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Thread: ECB Fast Bowling directives

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    ECB Fast Bowling directives

    After playing today and seeing the daftness of these regulations and whether similar ones apply in other countries. I played today and our 15 year old opening bowler was just getting into a decent spell and building up some rythum when after 6 overs he has to stop bowling. Now I can see the theory as to why they've been introduced but they make no sense. A 17 year old Yorkshire bowler, (Tim Bresnan, Neil informs me). Anyway during a NCL game he actually was able to forgo the ruling and bowl a straight 9 over spell. Now the ruling was brought in initially because so many English fast bowlers were getting injured, due they thought to overbowling at a young age. Now without any offence to village bowlers everywhere i think theres more chance of someone representing Yorkshire at 17 than someone playing village cricket, at a not that high standard. Which begs the question why are they implace?surely youngsters are the fittest players in the team and stopping them bowling will only make them less keen in the game and go off to find there footballs again.what are everyone elses experiences of the ruling and like do they exist in other countries?

  2. #2
    Eyes not spreadsheets marc71178's Avatar
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    I would've thought the 17 year old would be training a lot more than the 15 year old, so more able to stand up to the spell.
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  3. #3
    Cricket Web Staff Member / Global Moderator Neil Pickup's Avatar
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    Right, this is off the ECB CA website

    Turns out the directives actually include practice sessions as well...

    NB - Long Post - 136 more characters (it's 9864) and it would have exceeded the size limit!

    FAST BOWLING DIRECTIVES 2003

    The fast bowling Directives are designed to raise awareness of the need to nurture and protect our young fast bowlers through their formative years, and have been warmly welcomed by a significant number of coaches and managers. Statistics clearly show that fast bowlers regularly win International matches, and if England is to achieve the vision of becoming the most successful and respected cricket nation, we must make every effort to produce bowlers to reach the goal.

    I would like to thank those involved in the development of talented fast bowlers for their observations and constructive feedback regarding the initiative. Most of the concerns surrounded the policing of the regulations and the legal implications. The process of monitoring the Directives was always likely to be a challenge, but as coaches we should consider the welfare of the individuals under our supervision, the regulations are designed to minimise the possibility of injury. The more coaches, managers, captains, players, umpires and parents we can enroll in the principles, the more chance we have of successfully implementing the proposals. As regards the legal implications, in an age of increasing litigation coaches should ensure they are fully insured. Compliance with the Directives will reduce any chance of legal action.

    The regulations are specifically aimed at the long term development of fast bowlers from the play ground to the 'Test' arena, so it would be unfair to claim a significant impact upon injury prevention after three seasons, however, one County which followed the Directives closely reported no incidents of spinal injury to their fast bowlers in Junior squads in 2001, after several years of chronic back complaints.

    The Directives will again relate to all competitions under the auspices of the ECB at Under 19 level and below as well as all Premier League matches. It should be emphasised that the age of the player is the key criteria, and not the level of cricket being played. The restrictions will be reviewed annually, and the Directives are unchanged for the 2003 season.

    I look forward to your continued support of this initiative, and your contributions to the development of talented young fast bowlers.



    Hugh Morris
    Performance Director
    England & Wales Cricket Board
    April 2003


    INJURY PREVENTION FOR FAST BOWLERS

    These directives apply to girls and boys, and any reference to he/his should be interpreted to include she/her.

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

    All coaches are urged to identify those players with the potential to bowl fast and to insure they follow the Directives in all cricket throughout the season.

    There are four main areas to be aware of when assessing injury risk to fast bowlers:

    1. Overbowling 2. Technique
    3. Physical Preparation 4. Equipment

    1. OVERBOWLING:

    This is an important consideration especially for young bowlers whose bodies are not fully developed. Recent studies have revealed that overbowling is the most common cause of back injuries in this country. Evidence suggest that much of the damage occurs early in the playing career, and especially during growth spurts, though the effects do not often show themselves until the late teens. The more talented and more physically mature youngsters are generally most at risk, as they tend to play at more than one age group level.

    To ensure that young fast bowlers do not place undue stress on their bodies, every attempt must be made to keep the amount of bowling within reasonable limits. The following Directives provide sensible playing and training levels.

    DIRECTIVES FOR MATCHES:

    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

    DIRECTIVES FOR PRACTICE SESSIONS:

    AGE: MAX BALLS PER SESSION MAX SESSIONS PER WEEK
    Up to 13 30 balls per session 2 sessions per week
    U14, U15 36 balls per session 2 sessions per week
    U16, U17 36 balls per session 3 sessions per week
    U18, U19 42 balls per session 3 sessions per week

    These figures are based on players bowling in no more than 3 matches or practice session per week for age groups up to and including U15, and 4 matches or practice sessions per week for age groups up to and including U19. Players can play in other matches provided they do not bowl.




    Having completed a spell the bowler cannot bowl again, from either end, until the equivalent number of overs to the length of his 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 he 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.

