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. Put simply, the overall aim is to allow young players to develop in safety, but not to spoil the game for adults. For the avoidance of doubt, this guidance applies to training and nets as well as games, for men's and women's cricket, and for the indoor game.
Making the step up from junior to open age group cricket is an important event in any player’s cricket experience. The player’s safety, personal development needs and overall cricket experience must be considered. Typically at Poulton, the first experience of open age cricket will take place in the friendly environment of a Sunday game where the result is secondary to the enjoyment of every player. It is not a league game.
In terms of our commitment to steps taken for caring for our young players:
ECB Helmets, Fast Bowling Directives and Fielding Regulations will always be adhered to for junior players in Open age group cricket.
The minimum age for Open Age cricket is the under13 age group. Players must be in Year 8, and 12 years old on the 1st September of the preceding year. This applies to all club and district players who are not in a county or area squad (or region in Wales). Written parental consent is required.
Exceptionally, players who are selected in a County U12 squad (or Regional squad in Wales) in spring for a summer squad - are also eligible to play Open age cricket 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.
At under 12 level, the ECB recommends that the focus is on participation rather than Talent I.D, and many counties no longer run under 12 squads. Inclusion of ANY Under 12s in Open Age teams should be an exception and not an expectation.
Poulton Cricket Club takes the ‘duty of care’ obligations we have towards young players in Open Age cricket incredibly seriously. This duty of care is interpreted in two ways:
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.