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General Cricket => Cricket Training, Fitness and Injuries => Topic started by: Calzehbhoy on October 11, 2018, 04:42:36 PM

Title: Cricket - The sport that doesn't want kids??
Post by: Calzehbhoy on October 11, 2018, 04:42:36 PM
My boy turns 2 next month and we've started looking around at sports related activities for him to do so he can interact with other kids and also start getting (Albeit early) exposure to sports.

To my shock the only sport that doesn't appear to be interested in kids is cricket! From 18 months onward he could have gone to a football themed class, from 2 onward he can also go to  gymnastics, Rugby, swimming. From 3 onward he can add Trampolining, tennis, martial arts to the list...

Cricket?? As far as I can see 5 is the youngest to start All-Stars Cricket.

It really is no surprise the participation levels in our great sport are dropping, especially if the kids are getting pulled in at such an early age into other sports!!
Title: Re: Cricket - The sport that doesn't want kids??
Post by: kaustav on October 11, 2018, 04:46:42 PM
To add to that: the cost of playing cricket, with the equipment, facilities etc., is way more than football and some other popular sports. This is a major hindrance.
Title: Re: Cricket - The sport that doesn't want kids??
Post by: Buzz on October 11, 2018, 05:07:48 PM
Try PlayBall.
There isn't much preschool cricket around, 2 year olds are far too unstructured!

If this rant was about the ECB cutting team sizes for u8s and 9s as was recommended today then we have a different story...!
Title: Re: Cricket - The sport that doesn't want kids??
Post by: InternalTraining on October 11, 2018, 05:12:13 PM
My boy turns 2 next month and we've started looking around at sports related activities for him to do so he can interact with other kids and also start getting (Albeit early) exposure to sports.

To my shock the only sport that doesn't appear to be interested in kids is cricket! From 18 months onward he could have gone to a football themed class, from 2 onward he can also go to  gymnastics, Rugby, swimming. From 3 onward he can add Trampolining, tennis, martial arts to the list...

Cricket?? As far as I can see 5 is the youngest to start All-Stars Cricket.

It really is no surprise the participation levels in our great sport are dropping, especially if the kids are getting pulled in at such an early age into other sports!!

I think it is easier to dismiss cricket or lack of cricket's infrastructure for younger players but there are a few things to keep in mind:
1. Cricket is a team/group sport even at the adult level. You need a group of willing 24 guys to have a proper game. Sociologically, ability to build social groups is a key factor in the game of cricket. You kick a football around by yourself where as in cricket a group must have a focus and desire to make a game work, very tough for kids under say 7 or 8. Cricket is suited for older kids. I know players who started very early but mostly with a handful of siblings or close friends (swinging a bat around or throwing a tennis ball) before progressing to larger team structures but it took reaching a certain age.
2. Attention span: kids have shorter attention spans out in the field and may not be willing to participate in a rule-intensive sport like cricket. Easy to kick a football around and run, it is a simple game to follow.
3. Gear, equipment, ground, and logistics make it awfully hard to have young kids organize a game by themselves. Clubs can only dedicate a few hours a week for a few weeks in the season to support a kids camp. Ultimately the responsibility falls on parents, close group of friends and kids of the same age.

The best thing a parent can do is to take kids to their own games to foster the kids' interest. If the clubs are family friendly, they will become the focal point for young players and the younger/next generation(s).
Title: Re: Cricket - The sport that doesn't want kids??
Post by: cricketbadger on October 11, 2018, 05:18:53 PM
To add to that: the cost of playing cricket, with the equipment, facilities etc., is way more than football and some other popular sports. This is a major hindrance.

A plastic bat and a soft ball doesn't cost really cost much does it, that's all needed for a youngster say 4 years old. Not gonna kit them out in full whites and softs
Title: Re: Cricket - The sport that doesn't want kids??
Post by: Northern monkey on October 11, 2018, 05:20:11 PM
2yr old?
Get in a park with him,her and let them hit a ball, or the nets whilst at games.
Some stumps and a little bat,(cut an old bat down) and one of those orange balls is perfect
From the limited jnr cricket Iíve taken my kids too, itís more or less an after school chill out for the parents
The all stars may get the kids interacting, but it has very little relevance to playing cricket from what Iíve seen
My 4yr old was bored witless, and couldnít believe the kids couldnít even catch a ball etc, never mind hit one.