    NETS:

    Outdoor:
    The emphasis on all nets should be quality rather than quantity. These Directives will encourage young fast bowlers to focus their efforts on shorter, more intensive spells. Consequently young fast bowlers should be made aware of the importance of warming up and warming down as part of their preparation.

    Indoor:
    In the period between the end of the cricket season and Christmas, indoor practise for fast bowlers should be kept to an ABSOLUTE MINIMUM. The following highlights the risk of playing/practising on hard surfaces such as solid concrete and shows how these forces can be reduced by using appropriate mats or indeed by practising on grass. Concrete offers 0% force absorption whereas grass can offer up to 75%. The 34% offered by natural turf was measured at Trent Bridge on a rock hard Test Match pitch. These figures have major implications for limiting indoor work in the Winter, particularly for seamers, and for ensuring that length and intensity of sessions are considered when working on the harder surfaces.

    Force Absorption and Surfaces:

    Concrete: 0% force reduction
    Uniturf on concrete: 7% force reduction
    Uniturf + mat: 15% force reduction
    Uniturf + 2 mats: 31% force reduction
    Natural turf: 34% force reduction
    Synthetic + underlay: 49% force reduction.



    2. TECHNIQUE:

    It is crucial that bowlers are encouraged to adopt a safe action early in their development. Bowlers should either have a SIDE-ON, a FRONT-ON or a 'MIDWAY/NEUTRAL' action, but SHOULD NEVER MIX THE ACTIONS. The mixed actions (of which there are two main types) are a major cause of back injuries, because they cause an unnecessary spinal twist. Excessive hyperextension of the back during the delivery stride is also a contributing factor.

    For further clarification of mixed actions consult the 'Rover Cricket Coaches Manual' pages 3.9-22, or an appropriately qualified cricket coach.

    3. PHYSICAL PREPARATION:

    A well structured, cricket specific training programme is essential to develop and maintain the strength, endurance and flexibility required for fast bowling. It is one of the most injury-liable non-contact activities in sport and the need for the fast bowlers to be amongst the fittest and best prepared players in the team cannot be over emphasised. Bowlers should WARM UP and STRETCH thoroughly before bowling and training, and should WARM DOWN and STRETCH afterwards. A good warm up helps to encourage a more professional approach, helps team spirit and can actually improve performance. It also helps to reduce the chance of an injury occurring.

    4. EQUIPMENT:

    Impact forces of up to 8 times body weight can be experienced during the delivery stride. Without the appropriate footwear, these forces must be absorbed y the feet, ankles, knees and lower back of the bowler. It is therefore essential that bowlers minimise these effects by absorbing them with the use of efficient, well-fitting, cushioned boots or shoes and if required, absorbent insoles. The use of running shoes, basketball-type boots or good cross trains is also essential as they are designed to cope with the types of forces experienced when bowling on hard surfaces.

    The year starting date of midnight on the previous 31st August is assumed throughout these Directives.

    More information regarding these Directives can be found in the ECB's Coach's Manual.

    Copies of these Directives and ECB Coach's Manuals are available by calling ECB Publications on 0113 263 4844.
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  4. #4
    Cricket Web Staff Member / Global Moderator Neil Pickup's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Neil Pickup
    The Directives will again relate to all competitions under the auspices of the ECB at Under 19 level and below as well as all Premier League matches. It should be emphasised that the age of the player is the key criteria, and not the level of cricket being played.
    Sorry to quote myself, but this shows that the Tim Bresnan case is actually within the directives, and highlights their inadequacies that they cease to apply once you're at the top level.

    Whilst Tim Bresnan may be fitter than Andy Dunn, he's bowling considerably more than a directive that is there to supposedly protect all young bowlers, after all "the more talented and more physically mature youngsters are generally most at risk, as they tend to play at more than one age group level".


  5. #5
    Soutie Langeveldt's Avatar
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    I remember having to bowl a spell of 6 and then come back for 2 overs (I am a legspinner as well)

    Cant for the life of me think how this rule benifits someone, it is obvious when a young pace bowler is tired and acheing, it should be left to the captains discretion when to take him off....
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  6. #6
    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Top_Cat's Avatar
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    Up until you are 21, your body is still developing. The problems of building up muscle in areas before your body is structurally ready to handle the extra muscle is don't happen until later in life, but not much later in some instances. There's also the added problem of different rates of development in various body areas. For example, the musculo-skeletal system on one side of your back maybe develop earlier than the other. You'll train and your muscles will adjust for this. Then you grow and your muscles affect this growth, sometimes causing bones and ligments to grow incorrectly and/or in the wrong shape. his is but one example of what can and DOES happen to your athletes and cricketers, particularly fast bowlers, are the same. Bowling fast for too much at a young age can cause stress fractures by virtue of the fact that your physiological age doesn't match your real age, regardless of technique too.

    The facts remain that no-one under 21 has fully developed. Either some parts have gone ahead of others or some have lagged behind. This DOES cause problems if the players train and play too much. It really is as simple as that.

