Cricket for Girls and Women is the fastest growing area of Australian Cricket.
Inspired by the world champion Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars, girls and women of all
ages are getting involved in cricket.
Girls and Women - Fast Facts
Participation by Girls and Women in cricket has more than doubled over the past five years.
Girls and women make up 24% of cricket's total participation.
In the 2014 Australian Cricket participation census, 290,493 girls and women played cricket across
entry level, school and club programs.
Girls and Women - Cricket Advantages
Customised female programs have been designed specifically for female preferences.
Increased profile of the Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars and State players as role models.
Competitive and social options are available.
Clear pathway to State and National representation with professional playing contracts.
- Cricket is being offered with more flexible scheduling and in shorter forms.
- The game is social at all levels with high adherence to the Spirit of the Game.
- Uniforms are culturally appropriate for conservative participants.
- There is no physical contact, with lower concussions and injury rates than contact sports.
- Indoor cricket negates exposure to unfavourable weather.
Girls and Women - Focus to Increase Participation
Girls and women coming from a "cricket family" background.
Multicultural - South Asian communities that have cricket embedded in their culture.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women - increase participation over
existing preferred sports: softball, basketball, netball and touch football.
Low socio economic - overcome barriers of time, cost and relevance.
Girls and Women - A Sport for All Tips for Better Engagement
"Cricket goes forever!"
"I can't give up my weekends!"
New Modified Versions
Offer modified versions of the game spanning no
longer than 1-3 hours, scheduled on midweek and
weekends. MILO T20 Blast is perfect for the time poor.
To engage girls and women, initially offer versions in
the "Entertainment Window" - no more than 3 hours.
Offer fun, unstructured "pick-up" versions in which any
player can join without fixed weekly
"Do Girls even play cricket?"
"My daughter isn't going to play cricket"
Cricket is one of the fastest growing sports for girls and
women in Australia. Since 2010, female participation in
Australia has more than doubled.
Highlight and use Role Models
The Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars and State
female players make regular community appearances.
Players can be booked through State and Territory
associations to support programs.
Use social media, your website and local newspapers to
build awareness of your programs and successes.
Adapt communications to girls and women in
Indigenous and multicultural communities.
Include 'participation by Girls and Women' as an
agenda item for monthly and annual meetings.
"I don't understand the rules."
"Why should I play?"
Access and distribute online and printed materials
focused on building girls and women's knowledge of
the rules of the game.
Sell the Benefits
Highlight the benefits of participating in cricket - fun, social, fitness, networks.
4. Personal involvement
"I don't want to stand around in the field and watch other people bat."
"How else can I get involved?"
Engage participants using MILO T20 Blast, designed so
everybody is guaranteed to have a bowl and a bat.
Simple volunteering entry point
Provide simple non-time consuming opportunities
for girls and women to be involved e.g. Skills zones in
MILO T20 Blast is a great way to engage and retain girls
and women in a volunteering experience.
5. Low Competence (skill + confidence)
"I'll never be able to pick up the skills."
Offer Social Cricket tailored for girls and women to learn
the game in a fun environment.
Focus on strengths
Provide opportunities for the players to practice what
they are good at in a game/activities environment
(as opposed to a traditional 'net session').
Encourage the players to hit the ball into the gaps to
score runs as opposed to play a particular shot. The
players will work out the best way to achieve this!
Allow the players to celebrate their successes, no matter
how small. A player making her first run/taking her first
wicket is a huge achievement, be sure to acknowledge this.
"I don't want to stand around in the sun or the rain."
Indoor Cricket is perfect if players want to stay out of the
elements and offers a less exposed cricket experience.
Twilight cricket is also an option.
7. Male Dominated Environment
"It's a bit too blokey"
"Cricket Clubs are full of sexist dinosaurs"
Female friendly environments & seek feedback
Ask girls and women to provide feedback in how to
create female-friendly club environments.
Provide structured and unstructured opportunities (e.g.
surveys, evaluation forms, forums for feedback on club
environment inclusivity) to identify gaps that need to
Appoint a dedicated "Welcome Officer", tasked with
ensuring a welcoming and inclusive club environment for
girls and women.
Female committee members
Female committee members at clubs are crucial in
creating inclusive environments. Identify committee roles
to match skills of female members/parents.
Inclusive social events
Ensure that girls and women are included in planning
and design of social activities for clubs.
To build trust and increase female engagement, offer
fun mixed cricket options for one-off social events or on
a regular basis.
Girls and women require separate change room facilities
"The cost of living is going up - how can I afford to play cricket?"
Low cost versions
Develop low cost and subsidised versions of the
game at entry level. Commercial Partners are key in
providing sustainable programs.