Still I suppose it gets them off the PlayStation etc
Title: Re: Cricket - The sport that doesn't want kids??
Post by: cricketbadger on October 11, 2018, 05:25:09 PM
From a coaches point of view, coaching them at a very young age is difficult from what I've experienced for a number of reasons, for example lack of attention span or patience. It's hard cos they can't just be left to their own devices with a bat and ball, and wouldn't follow instructions too well.

I'm pretty sure any club running all stars wouldn't have any issues with participants younger than the 5yr old limit, our club had a few. But it is difficult to control them and often cause chaos, which to some extent is all part of the fun and learning, but can have a negative affect on other participants

In conclusion I think the best bet is the parents doing whatever they can with them whilst they are so young. My son is 14 months old, has a small autograph bat and numerous balls allover the house. He picks the bat up, whacks the ball around, throws the ball back and forth to me (granted maybe not intentionally) and that I believe is good enough for now. I won't start recording his technique and analysing it with him just yet...... Not for another 2 years at least :)
Title: Re: Cricket - The sport that doesn't want kids??
Post by: SLA on October 11, 2018, 07:00:59 PM
My boy turns 2 next month and we've started looking around at sports related activities for him to do so he can interact with other kids and also start getting (Albeit early) exposure to sports.

To my shock the only sport that doesn't appear to be interested in kids is cricket! From 18 months onward he could have gone to a football themed class, from 2 onward he can also go to  gymnastics, Rugby, swimming. From 3 onward he can add Trampolining, tennis, martial arts to the list...

Cricket?? As far as I can see 5 is the youngest to start All-Stars Cricket.

It really is no surprise the participation levels in our great sport are dropping, especially if the kids are getting pulled in at such an early age into other sports!!


Let's be realistic, an 5 year old let alone a 2 year old isn't old enough to either appreciate or understand different sports, or benefit from sport specific coaching.

These sessions are just a glorified creche, the nominal association with some sport is purely for the parent's benefit. Team sports should begin at 8 at the earliest. before then, just focus on fun and the abcs.
Title: Re: Cricket - The sport that doesn't want kids??
Post by: FattusCattus on October 11, 2018, 07:38:10 PM
I coach 5 and 6 year olds occasionally and their attention span is awful! I think cricket as a sport doesnít lend itself to this age group.

I end mixing basic skills with running races, roly-polys and sleeping Lions.

I canít see under 5ís working.
Title: Re: Cricket - The sport that doesn't want kids??
Post by: KettonJake on October 11, 2018, 08:31:12 PM
I did a couple of all stars sessions. Fantastic fun but barely resembled cricket, essentially glorified babysitting with a few base skills like hand eye, throwing etc, translatable into many sports. It could have easily been called all stars sports and removed from the idea of cricket entirely.

Canít imagine how one would go about making provision for a 2 or 3 year old.

Football is easy, itís the nations biggest sport, and even at 7 and 8 years old still consists of a gaggle of kids moving around a pitch like a shoal of fish with a ball somewhere in the middle.

Cricket is niche, involves specialist skills and is an extremely unusual combination of team sport with individual skills/competition.
Title: Re: Cricket - The sport that doesn't want kids??
Post by: Buzz on October 11, 2018, 09:23:39 PM
I have bought a few of these for 60mph throw downs for the u6s I will be coaching in the summer, they will love it...

(https://i.postimg.cc/zXMLf24c/IMG-20181011-222149.jpg) (https://postimg.cc/D8rfj6vr)
Title: Re: Cricket - The sport that doesn't want kids??
Post by: kaustav on October 11, 2018, 09:27:11 PM
Too slow....the kids these days have lightning reflexes...try 90mph
Title: Re: Cricket - The sport that doesn't want kids??
Post by: beaver5 on October 11, 2018, 10:11:45 PM
I'm a PE teacher and go into first schools and teach cricket from reception upwards. It doesn't need to resemble cricket at that age. It's simple throwing and catching games, races fetching and placing a ball on cones, simple striking a ball at a target for points. It just needs to be fun and then they'll want to play, skills come later.
Title: Re: Cricket - The sport that doesn't want kids??
Post by: Calzehbhoy on October 11, 2018, 10:28:41 PM
I'm a PE teacher and go into first schools and teach cricket from reception upwards. It doesn't need to resemble cricket at that age. It's simple throwing and catching games, races fetching and placing a ball on cones, simple striking a ball at a target for points. It just needs to be fun and then they'll want to play, skills come later.

