The ECB has produced Safe Hands – Cricket’s Policy for Safeguarding Children as part of its commitment to ensuring that the game provides a safe, friendly and enjoyable experience for children.
The Policy provides the sport with the tools to ensure that the whole game takes up the challenge of continuously improving the participation conditions for children.
Safe Hands greatly enhances the value of existing activities and practices throughout ECB’s extensive club and schools network and ensures that the many thousands of coaches and volunteers integral to the game are supported.
The Policy is backed up by a comprehensive training and education programme, a structured implementation plan and a sensitive process to respond to concerns.
The Policy and associated documents are available to download at www.ecb.co.uk.
Once appointed, the Welfare Officer will attend a training course regarding their role, requirements and responsibilities. At this course they will be given a comprehensive copy of the Policy.
You may be asking ‘How will Safeguarding and Child Protection affect me’?
Safeguarding and Child Protection in Cricket is applicable to all.
The Safe Hands – Cricket’s Policy for Safeguarding Children has been developed to provide a comprehensive and complete guide to all those who participate in Cricket
What does my club need to do?
Safeguarding and Child Protection will not be implemented overnight. It is a long-term process. It is the responsibility of the whole club to implement the appropriate Safeguarding policies and procedures.
Preston Nomads Cricket Club – Safeguarding Policy Statement
Preston Nomads Cricket Club (The Club) is committed to ensuring that all Children (*) participating in cricket have a safe and positive experience.
(*The word “Children” should be taken to mean all persons under the age of 18.)
We will do this by:
Recognising that all Children participating in cricket (regardless of age, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, ability or disability) have a right to have fun and be protected from harm in a safe environment.
Ensuring that individuals working within cricket at or for our club provide a safe, positive and fun cricketing experience for children.
Adopting and implementing the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) “Safe Hands –Cricket’s Policy for Safeguarding Children” and any future versions of the policy.
Appointing a Welfare Officer and ensuring that they attend all current and future training modules required by the ECB & the NSPCC, so that they have the necessary skills to be able to undertake their role effectively.
Ensuring that all people who work in cricket at or for our club, (such as Staff, Officials, Volunteers, Captains, Team Managers, Coaches etc.) understand that the Safe Hands Policy applies to them according to their level of contact with children in Cricket.
Ensuring that all individuals working within cricket at or for the club are recruited and appointed in accordance with ECB guidelines.
Ensuring that all individuals working within cricket at or for the club are provided with support through education and training so that they are aware of and can adhere to good practice and code of conduct guidelines defined by both the ECB, and by the club.
Ensuring that the name & contact details for the Welfare Officer are available – as the first point of contact for parents, children & volunteers / staff within the club,
as a local source of procedural advice for the club, its Board & its members,
as the main point of contact within the club for the ECB County Welfare Officer and the ECB Child Protection Team, and
as the main point of contact within the club for relevant external agencies in connection with child welfare.
Ensuring that correct and comprehensive reporting procedures exist for raising and managing safeguarding and child protection concerns. Such procedures recognising the responsibility of the statutory agencies and in accordance with pre defined safeguarding and child protection procedures as defined by the ECB, Statutory agencies and Local Safeguarding Children Board LSCB guidelines and policies.
Providing everyone connected with the club (including parents, children and volunteers) with the opportunity to voice any concerns which they have (about possible suspected child abuse, and/or about poor practice) to the Welfare Officer.
Ensuring that all suspicions, concerns and allegations are taken seriously and dealt with swiftly and appropriately.
Ensuring that access to confidential information relating to child welfare matters is restricted to the Welfare Officer and the appropriate external authorities as specified within ECB Safeguarding and child protection procedures.
Guidelines on Supervising children at cricket sessions
Clubs have asked for clarification on ratios when working with children and the following is applicable to all cricket.
It is important that clubs remember when planning cricket or general sessions for children that there must be sufficient adults present to adequately supervise all of the participants and manage any incident that may arise.
It is a basic requirement of all sessions and matches involving children that in all circumstances there will always be a minimum of two responsible adults present. Clubs should always plan accordingly and coaches must feel confident in raising concerns if they find themselves placed in a position where they have been expected to work alone and unsupervised. In matches there must always be at least 2 adults present and responsible for the team.