Pay as you go
Offer casual participation options (i.e. pay as you go).
Identify grant opportunities to subsidise playing costs at
local council, state and federal level. (e.g. State Sport and
Have a free team kit of equipment available for use.
Ensure it is clean and of appropriate weight and size,
particularly for young girls where body image and
self-image are important.
"Is my girl safe playing your sport?"
Promote the fact that cricket is a safe and non-contact sport.
Working With Children / Police checks
Ensure all key club members have current checks completed.
Membership Protection Officer
Ensure your club has a dedicated Membership Protection
Officer who is the point of contact if any issues occur.
Develop a plan to ensure transport needs of all players
are identified and addressed including transit together
to facilities, pickup and drop off at public transport
station, carpooling and use of a local council bus.
Have club insurance summary available and send it to
prospective parents and players.
Communicate all safety information to parents from the
number of First Aid trained club members to medical
infrastructure including defibrillator and First Aid kit.
Develop and communicate safety guidelines to ensure
best practice if physical injury occurs.
10. No personal link to the club
"I'm new to the area and don't know anybody in the club"
For all new players, implement a 'buddy system' in which
an established or confident team member is assigned to
befriend and nurture the new team member and help
integrate them into the team.
Host a special event to welcome new players and
develop a sense of belonging.
"No girls are interested in playing cricket"
Highlight likely instances of current informal
participation (e.g. backyard cricket)
Target daughters of participants
85% of current underage female state representatives
were introduced to the game by a male influence.
Target sisters of current junior participants. Current
underage female state representative players are twice
as likely to have a brother.
Role Model: Mel Jones
Mel Jones has been deeply involved in all aspects of female cricket over the
past two decades.
As a player, she represented Australia in five Tests and 61 One-Day
Internationals, including two winning World Cup and Ashes teams.
Though her playing career ended in 2010, Mel maintains a strong relationship
with cricket through media, management, and administrative work.
Commentary duties with Sky Sports UK, ESPN Star Sport and Channel 9 have
entrenched her as a leading voice of female cricket, and she works with female
cricket's brightest talents in a management and career development capacity.
Away from cricket, Mel is an Ambassador for Red Dust, an organisation
focused on the betterment of Indigenous community health.
Cricket NSW Breakers Junior Cricket League
After a successful pilot program (Little Breakers League - modified cricket) on
Sydney's North Shore in 2013, where the number of players in 'girls-only' competitions
effectively doubled in Sydney metro in one season, it became apparent that the 'next step'
- junior club cricket - was not sufficiently prepared to welcome the influx of new players
Issues included unclear age groups (8-year-olds playing with 17-year-olds), hard ball-only
cricket, inconsistent rules between regions as well as having no girls-only clubs located in
Greater Western Sydney, despite boasting a population of more than two million people.
A survey was sent to all girls and families who were involved in girls-only club cricket in the
2013/14 season, as well as the new 'Little Breakers'. Questions included asking girls and
families if they were interested in having an option to play hard ball cricket, preferred formats
and rules, which time of the year/day of the week/time of day was preferred, if quality of
grounds was an issue previously, and more.
- Spring Season (Oct - Nov) over 8 weeks.
- Summer Season (Jan-Mar) over 8 weeks.
- 8-a-side T20 Competition.
- One-off team fee per season.
- 2 x Zones - North East and South East metro, expanding to NW and
SW metro and targeted regional centres in 2015/16.
- 3 x Divisions - U15 Division 1 (12-14yrs), U15 Division 2 (12-14yrs -
to commence Summer season), U18 Division 1 (15-17yrs).
- In the first year, there are three independent girls' schools who play in the competition.
- Stand-alone website that acts as a competition management tool, communication hub
as well as primary contact point for players and families.
- Representative cricket pathway - the Breakers Junior Cricket Carnival is the rebranded
representative carnival for girls, operating as a 1-week tournament (January 19-23, 2015).
Case Study Tips:
- Create a clear vision - write a strategic plan which clearly articulates your direction.
- Consult with the community - seek advice about the barriers to participation.
- Surround yourself with people who are willing and able to execute - including staff and community volunteers.
- Create a sustainable model - seed funding may be necessary, and seek sponsorship to allow sufficient resources.
- Customise materials specifically for girls with high quality resources and presentation - website,
promotional video, collateral.
Social 6ers Perth Womens Competition
The Twilight 6ers Ladies Social Cricket is a six-week female competition based at Perth Cricket Club.
Held on Friday evenings throughout January and February, the program is designed to encourage girls and women of all
abilities to get involved in cricket in a highly social setting.
A 12-over, non-traditional format is used to give all participants equal opportunity to get involved. Matches are followed by
a barbeque and social gathering.
