The family backyard cricket battles between Cassandra Koppen and her younger brother Bronson were fierce.
With the trampoline as wicketkeeper and family dog in the field, the competition raged from what team and which player they were to who batted first.
Until now, it was the only form of cricket Koppen was able to pursue.
The 35-year-old Queenslander is part of Merewether District Cricket Club's first women's side. They will play in the Newcastle District Cricket Association Women's T20 League and face inaugural champions Newcastle City when the second instalment of the competition begins on Wednesday.
While Merewether play City at Carrington's Connolly Park, Waratah-Mayfield and Wests face off at Jesmond Park. A fifth team, to be known as the NDCA XI will have the bye. Organisers are hopeful a Lake Macquarie XI will join the competition in round two. Four teams played when the league was introduced last summer.
"My brother was a rep cricketer for a while and played schoolboys, so I was almost forced to train him in the backyard," Koppen joked.
"I don't recall cricket even being an option at school for me. I was always a massive cricket fan. It was a big thing in our family. We'd always sit down and watch the summer Tests and I had idols like Shane Warne and Steve Waugh and Ricky Ponting moreso than any female athletes in my life.
"It's exciting to be able to jump into a sport that I've always watched from afar and never had the opportunity to play. It's a really good opportunity to help develop the sport locally as well."
Koppen grew up in Cairns as a sporting all-rounder. She played representative softball, netball and soccer and was in the Newcastle Jets' 2011-12 W-League squad.
But two horrific knee injuries sustained wakeboarding then water skiing on separate occasions followed by a failed surgery left her with chronic pain, knee instability and cut short Koppen's soccer career.
She is still able to play softball and is one of five Newcastle open representatives in the Merewether side.
"I think our throwing and catching skills should be pretty good, it's just getting used to a different ball," Koppen said.
"It's great to part of a team and cricket has brought a lot of different backgrounds together."
The Lions also include Super W player and former Wallaroo Brooke Saunders.
They will be captained by Aimee Slocombe. Slocombe grew up playing indoor cricket and school cricket in Darwin but stopped at the age of 12 when there were no further options to continue.
"The main demographic that we've attracted to the club, interestingly, are women who've played previously at school and then haven't had the opportunity since, so we've got the 28-plus bracket with a handful of juniors," Slocombe said.
"They've all come from sporting backgrounds which has certainly helped them pick up the skills really quickly and those sorts of people, who have got a lot of experience in just competition sports, bring a lot to the team even if they haven't played cricket before.
"But everyone's played backyard cricket or schoolyard cricket in one form or another."
The now 31-year-old picked up the sport again four years ago when she moved to Canberra. Slocombe played three seasons of women's grade cricket in the ACT with North Canberra Gungahlin Cricket Club, is in the RAAF XI women's cricket team and previously made the Australian Defence Force XI.
The left-handed bat and right-arm medium pace bowler will spearhead Merewether's maiden campaign.
"It's exciting because it's a new competition that's still establishing itself," she said. "There's no shortage of players who want to play cricket in Newcastle and the Hunter area and it's just exciting to be part of that growth.
"I want to help establish a good team culture at Merewether. We've really been embraced by the club. The entire committee has got behind us. At training, everyone is helping and making sure the girls are getting the opportunity to learn.
"I just want to be part of that and to create a good team environment where anyone can come along and try without fear of failure and have fun."
Merewether president Dave Stanbridge said having a women's team was an exciting milestone for the club.
"We missed the boat last year due to a lack of time but we're really happy to have the girls on board and they've been great," he said.
"As a club we've cancelled training so all the boys can go and watch them."
Round-one games on Wednesday start at 5pm.
There will be three rounds before Christmas and the competition will resume in the new year with finals likely to be played in February.