What is Smash Play youth – rangatahi?
By NZC Thursday 17 August 2023, 10:30 am

New Zealand Cricket’s newest cricket offering arrives this summer – aiming to change the way that cricket is enjoyed by youth, and how cricket is delivered in secondary schools and cricket clubs.

So, the question begs… what is Smash Play youth – rangatahi?


Smash Play is more than resources or a programme.

 It is a philosophy encompassing a range of aspects, designed to create the highest quality experience for anyone who wants a touch point with the game of cricket in Aotearoa.

Smash Play challenges the traditional norms in which cricket has been operating.

Over time, and with the help of some outstanding expertise, Smash Play has become a tapestry embracing: functional movement, skill acquisition, and skill adaptability.

Interwoven within the philosophy is a personal and social responsibility journey with societal values brought to the fore.

Smash Play games are focused on cricket skills and concepts, and can be adapted to work in any cricket environment.

Coaches, through the work of a highly impactful NZC coach developer workforce, will become more and more aware of how they can tailor these games to their coaching level.

Smash Play is fantastic in schools.

The programme is designed to build functional movement, it encourages FUN within the cricket "brand", and its resources resonate with Teachers.

Games are easy to lead, built with both pedagogy and an absolute physically literate approach in mind.

Games are also purposefully designed to encourage exploration, and deeper understanding of skills within cricket.

Still with us? Check out the four main pillars of Smash Play youth – rangatahi right here:





Smash Play youth – rangatahi introduces four new ‘Modified Formats’ aimed at improving the playing experience for rangatahi by challenging existing playing structures.

Smash + is designed to enhance the skill acquisition of junior secondary school cricketers. This is achieved through increased time-on-task for each player and increased opportunity to apply skills.

Smash 5s is a fast-paced, multi-innings format – providing significant opportunity to enhance skills and game awareness for all players. The format is designed to maintain full engagement across the course of the game – with multiple chances for players to bat, bowl & field.

SYC - Smash Yard Cricket is a fast, fun, and easy to play format – ideal for PE classes, team trainings, or with friends. ‘Local rules’ are a great way of using your rules to reflect your environment. With only a few rules and limited amount of equipment, SYC is easily set up and ideal for all abilities.

All three formats were designed with direct feedback from rangatahi, asking them how they want to engage with cricket. View all three Modified Formats by clicking here.



Ten new ‘Training Games’ have been released alongside Smash Play youth – rangatahi – providing youth coaches, secondary school teachers, and rangatahi themselves with inclusive, exciting games to replace traditional training models.

All games have been designed to incorporate Smash Play’s ‘learn through play’ philosophy, which allows for skill acquisition in a game setting.

This approach maximises time-on-task for athletes, as well as equipping them with better decision-making skills.

Check out the new Training Games by clicking here.



NZC engaged four of Aotearoa’s finest young cricketers as ambassadors for the Smash Play youth – rangatahi brand – namely; Callum McLachlan (Wellington), Katene Clarke (Northern Districts), Ocean Bartlett (Central Districts) and Prue Catton (Auckland).

These role models stand in the perfect position to promote our game to rangatahi, but to also shed light on what it means to be an up-and-coming domestic cricketer both on and off the field.

Youth Ambassadors will feature in a range of content series to be shared across NZC channels - ‘Level Up’ challenges, Cricket Hacks, and Super Smash Reactions to name a few.

This content aims to excite all youth about cricket on the platforms that they frequent, as well as being housed on the ‘Get Inspired’ section of the Smash Play youth – rangatahi website.

Follow New Zealand Cricket’s social channels (Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube and X) to stay up with the content through the 2023-24 summer.

Alternatively, watch the first release of Smash Play Youth Ambassador Videos on NZC’s YouTube channel.



Smash Play youth – rangatahi’s Coach Resource Hub is the perfect place for coaches to go in order to better understand and implement the programme in their own environments.

Hear from game development expert, Dr Ian Renshaw, on the philosophy behind SPYR, begin to design your sessions, or learn how to incorporate values into your coaching.

If you’re still looking for more information on Smash Play youth – rangatahi, head to www.smashplay.nz.