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Revised ECB Guidelines for Junior Players playing in Open Age Cricket
Saturday 6th February 2010

These guidelines cover the selection and participation of young players in Open Age Cricket.

For the convenience of member clubs a copy of the revised Guidelines for Junior Players playing in Open Age Cricket is attached.

1. The guidelines will allow junior players in Year 8 at school (Under 13 at midnight on 31st August in the year preceding the current season) to play in open age cricket providing 'Explicit Written Consent' to play in open age cricket has been obtained prior to play.  

NB The existing Player Profile dated November 2008 contained in 'Safe Hands' is not sufficient to cover the 'Explicit Written Consent' element as it does not refer specifically to open age cricket. This requirement recognises the need for parents or guardians to be aware of the significance of allowing their young child to participate in open age cricket rather than purely junior cricket. 

2. Any player in Year 7 or below (Under 12 at midnight on 31st August in the year preceding the current season) cannot play in open age cricket with or without explicit written consent.   

Guidance for Clubs and Leagues 

All clubs must recognise that they have a duty of care towards all young players who are 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 following specific requirements apply to young players in open age cricket 

ECB Guidelines for junior players in open age cricket

These guidelines cover the selection and participation of young players in open age cricket. They are designed to help clubs to decide when to select young players in open age cricket and how best to help their cricketing development when they play within open age groups. They apply to boys and girls equally. Age groups are based on the age of the player at midnight on 31st August in the year preceding the current season. 

Section 3 – ECB Guidelines for junior players in open age cricket – December 2009  

1. Making the step up from junior to open age 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 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 the age group of under 13 can play in open age cricket. 

3. ECB Fast Bowling Directives and Fielding Regulations should always be adhered to for junior players in open age cricket. All young players who have not reached their 18th birthday must wear a helmet with a faceguard when batting and either a helmet or faceguard when standing upto the stumps when keeping wicket. A young player acting as a runner must also wear a helmet even if the player they are running for is not doing so. 

4. Any player in the Under 13 age group must have explicit written consent from a parent or guardian before participating in open age cricket. Clubs must ensure that their player registration procedures ensure that consent is obtained. 

5. 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. 

6. 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. 

7. Try and involve them in all aspects of the game wherever possible ie socializing, team talks, practice, decision making etc. so that they feel part of the team. 

8. Children will often feel more comfortable and able to perform if they have a family member or friend also playing in the side. 

9. 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! 

10. Clubs and Leagues can apply more strict restrictions on the participation of young players in open age cricket at their discretion. It is strongly recommended that a parent, guardian or other identified responsible adult is present whenever a player in the Under 13 age group plays open age cricket. This could include the captain or other identified adult player taking responsibility for the young player. 

Paul Bedford: Head of Operations (non first class cricket)
England and Wales Cricket Board
Lord's Cricket Ground, London, NW8 8QZ 
Tel: 020 7432 1216: mobile: 07825 844248: switchboard: 020 7432 1200 
e-mail: Paul.Bedford@ecb.co.uk
web: http://www.ecb.co.uk