The club would like to update you on the current position with regards to junior cricket across the county and at Avoncroft in particular.
Restarting Junior Training – U10s to U14s
On Friday, the ECB updated guidance relating to recreational cricket which now allows us to begin small group cricket training under social distancing conditions (https://www.ecb.co.uk/news/1676621/updated-guidance-for-return-to-activity-in-a-club-setting). In line with the recent changes in government guidelines, we are now able to train in small groups of no more than 6 people (this includes coaches) and we are allowed to have more than one group training at the cricket ground at the same time as long as we have fully considered the logistics of ensuring this is done safely and in accordance with ECB guidance. Our coaches have met today and have agreed the following steps for returning to junior cricket training:
- During w/c 8th June, net coaching will continue as booked for U10s-U14s.
- From w/c 15th June, small-group junior training with commence for the U10s-U14s age groups. In order to enable us to maintain social distancing rules, we will continue with each age group training on separate evenings as follows:
- Mondays – U13s (Year 8) – Coaches = Paul Athey & Chris Morris
- Tuesdays – U11s & U12s (Years 6 & 7) – Coaches = Andy Hooper, Andy Smith & Phil Seers (U11s) & Jason Huxley (U12s)
- Wednesdays – U14s (Year 9) – Coaches = Paul Athey & Chris Morris
- Thursdays – Adults
- Fridays – U10s (Year 5) – Coaches = Jason Huxley, Wayne Smith & Simon Smith
- To ensure we are able to maintain the social distancing ratios, we are likely to continue to split age groups into different slots and will require confirmation of attendance prior to the session. As I’m sure you’ll understand, we can’t have a situation where players turn up “unannounced” as there is a risk we end up with too many juniors to maintain the “group of 6” ratios. Each age group may manage this in slightly different ways, so your age group coach will be in touch with you to discuss how this will work in the next few days.
- We will continue to implement a range of “rules” to ensure that the guidance is being followed. These will include:
- Juniors should not attend if they, or members of their household, are displaying symptoms of Covid-19. Return to training should be in line with self-isolation guidelines.
- Juniors and parents will be expected to adhere to the “2-metre” social distancing rule at all times.
- Juniors should continue to use their own equipment and ball where possible, and not share them with each other. If equipment does need to be shared, it will need to be cleaned between use. The majority of training will not require the passing of a ball between players however, if this is required, the club will provide hand cleaning/sanitising that will be used by each player before and after the exercise taking place.
- The pavilion will remain closed
Restarting Junior Training – All Stars and U5s-U9s softball
The club is keen to restart junior training for all age groups and we are especially keen to make sure that there are opportunities for our younger players to get involved. Whilst we are aware that some of our younger players may have returned to school, school guidelines acknowledge that for young children, social distancing may not be possible at all times. This distinction is not specified in the ECB guideline relating to junior training, so the club do not yet feel we are in a position to run training for our softball section. Over the next few weeks, we will await further updates on ECB guidelines and also test out our ability to run socially distanced training through the U10s-U14s age groups. Should these steps prove positive, we are aiming to begin training for our softball section from early July. The national All Stars programme remains suspended until further notice. The latest position on All Stars is provided on the following link – https://www.ecb.co.uk/news/1649409
Predicting the Future
Whilst any progression towards playing cricket this summer will be dictated by the government’s decisions on lifting the lockdown, the ECB is expecting to publish it’s return to cricket roadmap this week. From information shared with local leagues, this is expected to be a 5 stage process of which we are currently at Stage 3 (small-group training). Stage 4 is expected to cover “adapted play”, which could include playing cricket in adjusted formats (fewer players, fielding restrictions etc). Stage 5 is believed to be a return to full cricket, with adaptations as required. As mentioned, the timescales for moving between the stages will be driven by the government, but the ECB continue to talk very positively about the possibility of junior cricket games returning by the end of the summer. With the potential that the start of the junior football and rugby season may be delayed, conversations are also taking place about extending the cricket season into September to ensure as much of the season can be preserved as possible. With regards to the opening of the pavilion, and potentially the bar, during training we will obviously be following closely the next phase of lockdown changes relating to hospitality and will update you of any changes when we know more.
- Planning – We understand that, for some of you, cricket may not be something that in the current climate you are looking to get involved in this summer. Likewise, there may be some of you that are considering it but don’t yet feel it is the right time. These are all personal decisions to be taken, but it is helpful for us to get an idea of your thinking so that we can plan accordingly. Anyone who has attended 1:1 net training to date will automatically be contacted by their age group coaches to discuss the details of their training sessions. If you are not in this group, but are considering returning to the small-group training sessions, please can you email or text me and I will add your details to the contact lists. Likewise, if you have no intention of returning to cricket this year, or don’t feel that now is the right time, please let me know so that I can update our records accordingly.
- Subs – We do not intend to charge for training on a session by session basis, but we would like to start to collect annual or monthly subscriptions from those who are planning to attend. Subscriptions are £60 for the season, or £20 per month. All payments should be made by bank transfer as we do not want to be handling cash during this period. The club will be happy to refund subs paid in the situation where a second-wave shuts down cricket in the future. Bank details are as follows:
- Sort Code – 309136
- Account Number – 00046588
- Queries – If you have any queries relating to this email, or anything else in relation to the club or plans for the season, please get in contact with either myself or your age group coach.