Opinion | Is it time to drop permits for female cricket players?

Opinion | Is it time to drop permits for female cricket players?

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By Mark Farmer

Saturday afternoon and the men in white come out to play.

Whilst there are loud calls to move to coloured uniforms, it is the traditional white pants and top that remain steadfast whilst the red ball is still in daytime use.

This week Forrestdale came second in both the A and E grades; East Fremantle and Piara Waters got the chocolates.

Standing in the field, watching as the weekend turned from an enjoyable pastime to a disappointing loss, I considered what could be done to increase the number of participants as we could only muster 10 players on the day.

Sports such as horseracing, equestrian, sailing, motorbike racing, tennis, luge, and ice skating all have mixed competitions of men and women, as well as badminton.

When you consider the risk level of these sports and then compare it to a game of cricket where a batter can wear leg pads, groin protection, thigh pads, chest pads, forearm and elbow protections, gloves for the hands, a helmet and neck protection, then the risk of a fifty-six-ounce cricket ball is greatly minimised from harming an individual.

It is not that females are excluded from playing cricket with men in the competition, it is the rules that govern the inclusion of females that may not be keeping stride with the wider community views on integration and accessing the sport that an individual chooses to play.

The first three rounds of the year have seen 13 teams forfeit their game.

Forrestdale had to forfeit in the first round but have managed to call on old war horses to make their return.

The good news is that females can play in the men’s competition, but it comes with a caveat.

The Western Australian District Cricket Council states in WADCC General Rule 6.6.7 that it will allow a female player to play in the male competition – particularly those who are representative or talented players – upon the club obtaining a permit from the WADCC.

It goes on to state that at all times clubs must ensure that the skill and ability of the female player is appropriate for the grade concerned.

This is contrasted against 6.6.1, where a player must not play or act as a substitute fielder in a senior competition unless they are at least 14-years-old as at 30 June.

A club can place a 14-year-old into a senior line-up.

We certainly have, and that is left up to the discrepancy of the club regarding skill level and safety, but a female is required to have permission and be assessed as to their suitability by persons outside of the club.

The broader scope for this requirement is not made clear nor is the criteria that is to be met, so a club applying on behalf of a female is unsure of the process.

If you would like to play in the men’s competition and are looking for a club then come on down to Forrestdale and we can, together, understand what this section of the General Rules requirement is and get you playing on Saturday in white.

Results – A Grade BOG – Batting Glover 35, Solari 12 Bowling – Farmer 2/37, George 1/52, Pike 1/32

E Grade –BOG – Batting Boopesh 11, Mellowship 11 Bowling – Bradley de Boer made a welcome return to the club with 3/28, Krishna 2/24.

Next week Forrestdale A grade is home to Riverton-Rostrata and the E grade travel to Riverton-Rostrata.