Spencer Cricket Club

Player safety

Directive on Fast Bowling

  • Age Max. overs per spell Max. overs per day
  • Up to 13 4 overs per spell 8 overs per day
  • U14, U15 5 overs per spell 10 overs per day
  • U16, U17 6 overs per spell 18 overs per day
  • U18, U19 7 overs per spell 21 overs per day

For the purposes of these Directives a fast bowler is defined as a bowler to whom a wicket keeper in the same age group would in normal circumstances stand back to take the ball.

Having completed a spell the bowler cannot bowl again, from either end, until the equivalent number of overs to the length of his/her spell have been bowled from the same end. A bowler can change ends without ending his current spell provided that he bowls the next over that he legally can from the other end. If this does not happen his spell is deemed to be concluded.

If play is interrupted, for any reason, for less than 40 minutes any spell in progress at the time of the interruption can be continued after the interruption up to the maximum number of overs per spell for the appropriate age group. If the spell is not continued after the interruption the bowler cannot bowl again, from either end, until the equivalent number of overs to the length of his spell before the interruption have been bowled from the same end. If the interruption is of 40 minutes or more, whether scheduled or not, the bowler can commence a new spell immediately.

Once a bowler covered by these Directives has bowled in a match he cannot exceed the maximum number overs per day for his age group even if he subsequently bowls spin. He can exceed the maximum overs per spell if bowling spin, but cannot then revert to bowling fast until an equivalent number of overs to the length of his spell have been bowled from the same end. If he bowls spin without exceeding the maximum number of overs in a spell the maximum will apply as soon as he reverts to bowling fast.

Captains, Team Managers and umpires are asked to ensure that these Directives are followed at all times.

Age groups are based on the age of the player at midnight on 31st August in the year preceding the current season.

Directive for Fielding Regulations

The ECB has regulations covering the minimum fielding distances for young players in all matches where a hard ball is used.

No young player in the Under 15 age group or younger shall be allowed to field closer than 8 yards (7.3 metres) from the middle stump, except behind the wicket on the off side, until the batsman has played at the ball.

For players in the Under 13 age group and below the distance is 11 yards (10 metres).

These minimum distances apply even if the player is wearing a helmet.

Should a young player in these age groups come within the restricted distance the umpire must stop the game immediately and instruct the fielder to move back.

In addition any young player in the Under 16 to Under 18 age groups, who has not reached the age of 18, must wear a helmet and, for boys, an abdominal protector (box) when fielding within 6 yards (5.5 metres) of the bat, except behind the wicket on the off side. Players should wear appropriate protective equipment whenever they are fielding in a position where they feel at risk.

These fielding regulations are applicable to all cricket in England and Wales.

Age groups are based on the age of the player at midnight on 31st August in the year preceding the current season.

Directive for Helmets

In February 2000 the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) issued safety guidance on the wearing of helmets by young players up to the age of 18. This original guidance document can be found at www.play-cricket.com/helmets.

In brief, the guidance recommends that:

With the assistance of schools, cricket clubs and leagues, the wearing of helmets by young players is now standard practice in cricket throughout England and Wales. Helmets are widely available and are covered by a British Standard (BS7928:1998).

The original guidance allowed parents or guardians to give their written consent to allow a young player not to wear a helmet. However most clubs, schools and leagues including Spencer CC have decided not to accept this parental consent and require all young players to wear a helmet in all junior matches. If a club or school does agree, in exceptional circumstances1, that a young player need not wear a helmet they must ensure that an ECB Team Card is completed and given to the umpires before the start of play whenever the young player takes part in a junior match.

At the beginning of 2007 the ECB clarified the guidance relating to young players in adult matches and confirmed that all young players who have not reached their 18th birthday must wear a helmet with a faceguard when batting and when standing up to the stumps when keeping wicket in adult matches. Parental consent not to wear a helmet should not be accepted in adult cricket.

This guidance applies to all players up to the age of 18, both in adult cricket and in all junior cricket played with a hard cricket ball. The guidance also applies during all practice sessions. Any individual taking responsibility for players should take all reasonable steps to ensure that this guidance is followed at all times.

  • helmets with a faceguard or grille should be worn when batting against a hard cricket ball in matches and in practice sessions
  • young players should regard a helmet with a faceguard as a normal item of protective equipment when batting, together with pads, gloves and, for boys, an abdominal protector (box)
  • young wicket-keepers should wear a helmet with a faceguard when standing up to the stumps.

Directive for Junior Cricketers playing in Adult Cricket

The ECB has issued the following guidance covering the participation of young cricketers in adult matches. This guidance applies to boys and girls and any reference to he/his should be interpreted to include she/her. Age groups are based on the age of the player at midnight on 31st August in the year preceding the current season.

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 adult teams 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 adult matches:

All young players who have not reached their 18th birthday must wear a helmet with a faceguard when batting and when standing up to the stumps when keeping wicket. Parental consent not to wear a helmet should not be accepted in adult matches. A young player acting as a runner must also wear a helmet even if the player he is running for is not doing so.

The current ECB fielding regulations must be adhered to and enforced by the umpires and captain. The umpires are empowered by these fielding regulations to stop the game immediately if a young player comes within the restricted distance.

The umpires and the opposing captain must be notified of the age group of all players participating in an adult match who are in the Under 19 age group or younger even if the player is not a fast bowler. This requirement also covers any young player taking the field as a substitute fielder. The ECB Team Sheet cards are freely available to facilitate this.

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

The guidance related to changing and showering (see ‘Safe Hands’ – Cricket’s Policy for Safeguarding Young People) must be adhered to.

Any club wishing to play a player in the Under 11 age group in an adult League or Cup match must obtain the explicit prior approval of the League or Cup management before the player can play. Approval should only be given to exceptionally talented players. It is recommended that advice is sought from the County Age Group Coach or other ECB Level 3 coach as appropriate.

Clubs and Leagues can apply more strict restrictions on the participation of young players in adult matches 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 or younger plays in an adult match. This could include the captain or other identified adult player taking responsibility for the young player.

This guidance applies to all cricket in England and Wales from the beginning of the 2007 season.

1 Additional guidance on what constitutes ‘exceptional circumstances’ can be obtained from the ECB Cricket Department.

Our sponsors