Norfolk Cricket Board launch survey to help struggling clubs
The Norfolk Cricket Board are conducting a survey of players in the county in a bid to combat cases of teams being forced to fold.
Halvergate have followed Hillington in withdrawing from the Norfolk Alliance this season, while Hemsby A also recently pulled out of the Norfolk League. The West Norfolk League has suffered similarly this year, with Grimston, The Creakes, Necton and Heacham B all unable to continue.
The NCB have reacted by launching what they believe to be the largest ever survey of cricket participants within the county in a bid to gain a greater understanding of why people play the game, and what might keep them involved in years to come.
The board's cricket development manager Kieron Tuck said: 'We have three main reasons for undertaking this survey. Firstly, the board has developed significantly in the last few years and we now recognise the need to understand the needs of people who choose, or want to choose cricket across a range of areas. This is a first step on this road.
'We also recognise that for cricket to survive and thrive in the long term, and remain an attractive choice for adult players the product needs to be geared to the needs of these players, whether that be in the traditional leagues and cups, or in more informal settings.
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'This ties in with the third reason. Of late there have been several teams in Norfolk that have folded, and anecdotal evidence of teams struggling to get players to play and field teams. There is no doubt that this has to some extent always been the case, teams fold and teams reform, but to dismiss this as cyclical, or historical would be complacent.
'We hope that this survey may help to identify ways in which we can ensure that cricket remains the summer sport of choice, and that league competitions remain strong and well patronised. As the county cricket board it is our role and duty to lead this investigation.'
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NCB chairman Keir Hounsome added: 'After many years of generally sustained growth within clubs in Norfolk and nationally it is now clear that some are struggling. It is a priority of the England Cricket Board to increase adult participation and for our part the Norfolk Cricket Board are anxious for the sake of the game in this county to do all we can to optimise the opportunities for people to play cricket.'
The survey is aimed at any player in senior cricket in Norfolk, and contains 12 questions that ask them about their enjoyment of the game, the hurdles they have to overcome to play, and their views on the formats of cricket they currently play.
All four main Norfolk leagues – the West Norfolk League, Norfolk Alliance, Norfolk League and Mid Norfolk Sunday League – have been involved in devising the survey and the results will be shared with them and with clubs by the NCB.
The board hopes the survey will identify areas where players wish to see change and they then plan to work with the leagues to implement those changes.
Tuck added: 'We would urge all players playing cricket in Norfolk to access and complete the questionnaire and return it to the NCB. Their views are vital in order to effectively shape the future of cricket in the county.'
Questionnaires will be sent to all clubs, and NCB staff will also distribute them on their travels throughout Norfolk. The survey can be downloaded at the NCB website, www.norfolkcricket.co.uk and can also be completed online at www.activenorfolk.org/NCBplayersurvey
A link also exists on the NCB Facebook page. Responses can be submitted until July 30, 2012.