Trobriand cricket

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Trobriand cricket refers to a unique version of the bat-and-ball sport cricket played by the Trobriand Islanders. [1] [ dead link ] They were first exposed to the game by Christian missionaries, who thought the game would discourage war among the natives. However, the game was quickly adapted to Trobriand culture by expanding the number of players, adding dances and chanting, and modifying the bats and balls. Since war between groups on the island was banned, cricket began to incorporate many of the traditional practices associated with war for the Trobriand people. The game also reflects the objects of powers introduced to the islands by its British colonizers and American troops during World War II.

Bat-and-ball games

Bat-and-ball games are field games played by two opposing teams. The teams alternate between "batting" (offensive) roles, sometimes called "in at bat", and "out in the field" (defensive), or simply in and out. Only the batting team may score, but teams have equal opportunities in both roles. The game is counted rather than timed.

Sport forms of competitive activity, usually physical

Sport includes all forms of competitive physical activity or games which, through casual or organised participation, aim to use, maintain or improve physical ability and skills while providing enjoyment to participants, and in some cases, entertainment for spectators. Hundreds of sports exist, from those between single contestants, through to those with hundreds of simultaneous participants, either in teams or competing as individuals. In certain sports such as racing, many contestants may compete, simultaneously or consecutively, with one winner; in others, the contest is between two sides, each attempting to exceed the other. Some sports allow a "tie" or "draw", in which there is no single winner; others provide tie-breaking methods to ensure one winner and one loser. A number of contests may be arranged in a tournament producing a champion. Many sports leagues make an annual champion by arranging games in a regular sports season, followed in some cases by playoffs.

Cricket Team sport played with bats and balls

Cricket is a bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players on a field at the centre of which is a 20-metre (22-yard) pitch with a wicket at each end, each comprising two bails balanced on three stumps. The batting side scores runs by striking the ball bowled at the wicket with the bat, while the bowling and fielding side tries to prevent this and dismiss each player. Means of dismissal include being bowled, when the ball hits the stumps and dislodges the bails, and by the fielding side catching the ball after it is hit by the bat, but before it hits the ground. When ten players have been dismissed, the innings ends and the teams swap roles. The game is adjudicated by two umpires, aided by a third umpire and match referee in international matches. They communicate with two off-field scorers who record the match's statistical information.


Historical background

Cricket was introduced to the Trobriand Islands in 1903 by the British Methodist missionary William Gillmore, who hoped to reduce tribal rivalry and fighting. The modern-day version is very different from the game introduced by Gillmore, as new rules and traditions have been integrated.

British people citizens of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, British Overseas Territories, Crown Dependencies, and their descendants

The British people, or the Britons, are the citizens of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the British Overseas Territories, and the Crown dependencies. British nationality law governs modern British citizenship and nationality, which can be acquired, for instance, by descent from British nationals. When used in a historical context, "British" or "Britons" can refer to the Celtic Britons, the indigenous inhabitants of Great Britain and Brittany, whose surviving members are the modern Welsh people, Cornish people, and Bretons. It may also refer to citizens of the former British Empire.

Tribalism is the state of being organized by, or advocating for, tribes or tribal lifestyles. Human evolution has primarily occurred in small groups, as opposed to mass societies, and humans naturally maintain a social network. In popular culture, tribalism may also refer to a way of thinking or behaving in which people are loyal to their social group above all else, or, derogatorily, a type of discrimination or animosity based upon group differences.

Anthropological analysis

In the Trobriand Islands, kayasa is a form of obligatory, competitive activity done traditionally in the form of ritual warfare. Warfare with spears was replaced by cricket, as a peaceful way of continuing kayasa.

Endemic warfare

Endemic warfare is a state of continual or frequent warfare, such as is found in some tribal societies.

Trobriand cricket has been altered such that the home team is always the winner. There are no restrictions on the number of players on a team; thus, a team can have as many as 40 or 50 players.

