Howzat! WA invention Backyard Bash spells end to all family and friends cricket feuds

Headshot of Mitchell Woodcock
Mitchell WoodcockThe West Australian
VideoThe Perth Scorchers settle the argument on the rules of backyard cricket

Backyard cricket will never be the same again thanks to Busselton father Jon Rutgers and his invention, the Backyard Bash, which is dragging the beloved game into the 21st Century.

The entrepreneur has designed and created a set of interactive stumps which incorporate an electronic speaker with sound effects, a scoreboard, Bluetooth connectivity and 48 LED lights.

It all started more than a year ago when Mr Rutgers had a competitive backyard cricket night with his mates. There was only one problem — keeping score.

The former teacher-turned-firefighter decided to fix the problem by looking into how he could create an interactive scoreboard which would not be too complicated and would add to the enjoyment of the game.

The stumps feature Bluetooth connectivity and sound effects.
Camera IconThe stumps feature Bluetooth connectivity and sound effects.

After many designs and a wooden prototype — along with help from some electrical engineers at the University of WA — Mr Rutgers’ invention began to take shape.

“I made some wooden prototypes and took them to a plastics manufacturer,” he said.

“I have been going into my local sports store and getting advice from them. Once the ball started rolling, I couldn’t really stop it.

“I had zero business experience. But it has been fun, a really enjoyable experience.”

Mr Rutgers said the product had already been well-received by children and adults, and he hoped it would encourage them to get off the couch.

“Everyone loves it,” he said. “It is surprising the number of people who are asking where to get it.”

The next step will be getting the product on the market, a goal Mr Rutgers is hoping to achieve by the start of next summer.

“We have launched a Kickstarter campaign this week,” he said.

“Hopefully we will get some crowdfunding and have it ready later this year.”

Get the latest news from in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails