Smash Play junior-tamariki

Smash Play junior-tamariki is a cricket programme for juniors (5 – 12 year olds), focused on providing quality experiences for all. With a focus on game play, values and enjoyment, every session has more hits, more catches, more action… more fun!

What is Smash Play junior-tamariki?

Want to know more?

Happy Smashies playing cricket  NZC are focused on providing quality experiences for all young cricketers. With a focus
  on game play, and values, our aim is for cricket to provide enjoyment, alongside the
  social and personal development playing sport with friends brings.

  Smash Play junior – tamariki is a cricket programme for juniors (5 – 12 year olds). We
  know children learn through game play. They develop skills, develop a love for an
  active and healthy lifestyle and enjoy being with friends and whānau.

  With Smash Play junior-tamariki, every session has more hits, more touches, more
  catches, more action. More fun.

You can learn more here or download the PDF

Smash Play Coaching Approach

The Smash Play Approach is based on six pillars for coaching:

6 pillars of coaching diagram


Session Planning

A simple guide to plan and deliver a session and combine sessions to create a 4-6 session programme.

NZC recommends:

• a session length of 30-45 minutes, with the shorter timeframe for younger age-groups.

• In each session, include up to three games (10 minutes per game), with ‘free play’ and a chance to reflect at the end

• To have a sustainable impact, 4 – 6 sessions are recommended

You can learn more here

Simple-to-use example sessions for Smash Play junior-tamariki focused on skill level or complexity.

Download the PDFs below

Simple-to-use example sessions for Smash Play junior-tamariki focused on values, rather than a specific cricket skill.

These sessions are ideal for a school environment, or for coaches and whānau wanting a new and different focus for their session.

Download the PDF below

Simple-to-use 6-session programme for Smash Play junior-tamariki, outlining how to combine weekly sessions together to create a fun and engaging programme over multiple weeks.

Download the PDF below

Principles and Approach

Dr Ian Renshaw, a globally-renowned game development expert, provides his insights into the principles behind the design of Smash Play junior-tamariki;

For too long, sports have over emphasised teaching techniques through repetitive practice in junior programmes, at the expense of learning to play by playing games. The desire to drill skills to develop ‘the basics’ is often the norm in many environments, and cricket has been no exception. Sadly, we have seen the effect of this with falling participation rates and disengagement as children move through the ‘system’. Clearly, these existing approaches are not meeting the needs of children.

NZC have decided to evolve the way the game is being delivered to young New Zealanders.

NZC’s Smash Play approach to skill learning has gone ‘back to the future’ by combining some of the traditional ways that we have learned to play cricket with contemporary ideas in skill acquisition.

Dr Barrie Gordon, from Victoria University of Wellington, provides his insights into the values approach which is the core of Smash Play junior-tamariki.

For many years sport has been seen as an ideal way to teach life skills or to develop what is often described as ‘good character’. Most sporting bodies vision statements will identify ‘positive child development’ or something similar, as an important outcome of participation in their sport. This is based upon the underlying philosophy that sport creates good people. New Zealand Cricket have gone a step further and have brought values and social development to the forefront of their approach through Smash Play.

Smash Play places an emphasis on values and culture, striving towards “Playing the Kiwi Way” by building better people. NZC understand that to achieve this it requires a full commitment to the goal and a careful plan to achieve it. As a result, they have introduced a philosophy, programme, resource and coaching structure, with carefully developed games and activities, that will achieve this outcome.

Online Learning

Keen to learn more?
Complete a free, online course covering the key philosophies of Smash Play junior-tamariki and simple tips for delivering the programme.
The course takes approx. 30 minutes to complete.


Smash Play junior-tamariki at St Pius X Catholic School

Join the Team at Auckland Cricket on their visit to St Pius X Catholic School to deliver Smash Play junior-tamariki

Hear From The Smashies