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Youth Age Group Pitch Lengths & Boundaries

By Neville Wallace

Following the success of other sports The ECB has clarified the lengths of pitches across Junior cricket that will be played in Berkshire.

Following the success of other sports such as netball, football and rugby, cricket has looked at clarifying the lengths of pitches across Junior cricket to provide the best outcome for players’ level of enjoyment, engagement and personal development.
The ECB has done extensive research over the last 3 years on this and has run trials with respective counties and ECB county age groups. The Feedback from this research and trials showed that there were a vast amount of benefits both for players and for the game from playing different formats and off shorter wicket and boundary lengths.

The ECB have published recommended wicket and boundary lengths, plus proposed age group formats to be played both at club and county level. Berkshire Cricket along with multiple of other counties will be adopting these recommendations and will look to implement this in School and Club competitions / leagues as well as when playing against other county in the performance cricket programs. Performance Environments are defined as cricket played above club or school i.e. district, region, area or County Age Group.

Proposed Formats

Age and TypeTeam Size Pitch Length Max Boundary Size Game Length (Clubs & Schools) Game Length (Performance)
Boys U9 – Soft Ball 6 15 Yards 30m 12 Overs per innings N/A
Boys U10 – Soft ball 8 17 Yards 35m 16 Overs per innings N/A
Boys U10 – 135g Hard ball Up to 11 17 Yards 40m 16 Overs per innings 20 Overs Per innings
Boys U11 – Soft ball 8 17 Yards 35m 16 Overs per innings N/A
Boys U11 – 135g Hard ball Up to 11 17 Yards 40m 16 Overs per innings 20 Overs Per innings
Boys U12 – 135g Hard ball Up to 11 18 Yards 50m 20 Overs per innings 40 Overs Per innings
Boys U13 – 135g Hard ball Up to 11 19 Yards 50m 20 Overs per innings 40 Overs Per innings
Boys U14 Performance only (142g Hard ball) Up to 11 21 Yards 55m N/A Variety of Cricket
Boys U15 – 156g Hard Ball Up to 11 22 Yards 55m 20 Overs per innings Variety of Cricket
Boys U17 – 156g Hard Ball 11 22 Yards 60m 20 Overs per innings Variety of Cricket


Age and TypeTeam Size Pitch Length Max Boundary Size Game Length (Clubs & Schools) Game Length (Performance)
Girls U9 – Soft Ball 6 15 Yards 30m 12 Overs per innings N/A
Girls U10 – Soft ball 8 17 Yards 35m 16 Overs per innings N/A
Girls U10 – 135g Hard ball Up to 11 17 Yards 40m 16 Overs per innings N/A
Girls U11 – Soft ball 8 17 Yards 35m 16 Overs per innings N/A
Girls U11 – 135g Hard ball Up to 11 17 Yards 40m 16 Overs per innings Variety of Cricket
Girls U12 – 135g Hard ball Up to 11 18 Yards 45m 20 Overs per innings N/A
Girls U13 – 135g Hard ball Up to 11 19 Yards 45m 20 Overs per innings Variety of Cricket
Girls U14 – 142g Hard Ball Up to 11 20 Yards 50m 20 Overs per innings N/A
Girls U15 – 142g Hard Ball Up to 11 20 Yards 50m20 Overs per innings Variety of Cricket
Girls U17 – 142g Hard Ball 11 22 Yards 55m 20 Overs per innings Variety of Cricket

In the meantime, the suggested playing conditions for the Under 9’s and Under 11’s Softball formats is to use the outfield as the playing area. With the hard ball competitions, on pitch which can’t be marked out at 16 or 17 yards or there is no non-turf pitch available, a suggestion is that the batting is done at one end for a whole innings. In this instance, the bowler’s end marked by plastic/spring stumps and cones, which can be switched between innings.

Another noteworthy point is that these recommendations do allow coaches and officials to be proactive in games to help create an enjoyable environment for all participants. This may include the need for more developed players to bowl using the front line of the bowling crease rather than the popping crease, as one example. The key is that we look at developing the right environment for the 95% of players rather than the 1 or 2%.

It is appreciated that this could present a big change in how cricket is delivered to juniors, but we feel that with the research and pilots undertaken so far and the need for clarity on length of pitches around the county shows the need for change. We believe that this is positive progression for the game as we all work together to make Berkshire the number one homegrown county to ‘Excite, Engage and Enhance Clubs, players and volunteers.

If you have any questions or observations, then please feel free to contact myself or others from Berkshire Cricket in the Community or Performance team who will be happy to help answer any queries you may have.

We thank you for all your hard work and support for the game and look forward to working with you all in what should be an exciting year ahead.

Regards

Neville Wallace

Berkshire Cricket Youth Performance Pathway Administrator & Women and Girls Performance Manager

Updated 17:10 - 6 Feb 2019 by Neville Wallace

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