Finally somebody gets it!

Maybe the responses so far are symptomatic with the games problems! Cricket is an inward looking sport only!

Iím not expecting him to be padded up facing the bowling machine!! Itís introducing them to the sport! Running around stumps, throwing & chasing tennis balls. They are all introducing the sport getting the kid excited about Ďcricketí and itís possibilities

Yes I sit and play catch with him most evenings and heíll run around hitting balls with his autograph bat but itís funny to think that without me driving it he wouldnít and wonít play the sport at all as heís simply not exposed to it until after other sports have taken the vast majority of young children.
Title: Re: Cricket - The sport that doesn't want kids??
Post by: six and out on October 12, 2018, 05:51:33 AM
Finally somebody gets it!

Maybe the responses so far are symptomatic with the games problems! Cricket is an inward looking sport only!

Iím not expecting him to be padded up facing the bowling machine!! Itís introducing them to the sport! Running around stumps, throwing & chasing tennis balls. They are all introducing the sport getting the kid excited about Ďcricketí and itís possibilities

Yes I sit and play catch with him most evenings and heíll run around hitting balls with his autograph bat but itís funny to think that without me driving it he wouldnít and wonít play the sport at all as heís simply not exposed to it until after other sports have taken the vast majority of young children.

But what the PE Teacher says going into Reception classes is great and the right thing to do...... That's not the age 2 or even 3 you are after though is it..... It's the same as All Stars age 4/5.

Believe me I have been into the Soccertots and the likes when my boy was 2 and it isn't football really. It it would be exactly the same with all the other sports with kids at that age. What it is really about is getting you to to start early, use them as a babysitting service, with the promise that it will become the full sport it is on the TV and your kid will be doing it all. All the while you are paying a monthly fee etc...

To set up a Crickettots for example would be interesting because it would be that early period where the kids aren't really doing anything to much cricket related that you have to get through. If you could devise overcoming that bit then it's doable
Title: Re: Cricket - The sport that doesn't want kids??
Post by: SLA on October 12, 2018, 08:23:03 AM
Finally somebody gets it!

Maybe the responses so far are symptomatic with the games problems! Cricket is an inward looking sport only!

Iím not expecting him to be padded up facing the bowling machine!! Itís introducing them to the sport! Running around stumps, throwing & chasing tennis balls. They are all introducing the sport getting the kid excited about Ďcricketí and itís possibilities

Yes I sit and play catch with him most evenings and heíll run around hitting balls with his autograph bat but itís funny to think that without me driving it he wouldnít and wonít play the sport at all as heís simply not exposed to it until after other sports have taken the vast majority of young children.


Its not really cricket though, so why pretend it is? Its just a series of little games that vaguely resemble some of the skills required in cricket. Be honest, you're doing this for your benefit rather than his because YOU want a kid who plays cricket. HIS development would be best served by doing the whole range of activities to improve the ABCs: agility, balance, coordination, dexterity, power. You need to see these other sports offerings for what they are - a marketing tool playing on the prejudices of parents.

8-9 years old is young enough for kids to start playing and practicing specific sports.
Title: Re: Cricket - The sport that doesn't want kids??
Post by: Seniorplayer on October 12, 2018, 08:26:43 AM
Aged under 5 just let the kids Hit the ball
Title: Re: Cricket - The sport that doesn't want kids??
Post by: SD on October 12, 2018, 09:26:22 AM
I feel that the idea that what you can do with kids under the age of 5 bares little resemblance to a deciding game in an intensely fought Ashes series is rather missing the point.  If young kids are having fun going to a cricket themed session every week, it increases the likelihood of them wanting to keep coming back when they are old enough to play something more resembling the real game.  At that age it is about associating cricket as something fun that they enjoy doing, not learning how to pick a leg spinner from the wrist position at delivery. 

At my club we have always taken kids who other clubs have refused because they were too young.  And people wonder why  there aren't enough people coming into the game to replace those who are leaving it
Title: Re: Cricket - The sport that doesn't want kids??
Post by: Northern monkey on October 12, 2018, 11:47:20 AM
I suppose as well, this is a reflection on kids not playing on the streets anymore,,, we grew up playing outside, on the streets, in parks etc, playing cricket/football etc

Nowadays more than ever, a childís participation in a sport reflects more on what the parents interests are.

