RCC have implemented the ECB Fast Bowling Directives as below:

Injury prevention for fast bowlers

These Directives applies to girls and boys, and any reference to he/his should be interpreted to include she/her.

For the purpose of the Directives a fast bowler should be defined as a bowler to whom a wicket keeper in the same age group would, in normal circumstances, stand back to take the ball.

All Captains, Team Managers, Umpires and coaches are urged to identify those players with the potential to bowl fast and to ensure they follow the Directives in all cricket throughout the season.

There are four main areas to be aware of when assessing injury risk to fast bowlers:

  1. Over-bowling
  2. Technique
  3. Physical Preparation
  4. Equipment

This is an important consideration especially for young bowlers whose bodies are not fully developed. Recent studies have revealed that over-bowling is a common cause of back injuries. Evidence suggests that much of the damage occurs early in the playing career, especially during growth spurts, though the effects do not often show themselves until the late teens. The more talented and more physically mature youngsters are generally most at risk, as they tend to play at more than one age group level.

To ensure that young fast bowlers do not place undue stress on their bodies, every attempt must be made to keep the amount of bowling within reasonable limits. The following Directives provide sensible playing and training levels.

Directives for matches:

AGE:             MAX OVERS PER SPELL                        MAX OVERS PER DAY

Up to 13        5 overs per spell                                     10 overs per day

U14, U15      6 overs per spell                                     12 overs per day

U16, U17      7 overs per spell                                     18 overs per day

U18, U19      7 overs per spell                                     18 overs per day

Directives for practice sessions:

AGE:             MAX BALLS PER SESSION                   MAX SESSIONS PER WEEK

Up to 13        30 balls per session                                2 sessions per week

U14, U15      36 balls per session                                2 sessions per week

U16, U17      36 balls per session                                3 sessions per week

U18, U19      42 balls per session                                3 sessions per week

For guidance it is recommended that in any seven day period a fast bowler should not bowl more than four days in that period and for a maximum of two days in a row.

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.

In matches of 20 overs or less per team where the competition regulations only allow bowlers to bowl less than or equal to the number of overs specified as the maximum in a spell in the Directives the provisions requiring an equivalent number of overs from the same end to have elapsed before a subsequent spell can commence shall not apply (e.g. in any age group competition where a maximum of 4 overs per bowler is allowed these may be bowled at any time in the innings irrespective of the number of spells bowled).

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.

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



The emphasis on all nets should be quality rather than quantity. These Directives will encourage young fast bowlers to focus their efforts on shorter, more intensive spells. Consequently young fast bowlers should be made aware of the importance of warming up and warming down as part of their preparation.


In the period between the end of the cricket season and Christmas, indoor practise for fast bowlers should be kept to an ABSOLUTE MINIMUM. The following highlights the risk of playing/practising on hard surfaces such as solid concrete and shows how these forces can be reduced by using appropriate mats or indeed by practising on grass.

Concrete offers 0% force absorption whereas grass can offer up to 75%. The 34% offered by natural turf was measured at Trent Bridge on a rock hard Test Match pitch. These figures have major implications for limiting indoor work in the winter, particularly for seamers, and for ensuring that length and intensity of sessions are considered when working on the harder surfaces.

Force absorption and surfaces:

Concrete                             0% force reduction

Uniturf on concrete:            7% force reduction

Uniturf + mat:                      15% force reduction

Uniturf + 2 mats:                 31% force reduction

Natural turf:                         34% force reduction

Synthetic + underlay:            49% force reduction


It is crucial that bowlers are encouraged to adopt a safe action early in their development.  Bowlers should either have a SIDE-ON, a FRONT-ON or a MIDWAY/NEUTRAL’ action, but SHOULD NEVER MIX THE ACTIONS.  The mixed actions (of which there are two main types) are a major cause of back injuries, because they cause an unnecessary spinal twist. Excessive hyperextension of the back during the delivery stride is also a contributing factor.  For further clarification of mixed actions consult the ‘ECB Coaches Manual’ or an appropriately qualified cricket coach.


A well structured, cricket specific training programme is essential to develop, and maintain, the strength, endurance and flexibility required for fast bowling. It is one of the most injury-liable non-contact activities in sport and the need for the fast bowlers to be amongst the fittest and best prepared players in the team cannot be over emphasised.

