As the answers here acknowledge that if the ball hits the helmet behind the wicket keeper then 5 runs are given to the batting side as obstructing the field.

My question is will the same apply if the ball hits the helmet of the wicket keeper which he is wearing and not behind him.

Will runs be given for this also ?

If yes,

Is there any past reference for this ?

If this applies for helmet then why not for the pads worn by the fielder at silly point.

3 Answers 3


No, penalty runs will not be given if the ball hits the helmet of the wicket-keeper when wearing it.

Penalty runs are given for obstructing the ball by the fielding team without the help of any player. If the WK is not worn the helmet means the ball will surely get hit by his head,so,wearing and not wearing the helmet, both are same, but the player will get injured.

Placing helmets behind the WK is the risk taken by the fielding team. So, nowadays, Helmets are not placed behind WK in limited overs cricket since 5 runs can change the result of the match.

Additional comment: if penalty runs were given when the ball touches a worn helmet, no one would wear helmets at the end of a crucial match.

  • 1
    Nice explanation. But is there any law and it's reference for that?
    – Himanshu
    Commented May 28, 2013 at 9:28
  • 2
    @hims056, I think there is no law for this, if any penalty will be given for this means there should be a law on that. Commented May 28, 2013 at 9:36

According to the ICC rules penalty runs are only given in cricket if the ball hits the helmet which is not worn by any fielder on the field. This is clarified in this wiki article.

The ball strikes a fielder's helmet when it is on the field but not being worn.

So any equipment worn by a fielder becomes part of his clothing and hence cannot be penalized.


If the WK is wearing his helmut and the ball hits it then there are NO Penalty Points. If the ball hits ANY article of clothing on the field INCLUDING the helmut which is not worn by the fielding side, then Penalty Points are given to the batting side. Normally 5 runs are given

  • 3
    This didn't seem to add anything to the answers already given. Also, could you explain the situations in which the penalty would be other than 5 runs?
    – Philip Kendall
    Commented Mar 8, 2015 at 9:01

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