The ECB provides two different sets of ratios which relate to working with children and it is vital that coaches and other key club personnel understand the distinction between these two types of ratios. They are each explained below:
Qualified Coach Ratios required for coaching sessions
The ECB Coach Education department has produced appropriate ratios based on the number of qualified coaches required to run different technical disciplines within the game. The ratios of qualified coaches to children are as follows:
Net Coaching: 1 coach : 8 children
Group Coaching: 1 coach : 24 children
Hard Ball Coaching: 1 coach : 16 children
These coaching ratios are very different to the child supervision ratios which are required at all sessions regardless of where these are held or which activities the children are doing. Details of supervision ratios are shown below:
Supervision ratios relate to managing groups of children and ensuring that there are sufficient adults present to deal with any issue or incident that may arise. For single sex groups, there must be at least one same gender member of Staff. For mixed groups there must be at least one male and one female supervising adult.
There must always be a minimum of two adults present.
Clubs must also factor in any further issues that the risk assessment of the facilities may have highlighted that are particular to that venue for example, changing rooms being located several minutes from the training venue and this may mean that clubs have to increase the number of supervisors in light of this additional information.
The supervision ratios that must be adhered to as a minimum for clubs looking after groups of children are as follows:
Aged 8 and under – 1 adult : 8 children
Aged 9 and over – 1 adult : 10 children
It is also important for clubs to note that these ratios relate to adults and children i.e. those over 18 looking after those under 18. The ECB has recently developed an introductory course for young leaders and coaching assistants called “Cricket Young Leaders Award”. Holders of this certificate must not be used in the calculations for supervision ratios as they are not over 18.
As part of our responsibilities in supervising children, it is vitally important to ensure that all players drink appropriate amounts of water to avoid any possible risks of dehydration during matches and practice sessions.
The tips below are therefore provided from the ECB’s Sports Science Home Study pack:
Coaches, Managers and Umpires are encouraged to:
ensure that regular intervals for drinks are arranged, particularly in matches of more than twenty overs per innings or in hot weather.
plan drinks breaks in practice sessions and matches every 20-40 minutes on warm sunny days (This may sound excessive when first read, but on hot days players can need up to 2 – 3 litres each to stay fully hydrated).
avoid waiting for children to say that they are thirsty before planning a drinks break as thirst is an indication of dehydration.
Further details regarding keeping players hydrated can be found in the Sports Science Home Study Pack of the ECB UKCC Level 2 Coaching Cricket Qualification.
Facilities and Venues used for children’s Cricket
All Clubs must ensure that they have undertaken an adequate risk assessment on all of their facilities and venues that they use for any club activities regardless of ownership of that facility or venue. This does not include away match venues for leagues but should include, where possible, facilities and venues that will be used on tours.
If clubs regularly hire facilities from other organisations e.g. schools or community colleges, there may be a generic risk assessment available for clubs to consider.
However it is important that clubs recognise that they are responsible for ensuring that venues and facilities are fit for purpose.
Outcomes of the risk assessments may have an impact on the session planning or coordination of junior club training or matches and so it is important that risk assessments are done ahead of use and are updated on an annual basis or if changes to the facility have taken place.
ECB Guidelines for junior players in open age cricket
These guidelines cover the selection and participation of young players in open age cricket. They are designed to help clubs to decide when to select young players in open age cricket and how best to help their cricketing development when they play within open age groups. They apply to boys and girls equally. Age groups are based on the age of the player at midnight on 31st August in the year preceding the current season.
Guidance for Clubs and Leagues
All clubs must recognise that they have a duty of care towards all young players who are representing the club, which should be interpreted in two ways:
Not to place a young player in a position that involves an unreasonable risk to that young player, taking account of the circumstances of the match and the relative skills of the player.
Not to create a situation that places members of the opposing side in a position whereby they cannot play cricket as they would normally do against adult players. In addition the following specific requirements apply to young players in open age cricket
Making the step up from junior to open age cricket is a significant event in any player’s cricket experience. Ensure that the player’s safety, personal development needs and overall cricket experience are considered.
There is no definitive age at which they should be introduced to open age cricket but determine each case on an individual basis dependent on their ability and stage of cognitive and emotional maturity to take part at this level, taking into account the requirement that no Junior Cricketers younger than the age group of under 13 can play in open age cricket.
ECB Fast Bowling Directives and Fielding Regulations should always be adhered to for junior players in open age cricket. All young players who have not reached their 18th birthday must wear a helmet with a faceguard when batting and a helmet when standing up to the stumps when keeping wicket. A young player acting as a runner must also wear a helmet even if the player they are running for is not doing so.
Any player in the Under 13 age group must have explicit written consent from a parent or guardian before participating in open age cricket. Clubs must ensure that their player registration procedures ensure that consent is obtained.
Provide an opportunity for players to show their talents in an appropriate way. Children who are just used as fielders will not fully experience the game.
Be supportive at all times for all forms of effort even when children are not successful. Try and put them in situations where they will experience some success (however small) and ensure plenty of praise and encouragement.
