Wiltshire Cricket

Wiltshire Cricket - New Performance Structure for 2017-2018

Wiltshire Cricket is delighted to communicate changes that we are introducing to our performance structure, incorporating both district and county programmes, which will come in to play for this coming winter and in to next summer.

Reasons for change:

Through feedback obtained via player/parent surveys, through discussion with current district and county coaches and managers, and through the Board’s experience of administering the existing programme, we had identified the following issues and challenges with our current county and district structure:

  • Facilities - Trying to find adequate facilities and at appropriate times and days of the week to deliver 20 separate district programmes , as well as a county boys and girls programme covering 12 age groups is difficult, and has resulted in inadequate facilities being used which reflects on the quality of service we can offer certain groups of players
  • Coaches - Linked to the above, by running such a large programme it has provided challenges in finding suitably qualified coaches to cover all age groups. Equally, our aspiration in recent years has been to get county coaches working on district programmes in a mentoring capacity, but by having such a large programme it has made it difficult to do this across all programmes
  • Link between district and county – It is felt that on some occasions (important to note not all) the playing gap between district and county has been too large, meaning performances in district cricket aren’t being used as an indicator for selection at county level.
    *It should be noted on this point that Wiltshire Cricket realises that regardless of the link between county and district, the district programme does have its own identity and even if it is not always providing players for county cricket, it is still providing a service to the players on the programme, and so moving forward it is important that the district programme retains the balance of; a) being a programme in its own right that offers a high quality coaching experience for the players on it whilst at the same time being a programme that is of a high enough standard that it can provide competition for the players selected for county programmes. It should be noted that the district and county structure is a talent pathway
  • Numbers on district programme – For the past few winters, it has been a regular occurrence that a small handful out of the 20 district age groups that we run have been very low on numbers
  • Summer venues – A further logistical challenge associated with running such a large district and county programme has been that when it comes to providing a matchplay programme for those groups in the summer it has been difficult to find venues; an issue compounded by the amount of pressure on grounds that has increased as a result of other ECB and local initiatives
  • 2 to 1 versus group sessions at county level – The 2 to 1 coaching programme has been in existence now for six winters. During that time there has been a consistent discussion around the benefits of group coaching versus 2 to 1 coaching with the general feeling being that a combination of both would be good. Part of the challenge with the 2 to 1 programme has been whether it’s appropriate for all players or whether some would benefit more from group coaching

Process to agree new structure:

In reaching the new structure which is communicated below, we have gone through the following process:

1. Agreement was obtained from all current and county district coaches around the issues listed above. With this agreement, it was agreed that Wiltshire Cricket would begin a process of agreeing change

2. A meeting of current county coaches and district head coaches was held to discuss everyone’s ideas around what the new programmes may look like. Following this meeting, a proposal document was drafted

3. The proposal document was circulated for consultation to all county and district coaches

4. A final meeting of current county coaches and district head coaches was held to discuss feedback from the consultation paper and to agree the detail behind the new structure

New structure – what does it look like:

District Programme:

Number of districts:

  • 4 new districts created who will have coaching programmes at under 10, 11 and 13
  • North / South districts created who will have coaching programmes at under 15

Rationale:

The reduced district programme will help to address the challenges and issues identified with the current structure by doing the following:

  • It will mean a reduced requirement for facilities and coaches meaning we can focus on identifying our best coaches and facilities to deliver the district programmes from
  • The district programme will strengthen in quality, meaning an enhanced talent pathway through to county level
  • A reduction to a North v South programme at under 15s will give district cricket at that age group a real meaning, and will help to retain the motivation of players who may have been involved with district cricket since a young age without ever achieving selection to county cricket
  • The creation of new district boundaries has allowed us to look at a fairer split of districts across the four districts

District Names and Clubs per district:

The below table gives an indication of the new district names, and which clubs will fall in to which areas:

North West North East Mid South
Biddestone Avebury Bishops Cannings Burbage and ER
Box Cricklade Bradford on Avon Chalke Valley
Calne Goatacre Devizes Chilmark
Chippenham Great Bedwyn Erlestoke and Coulston Collingbourne
Corsham Marlborough Heytesbury and Sutton Veny Dinton
Malmesbury Purton Melksham Mere
Marshfield Royal Wootton Bassett Potterne Redlynch and Hale
Oaksey Swindon Trowbridge Shrewton
Spye Park Wanborough Warminster South Wilts
    Westbury and District Steeple Langford
    Winsley Wilcot
      Winterbourne
      Winterslow

*Please note the clubs listed above are the clubs that based on their 2017 affiliation indicated that they run some form of junior cricket

*For the under 15 North v South programme, the North West and North East districts will be combined to create the North area, and the Mid and South districts will be combined to create the South area

District Manpower:

  • A District Head Coach will remain in place in each of the 4 districts, to help coordinate district trials and to help with coach identification and support
  • Each district programme will be delivered by 2 coaches
    - 1 coach will be the coach that will lead the team in the summer
    - The aspiration is that the second coach will be a current county coach to act in a mentoring capacity

District Finances:

Based on:

  • 14 players per group
  • 2 coaches per group
  • 24 hour programme (12 weeks x 2 hours)

Cost per player = £145

District Matchplay:

