广东时时彩改单:Digital cricket wicket invention aims to take the anarchy out of Australian backyards
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Broken window, you're out. Hit the ball over the fence, that's a six and out. One hand, one bounce — also out. If the fielder is not holding a beverage, though, you might not be out.
It is all legal in the world of backyard cricket and the iconic game has fuelled many a sibling rivalry.
But one father from Western Australia's south-west has called "out" on familial tussles around who is keeping score with a backyard invention of his own.
"I'm a big by cricket player, always was growing up," Jon Rutgers said.
"I always had the flare ups and the arguments with the brother about the score — how much you scored, who's won, who's out."
It was Mr Rutgers' competitive nature that birthed what he has call Backyard Bash: the world's most advanced cricket wicket.
'I would have loved that as a kid'
The professional firefighter worked with electrical engineering students from the University of Western Australia to transform the humble wicket, often a garbage bin, into something spectators might expect to see at the Big Bash League.
"I've actually got an annual event at my house where I play a backyard game of cricket with friends, and it's competitive and we keep score, and just a light bulb went off in my head," Mr Rutgers said.
He worked for nearly 18 months to "jampack it full of electronics just to rip it into the 21st century".
With speakers, lights, a shopping list of sound effects and calls from commentators, Bluetooth connectivity, and bail sensors that automatically update the score if they are dislodged, these are not the stumps many would remember from their childhood.
But for all the computerised wicket's flashiness, the simple scoreboard was the most important part to its inventor.
"To keep score of the runs, the wickets, the previous team's score, the overs that have been bowled if you want to count overs," Mr Rutgers said.
"I would have just loved that as a kid with competitive brothers."
'A bit of a spurious argument'
In Australia, cricket has been criticised for not catching up to the 21st century as much as it has been for becoming too showy to keep up with the times.
"We've got to become modern, we've got to become up to date, so they play music really loudly, and you think, 'what's the point of this?'" said WA-based sports historian Les Everitt.
"They do this in the Big Bash [League]. Someone scores, they say, 'make some noise,' the crowd cheers, but then they come on with some sort of Beyonce hit, and you can't hear the crowd. So, I think they're actually alienating the crowd."
Mr Everitt has a particular interest for the football and cricket scoreboards of Australian towns and has been documenting them for close to a decade.
"Local scoreboards have little quirks about them, they give a ground a bit of its character, they are evocative in a way," he said.
"It's a haunting thing really, to see this almost overgrown ground and the scoreboard still standing as proudly as it can."
And for cricket's backyard counterpart, he could see the charm of planting a scoreboard by the barbecue.
"For cricket, despite the fact I don't like electronic scoring, it actually works because scoring's happening all the time, and in backyard cricket, it's almost anything goes."
"When I was growing up on Richardson Street, in Boulder, there were four backyards where we played, and they were all different and so all the rules were different."
The only rule Mr Rutgers had not managed to figure out was the dreaded leg before wicket.
"Ah the LBW," he said.
"We'll probably have to look at that in version number two."