Try and involve them in all aspects of the game wherever possible i.e. socializing, team talks, practice, decision making etc. so that they feel part of the team.
Children will often feel more comfortable and able to perform if they have a family member or friend also playing in the side.
Remember, children’s early experiences will remain with them always and will often determine whether they want to remain playing the game or give up and do something else!
Clubs and Leagues can apply more strict restrictions on the participation of young players in open age cricket at their discretion. It is strongly recommended that a parent, guardian or other identified responsible adult is present whenever a player in the Under 13 age group plays open age cricket. This could include the captain or other identified adult player taking responsibility for the young player.
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 his* spell have been bowled from the same end.
A bowler can change ends without ending his current spell provided that he bowls the next over that he legally can from the other end. If this does not happen his 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 his 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 he cannot exceed the maximum number overs per day for his age group even if he subsequently bowls spin. He 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 his spell have been bowled from the same end.
If he bowls spin without exceeding the maximum number of overs in a spell the maximum will apply as soon as he reverts 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
Age groups are based on the age of the player at midnight on 31st August in the year preceding the current season.
* Any reference to he/his should be interpreted to include she/her.
ECB Safety Guidance on the wearing of Cricket Helmets by young players
In February 2000 the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) issued safety guidance on the wearing of helmets by young players up to the age of 18. In brief, the guidance recommends that:
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 when standing up to the stumps.
With the assistance of schools, cricket clubs and leagues, the wearing of helmets by young players is now standard practice in cricket throughout England and Wales. Helmets are widely available and are covered by a British Standard (BS7928:1998).
The original guidance allowed parents or guardians to give their written consent to allow a young player not to wear a helmet. However now parental consent not to wear a helmet should not be accepted in any form of cricket.
This guidance applies to all players under the age of 18, both in open age cricket and in all junior cricket played with a hard cricket ball.
The guidance also applies during all practice sessions.
Any individual taking responsibility for players should take all reasonable steps to ensure that this guidance is followed at all times.
The ECB asks that the guidance is communicated to the parents or guardians of all young players through clubs and schools, and that young players are not allowed to bat or stand up to the stumps when keeping wicket against a hard ball without wearing appropriate protection.
ECB Photography and Video Camera Guidelines
The ECB wishes to ensure that photography and video footage use within cricket is undertaken appropriately.
Parents should not be prevented from taking pictures of, or filming their children. These are normal family practices and help mark milestones in a child’s life.
The introduction of proportionate controls on the use of photographic equipment (cameras, videos including mobile phones) is an element of general safeguarding good practice in a club.
The ECB is keen to promote positive images of children playing Cricket and is not preventing the use of photographic or videoing equipment.
Some people may use sporting events as an opportunity to take inappropriate photographs or film footage of Children. All clubs should be vigilant about the possibility of this. These individuals could attend the local cricket club allowing people to presume they are related to a child involved.
It is also possible that is a picture and name was placed in the local paper the information could be used as a ‘grooming’ tool. Any concerns during an event should be reported to a club official or event organiser.
There may be other reasons why individuals may not wish their child’s photograph to be taken by someone they do not know personally, i.e. estranged parents looking to gain access to a child.
Preston Nomads Cricket Club’s policy relating to the use of photographic equipment during matches, training sessions and other club occasions is:
Photographs / images are not to be taken at matches or training without the prior permission of the parents/carers of the children. This permission can be given by proxy by the coach of each team only after parental consent for this has been granted. The coach must arrange this prior to attending matches.
If no consent has been given for a child on the player Registration Form, then it is to be made known to the relevant person of the other team (eg. Coach / Team Manager) so that the appropriate person/s taking photos for the other team is aware and can avoid taking photos of that particular child.
The children should be informed that a person will be taking photographs.
The children should be informed that if they have concerns they can report these to the coach or team manager.
Concerns regarding inappropriate or intrusive photography should be reported to the Welfare Officer and recorded in the same manner as any other child protection concern.
It is recommended that Cricket tournaments / festivals / events / competitions set up a camera registration book for parents to complete.
It is recommended that all Cricket Clubs adhere to the appropriate guidelines relating to publishing of images as detailed below.
Use of images of children, (for example on the web, in the media or in club or league handbooks)
Ask for parental permission to use their child’s image and wherever possible show the image to the parents and child in advance. This ensures that they are aware of the way the image will be used to represent Cricket and the Club.
Ask for the child’s permission to use their image. This ensures that they are aware of the way the image will be used to represent Cricket and the Club.
If the Cricketer is named, avoid using their photograph.