In sports, home is the place and venue identified with a team sport. Most professional teams are named for, and marketed to, particular metropolitan areas; amateur teams may be drawn from a particular region, or from institutions such as schools or universities. When they play in that venue, they are said to be the "home team"; when the team plays elsewhere, they are the away, visiting, or road team. Home teams wear home colors.

Before the match, the ball and bats are given to a local spiritual leader who blesses the equipment for good luck. Also, this leader works on ensuring good weather. Before the match, each team practices chants and dances to be performed at various times throughout the game. Each out is followed by a celebratory dance, choreographed by the opposing team. These dances often have special meaning, commenting on the prowess of the team, their superior skills, or mocking the other team. These dances may also have sexual innuendos and erotic themes.

Dismissal (cricket) out in the game of cricket

In the sport of cricket, a dismissal occurs when the batsman is out. At this point, a batsman must discontinue batting and leave the field permanently for the innings. A bowling team dismisses the entire batting team by dismissing 10 of the 11 players. As the players bat in pairs, when only one person is undismissed, it is not possible for them to bat any longer.

In dance, choreography is the act of designing dance. Choreography may also refer to the design itself, which is sometimes expressed by means of dance notation. A choreographer is one who creates dances. Dance choreography is sometimes called dance composition.

Bowling is done underarm (as in softball), rather than overarm as in international cricket. This change came about because underhanded-bowled balls are less painful if they contact with a player. [2]

Bowling (cricket) cricket delivery

Bowling, in cricket, is the action of propelling the ball toward the wicket defended by a batsman. A player skilled at bowling is called a bowler; a bowler who is also a competent batsman is known as an all-rounder. Bowling the ball is distinguished from throwing the ball by a strictly specified biomechanical definition, which restricts the angle of extension of the elbow. A single act of bowling the ball towards the batsman is called a ball or a delivery. Bowlers bowl deliveries in sets of six, called an over. Once a bowler has bowled an over, a teammate will bowl an over from the other end of the pitch. The Laws of Cricket govern how a ball must be bowled. If a ball is bowled illegally, an umpire will rule it a no-ball. If a ball is bowled too wide of the striker for the batsman to be able to play at it with a proper cricket shot, the bowler's end umpire will rule it a wide.

In cricket, underarm bowling is as old as the sport itself. Until the introduction of the roundarm style in the first half of the 19th century, bowling was performed in the same way as in bowls, the ball being delivered with the hand below the waist. Bowls may well be an older game than cricket and it is possible that cricket was derived from bowls by the intervention of a batsman trying to stop the ball reaching its target by hitting it away, though bowling per se continued as in bowls.

Softball Softball is a variant of baseball played with a larger ball

Softball is a variant of baseball played with a larger ball on a field that has base lengths of 60 feet, a pitcher's mound that ranges from 35-43 feet away from home plate, and a homerun fence that is 220 feet away from home plate.. It was invented in 1887 in Chicago, Illinois, United States as an indoor game. The game moves at a faster pace than traditional baseball. There is less time for the base runner to get to first while the opponent fields the ball; yet, the fielder has less time to field the ball while the opponent is running down to first base. The name softball was given to the game in 1926, because the ball used to be soft, however in modern day usage, the balls are hard.

There are ritual entrance and exit dances. One team had a mascot dressed as a tourist (dressed in bright colors, stopping in front of the performances to get a “close-up” view with his pretend binoculars). At the end of the match, there is an exchange of food, with the home team putting on the feast.

Other Trobriand changes to cricket include the following:

Today, cricket holds special meaning for the local population of the Trobriands. It has evolved to take on warlike aspects. For example, players’ bodies are decorated in bright colors and designs, similar to those displayed by warriors. The field entry and exit dances take on a warlike formation.

Trobriand cricket is an example of syncretism. Usually, syncretic cultures or traditions take elements from both the existing, “traditional” culture and elements from “outsiders” such as colonists, occupiers, or missionaries.

Trobriand cricket was featured in an episode of the 2007 BBC series Last Man Standing . [3]

In the song "Steak n' Sabre", written by Frank Black and recorded by Frank Black and the Catholics, and which Black has stated is about alternate realities, he references "Trobriander" cricket: [4] "Like Trobrianders / Don't you understand that's a different kind of world."

