Junior association to investigate use of turf wickets in U14s
CLARENCE River Junior Cricket Association are not exactly calling panic stations, but a big change could be on the way for junior cricketers.
The news comes on the back of CRJCA's losses in three age groups to Nambucca Valley in the North Coast Cricket Council Interdistrict games on Sunday.
As the association is organised now, juniors play on synthetic pitches before progressing to turf wickets when playing in the under-16s competition.
A conundrum arises when the same under-14s take the field in rep games, where they play on turf wickets.
The discrepancy means local players are not used to the playing conditions, as was evident in Sunday's six wicket loss.
CRJCA secretary Janet Grieve said there were discussions about changing the format of the local U14 competition so they are better placed in future rep games.
"It's something we're looking at," Grieve said.
"The players aren't used to the surface and it is completely different."
U14s in Nambucca Valley play on turf pitches, as do their Coffs-based counterparts.
It is one of two changes the CRJCA will be discussing more as the season goes on, with the other being the allocated playing days.
As it is now, the U14s and 16s play on Friday afternoons while the U10s and U12s play their games on Saturday morning.
Grieve said there is an idea being floated to run the different age groups through the week, and the majority of feedback so far had been positive.
"We tried really hard to get the games played during the week but that was shot down," Grieve said.
"Most people were open to it but we had a few clubs and people say they wouldn't be able to manage it.
"Nearly every other association plays their U14s on Wednesdays and it's something we will look at for next season.
"I've had people say their children would be put back into the sport if they played during the week and got their Saturdays back."