THE Wollen Michelmore-sponsored South Devon Youth Cricket League will hold its annual meeting at Teignmouth RFC on Thursday, November 17.
The league is one of the success stories of junior sport in Devon, with an increasing membership of clubs and teams now representing approximately 1,000 junior players across Teignbridge, Torbay and the South Hams.
Recent innovations within the league structure have included the launch of girls’ divisions at under-13 and under-15, a hardball pairs competition for under-10s and a series of Kwik cricket festivals for under-nines and girls under-11s.
The up-beat message from league chairman Chris Partridge is a continued focus on meeting the needs of clubs and junior players.
“While the league has gone from strength to strength in recent seasons, we won't be resting on our laurels," he said.
“The overall structure of competition will remain very similar to 2016, but the only real change is the league taking back responsibility for under-19 competition in South Devon.
“We will be asking clubs to look at the overall experience they provide to young players, and to take on a little more responsibility for the way results and statistics are communicated.”
In a move supported by the Devon Cricket Board, the league will be inviting clubs to turn junior matches into more of a ‘T20 experience’ with an invitation for junior teams to adopt coloured kits, pink balls and zing bails as part of the move.
Said Partridge: “We understand that in the next few years there is going to be a national push to connect junior cricket more closely to the limited-overs format in professional cricket.
“Cricket always faces challenges to attract and retain junior players, so making the whole match experience more exciting and replicating what they see on TV or social media can only help clubs to find and keep young players.”
All clubs members of the league should have received details of the annual meeting and are expected to send representation.
Any clubs wishing to join the league ahead of the 2017 season are encouraged to attend the meeting or to contact Partridge on 07887 513800.