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The Club provides for both local park and turf graded cricketing experiences. It has been a policy to evolve the Club into a full playing entity from juniors through to senior players. To this end since the 06-07 season the club has grown from just promoting juniors to creating pathways for the juniors to move into senior men's and women's cricket.
Having merged with the South Sydney Shires Club, we can as a club provide for juniors pathways from an early age right through to senior Cricket in the Sydney Cricket Association Shires Competition.
The Club has now for a number of seasons, entered senior mens teams in the graded local park competition, that play in the Inner West Harbour Senior Association, at all Grade levels. It is a scheme to open an avenue for the boy's to continue playing cricket at a semi social level and for senior parents and incoming players to play locally. In many ways it is a revival of the structure that was in place some 50 years previously when juniors went on to play in the local Balmain-Drummoyne park competion or Balmain District Grade Club.
From 2010-11 season Balmain Tigers and now the Balmain South Sydney Club, have entered into a program of Development with our Juniors in the competitions that are aligned with the Sydney Cricket Association that organise both the Grade and Shires Competitions on turf. The Club entered teams in that season in the Metro competition that played against Clubs in the Grade structure and with the Creer Cup 5th grade to the Shires Competition, so that we could foster our juniors into shires or grade, depending on their inclination.
This has further morphed into merging with the South Sydney Shires Club to provide stronger pathways for our juniors coming through.
The Club is acutely aware that gaining the skills to play the sport is of paramount importance for a young person to attain his or her self respect in the game and to participate at any level they choose. The Club will continue the policy of developing Juniors in the following categories;
These are explained in more detail below.
To this end, Balmain Cricket begins with the young 5’s to 7 year olds by providing a skills based learning program called In2 Cricket. It is generally played on Saturday’s from 8.30 till 10am at a local park.
The season will begin in mid October with a skills based learning and game program till the school holidays in December. In2 Cricket resumes after the holidays in a similar format after Xmas in late January holidays, culminating in a Gala Day in mid February.
It is played in a group as an activity to learn the techniques of bowling, batting and fielding, mixed, non competitive series of games, with modified rules.
It is run by the club in conjunction with the NSW Cricket Association. It aims to promote participation, skill development and enjoyment among those youngsters who want to play and learn the skills of cricket.
In other words activities include a lot of running to the ball. Catching and learning how to do do this properly. As much as a 5 to 7 year old can. Bowling a ball at a target and then at a batsman.Batting against the bowling of their peers. The learning of hand eye co-ordination is empahsised.
An Orientation day is held in mid September.
The program recommences in mid October at local venues until Xmas and then will resume after the holidays for a couple of weeks in February and it will end with a Gala day.
The kids will gain an understanding of the fundamentals of the sport, running, catching, bowling and batting.
They will play little games of 7 a side and generally having fun.
They also get a t-shirt, a cap, bat & ball to exercise with at home and in play on the day.
The under 8's & 9's usually begin after the school holidays in October but the club provides an orientation Saturday in mid September, weather depending. The Competition is played locally where possible, such as Cohen Park Annandale, and depending on the availability of grounds within the Inner Sydney area. The furthest you have to travel is Concord in the west and Ryde in the north. The teams are 8 a side and use a soft ball. The games are played between 8am till 10.30am or 10.30 till 12 depending on ground availability. Some games maybe on Friday or Sunday mornings depending on the ground availability due to the numbers of kids wanting to play.
The games and rules are engineered to allow for a learning period for kids to understand the sport and learn the skills without a full competition mode. Everybody gets to bat and bowl. The program is centred around getting the kids to correctly handle the ball, to throw and to bowl. The essential building blocks for U8s & 9s. If they can't get the ball on the pitch, they don't have a game. Batting can come later for these boys and girls, as they have a natural inclination want to cross hit the ball with the bat rather than the "learnt" methods of batting. Cutting, Driving etc.
The players train once a week with an emphasis on learning the art of cricket in being able to handle the ball in field drills and to bowl and bat. Emphasis is placed on having fun and learning the game at this young age group.
The Under 10's Competition in the Inner West Harbour Association, begins after the long weekend in October and continues until the week before Xmas and rejoins in mid to late January till late March, if they get to finals. It is the first time they begin to play the game in its entirety in a 30 over each side format on a Saturday morning, from 8am till 12pm. They play with a smaller, Red, hard ball and for the first time wear protective equipment, such as pads and helmets. There is still no LBW rule and when you are out you are out. There is an allotted number of runs a player can get before he or she is compulsory retired and they can come back to bat after other team members are out. All kids get to bowl in a game.
U11 & U12 Competition begins after the long weekend in October and continues until the week before Xmas and rejoins in mid to late January till late March, if they get to finals. The U11s & U12s play as well in the Inner West Harbour Association. This is when they play full cricket rules and the LBW law applies. The smaller red 142gram ball still applies. The competitions are designed to give players a full understanding of the sport from one day, two day and 20/20 style games.
Competitions are arranged for both Saturday morning & afternoons, Sunday mornings for some U12 teams, depending on ground availability.
Home games are played at Easton Park in Rozelle adjacent to Lilyfield Road, Callan Park Rozelle and on a home-and-away basis, with the furtherest you play is Concord in the west and Ryde in the North.
The U13s to U17s begins in mid September until late December and rejoins in Mid to late January till late March. They play on Saturday afternoons and Sundays within the Inner West Harbour and South Eastern District competitions.
The IWH & SEJCA have a new combined competition as a mixed game format of one day, (36 overs a side), two day (52 overs a side) and T20 games. The T20s are played during the Rep season from October to early December.The competitions are organised on a home-and-away basis, for the ages under 13's to under 16's.
The U14s-U17s do play on Turf wickets locally at Birchgrove Oval in Balmain, Jubillee Oval in Glebe, Alexandria Oval in Alexandria and Snape Oval in Maroubra, Petersham Oval on Sundays in mostly 36 over one day games, with a few two dayers.
All venues are usually 15 to 30 minutes driving time, depending on your locality and the time of the day, especially on Sundays.
As mentioned above, the previous years under 17's can play in the open age teams, in the Shires Grade Competition, run by the Sydney Cricket Association and at Grade level. It is a scheme to open an avenue for the boy's to continue playing cricket at a semi social level. From these beginnings we will support a growing seniors club above the juniors.
OR, if they are more talented and wish to play on turf wickets at a higher level, they can play up in associated Grade Clubs.
So the avenues are there for your child to progress through the junior ranks in the club, and then on to bigger and better things, if their Cricket prowess and desire is big enough. A boy or girl in theory can start at In2 Cricket and end up playing for the club in the shires competition, move to a grade club at and then NSW and possibly Australia.