ECB Directives for Young Cricketers
No young player in the Under 15 age group, or younger, shall be allowed to field closer than 8 yards (7.3 metres) from the middle stump, except behind the wicket on the off side, until the batsman has played at the ball.
For players in the Under 13 age group, and below, the distance is 11 yards (10 metres).
These minimum distances apply even if the player is wearing a helmet.
Should a young player in these age groups come within the restricted distance the umpire must stop the game immediately and instruct the fielder to move back.
In addition any young player in the Under 16 to Under 18 age groups, who has not reached the age of 18, must wear a helmet and, for boys, an abdominal protector (box) when fielding within 6 yards (5.5 metres) of the bat, except behind the wicket on the off side.
Players should wear appropriate protective equipment whenever they are fielding in a position where they feel at risk.
These fielding regulations are applicable to all cricket in England and Wales
Wearing of Cricket Helmets
The ECB safety guidelines on the wearing of Cricket Helmets by young players up to the age of 18 have been adopted by the club. They are:
Helmets with a faceguard or grille should be worn when batting against a hard cricket ball in matches and practice sessions.
Young players should regard a helmet with a faceguard as a normal item of protective equipment when batting, together with pads, gloves and for boys, an abdominal protector (box).
Young wicket keepers should wear a helmet with a faceguard, or a wicketkeeper face protector when standing up to the stumps.
Helmets and Face Protectors are widely available and covered by British Standards BS7928:1998 and BS7928-2:2009 respectively.
Fast Bowling Match Directives
Age* Max Overs per Spell Max Overs per Day
Up to 13 5 10
U/14 &U/15 6 12
U/16 & U/17 7 18
U/18 & U/19 7 18
For the purpose of these Directives a fast bowler is defined as a bowler to whom a wicket keeper in the same age group would in normal circumstances stand back to take the ball.
Having completed a spell the bowler cannot bowl again, from either end, until the equivalent number of overs to the length of their spell has been bowled from the same end.
A bowler can change ends without ending their current spell provided that they bowl the next over that they legally can from the other end. If this does not happen their spell is deemed to be concluded.
If play is interrupted, for any reason, for less than 40 minutes any spell in progress at the time of the interruption can be continued after the interruption up to the maximum number of overs per spell for the appropriate age group.
If the spell is not continued after the interruption the bowler cannot bowl again, from either end, until the equivalent number of overs to the length of their spell before the interruption have been bowled from the same end.
If the interruption is of 40 minutes or more, whether scheduled or not, the bowler can commence a new spell immediately.
Once a bowler covered by these Directives has bowled in a match they cannot exceed the maximum number overs per day for their age group even if they subsequently bowl spin.
They can exceed the maximum overs per spell if bowling spin, but cannot then revert to bowling fast until an equivalent number of overs to the length of their spell have been bowled from the same end.
If they bowl spin without exceeding the maximum number of overs in a spell the maximum will apply as soon as they revert to bowling fast.
Captains, Team Managers and Umpires are asked to ensure that these Directives are followed at all times.
For guidance it is recommended that in any 7 day period a fast bowler should not bowl more than 4 days in that period and for a maximum of 2 days in a row.
Junior Players in Adult Matches
Players who are selected in a County U12 squad in spring for a summer squad or in another squad deemed by ECB Performance Managers to be of a standard above ‘district level’ for that season are eligible to play Open age cricket. Providing they are at least 11 years old and are in School Year 7 on 1st September in the year preceding the season.
District and club players who are not in a county or area squad must wait until they reach the U13 age group, be in Year 8 and be 12 years old on 1st September of the preceding year before being able to play in any open age group cricket.
In both cases written parental consent is required for these players.
In allowing these players to play in open age cricket it is essential clubs and coaches recognise the ‘duty of care’ obligations they have towards these young players.