Age 4 – 8
The youngest 50 members, up to the age of 8, joined in 2017 as a result of a major new initiative by the ECB, All Stars Cricket which was aimed at introducing youngsters to cricket at the earliest possible age. The ECB describes All Stars Cricket, which is played with soft balls, as “a great first experience in cricket” for youngsters. Last summer the prime objective which our team of coaches worked towards was to ensure all the youngsters had fun and wanted to keep coming. Consistent feedback from parents and youngsters alike suggests we were successful in achieving that objective. Visit the ECB SCC All Stars Page here.
Watch England cricketer Stuart Broad delivering the complimentary kit bag to one lucky All Star:
Coaching for our Under 9 to Under 13 groups is based on preparation for playing competitive cricket and has a more technical flavour than All Stars. Youngsters who have experienced All Stars will eventually want to move on to the Under 9s group, which also uses soft balls. Only the individual young cricketer will know when that time has arrived. Decisions between All Stars and Under 9 cricket aren’t about age.
Young cricketers are invited to move into the Under 11 group when they are confident enough to play with a hard cricket ball. The Under 11 group play in a formal League on Sunday mornings. The Under 11s team is encouraged to play competitively but it is more important that all members of the team gain experience, than it is to win the match.
This is the last age group before youngsters become eligible to play all-age cricket with adults. Coaching, therefore, becomes progressively more focused on a match environment and the Sunday League matches start to resemble all-age cricket more closely.
After Under 13s
The Club’s main priority for any of our young cricketers, once they are eligible (under ECB rules) to play adult cricket, is to provide coaching which is focused on the challenges of transition to adult cricket. The first year in which youngsters are eligible is school Year 8, the last year the youngster is in the Under 13s group.
Speldhurst Cricket Club has three different groups in transition:
- The youngsters who would still be eligible to play Under 13 cricket, i.e. school Year 8.
- Youngsters who are too old to play Under 13 cricket but have not yet taken/had the opportunity to be wholly comfortable playing adult cricket.
- Parents of our young cricketers who are keen to revive dormant cricketing careers of varying competence.
We have integrated plans to help all these groups in transition. There are three strands to the plans:
- On a Friday night, members of all the above groups will be invited to play in practice matches on the square in as close as we can get to a match environment. At the same time, batsmen can practice against our brand new bowling machine, in the brand new outdoor net facilities.
- On Sunday afternoons until the end of May, the above session will be replicated but over 2-3 hours at times which fit in with the attendees’ other commitments. We will not be planning to play any Sunday adult cricket against other clubs in this period.
- From the start of June to the end of September the only competitive adult Sunday cricket will be jointly hosted with Groombridge. Both clubs will provide 5/6 players and we will select our members of these teams with a view to the development of those players, not on the result of the match. Groombridge CC is aware of our plans.
Head of Junior Cricket