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Why are 5 runs awarded if the ball hits the helmet behind the wicket-keeper?

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closed as primarily opinion-based by Spinner, Sports Fan, hims056, Peter Eisentraut, NetStarter Aug 22 '13 at 7:38

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

1  
I'll not post this as an answer until I can confirm it is as fact but I will speculate the following: The ball has been obstructed so a penalty is given. 5 runs is between the 4 and 6 that can be awarded for reaching the boundary so 5 fits nicely as an "arbitary" amount. Like I say, I need to confirm this. –  Ste Jun 12 '12 at 9:42
    
To clarify, if the batsman hits the ball first onto the helmet (that is on the ground behind the keeper) is that 5 penalty runs or 5 runs to the batsman who may have reached the boundary? –  user1665 Aug 21 '13 at 11:04
    
@John It is 5 penalty runs, scored as extras, which do not go towards the batsman's personal score. The ball is then dead, so no boundary can then be scored from it. However, any runs completed before it hits the helmet would be counted, as well as any run in progress. –  Spinner Aug 21 '13 at 14:31

4 Answers 4

up vote 8 down vote accepted

It is given as a penalty for stopping or obstructing the course of the ball.

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3  
This doesn't really answer the question. The question is "Why?" and you say "Because it is." –  Michael Myers May 30 '12 at 17:22
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But why five and not, say, eight or twelve? –  Aarthi Jun 4 '12 at 21:34
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Why "five"..? All penalty runs are 5. Eg. if a batsman runs on the danger area of the pitch five runs is awarded to the opposition team. –  gout Jun 13 '12 at 6:54
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But why did the ruling body choose five runs? They could have picked eight! Or twelve! Or seventeen! What significance is 5? Is 5 the average number of runs a person can make in the same bowl? Is 5 just easier for a ref to count? –  Aarthi Jun 13 '12 at 15:05
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I think these are strange objections. If you want a 'why' then the question has no answer. Why is hitting the ball the boundary given 4 runs, and hitting it over given 6? It just is. –  Bogdanovist Aug 2 '12 at 23:55

I rekon its because A 6 has to be over the rope on the full without touching the field. So if the ball hits the helmet on the ground it was never gunna make the rope without touching. So 5 is the highest it can be, 4 for a boundry u could of scored plus an extra 1 for the obstruction.

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The 5 run penalty was first introduced in 1798: Penalty of 5 runs if a fielder stopped the ball with his hat. Why 5 and not some other number? We can only assume the law makers felt that 6 was too harsh and 4 too lenient.

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It is regarded as a penalty. And has been approved as the law of game.

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2  
This doesn't give any more information than the other answer, and neither answers the actual question: why five runs? –  Michael Myers May 30 '12 at 17:23

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