At the end of the day, Cricket is a weird one anyway,, I think itís either in you to want to play or it isnít
My 21yr old does it for a career, my 6yr old has no interest, my 4yr old is mad for it, my two yr old is obsessed with football,(I hate football and itís well over 30yrs since I played)
Title: Re: Cricket - The sport that doesn't want kids??
Post by: SLA on October 12, 2018, 01:13:31 PM
I feel that the idea that what you can do with kids under the age of 5 bares little resemblance to a deciding game in an intensely fought Ashes series is rather missing the point.  If young kids are having fun going to a cricket themed session every week, it increases the likelihood of them wanting to keep coming back when they are old enough to play something more resembling the real game.  At that age it is about associating cricket as something fun that they enjoy doing, not learning how to pick a leg spinner from the wrist position at delivery. 

At my club we have always taken kids who other clubs have refused because they were too young.  And people wonder why  there aren't enough people coming into the game to replace those who are leaving it


That's just absurd. An 8-year old kid reflecting on whether he wants to continue all-stars for another year is not even going to remember the "cricket-themed session" he went to as a toddler.

Sport "themed" activities for U5s do absolutely nothing to encourage kids to play one sport over another when they're older, any more than providing a 2 year old with watercolours rather than felt-tips is going to make him prefer impressionism to expressionism when he's an adult. The whole idea is laughably ridiculous.

Little scrummers, little kickers etc exist purely for the benefit of the parents. The kids have absolutely no idea what sport they're supposed to be playing, they're just enjoying running around screaming. You honestly think if little scrummers was renamed little scrimmagers, kids would suddenly grow up wanting to play American football instead of rugby?


"And people wonder why  there aren't enough people coming into the game to replace those who are leaving it"

Actually, we know exactly what the problem is, and its not a lack of 8 year olds in the game.
Title: Re: Cricket - The sport that doesn't want kids??
Post by: SD on October 12, 2018, 04:29:16 PM
We currently run at senior level 3 Saturday sides, 1 Sunday team and one mid week team with a squad where only 5 of our players neither played junior cricket at our club or who aren't current juniors at the club so in the real world it is far from absurd.  If anything, in the current climate with no free to air live cricket it is more important to introduce kids to the game as young as possible
Title: Re: Cricket - The sport that doesn't want kids??
Post by: six and out on October 12, 2018, 04:56:24 PM
It is an interesting point.... at what age do you need to get kids involved in your particular sport for them to take it up and get involved and therefore hopefully stay with the sport etc...
Title: Re: Cricket - The sport that doesn't want kids??
Post by: SD on October 12, 2018, 05:58:42 PM
The ECB had some data prior to launching the All Stars programme which worryingly identified that a large number of primary school kids didn't mention cricket when asked to name their favourite 10 sports.  There is some data to suggest that if they haven't played by the time they are 13 then they are unlikely to ever do so but my experience is the younger they start, the more likely it is that they will stay with the game
Title: Re: Cricket - The sport that doesn't want kids??
Post by: RPC/Blueroom Cricket - Adie on October 12, 2018, 06:15:26 PM
The ECB had some data prior to launching the All Stars programme which worryingly identified that a large number of primary school kids didn't mention cricket when asked to name their favourite 10 sports.  There is some data to suggest that if they haven't played by the time they are 13 then they are unlikely to ever do so but my experience is the younger they start, the more likely it is that they will stay with the game

The alternative is if youíve played from 5-20 you might get bored (especially if itís always the same format of win lose ) .. and so when beer, girls etc come along you sack Cricket off
Title: Re: Cricket - The sport that doesn't want kids??
Post by: InternalTraining on October 12, 2018, 06:16:24 PM
If you must, here is a model: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tee-ball

It doesn't mean they grow up to play at club level - I hardly know anyone who plays club baseball or softball but I know people who started this way.
Title: Re: Cricket - The sport that doesn't want kids??
Post by: SLA on October 12, 2018, 08:46:36 PM
It is an interesting point.... at what age do you need to get kids involved in your particular sport for them to take it up and get involved and therefore hopefully stay with the sport etc...

The ideal time for starting any sport is between 8 and 10.
Kids should play as many different sports as possible until they're 13/14 and then begin to focus on one or two sports. This is the problem point for cricket. We get a lot of kids starting cricket, but not many sticking with it.