As an ECB Premier League we are required to ensure that standards in the Premier Divison are of high quality and to report annually to the ECB the quality of pitches and outfields achieved. The standards set out in this document for the Premier Division are based on the requirements for an ECB Premier Cricket League. Those for our other Divisions are set proportionally below those required for the Premier Divison.
An important aspect of playing league cricket at a high level is the opportunity to enjoy the game of cricket in good quality playing environment. This is quickly recognised by most cricketers, particularly in respect of the standard of the pitch and outfield, but also with regard to the condition and upkeep of the changing rooms and other aspects of grounds.
Everyone is keenly aware that providing and maintaining good quality facilities is a significant demand on scarce funds and resources. The League Committee recognises this fact and seeks to work with clubs, ECB/HCB and others to ensure available funds are used to the best effect to maintain and improve standards of ground wherever possible.
A discreet proportion of available club funds should be targeted on the upkeep of grounds, facilities, ground machinery, equipment, etc. Upgrades and new provision of facilities and machinery should be enabled by the club. External funds are also often of great assistance in this regard and should be considered wherever possible.
It is considered unacceptable that clubs who have taken care to ensured high quality conditions to find themselves travelling to play at grounds where similar efforts have not been made and the quality of the ground has suffered as a result.
It is acknowledged that clubs often need time to undertake significant improvements especially where additional fundraising is required and/or permissions from planning authorities or landlords is required. The required standards for progression to a higher Division are normally required prior to the promotion being recommended. However, where there are specific circumstances where a promotion may be allowed given sufficient guarantee of a future improvement being made, promotion may be allowed.
This document provides a guide to the background, purpose, operation and governance of the Southern Premier Cricket League (SPCL) Accreditation Scheme for Grounds and Youth Development. It brings together, in a single document, information which has previously been available through a range of sources such as the League Handbook, AGM Reports and Captains' meetings. The SPCL Committee will update the document to incorporate future changes to the Scheme.
The notion of accreditation is not new in League Cricket in Hampshire. The former Southern Cricket League introduced an accreditation scheme in the early 1990s to address the generally poor quality of pitches, and to promote the development of coaching and Youth Cricket. The HCL introduced a Grounds assessment scheme shortly afterwards.
At the inception of the Southern Premier League, accreditation was strengthened as part of the drive to further improve standards at the top of the Club 'Pyramid' in line with the vision of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) for the recreational game. All member clubs signed up to the accreditation approach as a condition of membership and by adopting the Club Charter.
The purpose of the Accreditation Scheme is to ensure that minimum ground standards are achieved and then maintained as required in all Divisions. The standards are intentionally set lower in the lowest Division and rise incrementally to the Premier Division.
Participation in the Scheme is a condition of membership of the SPCL.
The Ground Marks awarded for each match play an essential part in the assessment process and therefore need to be awarded as fairly and accurately as is possible.
To ensure that Ground Marks awarded for each match are accurate and useful careful attention is required from all players and umpires completing the Ground Report. Each category marked is accompanied by a description to aid completion and ensure that those completing the Ground Report can judge each category against a common standard.
Ground Marks should be awarded solely on the condition of the ground for the match without bias or preference. The match result, personal performances and success or failure should be separated from the completion of the Ground Report.
Any Club can register for participation in the Scheme by application to the SPCL General Secretary. However, given the constraints on resources available to administer the Scheme participation is effectively restricted to SPCL Clubs and HCL D1.
Where an Accredited club falls out of the SPCL or HCL D1 its Accreditation will remain active but will be subject to review when and if the club is in a position to re-enter the SPCL or HCL D1. The depth of consideration in such circumstances may well depend in part on the length of time spent outside of the SPCL or HCL D1.
Accreditation is specific to each ground and is not transferable.
If proposals are made for a move to a non-Accredited ground, then the General Secretary must be informed at the earliest possible opportunity. If the proposed ground exists and is in use in the HCL (or other League), then its Ground Standards and Ground Marks and Ground Reports at the current level will be considered. If there is no SPCL or HCL history of use, then use in the HCL at the highest possible Standard is recommended for at least two seasons to establish a record of the quality of the ground. If the new ground is a new facility, then the League will require advance sight of plans and specifications. Updates of progress and access to the site are required. If possible, at least two seasons' use outside of the SPCL within the HCL, or other League with Ground Standard and Ground Marks and Reports, is normally required.