Bowlers should WARM UP and STRETCH thoroughly before bowling and training, and should WARM DOWN and STRETCH afterwards. A good warm up helps to encourage a more professional approach, helps team spirit and can actually improve performance. It also helps to reduce the chance of an injury occurring.


Impact forces of up to eight times body weight can be experienced during the delivery stride. Without the appropriate footwear, these forces must be absorbed by the feet, ankles, knees and lower back of the bowler. It is therefore essential that bowlers minimise these effects by absorbing them with the use of efficient, well-fitting, cushioned boots or shoes and if required, absorbent insoles.  The use of running shoes, basketball-type boots or good cross trainers is also essential as they are designed to cope with the types of forces experienced when bowling on hard surfaces.

RCC January 2023

RCC have implemented the ECB Fielding Regulations covering the minimum fielding distances for young players in all matches where a hard ball is used as below:

  • No young player in the Under 15 age group or younger shall be allowed to field closer than 8 yards (7.3 metres) from the batsman’s position on the popping crease on a middle stump line, except behind the wicket on the off side, until the batsman has played at the ball.
  • For players in the Under 13 age group and below the distance is 11 yards (10 metres).
  • These minimum distances apply even if the player is wearing a helmet.
  • Should a young player in these age groups come within the restricted distance the umpire must stop the game immediately and instruct the fielder to move back.
  • In addition any young player in the Under 16 to Under 18 age groups, who has not reached the age of 18, must wear a helmet and, for boys, an abdominal protector (box) when fielding within 8 yards (7.3 metres) from the batsman’s position on the popping crease on a middle stump line, except behind the wicket on the off side. Players should wear appropriate protective equipment whenever they are fielding in a position where they feel at risk.
  • These fielding regulations are applicable to all cricket in England and Wales. Age groups are based on the age of the player at midnight on 31st August in the year preceding the current season.

RCC January 2023

RCC supports the following guidelines issued by the ECB concerning the participation of girls in boys cricket:

  • RCC wishes to encourage the development of girl cricketers and is happy for them to participate in boys cricket.
  • Team managers and coaches have a duty of care to all players and girls should only be allowed to participate if the responsible adults are satisfied they are competent to do so.
  • Suitable arrangements need to be in place, particularly in relation to changing facilities and transportation arrangements, if applicable.
  • For safeguarding purposes, there must be at least one female adult chaperone in attendance at all times where there are girls taking part in boys cricket. One female adult can chaperone all girls attending. In addition, any adult family member (male or female) may chaperone a related girl, but if this chaperone is male, he only satisfies the chaperone requirement for his related girl.
  • In ECB national competitions the age group requirements apply to all players regardless of their sex.
  • In local Leagues, and other competitions, it is up to each League, or competition, to specify age group requirements. If girls who are older than the specified age group are allowed to play, the League must specify a maximum age for the girl players and confirm how many older girls can play in any team. The same regulations must apply to all clubs in that League or competition. Please note that if the League or competition acts as a qualifier for an ECB national competition, that League or competition may adopt their own guidelines relating to this but qualifying teams must meet ECB national competition guidelines.
  • For the sake of clarity it should be understood that boys cannot play in girls Leagues or competitions unless explicit provision for this is included in the rules of that League or competition. Boys cannot play in the ECB girls competitions.

RCC January 2023

RCC has implemented this ECB guidance to help the Club decide when to select young players in open age group cricket and how best to help their cricketing development when they play within Open Age groups. The guidance applies to boys and girls.

The guidance is as follows:


 Making the step up from junior to open age group cricket is a significant event in any player’s cricket experience. RCC will ensure the player’s safety, personal development needs and overall cricket experience are considered at selection.

  • RCC squad coaches and managers must take into account the requirements on age detailed in this guidance.
  • Each case is to be determined on an individual basis, depending on the player’s ability and stage of cognitive and emotional maturity to take part at this level – however, the minimum age guidance provided below must be adhered to.
  • Selected Juniors should be involved in all aspects of the game wherever possible i.e. socialising, team talks, practice, decision making and so on, so they feel part of the team.
  • Juniors will often feel more comfortable and able to perform if they have a family  member or friend also playing in the side.
  • Selected Juniors 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.
  • RCC will provide an opportunity for players to show their talents in an appropriate way. It is recognised Juniors who are just used as fielders will not fully experience   the game.
  • RCC will be supportive, at all times, for all forms of effort even when Juniors are not successful. RCC will try and put them in situations where they will experience some success (however small) and ensure there is plenty of praise and encouragement.• The captain should inform the Umpires of under 18s in the side.


