Youth cricket- can we learn from the USA?

The common theme in many of the United States cricket web sites is the development of cricket for children. This would appear to be in stark contrast to the mode of operation of the Canadian Cricket Association, which rumour has it are busy lining up 1st class games for next season, a la Bermuda.

This same focus, on the older cricketers, is common within most Canadian cricket clubs. What is evident is the reliance on the critical mass of cricketers being resupplied through the conduit of immigration to Canada. This stimulus of 'new' cricketers is welcome, but generally the children are not as there are few programmes to encourage their participation. Therefore, without passing the knowledge of our game to the children there will always be a question about the future of cricket in Canada.

This question, about the development of the game in Canada, without certified coaches and umpires and scorers, combined with the failure to create permanent facilities, is akin to chasing ones own tail.

The following was written by the President of the Utah Cricket Association, who has given his permission to publish the followimng material. (Jon Harris)

Utah State Office of Education Endorses Cricket

Cricket! - A New School Sports Clinic & Program. The Utah Cricket Association is interested in furthering the worldwide spread and popularity of cricket by presenting cricket clinics for 4th through X grades. Their program is an outgrowth of the Kanga School Cricket Program in Australia and the extensively proven KWIK Cricket Program in England. The clinics are between one to one and a half hours long and are very engaging for students. A variety of activities are presented in a developmentally appropriate manner, and the presenters are very good at helping students engage in learning activities suitable for their current skill level. The activities incorporate eye-hand coordination skills, and equal participation for children with varying athletic skills. An instructional manual and video tape are available for teachers.

WHY CRICKET?

Sport ethics is the issue for the Utah Cricket Association! The UCA honestly believes that no other sport has the potential for good and REAL instruction in ethic and values than Cricket. Cricket is an ancient game that encourages excellence in athletic as well as mental skill. But the game demands excellence in honesty, teamwork and citizenship. The need for youth sports programs is validated by information that attributes long-term value to participants in athletic programs. The economic, social and personal value of "investing" in the lives of children in a positive and constructive manner avoids the social and penal system costs that may later result. A direct correlation is demonstrated when involvement in sports results in reducing the potential to become involved in drugs, sex, crime and gang-related behaviors.

Much of the appeal of the game comes from an emphasis on batting, equal participation, team captaincy, or leadership, where the game is more important than any single player or the results of wins or loses.

When kids learn cricket-they learn that the way you play is as important as who wins and loses. Kids just don't learn to hit, catch, throw and score, they also learn that the way you play says as much about your character as winning! The game requires pitchers (bowlers) to be rotated every six pitches, the batting line up must be rotated every twelve pitches in our Jr. games. Innings are not over until ten out of eleven batsmen are out, or sixty pitches have been delivered. As fielding captains rotate eleven fielders around in a possible thirty positions on the field and batsmen working in groups of two's to score as many runs as possible.

Cricket produces REAL results when it comes to building leadership, character and teamwork. Arguing with the umpires, fighting with opponents and fans are pretty much non-existent in Cricket. Such behavior is met with shouts of "That's not Cricket!" by all.

http://www.utahcricket.com/schools.htm

Junior Teams Moms and Dads...Help your boy or girl learn the wonderful game of Cricket today! Volunteer to be team leader coach, Utah Cricket Association will provide you all the instruction material you'll need and support with live "coach the coach" training sessions with your group of kids. It's easier than you think, just organize your own team of 8 to 15 kids and we'll support you with equipment needs and training to give a rich, practical experience in sports ethics and enjoyment. Nothing can provide our youth today the same real time lessons in leadership, teamwork, sportsmanship ethics, and well rounded fun. Start today and submit a roster to utahcricket@networld.com, or call Steve Hooper

http://www.utahcricket.com/junior.htm