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Juniors in Adult Cricket

Posted by Michael Cregan on 04/02/2014 21:13

The ECB has issued guidance covering the selection and participation of young players in

open age group cricket. This is to help clubs 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. The guidance applies to boys and girls. The ECB keeps these guidelines under

review and, following feedback from clubs and leagues, has revised these guidelines for the

2014 season. The ECB will continue to monitor the impact of these guidelines and you are

invited to feedback your thoughts and comments in writing to the ECB Non-First Class Cricket



The guidance is as follows:-


•  Making the step up from junior to open age group cricket is a significant event in any player’s

cricket experience. Ensure the player’s safety, personal development needs and overall cricket

experience are considered

•  Clubs, squad coaches and managers must take into account the requirements on age

detailed in this guidance.

•  Each case is to be determined on an individual basis, depending on the player’s ability and

stage of cognitive and emotional maturity to take part at this level – however, the minimum age

guidance provided below must be adhered to.

•  Juniors should be involved in all aspects of the game wherever possible i.e. socialising, team talks,

practice, decision making and so on, so they feel part of the team.

•  Children will often feel more comfortable and able to perform if they have a family member or

friend also playing in the side

•  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

•  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

•  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

•  The captain should inform the Umpires of under 18s in the side.


ECB Helmets, Fast Bowling Directives and Fielding Regulations should always be adhered to

for junior players in Open age group cricket

Minimum age

Players who are selected in a County U12 squad in spring for a summer squad or in another

squad deemed by ECB Performance Managers to be of a standard above ‘district level’ for that

season are eligible to play Open age cricket.  This is providing they are at least 11 years old, are in

School Year 7 on 1st September  in the year preceding the season, and have written parental consent

to play. In allowing these players to play in open age cricket it is essential clubs and coaches

recognise the ‘duty of care’ obligations they have towards these young players. This means boys

and girls who are county squad and area squad players, are able to play open age group cricket if

they are in an U12 age group and are a minimum of 11 years old on 1st September of the year

preceding the season.  District and club players who are not in a county or area squad must wait

until they reach the U13 age group, be in Year 8 and be 12 years old on 1st September of the

preceding year before being able to play in any open age group cricket. As before written parental

consent is required for these players.

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

young players should have in open age cricket. Clubs should provide an opportunity for players to

show their talents in an appropriate way.