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Accreditation Document: Grounds, Facilities & Youth

Southern Premier Cricket League Accreditation Scheme for Grounds, Facilities and Youth Development 



  1. Introduction
  2. Brief History
  3. Purpose of the Scheme
  4. Registering for participation in the Scheme
  5. Standards
  6. Performance
  7. Assessment Procedures
  8. Governance
  9. Sources of advice and support


‘A’ Youth Criteria

‘B’ Grounds & Facilities Criteria


  1. Introduction

This short booklet 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 booklet to incorporate future changes to the Scheme.

  1. Brief History

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 Hampshire Cricket League 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.

  1. Purpose of the scheme.

The purpose of the Accreditation Scheme is to promote continuous improvement, whilst ensuring that minimum standards continue to be satisfied. Participation in the Scheme is a condition of membership of the SPCL, and levels of accreditation are built into the eligibility criteria for entry to each of the four Divisions.

  1. Registering for participation in the Scheme

Any Club can register for participation in the Scheme by application to the SPCL Secretary. However given the practical constraints on resources available to run the Scheme, participation is effectively restricted to Hampshire Cricket League Clubs which have ambitions of entry to SPCL. Such Clubs are advised normally to allow themselves two seasons following registration prior to possible entry so that any necessary improvements, identified during assessment, may be implemented.


The Accreditation Standards are set out in this Document and Appendix ‘A’ and  Appendix ‘B’. The Standards are set by the SCPL. 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.

  1. Performance

6.1 Ground

The minimum scores, averaged over a number of seasons, are:


Pitch       29.00

Outfield    7.50

Overall    36.50


Pitch        26.00

Outfield     7.00

Overall     33.00


Pitch       23.00

Outfield    6.50

Overall    29.50

6.2 Facilities

Facilities are checked against Appendix ‘B’ on physical evidence by Umpires and Grounds Assessors on the basis of ‘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).

  1. Assessment Procedures

7.1 Grounds

Grading of grounds is determined by the following:

  • umpires and captains pitch and ground markings
  • umpires and captains comments
  • ground assessors reports, where available

In particular, three questions are addressed within each tier of Accreditation (i.e. Gold; Silver & Bronze):  Note – Clubs may be given interim Grading levels namely, Silver with Gold potential or Bronze with Silver potential for Grounds & Facility grading only

  • is the standard met consistently over the season?
  • is there the capability and capacity in groundsmanship to maintain the standard?
  • what is the trend over several seasons?

Accreditation is only given when consistency has been demonstrated. Once given, grading is not normally lowered or withdrawn on the basis of a single season of lesser standard. It follows that grading is not normally improved or restored until consistency is proved over two or more seasons.  However, exceptions may occur based on better or worse performances as may arise.

A system of warnings from the League Committee is instigated to enable Clubs to remedy deficiencies, based on recommendations from the Chairman of the SPCL Accreditation sub – committee and HCB Pitch Advisor and finally approved by the SPCL Management Committee.

7.1.1 Any new club wishing to enter the SPCL must give proof of a minimum of 15 years tenure of their Club and Ground.

7.2 Clubmark Accreditation

Clubs playing in all divisions of the SPCL must have obtained Clubmark Accreditation. This requires clubs to complete an annual health check and be reaccredited every 3 years.

7.3 Youth Development

At the end of each season the HCB Development Team, will, via ClubMark Evidence Files and District records assess and confirm, in accordance with Appendix ‘A’, the following.  

  • the number of Colts games played at each age group, using information from District Associations records and league tables.
  • the number of ECB Qualified Coaches who are actively working with Colts in the club and have a current DBS clearance through ECB, using information obtained through the ClubMark process.

     8. Governance

The Accreditation Standards are set by the SPCL, and particularly for the Gold Standard are heavily influenced by 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 over matters of fact are open to review by the Chairman of the Hampshire Cricket Board upon request by the club concerned.

Sources of advice and support

Further information and practical support, in using the Accreditation Scheme to improve Club performance, including free grounds advisory visits, is available from –

  • the Secretary of the SPCL
  • the Secretary of the HCB
  • the Grounds Adviser of the HCB
  • the Cricket Development Manager of the HCB
  • the Chairman of the SPCL Accreditation sub – committee

Applies 2018