Hoop in cricket

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Hoop in cricket

In cricket, there are many terms that refer to players, how to serve the ball and how the bats work. Some are known to everyone, and in some, even the players are confused. It is to the latter group that the term hoop belongs. This is the name of one of the types of swing and the referee’s device, which checks the suitability of the ball (the ball gauge or GO-NOGO gauge).

Swing and hoop: how do the concepts relate?

Everyone is talking about swing, and all bowlers should know this technique because it is the confident execution of the swing that can often allow you to trap your opponent’s batsman and knock him off the field. Besides, there is a ‘conventional’ and ‘reverse’ swing in cricket. These techniques are different from each other.

The term swing is used to describe how a ball launched by a bowler will fly. Instead of flying in a straight line, the ball will curve through the air. Thus, a curved flight path is obtained. This technique is possible due to the characteristics of the ball, where one side of the ball (smooth) travels through the air faster than the other (rough). As a result, the trajectory of the ball deviates towards the rougher side.

Great bowlers are distinguished by impeccable mastery of swing techniques. For example, James Anderson is rightfully considered the king of this technique.

When it comes to serving the ball, the term hoop means a particularly large amount of swing.

Swing and hoop: how do the concepts relate?

Hoop as a judge’s device

Also, the term hoop can be found in phrases like “to do some type of test with a hoop”. This has nothing to do with bowling, only the equipment for the match, directly to the ball.

The fact is that in test cricket matches, which last up to 5 days and where 90 overs are played per day, the ball deforms during the game. The deformation of the ball leads to the fact that the accuracy of the throws is reduced, and due to this, the batting team gains an advantage.

To avoid overweight and, as a result, unfair play, the referees measure the shape of the ball using a special device called a hoop. The hoop when it comes to the device is often called the ball gauge or GO-NOGO gauge. Basically, the ball must go through the GO hole and not go through the NOGO hole.

Externally, the hoop represents a glitching round frame, usually metal, through which the ball is passed. If the shape of the ball follows the shape of the GO frame, then the ball is not deformed. There is no reason for a replacement. If the shape of the ball and the hoop do not match, then the ball must be replaced: it is deformed and not fit for play.

In practice, 90 overs are usually not enough to deform the ball, and some experienced bowlers do not change it for much longer (this makes their serves efficient and unpredictable). Therefore, in a format like Twenty20 (the shortest format where the game lasts hardly more than three hours), fans may never see the hoop. In many respects, this term has been and remains one of the most little-known.

Of course, these rules, like many others, players can use to their advantage. For example, one of the athletes may repeatedly give the ball to the referee for checking during a match, inning, or even an over. This leads to pauses in the game and can throw off the mood of the opponent.

As a rule, the batting team resorts to such a technique, not entirely fair, if they cannot make the ball move in the right direction at all. This behavior is often seen during long-term partnerships, where bowlers have trouble knocking no batsman off the field. Also, bowlers can often ask the referee to measure the ball with a hoop in case they need to pull time on the last day before the end of match time or daylight hours. However, this technique works very rarely.

Nisha Bhavani
Author: Nisha Bhavani Position: Cricket Expert

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