To players, families, coaches, umpires and all other stakeholders of the North Eastern Junior Cricket Association, welcome to 2017/18.
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 a number of retiring Executive Committee Members for their volunteer service over a number of seasons:
:: Craig Fry, Executive Committee, Brahma Lodge
:: Andy Mulvany, Executive Committee, Athelstone
:: Konrad Date, Executive Secretary, Eastern Suburbs
:: Malcolm Ayliffe, Executive President, Walkerville
To Malcolm and Konrad especially, thank you both for your collective 10-plus years of service to Junior Cricket in the North East. You have both delivered wonderful enhancements to the competition and should be proud of your time in office. I wonder how many volunteer hours you’ve chalked up together..
With Malcolm and Konrad, both in consideration for NEJCA Life Membership, it is a good time to have a look around your club, for those volunteers who are nearing similiar service milestones. I will supply information to Club Delegates about qualification criteria and how to nominate someone for NEJCA Life Membership.
Vicki Venning, Golden Grove, continues on the Executive Committee and moves into the Secretary Role, as well as being very active with Girls Cricket and Rules Coordination. Steve Matchett, Glenunga, returns as Executive Committee Member. Jim Tsouflidis returns to the Executive Committee as Treasurer. Welcome back Jim. Alex Guy, SACA Rep, continues on the Executive Committee as a non-voting Member.
Lots of exciting enhancements to the NEJCA Program, including Junior Formats for Under 10s, which sees modified playing conditions to better suit the size and cricket development needs of 8 and 9 year old players - reduced pitch length, less fielders, smaller oval = MORE BALLS IN PLAY, MORE CONFIDENCE AND MORE FUN. Not backwards, better suited!
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 wakes up on September 1 this year, their age on that date determines the grade they'll play this season. This decision 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.
Girls Cricket moves to an Indoor Fours format at Mega Courts, as we continue to build numbers for girls-only cricket.
The Hot Weather policy has been tweaked to still use BOM Forecast information, but to focus in on the late-morning forecast rather than the maximum forecast, given we are a morning competition. The BOM App for 2017/18 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 are now being 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 42 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.
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. Other sports have had enough "bad supporter" press for the rest of us.
With that, have a wonderful season,
Jonathon De Conno, NEJCA President