The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has devised new Junior Formats for cricket to help children develop at their own pace.
The plans aim to give children a great experience of playing by focussing on games and activities best suited to their age and ability.
The aims of the new formats are to:
- Help cricket thrive in clubs and schools by growing the number of children and young people playing the game
- Give children (and their parents) confidence that they are playing the appropriate formats which will help them develop their cricketing skills
To achieve this, the ECB has made a set of recommendations, including some important changes:
- Fewer players per team allowing players to be more actively involved
- Shorter matches on appropriate length pitches and smaller boundaries
Talking about the formats, Nick Pryde, ECB interim director of participation & growth said: "Last year, more than 59,000 children had a great first experience of our game through All Stars Cricket.
"It is vital that we follow that by continuing to make the game inclusive, fun, and action-packed. We want young people to continue to improve their cricketing skills and, just as importantly, have fun.
"As the recent findings of the Sport England Active Lives Children & Young People Survey showed, enjoyment is the main driver of participation and the new junior formats are based on that principle."
Clare Connor, managing director, Women's Cricket added: "The proposed changes to pitch lengths and formats are the product of research and trialling conducted by the ECB with the game over the past three years.
"Crucially, the most exciting feedback has come from the players themselves who have reported that the new formats increased their enjoyment levels - they had more fun, they felt more included as they were more involved in more of the action, and they felt more confident. As an added bonus, we have seen evidence of improvements in players' skill development with bat and ball."
Coming soon - ECB in partnership with the GMA has created new guidance and a series of ‘how to’ videos on ‘Marking and maintain different lengths pitches for junior cricket’. Created specifically for junior coaches and ground staff, the guidance is designed to help create an outstanding playing experience for children using the new ECB recommended Junior Formats and includes top tips to:
• Mark out appropriate length junior pitches and boundary lengths
• Prepare and maintain different length pitches
• Manage junior games on squares and outfields
• Understand how many junior games can be played on squares and / or match play pitches
First published: www.skysports.com 28 March 2019