Wairarapa Cricket Association
Pathway Changes 2020-21
For the 2020-21 season, the development area that has always existed within the WCA representative pathway (male and female) is undergoing some positive change.
Nationwide all sports are being asked to reflect on talent ID and participation philosophies, with the end goal of creating more opportunities for players to enjoy their sporting endeavours and create a lifelong love of physical activity. This is being led by Sport NZ, who have created a ‘Balance is Better’ approach, and New Zealand Cricket, Central Districts Cricket and Wairarapa Cricket are taking steps to align with this.
The Wairarapa Cricket approach, rather than removing opportunities, is to attempt to create more, but with less emphasis on talent ID’ing of players who are going through fundamental growth and coordination stages.
Via the introduction of an emphasis on enjoyment, being challenged, developing and improving, being part of a team or group, and enjoying time with friends, the end goal is a quality experience for all participants.
Believe it or not, the WCA has had this philosophy for a long time. It has been built into our strategic direction since 2015 and we are now in the formative stages of a pathway that will allow this to flourish.
WCA key priorities and outcomes within the strategic plan are:
- Inspiring enjoyment
- Fostering development and creating opportunities
- Establishing and promoting development opportunities
- Breaking down barriers for a wider range of players to participate
- Engendering a life-long love of participation in sport and physical activity
The WCA Approach
In the 2020 off-season Wairarapa have been involved with a range of discussions led by Central Districts Cricket, and the approach for 2020/21 and beyond mirrors that of a number of other (but not all) CD District Associations.
The WCA have termed its Year 7 and Year 8 Boys teams “Development” teams for a number of seasons. It is important that coaches, players and parents are aware of the distinction between this and “representative” cricket.
For the 2020/21 season both Year 7 and Year 8 Boys sides will have a no Talent ID or Selection approach. The WCA will put in place structures to attempt to allow any player to have District cricket and tournament opportunities. The hope is that a wider base of players will become involved, and two development Year 7 & Year 8 boys teams can be fielded.
District Fixtures will be pared back with a maximum of four inter-district weekends across the season. The philosophy is less weekends, with more teams. All Development teams will be provided with the opportunity to attend the Hawkes Bay Cricket Camps in January.
There is minimal change at U/15 and U/17 Representative level, although a wider squad of U/15 players will be selected to attempt to maintain greater opportunities.
There are further significant changes within the Female Pathway. Central Districts, alongside the eight District Associations have changed from “Age-Group” to “Year Group”.
U/15 Girls now becomes Year 9 & 10
U/18 Girls now becomes Year 11 to 13
Within the Year 9 & 10 space these teams are now 9 per side, and it is important to note that CD are also removing their U/15 (Year 9 & 10) team selection from that applicable tournament.
Both the Year 8 and below, and Year 9 & 10 age-groups will see Wairarapa attempt to field a minimum of two sides, with a No Talent ID or nil Selection approach to encourage a wider group of players to gain experiences in their formative cricket years.
All of these sides will receive the opportunity to attend their respective tournaments and play inter-district matches.The representative Female Pathway, including Talent ID, will then begin at Year 11-13 (Senior Secondary grade).
I Want to be Involved. How Do I Do That?
Within the next week to ten days the WCA will begin the process of advertising for expressions of interest in the coaching space. We encourage any volunteer to put their name forward to be involved.
For the Development Pathway there will be no specific selection process, instead the WCA along with the respective coaches will put any player who wants to participate in a team – this process is to be worked through collaboratively, as we know friendships are a vital part of playing within a team.
If the number of players keen to be involved do not match an exact number of teams the WCA will look at a process of involving players in wider coaching, and providing opportunities within the system across the season. This will not be done on a Talent ID basis.