Following on from the Youth Forum back in September, The North West staff took on board what the clubs that attended thought were good about the current set up and area that could be developed.
The North West has been leading the way, as can be seen in the new formats launched recently by Cricket Ireland,in developing new club and player focussed formats for the 2018 season.
Following on from the Youth Forum, and information brought back from the ECB Coaching Conference, a number of new formats have been added and a number of changes have been made to previous formats to give more people more opportunity to play cricket along with providing a pathway for the those that want to develop further.
The North West will incorporate most of the above formats that Cricket Ireland have launched, with a number of local adaptions that will be North West Specific.
One of the main new addition to this season will be the development of the club Blitzs. These have been trialled in the past and will now be rolled out in the North West. The blitzs have come about as a way to provide more of the clubs players an opportunity to play more cricket.
It was raised at the Youth Forum that due to pitch availability, weather and the current format that many of the clubs had players who were not ready for hardball cricket but still wanted to play…but hadn’t the opportunity.
The Blitz will be hosted at a number of clubs around the North West and run by the North West Staff, with the hope of clubs taking these on in the future. The under 11s will be played the same format as primary schools, with quick cricket balls and bats. The under 13s will be played with an incrediball and will require a minimum of helmet and gloves.
All the games will be played on the outfield, with a minimum of 4 pitches going at once, enabling 8 teams and 64 players playing at once.
This format is also seen as an opportunity for those clubs currently without a junior section to be able to provide cricket for their youth members and help get them started on the road to having a fully-fledged youth section(s)
The Blitz Dates and venues are as follows
20th May – Bready Cricket Club
3rd June – Ardmore Cricket club
17th June – Strabane Cricket Club
1st July – Coleraine Cricket Club
22nd July – Ballyspallen (T20 Finals Day)
28th July – Bready Cricket Club (Senior Cup Final)
19th August – Eglinton Cricket Club
1st September – TBC
For those clubs who have players that are ready for hardball cricket, the under 11s and 13s formats have been adapted as per the discussions at the Youth Forum.