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The ECB has announced new recommendations for junior formats and pitch lengths for the 2019 season.

The new measures will come into effect in school, club and performance cricket from April 1.

The changes follow a three year ECB research project, findings from other nations including Australia and New Zealand and consultation with counties, clubs, schools and leagues.

Somerset Cricket Board (SCB) Head of Performance Matt Drakeley said he welcomed the new innovations.

He said: “I am delighted at the changes to the recommended formats for 2019, having trialled lots of recommendations over the past four years in various environments I am confident that this will provide players with the best experience possible. All the changes have been designed to help young cricketers become more engaged in the game they are playing alongside making it more aligned to the game they enjoy watching on television.”

The recommendations will ensure matches have:

  • The appropriate number of players in a team to allow all players to be actively involved.
  • The appropriate length of pitch to allow bowlers and batters to progressively develop their skills, including running between the wickets.
  • Appropriate boundary sizes to experience success, while also highlighting the importance of fielding.
  • Appropriate game length to keep players engaged but also allows opportunity for skill to develop.

For full details of the recommendations please click the link below:

ECB Recommended Junior Formats U9-U17 FINAL – Issued December 2018

Confirmed Cricket Pitch Lengths for 2019 and beyond:

As you maybe aware, last summer several leagues piloted the ECB national recommendations of 15-yard pitches for under 9s and 17-yard pitches for under 11s in 2018. The feedback was extremely positive but, with 2018 being a pilot year, it did mean children across the country having to adapt to playing some cricket to the new pitch lengths and other cricket to the previous pitch lengths, which isn’t ideal for the game. Additionally, questions were raised around whether 21-yard pitches at U13s level is too big of a jump from 17 yards.

You may have seen that neighbouring counties Gloucestershire and Wiltshire have already announced these changes, with immediate effect, the following pitch lengths from the will apply to all levels of cricket in Somerset for the 2019 season, including:

  • Schools Cricket
  • All SCB run competitions
  • Pathway Centre Cricket (formally District)
  • County Cricket
Indicative AgeBoysGirls
U8/U915 Yards15 Yards
U1017 Yards17 Yards
U1117 Yards17 Yards
U1218 Yards18 Yards
U1319 Yards19 Yards
U1421 Yards20 Yards
U1522 Yards20 Yards
U1622 Yards22 Yards
U1722 Yards22 Yards

What next?

This information is being shared with all schools, clubs, coaches and leagues to ensure that all cricket across Somerset, from 2019 onwards, is being played on the same, appropriate, pitch length. It is extremely important that we ensure that all our young cricketers are not having to train and play on different length pitches within different environments.

By way of this communication, Somerset Cricket Board is requesting that you adopt the information on pitch in this article and ensure that any cricket you manage is played on the ECB recommended length of pitch in 2019. 

A summary:

  • New Pitch Lengths for all junior cricket come in to force with immediate effect
  • The changes are being made in order to create a better match play experience for all junior cricketers
  • The mapping of pitch lengths for all age groups provides a steady transition and increase in pitch length throughout a young cricketer’s pathway
  • The purpose of this information is to ensure we achieve uniformity and consistency across all cricket