Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

January 27, 2013

Area schools are adding cricket to their PE curriculum

Sixth-grade students at Maple Crest Middle School bowled balls in their gymnasium Friday as they tried to trip up the batters and hit the wicket.

It was their first-ever lesson in cricket.

“It’s probably the most fun I’ve ever had in gym class,” Blake Singer said, as he wiped sweat from his face and tried to catch his breath.

Teachers from seven area schools watched as Jatin Patel taught students the rules of the game.

Patel was born in Surat, Gujarat, India, but now lives in Indianapolis. He started playing cricket for a school team when he was 8 years old.

He eventually played for some professional teams before coming to the United States — a country where baseball is the favorite pastime and cricket remains largely unknown.

Patel is quick to point out, though, that cricket is the second most popular sport in the world and is considered the grandfather of baseball and softball.

When he settled his family in Indianapolis, he made it his mission to make sure more people understood his favorite sport.

“My hobby is to pass the skill on to young kids,” Patel said.

He became vice-president of the United States Youth Cricket Association and president of Indiana’s chapter.

When he’s not working at his full-time job, he’s traveling the state showing teachers and students how cricket is played.

He said Friday that about 200 schools in the state now teach the sport in their physical education classes.

That makes Indiana a national leader, Patel said.

Several area schools will soon join the ranks. Maple Crest, Central Middle School, Kokomo High School, Northwestern Middle School and Lafayette Park, Sycamore and Elwood Haynes elementary schools all have plans to fold the sport into their curriculum.

Teachers from every school were at Maple Crest Friday to learn from Patel. Northwestern teacher Robin Whaley said bringing cricket to the classroom is a “no brainer.”

“We’re always looking for new things to do with our students,” she said.

“And they get to learn about another culture.”

That was really a draw for Kokomo’s international schools.

Sarah Hemmerich teaches international baccalaureate classes at Kokomo High School.

The program requires teachers to foster international-mindedness in the classroom. So educators jump at the chance to introduce customs and activities from other countries, she said.

Whaley and Maple Crest teacher Vicki Boles like that students have to play 360-degree defense in cricket.

There is no foul territory in the sport, Patel said. Batters can hit the ball anywhere, including behind them.

Nine of a team’s 11 players are running around trying to cover all corners of the field, he said.

That’s exactly what Boles wants.

“No P.E. teacher wants students just standing around,” she said. “Our goal is that their heart rate stays at 150 or higher for 30 minutes.”

It worked for Singer and sixth-grader Sebastian McAmis.

Both were wiping sweat away from their faces by the end of class.

McAmis said he keeps a bottle of cologne in his binder at school. He sweated so much he had to spray it on his hat and shirt after class, he said with a laugh.

The game wasn’t just a challenge physically, though. It tested them mentally, too.

“It’s way different than baseball ... way different,” Singer said. “Batting is more like a golf swing.”

Even pitching the ball is different.

In cricket, pitching is called bowling. The ball has to bounce at least once when you throw it.

Patel said cricket is far more challenging than baseball. There are more rules.

“This will be the toughest sport for any American kid,” he said.

That challenge is exactly what students need, Boles said. She calls it “brain dripping.”

She wants them breathing hard and thinking hard in her classroom.

When she adds cricket to her curriculum, she will make students learn about the history of the game and the rules.

They will take tests to ensure they’re learning it.

Singer and McAmis are more concerned about when they will get to play the sport again.

It was a lot of fun, the boys said. In fact, they’re hoping Boles lets them play it once a week in gym class.

Boles said she just hopes the students like it enough to try it out at home. Another one of her goals is to pry students away from their televisions and video games long enough to go outside and get a few minutes of exercise at home.

McAmis and Singer said that wouldn’t be a problem.

They had plans to go home and teach their brothers and friends in the neighborhood how to play.

But since cricket equipment isn’t sold in local stores, they would have to fashion makeshift bats.

McAmis said he would use a regular baseball bat. Singer said he was going to dig up an old boat oar, which more closely resembles the flatter cricket bat.

Singer said cricket is something he can see himself playing for the rest of his life.

“This is a game we’ll have to teach our sons and daughters,” he said.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • Pence pushing Medicaid alternative during DC trip INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana Gov. Mike Pence is heading to Washington to seek federal approval of his proposed state-run alternative to traditional Medicaid in order to expand health care coverage for low-income residents. The governor's office says P

    July 30, 2014

  • mopeds Mo-ped law means some scooters now require license With more and more mo-peds hitting the streets, police are having a hard time enforcing new restrictions encompassed in the new scooter law. Mo-ped drivers can still cruise the streets and roads on their two-wheel machines, but the new state law, whi

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • Indianapolis man buys 2 $1M tickets in 3 months INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — An Indianapolis man is celebrating his second $1 million Hoosier Lottery prize in the past three months. Lottery officials say Robert Hamilton won a $1 million prize from a scratch-off ticket he bought last week at a convenience s

    July 30, 2014

  • Two arrested in purse-, wallet-snatching spree

    Two people were arrested late last week in relation to a string of purse and wallet thefts from shopping carts in local department stores.

    July 30, 2014

  • Feds cite Indiana Medicaid fraud unit over notices INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A federal agency found that the Indiana attorney general's office didn't give proper notice in nearly a quarter of the Medicaid fraud cases it helped prosecute in recent years. A report from the Department of Health and Human Serv

    July 30, 2014

  • Frankfort teen dies after rescue from Indiana city pool FRANKFORT (AP) — Authorities say a 15-year-old boy pulled from a central Indiana city pool has died. Frankfort Mayor Chris McBarnes says Adrian Alanis died in an Indianapolis hospital on Tuesday, the day after he was rescued from the deep end of the

    July 30, 2014

  • YMCA front rendering NIPSCO donates $50K to YMCA campaign The Northern Indiana Public Service Company donated $50,000 Tuesday to the Kokomo Family YMCA’s Beyond the Bricks campaign to build a new Y in downtown Kokomo.“The Y is a great resource for the community, so we’re glad to help it grow and add to the

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fatal Truck+Car Accident03 Woman killed after vehicle collides with semi head-on A woman was killed Monday night after her vehicle collided with a semi truck in the northbound lanes of U.S. 31 near the junction with U.S. 931.Elizabeth Ann Jeffries, 41, Monticello, died after her car apparently left the road and entered oncoming,

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bldg Wall Collapse 01 KipCor purchases partially collapsed downtown building A building that has long been a part of downtown Kokomo’s landscape will remain intact, but undergo extensive demolition, after being purchased by a company that has been active in the city’s redevelopment efforts. The Barko building, also known as t

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Supreme Court observers predict ‘wide open’ process of picking of next chief INDIANAPOLIS — State Supreme Court Chief Justice Brent Dickson surprised observers in June when he decided to step down after a brief tenure in the leadership post. Another surprise may be in store when his replacement is named. A seven-member panel

    July 29, 2014

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries