In the terminology of the game of cricket, a beamer (less commonly beam ball) is a type of delivery in which the ball, without bouncing, passes above the batsman's waist height. Such a ball is dangerously close to the batsman's head, due to the lack of control a bowler has over high full tosses. This type of delivery can result in injuries to the batsman, and the penalty for this type of delivery is an immediate no-ball signal given by the umpire. The use of beamers is governed under Law 42.6. The bowler is then given a warning by the umpire for dangerous bowling. Repeated or deliberate cases may result in the bowler being barred from bowling again for the remainder of the innings (or match), as happened with Waqar Younis in the 2003 Cricket World Cup. Bowlers that are known to bowl such deliveries more often than other bowlers, whether deliberately or accidentally, include Brett Lee and Wasim Akram.
Beamers can severely injure a batsman, especially if the batsman's head is struck. Some cricket boards are considering introducing additional penalties in the form of monetary fines for the bowler if any batsman is injured as a result of this delivery.
Bowlers can legally target the batsman with a ball aimed at his head that bounces, called a bouncer. These are much easier to play or avoid than beamers.
Typically a beamer is quite hard to bowl because the ball is usually released very early on in the action. Some excuses given have been that it was an attempted yorker that slipped but this is generally not the case as a yorker is delivered much later in the action.