Sixteen teams participated in a highly successful first year of the program.
Case Study Tips:
- Identify a ground/club who has a keen interest in assisting the program
(E.g. supplying volunteers, free use of grounds, access to facilities).
- Spread the word throughout the entire cricket community in your area:
Utilise social media:
- Local junior/senior community clubs
- District/Premier Grade cricket clubs
- Opposing sporting codes/clubs
- Key stakeholder groups
Apply an affordable cost to the program to ensure team commitment for duration of the program.
Keep the season short, between 4-8 weeks.
Simplify rules and use a format that maximises involvement.
Consider changing the format week-to-week to maintain engagement,
(e.g. extend/reduce number of overs or include super overs).
Constant communication with teams via email, phone, text and social media.
Make it a social atmosphere with music, BBQs, pizza nights, a quiz night.
- Tag friends in program posts
- Share posts
- "Boost" post to maximise exposure
RESOURCES FOR INCLUDING GIRLS AND WOMEN
Role Model: Holly Ferling - Female Cricket Ambassador for MILO
Holly Ferling is an Australian cricketer who made her debut for the Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars in 2013.
"I had always played backyard cricket against my younger brother Lane and dad. Sometimes I would go to Lane's junior cricket
trainings and have a bowl but I wasn't really that interested in cricket. It wasn't until a Monday night when I was playing
touch football and I had a girl in my team ask me to come and trial for the district school girls team. I had no idea there was
such a thing as women's cricket until then. Within a couple months of making that district team, I made the state school girls
Being from a rural area, the only time I played in a girls team was when I went away to the National Youth Championships
with the Queensland team, but that was only once a year. Every other time, I played against - and with - boys and men. I
played my first men's match when I was 13 and actually ended up taking a hat-trick off the first 3 balls I bowled. I took
another wicket later that over and had figures of 4-0 off my first over. I enjoyed playing against the boys and the men. They
taught me exactly where to bowl and I guess it was always good to say you bowled the boys out."
Para Districts Women's Competition
Background: The Para District Women's Competition was created in the 1997 with six teams to respond to a community
demand for a social competition for women in the northern suburbs of Adelaide.
Spearheaded by Elaine Figallo, the competition routinely caters for 16-20 teams each season. Teams are made up of 8-9 players,
and groups are encouraged to form their own teams. The competition focuses on having fun and creating a family atmosphere
within the clubs and offers a range of grades catering for various skill levels.
The competition runs on Monday nights for two hours. Matches are played over consecutive Monday nights, with 32 overs
bowled each week. All players except the wicketkeeper must bowl at least one over and batters must retire on 30.
The strength of the competition comes from its community focus. The competition is heavily supported by both players and
volunteers, including husbands, fathers, grandfathers and friends who assist with the running of the competition. The women
and girls involved range from school age to women in their fifties.
Case Study Tips:
- Use non-traditional playing times, such as Monday evenings.
- Keep competition short, less than three hours.
- Include social activities, such as BBQs to create a social atmosphere.
- Involve friends and families of players in the running of programs.
- Create a structure that caters for varying levels of competence.
Valley District Cricket Club
Background: Valley District Cricket Club introduced a women's 2nd grade cricket team for the 2014-15 cricket season.
To ensure a steady flow of players, a pathway of junior participation was necessary to produce the next wave of players.
With the support of Queensland Cricket, the club established an eight-week girls-only MILO T20 Blast program with the first 96
offered fully-funded positions in the program. Forty-five girls signed up for the first year of the program.
To complete the pathway for girls from junior participation to senior competition, Valley DCC created a girls Super 6s
program. Thirty MILO T20 Blast program participants graduated to the Super 6s program - a 66% retention rate from MILO
T20 Blast to Super 6s.
Case Study Tips:
- Create a pathway that maintains participation and encourages progress.
- Use modified, shortened versions of cricket such as MILO T20 Blast to minimise time commitment.
- Attend - and sell program at - a Junior Committee Meeting, emphasising to the club that there is no risk in
setting up the program.
- Use the stress-free MILO T20 Blast environment - no need to provide a coordinator, no financial stress or need to
locate a ground - as an easy introduction for the club.
Engage senior players as volunteers and role models.
- Seek support from state/territory cricket association, in particular the support of female state players as
inspiration to reach the elite level.
- Supporting the club after the T20 Blast program has finished to create a pathway into which the girls can progress.
- Provide girls with an introduction to the club. This shows the girls and parents that the club is inclusive and they
are a valued member of it.
- Ensure there is a passionate and dedicated Junior Management Committee in place to support girls programs
and ensure the sustainability of pathways.