Tanner Cormier watches his foul ball veer away from the wicket

Tanner Cormier watches his foul ball veer away from the wicket

Inventive local boys create new game

Wild Charge combines elements of hockey, baseball and cricket.

Normally, sitting in front of the television inspires… more sitting in front of the television.

In the case of young Kaj Behrens, watching his first cricket match inspired him to get a few friends together to invent a new game that borrows pieces from hockey, baseball and cricket.

“We call it Wild Charge,” said the 10-year-old C.E. Barry student last Thursday. “I don’t know where I got that name from.

“We’ve also got a game we call Rookie that is part football and soccer and it involves tackling, kicking — and clotheslining!”

Kaj (pronounced ‘Kigh’) and his dad, Erhard, were watching cricket on TV this spring.

“It was when the Pro 20 was in India,” said Erhard. “I gave Kaj some pointers on how to play.”

Erhard grew up in Cullinan, South Africa, a small diamond-mining town near Pretoria. There was plenty of cricket played there and Erhard knows the game well.

After Kaj had gotten his fill of the televised match, he went and got his friends Jarren Payant and Tanner Cormier, both aged 9, who also live at the condo complex on Douglas Street.

A full game of cricket takes 11 defenders and 11 batters, two at a time. The boys didn’t have a cricket bat or even one wicket — and their field in the condos’ commons area was way smaller than a normal pitch. The rule of the day was ‘improvise.’

“I got my baseball bat and some tennis balls and Jarren got his hockey helmet and a street hockey goalie pad,” said Kaj.

“You just need a pitcher, a wicket and a batter,” he explained during a break in the game. “We didn’t have a real wicket, so we combined a baseball back-catcher and a cricket wicket.”

The boys take turns at each position and when it’s time to be the wicket, they don the helmet and crouch down low behind the goalie pad, which makes the target about the same size as a real cricket wicket.

“If the pitcher hits the wicket, the batter is out,” explained Kaj. “But if the batter gets hit, he gets a point — and if he hits it out of the area, it’s 20 points.”

About 15 paces from the wicket, a rolled up newspaper acts as a pitcher’s mound and a base for the batter to run to. Like in cricket, the batter runs to the far base, then back to the home base.

“If we catch a fly ball, the runner’s out,” said Kaj. “And if he isn’t at a base, we can tag him with the ball, or throw it at him and hit him… even in the head.”

Luckily, they aren’t using a real cricket ball, which is akin to a lump of hardwood wrapped in leather.

On a good hit, they can run six lengths before stopping… sometimes to go help find the ball. There are many fences, trees and roofs in the area, so it’s easy to lose track of a well-hit ball. As of Thursday, they’re still looking for two.

It’s a fairly new game, so rules need to be tuned up as the need arises.

“We have no teams. We’re on our own,” said Kaj. “So if two people are arguing about a play, they just ask the other person if they’re out or safe.”

Thursday, the usual group of three expanded to six, with Dylan Younie, Damian Stephenson and Erhard joining in. When Erhard nailed a ‘boundary’ off a rooftop and into a neighbour’s back yard, the game took a bit of a break.

Of the original three, Kaj figures Tanner is the best pitcher. The other two boys agreed.

Tanner’s secret? “Make the ball bounce first, then it’s harder for him to hit.”

Jarren was voted the best batter — the only lefty of the three, though he writes with his right hand.

“My secret is my extra grip,” figured Jarren.

Now the secrets are common knowledge.

Wild Charge — a simple game that is simply a lot of fun.

Just Posted

A young couple walks through the Othello Tunnels just outside of Hope. (Jessica Peters/Black Press)
Hope’s Othello Tunnels fully open to the public

Geological testing proved the area safe enough to open for the first time in more than a year

The Abbotsford International Airshow is back for 2021 with the ‘SkyDrive’ concept.
Abbotsford International Airshow returns for 2021 with ‘SkyDrive’

New format features a drive-in movie type experience, show set for Aug. 6 to 8

.
Fraser Health monitors long-term care vaccination rates amid local COVID-19 outbreak

COVID-19 transmission has largely been on the decline in Agassiz-Harrison

Jacqueline Pearce and Jean-Pierre Antonio received the BC Historical Federation Best Article Award on Saturday for their story about translating haiku written in the Tashme internment camp.
Article chronicling haiku in Japanese internment camp near Hope wins award

Tashme Haiku Club’s work was preserved and recently translated, authors write

Raeya Evie Duncan was the 100th baby born at Chilliwack General Hospital for the month of May. She is seen here with her parents Alysha Williams and Andrew Duncan on June 12, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Baby boom in Chilliwack as record number of infants born at CGH in May

‘COVID babies are coming out,’ says dad of 100th baby born at Chilliwack General Hospital last month

Maxwell Johnson is seen in Bella Bella, B.C., in an undated photo. The Indigenous man from British Columbia has filed complaints with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission after he and his granddaughter were handcuffed when they tried to open a bank account. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Heiltsuk Nation, Damien Gillis, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
VIDEO: Chiefs join human rights case of Indigenous man handcuffed by police in B.C. bank

Maxwell Johnson said he wants change, not just words, from Vancouver police

Tk’emlups te Secwepemc Chief Rosanne Casimir stands outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School after speaking to reporters, in Kamloops, B.C., on Friday, June 4, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Kamloops chief says more unmarked graves will be found across Canada

Chief Rosanne Casimir told a virtual news conference the nation expects to release a report at the end of June

A woman wears a vaccinated sticker after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. ranks among highest in world in COVID-19 first-dose shots: health officials

More than 76% of eligible people have received their 1st shot

A screenshot of the First Peoples Cultural Councils First Peoples’ Map. (First Peoples Cultural Council)
Online resource blends B.C.-Alberta’s Indigenous languages, art and culture

Advisor says initiative supports the urgent need to preserve Indigenous languages

An artists conception of the new terminal building at the Pitt Meadows Regional Airport.
Air travel taking off in B.C., but lack of traffic controllers a sky-high concern

There will be demand for more air traffic controllers: Miller

Canadian Armed Forces experts are on their way to North Vancouver after a local homeowner expressed worry about a military artifact he recently purchased. (Twitter DNV Fire and Rescue)
Military called in to deal with antique ‘shell’ at North Vancouver home

‘The person somehow purchased a bombshell innocently believing it was an out-of-commission military artifact’

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz have set their wedding date for February, hoping that more COVID-19 restrictions will have lifted. (The Macleans)
B.C. couples ‘gambling’ on whether COVID rules will let them dance at their wedding

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz pushed back their wedding in hopes of being able to celebrate it without the constraints of COVID-19

A plane is silhouetted as it takes off from Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C., May 13, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Report calls for airlines to refund passengers for flights halted due to COVID-19

Conclusion: federal help should be on the condition airlines immediately refund Canadian travellers

Most Read