Full toss or beamer?
Owner: B Aitken

"Recently our young fast bowler bowled a number of full-tosses, two of which were called as No balls by the umpire, who described them as 'beamers'. The bowler was quick to apologise and everyone accepted that he had not bowled these deliberately. But what's the difference between a full toss and a 'beamer' and why does it matter anyway?"

A ball that doesn't pitch will arrive unexpectedly and faster and can cause serious injury, especially if it's high.

Any full toss that passes, or would have passed above the batsman's waist if he were standing upright at the crease, is a 'beamer' and is thus an illegal delivery - even if the batsman hits it - note that there is no difference between a fast or slow ball (Oct 2017 changes)

If a bowler accidently bowls 3 'beamers', he is removed from the bowling attack when the ball is dead. Note that in International cricket the bowler is removed from the attack after two accidental 'beamers'

If the umpire decides that the 'beamer' was deliberate, the umpire, when the ball is dead, will instruct the captain to immediately remove the bowler from the attack.

Read more about Law 41.7 (Fair and unfair play) at the MCC website