Australian cricket has a long tradition of producing outstanding female cricketers through the traditional system of incorporating girls into ‘mixed teams’. Of course while we might refer to these teams as being ‘mixed’ they more often than not have been boys teams with a girl included. Unfortunately, while this system has produced some outstanding cricketers it has not been the ideal model for expanding crickets appeal to girls of all ages.
The fundamental point of difference that BNJCA has employed is the need to have girls playing in all girl’s teams within an all girls competition. Obviously smaller clubs might find this difficult in the early stages of their development and in these circumstances we encourage clubs to form all girls teams to play within their competitions.
BNJCA has used the following principles to develop its girl’s competitions:
- All girls teams;
- Playing in an All Girls Competition;
- All Girls Competition being played at HUBS concentrate the experience.
The HUBS system involves multiple Girls Cricket Competition games, being player at the same time, at adjacent grounds to maximise the visible presence and experience of girls cricket.
This allows the girls to see the other girl’s teams playing at the same time and really fosters a sense of belonging, solidarity and reinforces the fact they are a part of building something very special.
The reality is the expansion and growth of girls cricket requires a certain amount of paradigm shifting as we shatter the traditional cultural construct that cricket is exclusively a ‘boys sport’.
Traditionally we have talked about junior sport in terms of age ranges and while this is also true of cricket, we would like to shift the focus more towards skill level. The reason for this is girls with significant exposure to cricket will often have more developed skills than girls who are newer to the game. Although experience has taught us girls pick up the skills required of cricket rapidly, once they start playing, and are more than capable of making remarkable improvement over short periods of time.
Another point to be considered is girls are permitted to ‘play down’ up to 2 age groups to account for any difference in skills or maturity levels.
Please note: there is often overlap between the programs and age ranges below. This accounts for girls who might still be developing the skills require to play in games or simply might prefer to enjoy this particular format for various reasons. Therefore we will discuss the cricket pathway in term of age ranges as follows:
Girls Aged 5 – 7 (IN2Cricket)
Cricket Australia has introduced some outstanding Junior formats that are played at local clubs to develop the basic introductory motor skills and confidence to play cricket. MILO IN2Cricket represents the most basic skills for children aged 5 – 7.
While these program is generally mixed they can be made girls only where numbers and demand are supported. More information on these programs can be found at the following website:
Girls Aged 7 – 11 (T20 Blast)
Cricket Australia has introduced some outstanding Junior formats that are played at local clubs to develop the basic introductory motor skills and confidence to play cricket. T20 Blast programs take the skills developed in MILO IN2Cricket a little further to accommodate ages from 7 – 11 to develop their cricket skills in a fun and safe environment.
In Brisbane North these programs are generally girls only to provide the most appropriate environment for girls starting their cricket journey. More information on these programs can be found at the following website:
Girls Aged 7 – 10 (Super 6’s)
Bridging the gap between the acquisition of basic cricket skills and being ready to participate in games with teams of 8 players or more is Super 6’s. This exciting format uses 6 players per team, real cricket equipment and a specialized ‘bouncy’ ball so it can be played without the need for a natural turf or synthetic turf pitch. Generally played under lights during the evening, these games are tremendous fun for both children and parents, providing the perfect introduction to match play and team based competition.
You will notice there is over lap between the Super 6 format and the Girls Cricket Competition (GCC) that follows. As mentioned earlier this is because some girls might require longer in Super 6’s to develop the skills required for the step up to GCC and inter club cricket.
Before we move on it is probably worth mentioning many girl’s choose to play both Super 6’s at night and GCC on the weekends!
Girls Aged 9 – 18 (Girls Cricket Competition – Junior Cricket Stages 1 to 3)
The Girls Cricket Competition (GCC) allows girls aged 9 through to 18 to play in club teams against girls from other clubs. Of course the girls are divided into Junior Cricket Stages 1, 2 or 3, according to their abilities, with the rules of these games adapted to accommodate their particular skills level and physical maturity. This is accomplished by varying the pitch length, ball weight and boundary size among other things to ensure the format suits the particular age range in question.
2017/18 Draws Have been released:
u15 Prestwidge http://www.bnjca.org.au/draw/Pre/u15%20prestwidge.pdf