WA SNAPSHOT• Highest growth (12.6%) in registered participation in country
• Female players increased to 5,800, up 45% YoY
• Entry-level participation grew to 7,500, a significant growth of 12.2% YoY
• Higher retention and growth in junior cricket
• Club cricket recorded strong growth of 15% YoY
• Diversity in participation increased by 16% YoY
One of the key highlights from the census revealed that the State is leading the country in registered participation growth with a 12.6% increase year on year, exceeding the national average of 3.8%.
Registered participation includes registered programs, club cricket, indoor cricket, organised school competitions and non-club cricket competitions.
In schools, almost 14.4% more students experienced cricket programs, which is an important first step to getting kids excited about moving to community cricket.
The combined total of kids in school programs and registered participation is 223,532 (12% 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.
Nationally, cricket has seen an 11.4% increase in registered female participation, while WA has been boosted by a massive 45%, a result that demonstrates that cricket continues to be a sport of choice for both women and girls in the State.
This result was bolstered by an impressive 56% growth in senior women’s cricket and continued 27% increase in girls playing cricket.
The Perth Scorchers Women’s League (PSWL), a community club-based competition, has been a major catalyst for this growth in metropolitan Perth, as well as strong participation in new women’s competitions in regional WA.
Leading this change is local cricket club Ascot Eagles who offer a female pathway from Cricket Blast through to the PSWL. The club has established close relationships with its local premier cricket club to maximise opportunity for every woman and girl who wants to play cricket in the community.
Another strong growth area was junior boys’ cricket, with the number of teams for those aged 12 and under growing by 18.6% to 509 teams, and an improved 78% retention rate (65% in 18-19).
In its second year, the successful delivery of the 2019-20 Woolworths Cricket Blast program played a fundamental role in introducing a record 7,500 kids to cricket in WA, a 12.2% increase on the previous season.
As a sport for all, WA cricket continued its commitment to prioritising diversity and inclusion – a participation segment that increased by 16% YoY.
This growth has been underpinned by the innovative solutions and support the WACA has been able to offer clubs through its strong partnerships with Autism Association of WA, Inclusion Solutions, Healthway and the Insurance Commission of WA.
More clubs than ever before engaged and ran programs that were accessible and targeted at people with disability, including Wembley Districts JCC. The Club was awarded the 2020 Cricket Australia Community Cricket Club of the Year for its work in developing a complete pathway for players with a disability from the age of five through to the Belt up Senior Integrated League.
Aboriginal community club participation enjoyed remarkable growth of 32%, led by the community and leadership programs being delivered across the State supported by the WA Cricket Foundation.
WACA General Manager - Community Cricket Jo Davies said;
“WA Cricket has had an outstanding year, we’ve had fantastic growth across the majority of segments of our great game, which sees us leading the country in registered participation growth.
“We are thrilled to have more women and girls playing than ever before in both junior and senior club competitions and it’s pleasing to see the diversity of WA cricket continuing to grow and strengthen.
“These results are a testament to the tireless work and dedication of thousands of our volunteers, school ambassadors and other key stakeholders that make up the fabric of community cricket in WA. The work they’ve achieved is so important and appreciated.”
About the 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.