Accreditation transferred from an existing to a new ground will be provisional for a period not exceeding 5 seasons. If the Ground Marks and Reports show that the Outfield and Pitch meet the required minimum marks, then the Accreditation Grade will be confirmed within the provisional period. If the Ground Marks and Reports show that the Outfield and Pitch do not meet the required minimum requirements for the Accreditation Grade awarded provisionally then the League will within the provisional period place the team (ground) into a League where the minimum requirements are met.
Only in the most extreme circumstances will a new ground be considered for use in the SPCL without following the process described above. If no other match information exists, then a number of practice matches and/or demonstration of use of the Outfield and Pitch may be required.
All Clubs in HCL D1 are advised to allow themselves at least two seasons following registration to prepare their ground for entry into the SPCL. This period of time is allowed to conduct the required inspections and allow for any improvements required to be achieved.
The Accreditation Standards are set out in this document and Appendices A and B. The Standards are set by the SPCL. The Standards for pitches and outfields are supported by performance criteria and a rating scale which is applied at the end of each match by the Umpires and the visiting Captain.
The minimum marks required are:
The Pitch Marks are awarded in 6 categories marked 1-5, total 30. Support to the game of Skill is awarded 1-10, total 10.
Total for Pitch - 40
The Outfield marks are awarded in 4 categories marked 1-5, total 20
Total for Outfield - 20
The figures in brackets above show the required marks as a percentage of the total.
There is an Overall requirement to cover where one aspect is marked very high and the other very low. Pitch, Outfield and Overall minimums must all be achieved.
Facilities are checked against Appendix B on physical evidence by Umpires and Grounds Assessors based on 'present / not present' and reported accordingly.
6.3 Youth Development
Gradings are checked against Appendix A by the HCB Cricket Development Manager using Club Mark Evidence Files and District records, independently of the League Management Committee (see 7.3).
Grading of grounds is determined by the following:
It is expected that the grade achieved by A, B and C will not be overturned by D; however, in some circumstances, a Ground may be graded up or down from that expected from the results of A, B and C by factors in D.
A minimum of 10 years' secure tenure on entry to the SPCL is required.
A running record of remaining tenure is kept (in the handbook alongside grades and Clubmark renewal dates).
At the end of the season where there are 4 full seasons of remaining tenure the Club is to commence discussions to return the tenure back to the required minimum term (minimum).
At the end of the season when there are 3 full seasons of remaining tenure the club will be issues a 1st Warning.
At the end of the season when there are 2 full seasons of remaining tenure the club will be issued as 2nd Warning.
At the end of the season when there are 1 full seasons of remaining tenure the club will be issued a Final Warning.
At the end of the season when there is less than 1 full season of remaining tenure the club will be demoted from the League.
This process and timings should cover the needs of the League and of Clubs. It covers the need for continuing tenure for the season following the reduction in tenure. It is designed to ensure the tenure continues throughout the following season.
The following tenure types...
Might be suitable but require confirmation from the SPCL:
Are not suitable:
7.2 Clubmark Accreditation
Clubs playing in the SPCL must have Clubmark Accreditation.
7.3 Youth Development
At the end of each season, the HCB Development Team will, via Club Mark Evidence Files and District records, assess and confirm, in accordance with Appendix A, the following:
The Accreditation Standards are set by the SPCL.
For the Premier Division these are based around the Standards set for Premier League Clubs by the ECB.
Monitoring of the Grounds and Facilities Standards is managed by the Southern Premier Cricket League Management Committee. The Youth Development Assessment aspects of the Scheme are operated by the Hampshire Cricket Board on behalf of SPCL.
Any dispute on matters of fact ONLY may be reviewed by the Chairman of the Hampshire Cricket Board upon request by the club concerned.
Further information and practical support in using the Accreditation Scheme to improve Club performance, including free ground advisory visits, is available from:
Clubs playing in all divisions must have obtained ClubMark accreditation. This requires clubs to complete an annual health check and be reaccredited every 3 years.
In addition to achieving and maintaining ClubMark, clubs must provide regular competitive opportunities for junior players:
Clubs aspiring to be promoted must meet the criteria of the higher grade by 31 August prior to promotion. The criteria must also be met by 31 August in subsequent years. Clubs not meeting the criteria for their current Division by 31 August will be at risk of relegation.
