The length of an indoor cricket pitch is the same as a conventional cricket pitch, and has 3 stumps at each end, but there the similarities end. The arena is completely enclosed by tight netting, a few meters from each side and end of the pitch. The playing surface is artificial grass matting. Whilst the pitch is the same length, however, the batsmen don't have to run the entire length. The striker's crease is in the regulation place in front of the stumps, but the non-striker's crease is only halfway down the pitch.
Indoor cricket is played between 2 teams of 8 players. Each player must bowl 2 overs, and bat in a partnership for 4 overs. An innings lasts for 16 overs.
The stumps used in indoor cricket are not, for obvious reasons, stuck in the ground. Instead, they are collapsible spring-loaded stumps that immediately spring back to the standing position when knocked over. The ball used in indoor cricket is a modified cricket ball, with a softer center. The ball also differs in that it is yellow in colour so to make it more obvious to see indoors against varied backgrounds. Both traditional outdoor cricket bats or more specialised lighter-weight indoor cricket bats may be used. The gloves are typically lightweight cotton with no protective padding on the outside. The palm-side of the gloves usually have embedded rubber dots to aid grip.
Scoring in indoor cricket is split into 2 areas: physical runs and bonus runs. Physical runs are scored by both batsmen completing a run from one crease to the other. Bonus runs are scored when the ball hits a net. Bonus scores for particular parts of the nets follow:
- Zone A (front net – behind the keeper): 0 runs
- Zone B (side nets between the striker's end and halfway down the pitch): 1 run
- Zone C (side nets between halfway and the bowlers end): 2 runs
- Zone D (back net – behind the bowler): 4 or 6 runs depending on the manner in which the ball hit the back net.
- On the bounce: 4 runs
- On the full: 6 runs
- Zone B or C onto Zone D: 3 runs
NB: For bonus runs to be scored, at least one physical run must be scored. The bonus runs are then added to the physical runs. For example, a batsman strikes the ball, hitting the back net on the full (6) and makes one physical run, for a total of 7 runs.
A batsman can be dismissed in the same ways they can be in conventional cricket – with variations in the case of LBW. When a batsman gets dismissed, however, five runs are deducted from their total and they continue to bat. Batsmen bat in pairs for 4 overs at a time, irrespective of whether they are dismissed. A player can also be "caught" by a ball rebounding off a net, except off a "six", as long as it has not previously touched the ground. This negates any physical or bonus runs that might have been awarded.
Whilst lbw is a valid form of dismissal in indoor cricket, it is a far rarer occurrence in indoor than it is in outdoor cricket. A batsman can only be dismissed lbw if he does not offer a shot and the umpire is satisfied that the ball would then have hit the stumps.
Indoor cricket is officiated by one umpire who is situated outside of the playing area at the strike batsmen's end of the court. The umpire sits or stands on a raised platform that is usually 3 meters above ground level.
The team with the higher score at the conclusion of each innings is declared the winner of the match. The second innings continues for a full 16 overs even if the batting side passes the first innings total due to the possibility of a side finishing behind a total even after they have surpassed it (see dismissals above).