ECB Helmets, Fast Bowling Directives and Fielding Regulations should always be adhered to for Junior players in Open Age group cricket

Minimum age

Players who are selected in a County U12 squad in spring for a summer squad or in another squad deemed by ECB Performance Managers to be of a standard above ‘district level’ for that season are eligible to play Open Age cricket. This is providing they are at least 11 years old, are in School Year 7 on 1st September in the year preceding the season, and have written parental consent to play.

District and club players who are not in a County or Area Squad must wait until they reach the U13 age group, be in Year 8 and be 12 years old on 1st September of the preceding year before being able to play in any Open Age group cricket. As before written parental consent is required for these players.

In allowing these players to play in Open Age cricket it is essential RCC and RCC coaches recognise the ‘duty of care’ obligations they have towards these young players.

The duty of care should be interpreted in two ways:

  • RCC will not 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.
  • RCC will not 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.

By following these guidelines RCC hopes to ensure playing in open age cricket is a positive experience for our young player and provides an opportunity for our young players to show their talents in an appropriate way.

RCC January 2023

Clothing and equipment

  • The use of helmets and protective wear is essential when facing a hard ball or bowling machine in the nets – all batters facing a hard ball / bowling machine must wear adequate protection including abdominal guard (box), pads, gloves and a properly fitted helmet
  • In line with the ECB regulations on helmets for young persons and adults – all under 18s must wear a helmet and all players over the age of 18 are strongly recommended to wear a helmet when batting in the nets with a hardball / the bowling machine
  • Players must wear suitable footwear in the nets e.g rubber-soled (non-marking) cricket shoes or trainers
  • NO SPIKES or STUDDED FOOTWEAR may be worn in the indoor or outdoor nets
  • Kit bags and any coach equipment must not be left on the artificial playing surface, or within the hitting direction of practice; bags should be left clear of the nets, not causing a trip hazard and, if indoors, not obstructing exits

Bowlers and spectators

  • Players waiting to bowl must stay alert, facing the batter at all times and keep their focus on the ball to avoid being struck
  • Only one bowler may bowl in one net at any one time; once delivery is completed the bowler must safely clear the net before the next ball is bowled; players should not turn their back on the net whilst re-joining the bowing queue
  • Bowlers should only bowl when the batter is ready
  • Bowlers should not bowl if there is a loose ball in the net
  • Bowling must be in accordance with the laws of cricket — from legal distance, legal action, and with no deliberate excess of short bowling
  • Spectators should remain outside the nets and not within the hitting direction of practice
  • All players and spectators at the net practice must behave in a proper and correct manner
  • No footballs, rugby balls or other non-standard cricket balls to be used in the nets


  • Batters should pad up outside the net area
  • Players must wear correct protective equipment at all times – pads, gloves, abdominal guard and helmet
  • Loose balls should be carefully returned to the bowler by the batter after each delivery and should not be left in the net
  • Balls must be retrieved from the side netting by the ‘Safe Method’. The Safe Method is:
    • Check no one is bowling in the net next to you
    • Once safe remove the ball from the net with your foot
    • When the ball is away from the net pick the ball up
    • Walk back to the back of the net keeping your eyes on the net at all times


  • A loud cry of “STOP” should stop activity in ALL nets immediately to address any safety problem

 Bowling Machine

  • Bowling machines should only be used under the supervision of an ECB qualified coach or senior club member who has a good level of competence in the operation of the bowling machine; and only during an arranged practice session
  • The machine must always be used within a net and not aimed intentionally outside the net
  • All regulations regarding supply of electric to the machine as per manufacturers recommendations must be followed
  • The feeder must ensure that the batter is ready and indicate that he is about to feed the machine for delivery
  • Batters should observe a couple of deliveries before taking strike
  • The batter must be informed of any adjustment made to the machine before the next delivery and adjustments should only be made under the supervision of the coach
  • The speed of the machine should not be adjusted above that which the batter can play with some degree of certainty
  • The feeder should consider whether some form of protective wear is needed
  • Balls and equipment should be inspected for any faults, wear or damage before use, and not used if any damage or fault is detected; any damage or fault should be reported to the Management Committee

