Children at the beginning of their cricketing journey will play on reduced sized grounds with shorter pitches and fewer fielders in a bid to improve skill development and participant engagement following a successful nationwide pilot program rolled out this season.
Under the modified formats, all children will have an opportunity to bat and bowl, with matches scheduled to finish within two hours for Stage 1, and three hours for Stage 2.
The pilot, which incorporated 171 clubs, 640 teams and 15 junior associations – including the Murray Towns Association in South Australia – found the modified formats to deliver far greater results for children learning the game, including:
- 53% more balls in play (bowled on a good length)
- 13% more balls hit
- 16% more of the balls hit forward of square
- 24% less ‘dot’ balls (where there is no runs scored) bowled
- 35% decrease in the runs from wides and no balls in the total score.
The changes will be rolled out over the next three years, targeting children playing in Under 10/11s (Stage 1) and Under 12/13s (Stage 2) grades.
The revised junior formats will also be included in Under-12/13 representative cricket after further analysis identified a series of positive impacts.
Cricket Australia and the States and Territories Associations would like to acknowledge the support and feedback from the 15 associations, 171 clubs and 640 teams involved in the pilot. The trials took place in country and metropolitan areas, and those involved have played a crucial role in helping to shape the future of junior cricket in Australia.
STAGE 1 (Under 10/11)
Time: 120 mins
Overs per team: Max 20
Pitch Length: 16m
No. of Players: 7
Boundary Maximum: 40m
Ball Size: Modified
STAGE 2 (Under 12/13)
Time: 180 mins
Overs per team: Max 30
Pitch Length: 18m
No. of Players: 9
Boundary Maximum: 45m
Ball Size: 142g