Age Group Festivals Fixtures
Under 10 1 x T16 Festival at start of May (1st bank holiday)

Each district to play the other 3 districts twice, meaning 6 x games per district

- To save on venues some of these matchplay opportunities may mean 2 games per day
Under 11 1 x T16 Festival at start of May (1st bank holiday)

Each district to play the other 3 districts twice, meaning 6 x games per district

- To save on venues some of these matchplay opportunities may mean 2 games per day
Under 13

2 x T16 Festivals:

- 1 at start of May (1st bank holiday)

- 1 at end of May (2nd bank holiday)
After completion of the two T16 festivals, the under 13 programme will become a North v South programme with 3 x 40 over fixtures
Under 15 An ‘Ashes’ style series will be created for the under 15 North v South programme, whereby they play a mix of 20 over and 40 over matches; accumulating points for wins in each of the matches (similar to previous England Women’s Ashes series)

County Programme:

Winter Programme:

The winter programme will be split in to two parts:

  • Skillsets for under 13s to under 17s age groups (delivered pre Christmas) – see separate section below for further detail on skillsets
  • Group coaching sessions for under 10s, 11s, 12s, 13s, 14s, 15s and 17s between January and March

Rationale:

  • The skillsets will help to retain the benefits associated with the county 2 to 1 programme, and to provide technical coaching at the most appropriate point during the winter, i.e. during November and December
  • The group coaching delivered during January to March for whole squads will provide the appropriate coaching for the wider group of county players and to prepare the squad for the summer

County Manpower:

Each county group coaching programme will be delivered by 3 coaches:

  • 1 coach will be the lead coach for that age group for the following summer
  • 1 coach will be the lead coach for the next age group (e.g. under 14 and 15 coaches will deliver on each other’s winter programmes)
  • 1 coach will be an identified district coach who wishes to learn and develop in a county environment

It is felt that the above coaching structure will help to:

  • Give enough flexibility for the county age group lead coach to be flexible with how their programme is delivered, e.g. they can choose to do 1:1 coaching with certain players whilst other coaches are managing the wider group
  • The third coach opportunity provides a great opportunity for district coaches to improve their coaching, something that should benefit not only those coaches but also the district programme as a whole

County Group Coaching Finances:

Based on:

  • 12 players per group
  • 3 coaches per group
  • 24 hour programme (12 weeks x 2 hours)

Cost per player = £210

Skillsets:

  • We will deliver ‘batting’, ‘seam bowling’, ‘spin bowling’ and possibly ‘wicketkeeping’ skillsets
  • The skillsets will be an additional programme for identified players from the under 13 to under 17 programmes
  • Following selections of squads for county group coaching programmes, suitable players from across the under 13 – 17 squads will be identified for invitation to appropriate skillset sessions
  • Players will be charged a small fee per skillset session they attend
  • The intention of the skillsets will be to help identify players for selection for the EPP programme which will start in January
  • Our intention is to utilise our links with Gloucestershire and Hampshire to identify coaches to support delivery of the skillset sessions alongside our own county coaches

*It should be stressed that the skillset sessions will not be for all players selected for the under 13 to under 17 county programmes but will instead be an additional programme for players who it is felt would benefit most from a technical coaching programme pre-Christmas and who are candidates for selection for the full EPP programme post Christmas

*The under 10s, 11s and 12s will just receive the group coaching programme post Christmas.

Selection for representative programmes:

In developing this new structure, conversations have been held regarding the trial and selection processes for both the district and county programmes. The following has been agreed:

  • County trials – We will hold an autumn trial only, after which a county squad of 12 players will be selected for that winter and the following summer. The reasons for this:
    - It will allow those players selected for the winter programme to really work towards the summer as a squad, as opposed to there being uncertainty from both coach and player as to whether they are going to be in the squad or not
    - It will allow Wiltshire Cricket to place a greater expectation around players committing to the Wiltshire county winter programme (accepting there will always be certain circumstances that mean a player cannot attend)
    - The removal of spring trials is in no way intended to make the county programme seem a closed shop but it is important from a player development point of view that we work with players from the point of view of a 12 month player development programme, whereby coaches can be confident of their ability to develop a relationship with their players which will last throughout the winter and summer
    - By only inviting 12 players to the county programme it will still allow for players to be added to county squads in the summer from the district programmes, however it was agreed that with the county programme we should work from a point of ‘promoting up’, not ‘de-selecting’
  • District trials – It was agreed that district trials will continue to be run in both autumn and spring to ensure that there are two points during the year that players can gain access to the Wiltshire representative structure

Conclusion:

Wiltshire Cricket would like to thank everybody who has provided input to help shape the development of this new structure. This includes parents and players who have completed surveys in the past, and current county/district coaches and managers who have been very generous with their time in terms of providing feedback and attending meetings to discuss these changes.

Wiltshire Cricket is very confident that we have created a structure that is really fit for purpose in terms of providing a robust talent pathway from club through to district and then county. With any change we accept that year one is always going to be critical in terms of understanding whether the changes are having the impact we desire. Therefore, we will not be afraid to continuously review the new structure we have put in place and so on that note we continue to welcome any feedback from the whole cricket network in Wiltshire with regards to our representative cricket structure and the performance programmes we deliver.