NOTE: Any new club wishing to enter the SPCL must give proof of a minimum of 15 years tenure of their Club and Ground.
|Specification for preparation of the pitch must be under the club's control||M||M||M|
|Decisions on the fitness of the ground for play, prior to the arrival of the match umpires, must be under the club's control||M||M||M|
|The ground must be secured against incursion of free roaming livestock.||M||M||M|
|Grass Pitch must be suitable for 120 overs||M||M||M|
|Pitch must not have been artificially watered within 48 hours before a match||M||M||O|
|Square should be cut within 2 days before a match||M||M||M|
|A light and heavy roller (minimum 1 ton) must be available for use during the match||M||M||O|
|Creases shall be remarked between innings and lunch and tea intervals where applicable||M||M||M|
|Covers must be available to protect an area of at least 80 feet by 12 feet during an prior to match||M||M||O|
|The outfield must be closely mown with no noticeable grass cuttings and weeds||M||M||M|
|The outfield must have no holes, ruts or any other hazardous obstructions||M||M||M|
|The boundary must be no less than 50 yards and no more than 90 yards from the nearer middle stump on the match pitch. For clarification; a minimum of five individual match pitches, on a single cricket square with this measurement, must be available for use throughout the season.||M||O||O|
|The boundary to be marked clearly with a rope or white line or equivalent with markers approximately 20 yards apart placed immediately on the outer edge of the boundary line.||M||M||M|
|When applicable, fielding circles will be indicated as per the playing regulations. Discs can be obtained from the League||M||M||M|
|Fit for purpose Double Sightscreens or approved equivalent must be provided at both ends, in good condition and situated outside the boundary||M||M||M|
|A ground not enclosed by security fencing, shall be adequately roped off to protect the square at times when not in use||M||M||M|
|The ground surrounds should be well maintained and suitable measures taken to ensure lost balls do not delay play||M||M||O|
|Two artificial or grass nets must be available prior to the game on match days||M||M||O|
|An artificial or grass net must be available prior to the game on match days||M||M||M|
|A large working clock must be sited so that it can be seen from the playing area||M||M||M|
|A bell, to allow umpires to signal the start and resumption of play must be provided||M||M||O|
|Scorebox: An enclosed, separate and private area that provides clear, unimpeded visibility of the entire playing area for both Official scorers, in dry and ideally warm conditions; with access to approved electrical power points; and which enables adequate control of the scoreboard and signalling to the on-field Umpires.||M||O||O|
|A scorebox or sheltered area must be provided for official scorers with numbers showing, at least, Total, Wickets, Overs & First Innings Total||M||M||M|
|Separate and secure changing rooms must be provided for visiting teams||M||M||M|
|Where new Build changing rooms must be to SPL recommended minimum size with suitable seating and area for equipment||M||O||O|
|Changing rooms must have a mirror and at least one hook per player for clothes||M||O||O|
|Separate and secure accommodation must be provided for umpires of a similar standard to players||M||M||O|
|Separate and secure accommodation must be provided for umpires||M||M||M|
|Adequate clean and hygienic showers must be available and convenient for private access by players and umpires||M||M||O|
|Adequate clean and hygienic showers must be available for the use of players and umpires||M||M||M|
|A clean and Hygienic Kitchen shall be provided and meet all relevant health & safety requirements.||M||M||O|
|Where a kitchen exists it shall meet all legal health and safety requirements||M||M||M|
|Clean and hygienic male and female toilets must be available and meet all legal requirements||M||M||M|
|Toilet access for spectators must be consistent with the security and private requirements of players and umpires||M||M||M|
|All toilet facilities should take into account the needs of people with disabilities||M||O||O|
|A well-stocked First Aid Box must be easily accessible at all times for treatment of minor injuries||M||M||M|
|A person qualified in First Aid should be available whenever possible||O||O||O|
|Team sheets should be available for spectators or on display in a convenient location||M||O||O|
|Telephone facilities must be available and in working order||M||M||M|
|Basingstoke & North Hants||G||G||G||2019|
|Bournemouth Sports (2nd Grd) *||SG||G||SG||2021|
|St. Cross Symondians||G||G||G||2021|
|Hook & Newnham Basics||S||G||S||2021|
|New Milton **||SG||G||SG||2019|
|OT's & Romsey||SG||G||SG||2020|
|Basingstoke & North Hants II||G||G||G||2019|
|Fair Oak *||BS||G||BS||2021|
|Hartley Wintney **||S||G||S||2020|
|Liphook & Ripsley **||S||G||S||2019|
|South Wilts II *||G||G||G||2020|
|St. Cross Symondians II||G||G||G||2021|
|Totton & Eling||G||G||G||2019|
|Bashley (Rydal) II||G||G||G||2019|
|Fareham & Crofton *||B||G||B||2019|
|Hythe & Dibden *||B||G||B||2019|
|Portsmouth & Southsea||B||G||B||2020|
|Tichborne Park **||S||S||S||2021|
|Other Grounds in SPCL|
|St. Cross Symondians (2nd ground)||B||-||-||-|