Rules of the Game

Bat and Trap

One of the oldest of the bat and ball games, bat and trap looks quite different from baseball mainly because no one actually runs during the game. But its use of boundaries, a precursor to fair/foul territory, is what binds the two sports together.

The trap is a small wooden box, topped by a see-saw mechanism. When it's struck with a bat, the see-saw propels a ball into the air for a batter to hit. Each player on the batting side has three attempts to hit the ball after striking the trap, and knock the ball toward the bowling team on the opposite side of the playing field. The batter must hit the ball between two posts that sit 13' 6" apart. If the batter does not hit the ball between the two posts, or if a player from the bowling side catches the ball before it hits the ball, then that batsman is out.

The bowling side waits for the ball behind and between the posts and then hurls the ball back toward the trap to knock down a "wicket," or flap of wood attached to the front of the trap and hinged at the bottom. If the bowler knocks down the wicket, then the batsman is "bowled out." If a batter does not get out, then one run is scored. Once all members of a batting side are out, then the teams switch places. Each turn for a batting side to score is called a "leg" and one game consists of the best of three legs.

Bat and trap is now commonly a pub game, with the league games played in the gardens behind pubs and each team associating with a different pub.

For more information on bat & trap, visit the Canterbury Bat & Trap League at