A load of balls

Hot on the heels of our company function, we recently had our company team-building weekend. Clearly someone in HR has a new “How To Motivate The Disgruntled Herd” manual.

Of course, we never get to do cool stuff like paintball, extreme ironing or bog-diving. No, it’s always that tired old favourite: action cricket. I have nothing against action cricket as such, as long as the “action” does not involve me directly. I’ve been roped into taking part in numerous bouts in the past and the results have been uniformly demoralising for all involved. You see, I have the reflexes of a severely hungover sloth and I throw like a girl (who happens to be particularly unskilled at throwing). On a bad day, I’m even worse. Brian Lara I most definitely ain’t.

Although I have long since accepted the sorry fact of my less-than-spectacular sporting prowess, others haven’t. I have also come to the conclusion that honesty in this regard is often not the best policy:

“So whose team are you in?”
“I’m not playing”
“Why not?”

Recommended response:
“Injured knee. Old war wound”

Non-recommended response:
“I have no ball-sense whatsoever. I think I’d have trouble finding my own testicles if they weren’t attached”
[Glazed eyes. Crickets chirping]

There’s no “I” in “team” and really, I’m okay with that.


25 thoughts on “A load of balls

  1. I don’t suppose telling them that your knowledge of match-fixing has scared you off any involvement with cricket would work as another recommended response?


  2. Oh, god. And there’s always one. A gung ho little arsecreeper who’s just pumped, man. Who’s gonna kick yer aaassss

    *insert eye roll here*

    I can’t. I just can’t.

    Fortunately, as a girl, I can always cite “feminine issues” in the response category.

    “um…oh…um…ok. Ja. Um.”



  3. You mean you don’t have the pleasant memories that I do of afternoons spent milling aimlessly about under the moniker of the u16E cricket team?

    Or those fantastically close games of field hockey as the u19D team?

    I could have been captain of the 1st Team Space Quest III, but they didn’t seem too keen on the idea……


  4. I was going to tell you to “be a sport”, but since you throw like a girl there is nothing I can do.
    I could point and laugh… yeah, I think I’ll do that.


  5. Why do they call it Team Building?

    In my experience there is always some fellow who hijacks the day and uses it as an opportunity to show how wonderful he is, turning the whole exercise into an individual boast.

    Call in sick in future.


  6. alan: It might. I’ll keep it in reserve for next time.

    godsgimp: Set quite high, if memory serves.

    iitq: Sadly, it’s all true.

    dolce: Hmmm… maybe I should start claiming I have a fire in my gentleman parts and let them make of that what they will.

    tenmiles: It’s not really considered a “sport” if you only risk injuring your pride.

    chitty: Knock yourself out. I’ll pretend you’re laughing with me.

    inyoka: Why do they call it Team Building? I dunno – they have a highly developed sense of irony, perhaps?

    idlelayabout: Probably for the very same reason our managers elect not to have paintball at all.


  7. reminds me of my old office back in Hokkaido: every so often the teachers would have teambuilding mini-volleyball. Which is like volleyball but with lower nets and a beach ball. Indoors. and there’s no opting out. and the sports teacher takes it reaaaaaaaally seriously. And if you’re crap they make fun of you.

    yeah, I felt the bonding as it happened!


  8. i’m with you on this one Kyk.

    my mom likes retelling the story of how i once played in a junior-school soccer match as left back (..in the changing room..) and maybe it’s because we had a powerful set of forwards, but i was so tired and bored of standing, i sat down on the field [cackles of laughter from the parental crowd…]

    As for cricket, driveway, action or otherwise, i’m normally out first ball. Anything more than an underarm lob is too fast for me


  9. We did the team-building-paintball thing with the bosses once. Ended up in a full-on fist fight with one of the big Aussie managers knocking the MD to the ground. The rest of us were cheering on the inside! Needless to say, the Aussie did not work his way any further up the corporate ladder.


  10. Our office pet sport is baseball. why, for the love of god, in a country that doesn’t play baseball, does OUR company have to play this stupid sport. I’m doubly bad at it because I’m convinced it’s prejudiced against left-handers – that’s my excuse anyway.


  11. jeanpant: Fortunately not. The guys who do tend to get a bit crabby.

    betenoir: Time for the revolution, I think. Bring your own pitchforks and torches.

    other-duke: “Keep your eye on the ball!!” “Wouldn’t it be more useful if I kept my bat on the ball?”

    delboy: Now that sounds like a team-building exercise worth attending :mrgreen:

    ant: Yeah, if they have to import stuff, why can’t they choose a more civilised sport, like curling?

    peas: Perhaps more “cross” and less “la”, but ja, pretty much.


  12. Action cricket is, at least, better than raft building and (other) water “sports”. I just point blankly refused to participate. Luckily my Look Of Disdain is enough to discourage further discussions on such matters.


  13. team building weekends are only acceptable if it includes a 5 star resort, happy ending massages, and mini-bars. Also known as the Action Cricket Weekend Away Game. There is always:
    1: someone defending their wickets
    2: someone batting for the other team
    3: some match fixing
    4: someone who scores
    5: some loud singing and drinking in the sun
    Anything else is “not in my contract”.


  14. I love team-building. In fact, I’m constructing a new team right now – from the limbs and body parts I’ve ripped from anyone foolish enough to mention Beach Volleyball, Action Cricket, or that we’re All Out of Biscuits, in my immediate vicinity.


  15. My comment is gone unfortunately. I am laughing too much at the last three comments before this one.

    Hee hee hee! Would you do pom-poms if they came in black?


  16. mjw: My crowd are immune to Looks of any kind.

    anicker: I’m guessing your contract doesn’t have fine print that extends to six volumes. I’m also guessing you didn’t have to sign yours in blood, either.

    mr benitez: Igor says to say “hi”.

    terri: I sincerely hope that isn’t a euphemism.

    katt: You get pom-poms in other colours?


  17. There may be no I in team, but there is “ME”.

    I resign every time the company that I work for attempts to make me attend a team building event. Seriously. And I make a point of ensuring that it is recorded as my reason for leaving.

    Now I just have to figure out how to handle “focus groups”…


  18. dude, i can SO relate!
    last year we went and did a canopy tour, the year before we went microlight flying, and i think this year we’re going go-cart racing at kyalami or something… action cricket has ome up a coupla times, but so far we’ve managed to avoid it.


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