To players, families, coaches, umpires and all other stakeholders of the North Eastern Junior Cricket Association, welcome to 2018/19.
I'm reusing last year's welcome, with some tweaks for any new items this season.
Before I share some quick thoughts on the season, I do want to recognise the volunteer contributions of a number of people. I want to thank all Club Delegates of the NEJCA Committee for their volunteer contribution to this competition last season. If you are the Delegate again for your Club, welcome back and thank you again, in advance, for volunteering your efforts into our Association.
I would also like to thank one retiring Executive Committee Member for his volunteer service over a number of seasons:
:: Jim Tsouflidis (NEJCA Life Member) from Eastern Suburbs, in the role of Treasurer
With Jim retiring, it's a good time to have a look around your club for those long-serving volunteers. Club delegates have information about qualification criteria and how to nominate someone for NEJCA Life Membership.
Again, lots of exciting enhancements to the NEJCA Program, including the second season of Junior Formats (Stage 1) for Under 10s, and our first season of Junior Formats (Stage 2) for our Under 12s. Junior Formats includes modified playing conditions to better suit the size and cricket development needs of young cricketers - reduced pitch length, less fielders, smaller oval = MORE BALLS IN PLAY, MORE CONFIDENCE AND MORE FUN. Not backwards, better suited! Thousands of hours of research and piloting has gone into Junior Formats.
As per last season, the Eligibility Date of Birth for Under 10, 12 and 14 has been standardised across Metro SA, to the 1st of September. When your son or daughter woke up on September 1 this year, their age on that date determines the grade they'll play this season. This date is also in line with Rep Cricket, such as The SAMCA Cup.
Cricket is all about “making runs and taking wickets”. With that in mind, we’ve removed retirement scores. Also, time in the middle does not always equal balls faced, so every player can expect to face the same number of deliveries in 2017/18. Excitingly this season, the HIGHEST-scoring retiree returns first.
Girls-only Cricket returns to an outdoor format on Sunday mornings. Please direct your enquiries to your club, or to Girls Coordinator, Vicki Venning (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Our Hot Weather policy has been tweaked to still use BOM Forecast information, but - as per last season - to focus in on the late-morning forecast rather than the maximum forecast, given we are a largely, morning competition. The BOM App for 2018/19 will use the 10:30am (Daylight Savings) forecast for our morning cricket, and Windsor Gardens as its measurement point. http://www.bom.gov.au/app/.
Community Coach (Level 1) courses continue to be offered for FREE by Cricket Australia - a great opportunity for the coaches at your clubs to obtain this incredibly-beneficial, innovative qualification. See this link for more details, to register and get qualified: http://community.cricket.com.au/coach/accreditation/community-coach. Whilst not a mandatory accreditation this season, we can expect it soon. Strongly encourage your coaches to pursue these courses.
Finally, remember, Community Cricket is still about equity and enjoyment. Your role as supporter is very simple, to support the players of both teams, and to support the officials and coaches. It is not to question decisions from the boundary - I don't care how correct you think you are. Kids will remember those embarrassing parent outbursts for many years - don't be that person. (I'm 43 and I still remember a dad from Year 2 who would yell stuff at us; his son hated it and so did we. Not once did we think, "yeah, he knows what's going on!" Kids move on very quickly from disappointment if we don't make a fuss.) Your Executive Committee is not the MRP, we are volunteers with busy lives. If a complaint is received, please expect - at least - a one-week ban for you and your child. It has no place in junior sport, especially on a Sunday morning. I want our Committee focused on proactive, fun, value-adding activities for the participants, not disciplining parents. Refer to any Code of Conduct document in any organisation and you should notice some recurrent themes about expected behaviours. (As an update for 2018/19, discipline issues from our matches will likely be directed straight to SACA.)
Kids are often told to STOP, THINK, DO when they are learning how to act in situations. I would follow this concept when you see something you disagree with from the sidelines..
:: STOP! Well, don't START yelling or becoming agitated. STOP getting out of your chair.
:: THINK! It's a Sunday morning, it's junior cricket, respect the official, recall that Jonno said I'll earn a one-week ban for me and my child, recall that I don't want to be "that" parent.
:: DO! Sit down (or I’ll allow "DO" go for a calming walk around the oval), smile, and look forward to being able to attend next week.
Cricket is a funny game. Sometimes you are on the wrong (or unlucky) side of a decision, sometimes the right side. It's up to the adults to teach our young cricketers actual resilience. There is always next week, and if you follow my simple philosophy about receiving news from an umpire - they are always right, they never change their mind, and they appreciate respect - you might attract better fortune! You only need to watch a Test Match to see how many umpiring decisions are over-turned. These are well-paid officials with years of experience. It makes perfect sense to me then that not all of the decisions in a NEJCA season are going to be spot on! Please have that expectation and you’ll be less disappointed.
With that, have a wonderful season,
Jonathon De Conno, NEJCA President