Loughborough University
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Reducing the pitch length: Effects on junior cricket

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journal contribution
posted on 2018-04-23, 13:18 authored by Mike Harwood, Fred YeadonFred Yeadon, Mark KingMark King
The pitch lengths used for junior cricket are a subject of debate but to date there have been no studies of their influence on the game. This study evaluated the effect of reducing the pitch length on batting, bowling and fielding. County under 10 and club under 11 matches were analysed, ten played on pitch lengths currently recommended by the England and Wales Cricket Board, 19 yards/17.37 m or 20 yards/18.28 m respectively, and ten played on 16 yard (14.63 m) pitches. Differences between measures of batting, bowling and fielding were calculated to assess the effects of the shorter pitch length. In club and county matches on 16 yards, running between the wickets increased by 22% and 39% respectively, while boundary fours and sixes decreased by 54% and 68%. Deliveries played to the Mid-wicket area decreased by 44% in club and 33% in county matches, both accompanied by a more even distribution of fielding opportunities. Club matches saw a 15% increase in playable deliveries, largely due to fewer deliveries bouncing twice. Attempted shots, full toss No balls and Wide balls changed negligibly. Playing on a shorter pitch had positive impacts for bowlers, batters and fielders, consequently resulting in matches which were more engaging. Coaches and governing bodies should consider shorter pitches as a means of enhancing junior cricket.


This research was part-funded by the England and Wales Cricket Board.



  • Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences

Published in

International journal of Sports Science and Coaching


HARWOOD, M.J., YEADON, M.R. and KING, M.A., 2018. Reducing the pitch length: Effects on junior cricket. International Journal of Sports Science and Coaching, 13(6), pp. 1031-1039.


© The Authors. Published by SAGE Publications


  • AM (Accepted Manuscript)

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This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

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This paper was accepted for publication in the journal International journal of Sports Science and Coaching and the definitive published version is available at https://doi.org/10.1177/1747954118772482




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