20 Australian Cricket Census released

Cricket Australia has praised the efforts of volunteers around the country after the 2019/20 Australian Cricket Census revealed an increase in registered participation in most formats for the first time in almost four years.

The 2019/20 Australian Cricket Census is the 19th annual audit of Australian cricket participation. The Census has become an important measure for Cricket, and assists understanding and monitoring successes, areas to develop and trends for the long‐term enhancement of Australian cricket.

Among the key findings from the 2019/20 Census is a 3.8% increase in registered participation (709,957) following three years of decline. Registered participation includes registered programs, club cricket, indoor cricket, organised school competitions and non-club cricket competitions.

In addition, there was a 10% increase in the number of kids exposed to the game in the schoolyard, resulting in reaching more than 1 million school kids (10% growth YoY).

The combined total of kids in school programs and registered participation is 1.77M (7% increase YoY).

While this is the longstanding method that most sports participation has been calculated, Australian cricket has shifted to focusing on registered participation; people choosing to play cricket in competitions and programs outside of school hours.

The combined efforts of volunteers, State and Territory Associations and CA has resulted in strong growth across a number of key registered participation areas:

  • Female Participation grew to 76,400, an increase of 11.4% YoY,
  • Woolworths Cricket Blast participation increased to 59,300 participants, up 14% YoY,
  • Junior Club Cricket grew to 5,800 in teams for boys aged 12-and-under, an increase of 8% YoY,
  • Non-club cricket competitions grew to 54,000, up 29% YoY.

In addition, club cricket experienced increases in Indigenous participation (up 12.6% YoY), multicultural participation (up 12% YoY) and participation among people living with a disability (up 10.3% YoY).

Belinda Clark, Cricket Australia’s Executive General Manager of Community Cricket, said:

“These results are testament to the tireless work of our many volunteers around the country and the support States & Territories and CA is providing.

“We have experienced an overall increase in the number of teams playing as well as strong interest in Woolworths Cricket Blast (WWCB) registrations. I am also thrilled with the continuing growth in female participation across WWCB, junior cricket and senior cricket.

“This result was no doubt helped by a big summer of cricket with the women’s and men’s Ashes and the historic ICC Women’s T20 World Cup victory in March.

“We will soon launch our new female participation strategy to accelerate this momentum. Cricket clubs around the country, today more than ever, will become an important place for the community to connect, feel safe and accepted as well as grow the sport we all love.

“Our focus is to continue to support associations, clubs and their local communities, make participation options more enjoyable and accessible and to make volunteering easier, particularly as we navigate our way through the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Cricket is more than a sport and has a huge role to play in the coming summer to help re-connect communities after a challenging period.

“We understand that there will still be plenty of challenges over the next few months, particularly for our regional clubs, volunteers and participants.

“We’re focused on supporting clubs and volunteers as best as we can, particularly starting the season in a safe manner, as well as providing fun, active, and social opportunities for the community to enjoy.

KEY POINTS

Registered Participation

  • Registered participation is a derived calculation based on the number of teams competing in competitions and individuals who participated in WWCB. The process does not contemplate individuals playing in multiple teams, however this is consistent with previous methodology and helps compare to past data. The census methodology audit is in line with the collation of sports participation data across the country. However, the club data includes an assessment of people playing in more than 1 team,
  • Registered participation increasing by 3.8% YoY to 709,957 marks a reversal of recent trends and is a strong indicator of cricket’s health.

Schools

  • Organised school competitions had a participation growth of 2.8% to 95,941,
  • An increase in school programs (minimum of four sessions) resulted in participation reaching more than 1 million (10% growth YoY).

Female Participation

  • Female registered participation grew by 11.4% to 76,400, encompassing almost 11% of all registered participation,
  • There was 25% growth in girls WWCB numbers, and more age groups developing in Junior Girls competitions.

Woolworths Cricket Blast

  • In its second year, WWCB experienced a significant turnaround with a 14% increase in kids to 59,400 overall, the highest number of children in early cricket learning programs since 2015/16,
  • Parent Net Promoter Score jumped to +48 from +30 last year, suggesting more parents were happy with their kid’s experience.

Junior Participation/Club Cricket

  • The roll out of junior formats continued with more than 99% of 200 junior associations embracing shortened, more accessible forms of the game for young people to play across the country,
  • This lead to increased junior retention (76% v. 64% last year), reflecting a better quality of experience and helping to drive growing boys’ teams by 8.4% YoY for those aged 12 and under,
  • The number of teams for 13-to-18-year-olds also increased by 2% YoY to 6,200 teams.

Senior Participation

  • Strong growth was observed in both club cricket (a 4.7% YoY increase to 171,000) and organised non-club competitions (including Last Man Stands and Big Bash inspired soft ball women’s competitions such as the Sunset Scorchers League and the Sixers Women’s Leagues), a 29% YoY increase to 54,000.

Indoor

  • Indoor cricket participation declined by 6% YoY. Almost three-quarters of that declined was experienced between January and April, with COVID-19 and summer bushfires impacting regional competitions on the East Coast.

Diversity

  • Reconciliation Action Plan commitments were delivered with Indigenous participation growth increasing by 10% YoY, largely due to targeted WWCB programs. Indigenous participation is still under-represented, and resources will continue to be dedicated to improving this area, including support from Woolworths,
  • Participation among people living with a disability increased by 12.5% YoY.

Digital/Technology

  • The CA Coach App had 21,000 unique downloads, more than 36,000 videos views and 19,000 training sessions which assisted our community coaches across the country,
  • 38% of all matches were scored electronically using the Alinta Energy MyCricket Live Score App (up from 23% in 2018-19).

About the Australian Census

CA is committed to improving and evolving the data collection and analysis that underpins the annual Australian Cricket Census.

The 2019/20 census was compiled by the Community Cricket department at Cricket Australia and each State and Territory Cricket association. An independent validation of the process and results was conducted by Street Ryan Consulting.

The Census only includes formal participation in organised competitions and school programs. It does not include participation in cricket activities which do not meet a minimum program requirement of four weeks/games duration.

The Census data will continue to improve with technological advances, specifically the amount of players individually registering on Cricket Australia’s online platform, MyCricket. This year, that number increased by 56.7% across Club Cricket and WWCB.

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