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Policies: ECB Guidelines for junior players in open age group cricket


Posted by Stuart Rudkin on 06/12/2016 20:54



ECB Guidelines for Junior Players in Open Age Group Cricket

The Club has adopted ECB guidance covering the selection and participation of young players in open age group cricket.  It is designed to help clubs to decide when to select young players in open age group cricket and how best to help their cricketing development when they play within open age groups. It should be read in conjunction with the ECB Clarification Statement on ECB Guidelines for Junior Players in Open Age Group Cricket.

  1. Making the step up from junior to open age group cricket is a significant event in any player’s cricket experience. Ensure that the player’s safety, personal development needs and overall cricket experience are considered.
  2. There is no definitive age at which they should be introduced to open age group cricket but determine each case on an individual basis dependent on their ability and stage of cognitive and emotional maturity to take part at this level, taking into account the requirement that no Junior Cricketers younger than under 13 age group can play in open age group cricket.
  3. ECB Fast Bowling Directives and Fielding Regulations should always be adhered to for junior players in open age group cricket.
  4. Provide an opportunity for players to show their talents in an appropriate way. Children who are just used as fielders will not fully experience the game.
  5. Be supportive at all times for all forms of effort even when children are not successful. Try and put them in situations where they will experience some success (however small) and ensure plenty of praise and encouragement.
  6. Try and involve them in all aspects of the game wherever possible i.e. socializing, team talks, practice, decision making etc. so that they feel part of the team.
  7. Children will often feel more comfortable and able to perform if they have a family member or friend also playing in the side.
  8. Remember, children’s early experiences will remain with them always and will often determine whether they want to remain playing the game or give up and do something else!​

ECB Clarification Statement for Junior Players in Open Age Group Cricket

The intention of the merger of previous guidance documents was to clarify this area for clubs and leagues to assist them with planning and fulfilling fixtures.

As specified in the guidelines below, the Club has a duty of care towards all young players aged under 18 representing the Club. This duty of care also extends to leagues that allow the participation of young players in open age groups in their league. The duty of care should be interpreted in two ways:

  • Not to place a young player in a position that involves an unreasonable risk to that young player, taking account of the circumstances of the match and the relative skills of the player.
  • Not to create a situation that places members of the opposing side in a position whereby they cannot play cricket as they would normally do against adult players.

In addition the guidelines note the need for clubs and leagues to recognise the positive experience that young players should have in open age cricket and thus clubs should provide an opportunity for players to show their talents in an appropriate way. Children who are just used as fielders will not fully experience the game.

The guidelines are designed to help clubs to decide when to select young players in open age competitive cricket and how best to help their cricketing development when they play within open age groups. For example:

  • Under 12 age group players* and younger shall not play in open age competitive cricket.
  • Under 13 age group players* can play in open age group competitive cricket, (i.e. players aged 12 and over) if considered by a qualified Level 2 coach or above that it is appropriate for their development.
  • Under 13 age group players* will need prior explicit written parental consent to play as this recognises the need for parents or guardians to be aware of the significance of allowing their young child to participate in open age competitive cricket rather than purely junior cricket.
  • Over 13 age group players* are free to play open age cricket.

*Junior cricket age groups are set by the age of the player on the 31st August preceding the season of play.