SUNDAY LEAGUE (Formally Super Club)
Sunday league is a competitive club-based competition played on some Sundays (some T20 games may be midweek). It caters for three age groups:
- Year 7/8
- Year 9/10
- Year 11-13
In its current format there is a T20 round robin and finals pre-Christmas and some grades play a longer form competition after Christmas.
There are three main reasons for the Sunday League being formed.
- It provides an opportunity for players to form a link to a club in the hope that the clubs will get behind the teams and young players will be encouraged to continue playing the game for a club once they finish school. This, in time, will hopefully help strengthen the clubs across all senior grades and keep the game of cricket in a healthy state at club level.
- The competition is intended to be an opportunity for competitive players to get competitive games of cricket against other players of their own age and ability. While some clubs and grades may do things a bit differently the concept is to give players a chance to play in a role according to their own strengths.
- There is a big difference between playing cricket on a grass wicket to playing on an artificial wicket and this was often exposed at the Riverbend tournament. In the Sunday League, as often as possible, games are played on grass wickets. This gives all the players a taste of how they need to adjust their games for different conditions.
Who is it for?
This competition is meant to be a competitive competition and is better suited for the more skilled players. However, the original philosophy of the competition was to have the clubs run a squad. It has never been intended to close the squads off to anyone but the idea is to pick the best team available for each game. If a wider squad practices together it gives an opportunity for players to improve with the stronger players and hopefully work their way into the team. It way mean a younger player (e.g. a Year 9 boy in the Year 9/10 grade) may train with the squad but not play much in his first year but will benefit from being in a more focused environment for when he gets his opportunity as a Year 10 the next season.
NOTE: For a player to play Sunday League they must also be in a Saturday team. Sunday League is not intended to be at the detriment of Saturday cricket in any way.
What is different about it?
- Squads are club based so no specific qualifying basis. Players can decide to approach any club.
- Players get to play on grass wickets as often as possible.
- For Year 9/10 and 11-13 grades there is normally at least one official umpire supplied. This umpire will be in charge of the game and enforcing match conditions. Due to a shortage of official umpires the Year 7/8 matches will normally have one or two teenage boys umpiring. They will have at least their Level 1 umpires’ certificate and will also be in charge of the match. Coaches and parents will only need to umpire at the batsman’s end if at all.
How is it selected?
In the first few seasons it was decided to select groups of players to be part of the squads in each club involved. The original selections were based on a few criteria.
- Does the player have a tie to an existing club already through maybe a parent or sibling?
- Where did the player play junior cricket? (This was only applicable to Mount Maunganui as they were to only club with juniors and seniors)
- Where did the player live and what was the closest club.
- The intention was also to have as even a competition as possible so some players may have been put with one club rather than another.
It is important to note that the selectors did not know every player in the area, and it was never meant to exclude anyone who wanted to go along to a club and express interest in playing. This message still seems to have not been understood and, in some cases, coaches have not helped this.
Papamoa were welcomed on board after a couple of seasons which did make it a little bit difficult to get even teams as many players did not want to leave there existing club. In time though this will change as Papamoa create their own juniors starting out at the club on Saturdays.
Last year it was decided not to select anyone for these squads. As most had already been playing previously it went ahead quite smoothly.
NOTE: The perfect scenario is that the clubs are actively involved in the Sunday League teams and all provide an environment where players want to play for that club and continue to do so. If you want to be involved please contact your club of choice (details are below).
CURRENT CLUBS INVOLVED IN SUNDAY LEAGUE