 'units' one for batsmen 2, up and down the ladder when a wicket falls; but I got there in the end.

The game was going well although not for 'my' side, but for the opposition, however one has to be impartial. Lunch came and went, the sun came out and I got a visitor.

One bored young lady had had it with watching the game, and was wandering around with not much to do, she decided I was just the person to chat to. As a teacher by profession, I am a sucker for a bored child, and will always give them something to do - but there is a knack to this so take heed.

I invited said young lady (age 8) to help me - and you have to be careful when you do this - she was told by her dad she could as long as she was well behaved and not to get in the way. She stayed for about 20 minutes.

I find the secret is - make the visit exciting so they go away happy - but not so exciting that they want to stay there all day!! This is what I did - she had to stand outside the box and check the numbers went round, and sometimes she could pull a string (very gently and under supervision) - no use of pens or sheets, no use of radio but just enough fun to have her go away after a few minutes and not enough so she bothers me again later.

A bit mean? I don't think so - at her age I would have loved to have seen inside the very box I was scoring in - indeed, I remember sitting on the seats just beside the very scoreboard I was in, thinking how wonderful it would be to do that job; I never would have believed 40 years later I was!