It's back for 2016...
This summer will see the return of the NatWest U19 Club T20 competition, with over 600 clubs across England and Wales taking part. This vibrant competition lets young players take ownership in their club to create the cricketing experience they want – playing with their friends, fast lively matches, a great social atmosphere and a chance to make the club look and feel different for one night a week.
The new online U19 T20 Activation Pack contains a whole host of resources to help ensure a fantastic experience for everyone this summer, including:
- Details of our new approved kit supplier, Serious Cricket, and the 15% discount open to all clubs
- New NatWest U19 T20 music “stings” to create that special atmosphere at matches
- Posters and social media graphics to promote your matches
- Videos to help you understand more about Play-Cricket.com
- Information about Player Comms, Stats Zones, Blast Points and Club of the Year
- Social media platforms and “Big Hit of the Month” competition
- Competition rules and regulations
- Details of the new U19 T20 e-learning activator course
Once the preparation is complete, you just need to focus on playing – who knows, you may even get to the top of one of our Stats Zones. Watch some of this year's U19 Club T20 players putting in the practice with Surrey and England bastman Jason Roy at the Serious Cricket Indoor Centre:
The NatWest U19 Club T20 competition was developed through player insight to combat a national trend within clubs – young players dropping out of the game after U15s.
The insight we gathered from 1000 young players (current and lapsed) pointed to these key factors:
- After U15s age group cricket, there is no specific offer for young players
- 16–19 year olds want to play with their friends
- Young players are keen to develop their own skills by taking more responsibility (volunteering)
- They want short formats, with coloured kit and lively atmosphere where their friends can watch
With the NatWest T20 Blast launching in 2014, the ECB decided to take on board the feedback from the young players, and encouraged clubs to ‘bring the Blast’ to their home fixtures for the U19 Club competition.
As part of the ECB's commitment to help clubs to continue to grow and thrive, the Stay in the Game toolkit was created in March 2014 and the key messages around player retention have been applied within the NatWest U19 Club T20 competition.
Playing opportunities – a chance to play the shorter T20 format with friends. A chance for players who might not get much of a bat or bowl at the weekend (or are unavailable) to get more involved.
Volunteering opportunities – young players take ownership and have more connection with the club. They can be responsible for preparing the match – umpires, scorers, team selection and entertainment.
Club environment – a chance to change the feel of the club and make it more ‘teen friendly’. Music, BBQ and coloured kit creates excitement and in return will lead to new faces coming down to watch.
If clubs use the competition for the purpose for which it has been created, it is likely it will have a positive impact on keeping teenage players engaged.
At the end of the 2015 season, we surveyed players and team managers to assess the impact of the competition. The results were great:
NatWest U19 Club T20 forms part of the ECB’s support package to clubs to help with the retention of young players. To find out more about the wider approach to player retention, please visit www.ecb.co.uk/stayinthegame or email email@example.com.