New Junior Cricket Formats in Sydney and NSW
Following the successful nationwide Junior Formats Pilot program, Cricket Australia has announced a raft of changes to junior cricket formats for ages 9 to 13 years. Beginning in the 2017/18 cricket season, local cricket associations in Sydney and NSW will be rolling out changes to pitch lengths, the number of players on the field as well as boundary sizes.
The changes are informed by data analysis conducted by Dr Ian Renshaw a senior lecturer of the Queensland University of Technology and Professor Damian Farrow from Victoria University. Both academics believe that the changes to junior cricket formats will ensure kids will be provided with the opportunity to perform at the best of their ability and therefore will be more likely to play into the long term.
What Are The Changes To Junior Cricket Formats?
The first change to junior cricket formats is the classification of junior cricketers. Continuing on from previous seasons, the Milo in2 Cricket program is designed for under 7’s and the Milo T20 Blast caters for under 9’s. However, starting 2017/18, under 11’s will be classified as stage 1 cricketers, under 13’s will be labelled as stage 2 cricketers and cricketers between the ages of 14 and 19 will be identified as stage 3 cricketers.
On top of this, there are a series of changes to pitch length, boundary size, ball type and the number of overs to be played in each innings. Below is a summary of the changes to junior cricket formats.
Why Have Junior Cricket Formats Changed?
The origin of the changes to junior cricket formats this season is the result of the Junior Formats Pilot program which took place across Australia in the 2016/17 cricket season. Cricket Australia, States & Territories partnered with 15 associations to do this and the result was that 640 teams played 6261 innings of cricket under the new rules. It appears that the results from this program underpin the changes to junior cricket formats.
Cricket Australia has released a series of media releases to inform parents and coaches of junior cricketers why the changes to junior cricket formats will be implemented. Going by these media releases, there appear to be four key reasons behind the changes to junior cricket formats:
- More action meaning more fun – according to the results of the Junior Format Pilot, there were 66% more boundaries struck, a 35% reduction in the number of balls called wide or no ball, and a 43% increase in runs scored off the bat. This data coincided with the survey result that 87% of junior cricketers enjoyed cricket more when taking part in the pilot program.
- Less time and therefore more parent involvement – with reductions in the number of overs played, reduction in the time taken to get overs bowled because of smaller pitches and boundaries, 74% of clubs who participated in the Junior Format Pilot agreed with the shorter game time.
- Better cricketing skills – with a 53% rise in balls bowled on a good length and a 13% in the number of balls hit by batsmen, 76% of parents believed that their kids had developed their skills throughout the program.
- The cricketing community valued the Pilot Junior Format – the reduction in the number of overs played and in the duration of matches, brought upon by the pilot program, produced evidence to suggest that more parents were volunteering their time and willing to stick around to watch their kids play cricket.
Skills Scorecards – Using A Criteria To Measure Performance
To enable junior cricket coaches and parents to make informed judgements on the progression of junior cricketers, Cricket Australia has developed a set of skills scorecards. These scorecards are similar to a set of outcomes or benchmarks that children are assessed on in the classroom by their school teachers.
Cricket Australia believe that by providing coaches and parents with these skills scorecards, players can become aware of a set of skills they should be aiming to attain. The scorecards will serve as a valuable form of feedback to players so they can determine where their game is currently at and what cricketing skills they need to continue to work on to achieve their personal best. It is recommended that the junior scorecards are used throughout and towards to the end of the 2017/18 junior cricket season.
- The stage 1 (under 10 and under 11) junior cricket scorecard can be viewed by clicking here.
- The stage 2 (under 12 and under 13) junior cricket scorecard can be viewed by clicking here.
- The stage 3 (under 14 to under 19) junior cricket scorecard can be viewed by clicking here.
Where Can I Find More Information?
More information about the changes to junior cricket formats can be found by researching your child’s local cricket association website or by visiting the Cricket Australia website dedicated to junior cricket by clicking here.
Sydney and NSW Cricket Camps – Enrol Today
Super Sports Camps stage Sydney and NSW Cricket Camps every school holidays for boys and girls of all abilities aged 6-16 years. To check out the dates and locations of our Cricket Camps taking place during the 2017/18 cricket season, go ahead and visit our Cricket Camp page by clicking here.