See also

Related Research Articles

Baseball Sport

Baseball is a bat-and-ball game played between two opposing teams who take turns batting and fielding. The game proceeds when a player on the fielding team, called the pitcher, throws a ball which a player on the batting team tries to hit with a bat. The objectives of the offensive team are to hit the ball into the field of play, and to run the bases—having its runners advance counter-clockwise around four bases to score what are called "runs". The objective of the defensive team is to prevent batters from becoming runners, and to prevent runners' advance around the bases. A run is scored when a runner legally advances around the bases in order and touches home plate. The team that scores the most runs by the end of the game is the winner.

Umpire (cricket) Person who has the authority to make judgements on the cricket field

In cricket, an umpire is a person who has the authority to make decisions about events on the cricket field, according to the Laws of Cricket. Besides making decisions about legality of delivery, appeals for wickets and general conduct of the game in a legal manner, the umpire also keeps a record of the deliveries and announces the completion of an over.

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Trobriand Islands island group

The Trobriand Islands are a 450-square-kilometre (174-square-mile) archipelago of coral atolls off the east coast of New Guinea. They are part of the nation of Papua New Guinea and are in Milne Bay Province. Most of the population of 12,000 indigenous inhabitants live on the main island of Kiriwina, which is also the location of the government station, Losuia. Other major islands in the group are Kaileuna, Vakuta, and Kitava. The group is considered to be an important tropical rainforest ecoregion in need of conservation.

Glossary of cricket terms Wikimedia list article

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In the sport of cricket a no-ball is a penalty against the fielding team, usually as a result of an illegal delivery by the bowler. For most cricket games, especially amateur ones, the definition of all forms of no-ball is from the MCC Laws of Cricket

Cricket bat

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Short form cricket is a collective term for several modified forms of the sport of cricket, with playing times significantly shorter than more traditional forms of the game.

In the sport of cricket, an extra is a run scored by a means other than a batsman hitting the ball.

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Law 41 of the Laws of Cricket covers unfair play. This law has developed and expanded over time as various incidents of real life unfair play have been legislated against.

Trobriand Cricket: An Ingenious Response to Colonialism is an anthropological documentary about the people of the Trobriand Islands and their unique innovations to the game of cricket. The film was made by Gary Kildea, under the direction of anthropologist Jerry Leach. It was shot in three weeks, on a budget of around Au$180,000.

Kilikiti is one of several forms of the game of cricket. Originating in Samoa, it spread throughout Polynesia and can now be found around the world in areas with strong Polynesian populations. The game is the national sport of Samoa, and is played in many other Pacific countries, including amongst the Pacific Islander diaspora in New Zealand.

Robert Maxwell Crockett, was an Australian Test match umpire.

Crocker is a team sport played between two large teams. Its origins are in cricket and baseball. It also makes the use of a rugby ball which may explain its name. It is a casual sport not played formally, but often found on British summer camps.


Owzthat is a dice based cricket simulation. In its non-commercial form it is often called Pencil Cricket as in pre-war Britain 6 sided pencils, shaved back to bare wood with the numbers and words written on them, were used. Today this game is supplied by a variety of manufacturers, including William Lindop Ltd. The name is derived from a verbal cricket appeal regarding whether a batsman is out.

The ComBat was an aluminium cricket bat and the subject of an incident that occurred at the WACA cricket ground in Perth in December 1979.


  1. This article relies heavily on class notes created by Jennifer S. Esperanza of North Carolina State University: Esperanza, JS. Trobriand cricket . 2004. Retrieved on 2008-04-16.
  2. Trobriand Cricket . Dir. Gary Kildea and Jerry Leach. Ronin Films, 1979.
  3. BBC - Last Man Standing - About The Show Archived 2008-01-11 at the Wayback Machine .
  4. “Steak ’n Sabre” track notes and lyrics from Frank Black