    In my opinion, no-one under the age of 21 should be able to touch anything heavier than toning weights and these directives are spot-on the mark as well I think. It's not an issue of fitness or burnout at all. It's an issue of musculo-skeletal development and if restricting these kids from bowling means that they can play at their peak longer and also help them when they get older, I'm all for it. I know far too many mates of mine who were potentially great sportsmen but because they were onto the weights and heavy training before they fully developed, they're not in real trouble phsiologically speaking. Stress fractures in backs and feet, regular ligament damage, knee recontructions etc. they're all part-and-parcel of boys who had too much, too young.

    Sure you can only bowl 6-over spells. So what? If you make it higher, when you pass the age limit, there will be plenty of times to bowl long, hot 10+ over spells to come!
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    Cricket Web Staff Member / Global Moderator Neil Pickup's Avatar
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    I can see what you're saying there, Corey.

    But I can't see any logic in the directives stopping applying once you play First Class...

  8. #8
    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Top_Cat's Avatar
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    But I can't see any logic in the directives stopping applying once you play First Class...
    Well, logically speaking, you are absolutely right. But try telling a FC team that they can only bowl their new fast bowling talent for 6 overs at a time. If they were to do it, it would certainly bias selection chances for someone like Bresnan. Besides, he IS the exception rather than the rule and for most youngsters, this situation just would not apply so I guess it shows just how hard it is for a rule to apply evenly to everyone.

    Of course, his county would have to be conscious of his long-term health (I mean, if he is THAT good they would want to look after him to ensure they get the best out of him), they would not bowl him too often anyway.

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    Eyes not spreadsheets marc71178's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Top_Cat
    Of course, his county would have to be conscious of his long-term health (I mean, if he is THAT good they would want to look after him to ensure they get the best out of him), they would not bowl him too often anyway.
    The ironic thing is that if he is THAT good then the'll only be saving him for England!

  10. #10
    Eyes not spreadsheets marc71178's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Top_Cat
    Of course, his county would have to be conscious of his long-term health (I mean, if he is THAT good they would want to look after him to ensure they get the best out of him), they would not bowl him too often anyway.
    The ironic thing is that if he is THAT good then they'll only be saving him for England!

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    Soutie Langeveldt's Avatar
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    Yesterday we had a really nasty match, because I got made to come off after 7 overs (yep, Im eighteen!), but when the opposition bowled, they had a 16 year old who bowled an 8 over spell..

    When I batted and we complained to their captain about it, he told us to "forget what the tossers at Lord's tell us" and carried on bowling the guy, right through..

    What followed was a pretty nasty lot of finger wagging when our captain came out... And the whole game fell apart because we essentially had one rule for us, and another for the opposition..

    After I managed to get the winning runs, I shook hands with the captain who said it was the final straw, he'd had enough of the ECB's strict regimen concerning youth cricketers (The whole scene is full of form-filling and litigation and half his team are U18), and he retired there and then.. Nasty

    I'm at the moment in the position where I can
    - Fly a plane on my own, and drive a car on my own
    - Get married and father children
    - Fight and die in Iraq

    But I can only bowl a 42 ball spell, in case i snap and die Gotta love English cricket

  12. #12
    Global Moderator vic_orthdox's Avatar
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    In Australia, for a fast or medium pace bowler (deemed as anyone to whom the wicketkeeper would normally stand back) as an Under 17 you can only bowl 6 over spells - max of 16 in a day, and as an U/19 you can only bowl 8 over spells - max of 20 in a day. At the national championships anyways, and I think that its recommended, if not compulsory, guidelines.

  13. #13
    International Regular King_Ponting's Avatar
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    ^^^ yeh thats rite although different states have different regulations in there own domestic comps. In Wa if your U19 u can bowl 22 in a day in 10 over spells if your a pacer and 22 straight if your a spinner. Interesting that this topic should come up seeing as the exact same issue was being discussed in the cricket web evelopment league......

  14. #14
    Cricket Web Staff Member / Global Moderator Neil Pickup's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Langeveldt
    Yesterday we had a really nasty match, because I got made to come off after 7 overs (yep, Im eighteen!), but when the opposition bowled, they had a 16 year old who bowled an 8 over spell..

    When I batted and we complained to their captain about it, he told us to "forget what the tossers at Lord's tell us" and carried on bowling the guy, right through..

    What followed was a pretty nasty lot of finger wagging when our captain came out... And the whole game fell apart because we essentially had one rule for us, and another for the opposition..

    After I managed to get the winning runs, I shook hands with the captain who said it was the final straw, he'd had enough of the ECB's strict regimen concerning youth cricketers (The whole scene is full of form-filling and litigation and half his team are U18), and he retired there and then.. Nasty

    I'm at the moment in the position where I can
    - Fly a plane on my own, and drive a car on my own
    - Get married and father children
    - Fight and die in Iraq

    But I can only bowl a 42 ball spell, in case i snap and die Gotta love English cricket
    Well, all I can say is that the game's better off without someone like that.

  15. #15
    Soutie Langeveldt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil Pickup
    Well, all I can say is that the game's better off without someone like that.
    Oh yeah, total ****.. But its still the most dire situation ever..

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