Making the step up from junior to open age group cricket is an important event in any player’s cricket experience. The player’s safety,personal development needs and overall cricket experience must be considered

Clubs, squad coaches and managers must take into account the requirements on age detailed in this guidance.

Each case must be determined on an individual basis, depending on the player’s ability and stage of cognitive and emotional maturity to take part in Open Age cricket The minimum age guidance provided below MUST be followed.

Juniors should be involved in all aspects of the game wherever possible i.e. socialising, team talks, practice, decision making and so on, so they feel part of the team

Children will often feel more comfortable and able to perform if they have a family member or friend also playing in the side

Remember, children’s early experiences will remain with them always and will often determine whether they want to remain playing the game or give up and do something else

Provide an opportunity for players to show their talents in an appropriate way. Children who are just used as fielders will not fully experience the game

Be supportive, at all times, for all forms of effort even when children are not successful. Try and put them in situations where they will experience some success (however small) and ensure plenty of praise and encouragement

The captain must inform the Umpires of under 18s in the side. ECB Guidelines for Junior Players in Open Age Group Cricket Cricket specific safeguarding guidance Section 3 – ECB Guidelines for Junior Players in Open Age Group Cricket – August 2018


ECB Helmets, Fast Bowling Directives and Fielding Regulations should always be adhered to for junior players in Open age group cricket

Minimum age

The minimum age for Open Age cricket is the U 13 age group. Players must be in Year 8, and 12 years old on the 1st September of the preceding year. This applies to all club and district players who are not in a county or area squad (or region in Wales) .

Exceptionally, players who are selected in a County U12 squad (or Regional squad in Wales) in spring for a summer squad – are also eligible to play Open age cricket.*

Please be aware that at under 12 level the ECB recommends that the focus is on participation rather than Talent I.D, and many counties no longer run under 12 squads. Inclusion of ANY Under 12s in Open Age teams should be an exception and not an expectation.

It is essential clubs and coaches recognise the ‘duty of care’ obligations they have towards young players in Open Age cricket

The duty of care should be interpreted in two ways:

  • Not to place a young player in a position that involves an unreasonable risk to that young player, taking account of the circumstances of the match and the relative skills of the player
  • Not to create a situation that places members of the opposing side in a position whereby they cannot play cricket as they would normally do against adult players

In addition, the guidelines note the need for clubs and leagues to recognise the positive experience young players should have in open age cricket. Clubs should provide an opportunity for players to show their talents in an appropriate way.

*providing they are at least 11 years old, are in School Year 7 on 1st September in the year preceding the season, and have written parental consent to play.