Revised junior formats aim to attract and keep Australian kids in cricket

02/09/16 Category: News Posted by:

The way junior cricket is played in Australia is set to change with format revisions designed to increase fun, action and skill development for young players Cricket Australia, and State and Territory Associations, announced today.

Following Cricket in Australia being one of the most popular and highest participation sports with a record 1,311,184 participating around the nation last year, achieving a 16% growth in junior participation, the sport wants to ensure every child in Australia has an opportunity to access and enjoy the game.

Revised pitch lengths, boundary sizes and the option of playing Twenty20 are amongst the changes to allow juniors to better develop their skills and become more involved in each game. For more information on the format revisions or to watch the video visit

The revisions follow community consultation, including feedback received at The Australian Cricket Pathway Roadshows, and independent research.

The elements which resulted in more balls in play, more runs, increased fielder activity, increased scoring on the off side (all in a shorter timeframes) include changes to:

• Pitch length
• Boundary size
• Number of players on a team and,
• Appropriately sized equipment (bat and ball) for the kids.

These changes resulted in the junior game more closely replicating what the kids and parents see their heroes playing on TV.

Former Australian Captain, Belinda Clark, is part of a group of cricket staff across the country rolling out the changes, and is excited about the developments.

“We are increasingly optimistic that making these improvements to junior formats will allow kids to better develop their skills, experience more success, build greater confidence and be more involved in each game,” Ms Clark said. “These changes will mean more kids starting to play cricket and more kids staying in the game for longer.”

The modifications to junior formats are part of a two-year project to revamp and align the Australian Cricket Pathway, introducing modern practices in skill development and coaching. The project aims to provide a clear and exciting pathway for all Australian kids interested in taking up the sport.

“The 2016-17 season is the start of the process to implement the revised junior formats with community cricket associations and clubs, with the aim of delivering appropriate and consistent junior formats nationally over a four-year period,” Ms Clark continued.

“Experts from the Institute of Sport, Exercise and Active Living (Victoria University) and the Queensland University of Technology, have examined equipment modification, skill development and player participation to improve the cricket experience and retention at grassroots level.

Former Australian Captain and Cricket Australia National Talent Manager Greg Chappell said the modifications will enhance the experience and skills for this large section of participants.
“I am confident that these changes are the most important Australian Cricket will make to junior participation. They will help develop a generation of Australian kids who have basic cricket skills and allow them to really enjoy cricket, setting them up for a lifetime love of our great game,” Mr Chappell said.

The junior format revisions coincide with the National PlayCricket Registration Drive, Australian Cricket’s national participation campaign, that calls on Australians to sign up to play cricket in 2016. Visit for more information or to find your local club.

A summary of the key revisions are:

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