Junior cricket numbers have declined

The game is growing but player numbers are dropping. 

C'MON KIDS: Armidale Cricket has had a drop in the number of junior teams registered to play this year.

C'MON KIDS: Armidale Cricket has had a drop in the number of junior teams registered to play this year.

There are more playing options than ever for juniors in cricket but numbers are going the opposite way. 

The Armidale District Cricket Association gathered on Wednesday night to discuss the upcoming season and while four teams have joined the senior competition from last year, there are seven less teams registered in the juniors. 

“We have gone from 27 teams to just 20,” president Mike Porter said. 

“The new format, the under 10s which was more a come and try thing – everyone gets a bat, everyone gets a bowl, it only goes for two hours, shorter wickets, smaller fields and only seven per team – we only have four teams. 

“We were expecting 10 teams in that area. I don't know what's happened.”

The season is just around the corner with the first games on October 7 and while numbers have dropped, Porter hopes more youngsters will jump on board with winter sports just wrapping up. 

“People can still sign up to existing clubs or if someone has a new club and they want to get players on board,” he said. 

Meanwhile the senior competition had a massive jump in numbers with six teams contesting first grade this year. Guyra will join Ex-Services, Hillgrove, Easts, City and Barbarians in the first grade competition while Anytime Fitness, Sport UNE and Servies signed up to the lower grades. 

In the representative arena, Easts first grade players Jackson Gwynne, Todd Francis and Sam Uphill were named in the Northern Inland Bolters squad. 

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