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Thread: Query about youth play

  1. #1
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    Query about youth play

    How are cricketers developed from youth?

    Is there a well a reasonably well run large scale youth cricket machine comparable to Little League baseball? Do kids play for their schools at 18 and younger? Is there a looser structure such as town ball in which kids play against their friends and neighbors for some period of time until they are ready for really competitive play? Or even looser than that, basically sandlot play organized by the kids themselves?

    How many kids are involved in these programs in the respective cricket countries?

    Thanks.

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    Like pretty much every other sport, yes, yes, yes, yes and for the last question I'm sure you can dig up some numbers on youth participation for some of the Test playing nations.

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    From the outside, it seems like under traditional cricket rules for limited overs matches, some kids in those youth levels may not get to hit at all and if they aren't bowlers, they may not even get a ball on defense either. How is that dealt with? Thanks.

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    International 12th Man MrPrez's Avatar
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    They just don't. They get to field at least.

    EDIT: Some school leagues expect batsmen to retire at a certain score so that others get a chance / games aren't lopsided,.


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    Quote Originally Posted by MrPrez View Post
    They just don't. They get to field at least.

    EDIT: Some school leagues expect batsmen to retire at a certain score so that others get a chance / games aren't lopsided,.
    That would seem to answer the question of why cricket doesn't have any US interest.

    I'm a dad who pays for my teenager to play -- which is the norm in the States -- and even if the coach insists a player has to to earn his time in the game, if I paid and my son didn't get to bat in a game and that happened more than rarely, I would call it a day for that sport.

    It would be the very, very unusual parent who would be willing to watch his kid stand in the field for hours at a time without getting a ball on defense and without even a slight opportunity to contribute on offense, even before getting to the more serious problem of there not being substitutes so a kid might never even get off the bench; he can go home as soon as the lineups are announced.

    I know that sports in socialized countries are subsidized so it may make it a little easier to tolerate if the parents of a weak player who may not even get into a game aren't paying much, but I am at over $3000 a year for the team, coaches, uniforms etc and that is before any overnight travel, private lessons, gear, and so on. I would be spitting nails if I paid that and my kid didn't get a reasonable chance to play.

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    International 12th Man MrPrez's Avatar
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    I didn't pay a cent to play cricket at school level. I'm not sure if it's the same thing in other countries though.

    That said, you'll find that a lot of the time most of the players will get to bat in a 50 over game. In younger years, the batsmen don't always have the mental fortitude to stick around for the full 50 overs, so most of the players usually get a bit of a go.

    The lower batsmen invariably bowl, too. So very few players don't get any action at all.

    I could see a parent being annoyed at their child not getting a go, I guess. Luckily I was a bowler so I always had an opportunity to contribute.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rodk View Post
    From the outside, it seems like under traditional cricket rules for limited overs matches, some kids in those youth levels may not get to hit at all and if they aren't bowlers, they may not even get a ball on defense either. How is that dealt with? Thanks.
    It's the role of a coach / manager to ensure that this only happens as rarely as possible. The nature of the game means that it is going to happen on occasion - if your bowlers cut through the opposition in the first innings, then there's only a very small run chase to accomplish, for instance. It's also worth remarking that everyone is fielding for every delivery (kids tend not to buy that, though). Nobody wants a TFC (didn't bat, didn't bowl, thanks for coming) but if your side isn't being dominated by individuals and players feel as if they have a role in the side, the occasional TFC can be tolerated. For me, the players batting down the order almost always have a main bowling/fielding role.

    There's nothing really comparable to Little League offering club/regional sides a chance at a national/world title, although there are low-profile U13 & U15 knock-out cups. More significantly, each of the ECB's 38 county boards runs representative sides selected from children living/playing/schooling in their county, and these county sides play one another in (i) friendly, (ii) league (from U14) and (iii) midsummer festival competition. This is the highest level of cricket that age-group players will generally play, although the most able can play senior (men's) cricket from U12 and this is often an avenue through which players develop faster than through school/representative sides, due to the huge challenge of playing against adults. School cricket is generally fee-paying schools only, and this also reaches a high standard, although the increase in workload for teaching staff (amongst other factors) has reduced school cricket in recent years.

    I'm heavily involved in cricket development in Oxfordshire - there's quite a bit of further information about our setup online at Oxfordshire Cricket Board
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil Pickup View Post
    It's the role of a coach / manager to ensure that this only happens as rarely as possible. The nature of the game means that it is going to happen on occasion - if your bowlers cut through the opposition in the first innings, then there's only a very small run chase to accomplish, for instance. It's also worth remarking that everyone is fielding for every delivery (kids tend not to buy that, though). Nobody wants a TFC (didn't bat, didn't bowl, thanks for coming) but if your side isn't being dominated by individuals and players feel as if they have a role in the side, the occasional TFC can be tolerated. For me, the players batting down the order almost always have a main bowling/fielding role.

    There's nothing really comparable to Little League offering club/regional sides a chance at a national/world title, although there are low-profile U13 & U15 knock-out cups. More significantly, each of the ECB's 38 county boards runs representative sides selected from children living/playing/schooling in their county, and these county sides play one another in (i) friendly, (ii) league (from U14) and (iii) midsummer festival competition. This is the highest level of cricket that age-group players will generally play, although the most able can play senior (men's) cricket from U12 and this is often an avenue through which players develop faster than through school/representative sides, due to the huge challenge of playing against adults. School cricket is generally fee-paying schools only, and this also reaches a high standard, although the increase in workload for teaching staff (amongst other factors) has reduced school cricket in recent years.

    I'm heavily involved in cricket development in Oxfordshire - there's quite a bit of further information about our setup online at Oxfordshire Cricket Board
    One of the beauties of non-subsidized play for a parent is the absence of centralized decisions and universal control like cricket boards or FIFA.

    There are dozens if not hundreds of baseball proprietors of national, regional or local significance; they make up their own rules to best accommodate customers, and most of them have little or no involvement in team formation; that is left to parents and coaches. My son's team flits in and out of competing leagues with new ones popping up regularly and the team has an almost unlimited choice of options to play in leagues, weekend tounaments or even go out of state to high prestige showcases intended to get the kids exposure to college and pro teams. He is also free to guest play with friends as time permits because rosters are per event, not permanent. There are any number of better national events than Little League which retains geography rules whereas real travel teams have no such limits so my kid has played with friends from across state lines.

    An outfit called USSSA had 1100 weekend tournaments in the 13u bracket last year, and it is only one of about a dozen multistate operators.

    It is about the same in basketball, just different companies in place.

    The upshot is that if I don't like my son's playing time, we vote with our feet.



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