Only use images of children in appropriate kit (training or competition), to reduce the risk of inappropriate use and to provide positive images of the children.
Encourage the reporting of inappropriate use of images of children. If you are concerned, report your concerns to the Welfare Officer.
Using Video as a coaching aid:
There is no intention on the part of the ECB to prevent Club Coaches using video equipment as a legitimate coaching aid.
However, Players and Parents/Carers should be aware that this is part of the coaching program and material taken in connection with coaching must be stored securely and must be deleted / destroyed when a parent requests this, or when the material is no longer needed.
The Parents/Carers and children must provide written consent via the Junior Registration Form for the use of photography and video analysis.
ECB Guidelines on Changing Rooms and Showering Facilities
All ECB affiliated cricket clubs must have a Changing Policy which will be dependent upon the facilities available at the club, the access to those facilities and the number of children involved.
These guidelines apply to adults and children sharing changing facilities.
Please note that if children are uncomfortable changing or showering with adults at the Club, no pressure should be placed on them to do so. Encourage them to do this at home.
Principles adopted by Preston Nomads Cricket Club are as follows :
Adults must not change or shower at the same time using the same facility as children.
Adults should try to change at separate times to children during matches i.e. when padding up.
If Adults and children need to share a changing facility, the Club must have consent from the Parents that their child(ren) can share a changing room with Adults in the club.
If children play for Adult Teams, they and their parents must be informed of the Club’s policy on changing arrangements.
Mixed gender teams must have access to separate male and female changing rooms, or failing that, at least have different changing times which are strictly adhered to.
Mobile phones must not be used in changing rooms.
ECB Missing Child Guidelines
These missing child guidelines are a new addition to the Safe Hands Manual for 2007.
A child going missing could be an extremely traumatic event – for adults and for children. However, if everyone is aware of some simple pre-defined guidelines, panic levels can be minimised, and even more critically, the missing child can hopefully be found in an organised and efficient way.
Hopefully no child will ever go missing from your team /event. If they do, please remember that most children are found within a few minutes of their disappearance.
ECB Missing Children Guidelines
If a child for whom your club has responsibility goes missing, the following guidelines have been devised to clarify actions that should be taken.
Ensure the other children in your care are looked after appropriately while you organise a search for the child concerned.
Inform the child’s parents if they are present at the event, or nominate an appropriate person to telephone them and advise them of the concern. Reassure them you are doing all you can to locate their child. Remember that the child may contact the parents directly so this is very important.
Organise all available responsible adults by areas to be searched. It is best to take a short time to organise the search properly so that all places are searched fully.
Search the area in which the child has gone missing including changing rooms, toilets, public and private areas and the club grounds.
Request all those searching report back to a nominated adult at a specific point.
This nominated person should remain at this specific reference point and must be making a note of the events, including detailing a physical description of the child including approx. height, build, hair and eye colour as well as clothing the child was wearing and where / when they were last seen, as this will be required by the police. If the search is unsuccessful you should then report the concern to the police.
A report should go to the police no later than 20 minutes after the child’s disappearance is noted, even if the search is not complete.
If the police recommend further action before they get involved, follow their guidance.
If the police act upon the concern always be guided by them in any further actions to take.
At any stage when the child is located, ensure you inform all adults involved including the parents, searchers and police if they are by then involved.
All missing child incidents MUST BE notified at the very earliest opportunity to the Welfare Officer, who must immediately notify the County Welfare Officer, and they must then notify the ECB CPT.
Preston Nomads Cricket Club Guidelines for Dealing with an Incident or Accident During Cricket Activity
Stay calm but act swiftly and observe the situation. Is there a danger of further injuries? If so take appropriate action.
Listen to what the injured person is saying.
Is a First Aider available? If so ask them to assist (first aid kits are available in the home changing room and main club bar).
Do not move someone with serious injuries (if in any doubt treat as serious). In this event, call the emergency services by ringing 999. Club’s post code is BN5 9ND. Reassure the patient and wait for the paramedics to arrive.
Patients with minor injuries may be taken to Royal Sussex County Hospital, Eastern Road, Brighton, BN2 5BE, phone 01273 696955.
Deal with the rest of the group and ensure that they are adequately supervised.
Contact the injured person’s parent/carer.
Complete an incident/accident report form.
TELEPHONES. To contact the emergency services use a mobile telephone if available ; if not, there is a telephone in the club kitchen or bar. Should the bar be closed the nearest public telephone is located on Edburton Road, Fulking.
New players are always welcome at Preston Nomads, whether you are junior player looking to start your cricket experience or a senior player thinking of digging out the whites we’d love to hear from you.