Nets used for arranged practice sessions – for the safety of our youth members

  • The sessions must be conducted under the supervision of an ECB qualified coach and comply with all safety rules, regulations, guidelines and procedures relating to playing and coaching cricket including coaching ratios, child supervision guidelines, DBS, safeguarding, first aid as laid out by the ECB Safe Hands Policy
  • Before practice commences coaches must check the cage and netting to ensure a safe environment

Nets used by members outside normal practice sessions

  • Anyone wishing to use the nets must first book the lane on the RCC website
  • The Club will not accept responsibility for unaccompanied children using the nets facility
  • Members under the age of 18 using the net facility are the responsibility of their parents/guardians/carers
  • People using the nets without the supervision of a qualified coach do so at their own risk

The nets must be left in the condition they were found with stumps left in appropriate position, gates padlocked using the code lock and any rubbish removed

RCC January 2023

Wearing of Helmets by Young Players

RCC have implemented the ECB Wearing of Helmets by Young Players Regulations as below:

Batsmen and wicketkeepers standing up to the stumps must wear head protection when playing or practising.

This guidance applies to all players up to the age of 18, both in open age group 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 this guidance is followed at all times.

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 an updated British Standard (BS7928:2013). A face protector represents an alternative head protection system for young wicket keepers. Wicketkeeper Face Protectors are covered by a new British Standard (BS 7928 – 2 :2009). The ECB strongly recommends that wherever possible junior players use head protectors that have been tested against junior sized cricket balls.

  • Helmets with a faceguard or grille should be worn when batting against a hard cricket ball in matches and in practice sessions.
  • Wicket keepers should wear a helmet with a faceguard, or a wicketkeeper face protector, when standing up to the stumps.
  • Any young player in the Under 16 to Under 18 age groups, who has not reached the age of 18, must wear a helmet and, for boys, an abdominal protector (box) when fielding within 8 yards (7.3 metres) from the batsman’s position on the popping crease on a middle stump line, except behind the wicket on the off side. Players should wear appropriate protective equipment whenever they are fielding in a position where they feel at risk.
  • All 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).
  • All young wicketkeepers should regard a helmet with a faceguard or a face protector as a normal part of their protective equipment together with pads, gloves and, for boys, an abdominal protector (box).

No parental/guardian consent to the non-wearing of a head protector by any U18 player will be accepted by RCC.

This guidance is to be communicated to the parents, or guardians, of all young players through the Club.  RCC’s young players are not allowed to bat or stand up to the stumps when keeping wicket against a hard ball without wearing appropriate protection.

Wearing of Helmets by Players Over The Age of 18

The ECB strongly recommends that all adult recreational cricketers should wear helmets for certain activities, preferably which meet the most recent British Safety Standard (see below). This recommendation applies to batting against all types of bowling, wicket-keepers standing up to the wicket (who may as an alternative wear face protectors) and fielders fielding closer than eight yards from the batsman’s middle stump, except behind the wicket on the off side.

Women Cricketers

The ECB understands that there is currently no specific women’s helmet and as a consequence no specific standard for women’s cricket helmets. As the size of the standard women’s cricket ball is between the standard men and junior balls, it is recommended that women use helmets that have been tested against both the men’s and junior sized ball, or at least against the junior size ball (as that could potentially get through the gap above the face guard on a men’s helmet).

British Safety Standard

The latest British Safety Standard is BS7928:2013 (for both adults and juniors). The full list of helmets meeting this standard is available at For wicket-keeping face protectors the relevant British Safety Standard is BS7929-2:2009 (again, for both adults and juniors).

The key features of the new specification, BS7928:2013, are:

It now includes a facial contact projectile test that assesses for penetration of the ball through the faceguard, and contact of the faceguard onto the face, using realistic ball impact speeds and conditions.   Head protectors have been tested separately against men’s and junior sized cricket balls (a five-and-a-half ounce ball and a four-and-three-quarter ounce ball, respectively).

The ECB now STRONGLY RECOMMENDS that senior and junior players use head protectors which have been tested against the senior and junior sized balls and are compliant with BS7928:2013.


RCC encourage all cricketers to carefully consider their own health and safety regarding the use of helmets.  It is RCC policy to make players aware of the ECB’s above recommendation in relation to helmets.  RCC encourage players, parents and guardians to satisfy themselves that any newly purchased helmets meet the latest British Safety Standard.

RCC January 2023

RCC Membership on Pitchero