ECB Pitch Advisory Scheme
The ECB Pitch Advisory Scheme is funded by Sport England and ECB, and represents the first governing body to address the issue of groundsmanship, in particular at recreational / non-professional level.
The project is to place 45 County Pitch Advisers across England and Wales and for their activities to be fully embraced into the work of County Cricket Boards (CCBs).
All Advisers must be able to assess pitches on a standard that is recognised nationally and conforms to nationally accepted criteria (IOG Performance Quality Standards). There is, therefore, a need to train all Advisers to assess pitches to this standard.
The purpose of the scheme is to address issues regarding:
- Minimum Quality Performance Standards
- Consistent advice across England and Wales
- Active response to clubs
- Higher profile for groundsmanship
- Accurate assessment of cricket priority sites
- Identified costs
- Proactive move between professional and voluntary sector
Roles of a Pitch Adviser
1. To advise on the quality performance of specific pitches / squares and produce recommendations (where necessary) for any improvements, which may include grant aid schemes (Prioritised Detailed Assessment).
2. To monitor the developments of any facilities on which recommendations are being implemented.
3. Available, if required, to assess pitches / squares in respect of various league criteria.
4. Create a response team for basic assessments (perhaps annual).
5. Help build an effective Groundmanship Association.
There are two bands of fees applicable to Pitch Advisers:
1. Prioritised detailed assessment - £250 (inclusive of follow up visits).
2. Basic Assessments - £75-150 (by arrangement with club).
Prioritised assessments may be subsidised by the CCB via the Cricket Foundation fund. Basic Assessments are paid entirely by the club and the fee set at the discretion of the CCB.
Adviser Selection Criteria
Those individuals selected by counties to the appointment of County Pitch Adviser should meet the following criteria:
1. A minimum of 10 years as a full time head groundsman/woman and have attained at least Level 3 standard or industry equivalent.
2. Be confident and with good communication skills (especially report writing).
3. Be available to the county for a minimum of the next 5 years, with employers agreement.
4. Happy to take up the appointment in the pursuance of cricket excellence.
To become a Pitch Adviser the candidate must be nominated to the ECB by the CCB. Once nominated, the candidate must attend a residential course.