NBCC Womens and Girls’ Team

Delighted to formally announce that we have set up the NBCC Women and Girls Team with the support of leading female focussed brands NEXX Cricket (@nexxcricket), Lacuna Sports (@lacunasportsuk), and Fab Little Bag (@FabLittleBag).

Introduction

When we thought about setting up the team we wanted to ensure we could meet a number of objectives:

  1. To only partner with people and organisations with a proven track record of working in women and girls’ cricket,
  2. To show that there was no reason for women and girls’ to not have equipment specifically designed and made for them,
  3. To enhance the Whakapapa of the women and girls’ who play for us through the provision of an appropriate team kit,
  4. To provide advice, guidance and support to clubs looking to develop their women and girls’ teams both on and off the field,
  5. To encourage discussion about being #periodsupportive throughout cricket.

The New Kit

NBCC women and girls’ Red Ball White Kit
NBCC women and girls’ Pink/White Ball Coloured Kit.
NBCC women and girls’ Ponyflo Caps which can be bought from us for £25

Not Just A New Kit

By far the most debated point internally and amongst the many we consulted was the new kit: with the views 50/50 between traditional whites and a coloured kit.

In the ‘coloured corner’: there is a very clear and compelling argument for a coloured kit involving Back or Dark Blue trousers, but coloured kit is not the universal ‘answer’ many believe when you look at India (light blue), Australia (yellow), Sri Lanka (light blue), Afghanistan (red), WIndies (maroon). Unarguably better, but far from perfect. Additionally at club level in the UK whilst a growing number of clubs use coloured kits for their women and girls’ teams this is not the case for their red ball cricket played at the weekends, so if a player ‘limits’ their cricket to only games played in coloured kits they will not get to play much cricket, an issue that needs to be addressed for inclusivity in general, but not one that is likely to change any time soon.

In the ‘whites’ corner: far from practical, but still the primary colour of choice for club cricket in the UK, and the unfortunate reality is that if women and girls’ want to play regular hardball cricket it is going to be red ball, wearing whites. This is a cause we will take up and encourage clubs and players to debate, but our immediate priority is to concentrate on encouraging women and girls’ into cricket, within the current traditions and cultures. You can make more changes from within as the old saying goes.

What You Told Us

The truth is cricket remains very traditional with the main focus being red ball cricket played on a Saturday and Sunday and all other cricket fitted in around it. An increasing number of clubs are aware of the need to change, and many want to develop womens and girls’ teams, and whilst these increasingly wear coloured clothing, for many the reason for this is because it is White/Pink Ball cricket rather than being the most appropriate, and currently if women and girls’ want to further their cricketing journey they are very likely to be faced with having to wear whites, and poorly fitting ones at that.

We talked to woman and girls’ players: new and old, professional and club, hardball and softball. We talked with men and boys: new and old, professional and club. We talked to club administrators: male and female, young and old. As ever within cricket it is not hard to find the whole spectrum of views expressed, and we have picked out some which hopefully are balanced in their opinions and highlight just how far we still have to go to reach a common consensus:

  • “If clubs want women and girls’ to play they must provide the same facilities and playing conditions as they do to the men, and provide proper fitting, coloured clothing”,
  • “If women and girl’s want to play cricket they must fit in with the current structure”,
  • “Coloured clothing is for White/Pink ball and Whites are for Red Ball and that is how it should be, after all the Women’s Test Team play in Whites”‘
  • “The recent Women’s Tests have highlighted a desire for more Red Ball Cricket, which has to start at club level and our players are just not interested in wearing anything other than whites to play their traditional red ball cricket'”,
  • “We asked. Some were adamant that they would only play if it was coloured kit, others were happy to play on whites. What are we meant to do?”,
  • “But we see women and girls’ wearing whites every weekend when they move up into Senior Cricket”,
  • ‘Would love to, but we simply can’t afford to lose our weekend revenues”,
  • “More games means more pitches, which is possible, but who is going to do all that extra work?”,
  • ” I have only ever played girls and womens cricket in Whites and have no problem”,
  • “Not being funny, but how often are leaks seen on a cricket pitch”,
  • “Sorry, we struggle to get our players to buy the latest shirt if we change Sponsor, no way are they going to buy a whole new kit”,
  • “I like playing in Whites, it is what I grew up wanting to do”.

All opinions, and therefore valid. Wherever you sit on this spectrum we think one thing is very clear to us: in order to introduce women and girl’s into cricket, and retain them, they must feel comfortable, inclusive and safe. It is also clear that clubs need educating, supporting and helping which is why our primary focus will be on working with the clubs , and we will use the ‘team’ to highlight and demonstrate what is possible.

What We Are Doing

In order to increase the option for women and girls’ to make their decisions we decided that at the same time as we would engage with and work with clubs on shaping the future direction of women and girls’ cricket, we also needed to offer a kit bag equal to that of the men and boys’: equipment that was designed specifically for them, clothing that was designed with their bodies in mind. Inclusivity starts with a level playing field and offering a range of options which put the decision to play or not in the hands of those that would be playing.

Whilst we have a view on the direction women and girls’ should go, we need to be pragmatic that whilst the debate is ongoing, and moving in the right direction, we are in danger of losing a lot of potential women and girls’ from the game, which we think could be encouraged to play by addressing the issues of properly fitting kit and equipment.

Our new whites have been designed to:

  • fit the body shape of the women and girls’ playing,
  • highlight the need for inclusivity and compromise as the game evolves,
  • encourage debate, discussion and education as to what cricket needs to address both on and off the field to become truly inclusive, and
  • highlight #periodpositive and it’s importance throughout cricket and sport, and indeed throughout society.

We are adding twenty sets of white tops in assorted sizes to our virtual kit bag, fifteen set of white trousers in assorted sizes and fifteen sets of coloured trousers in assorted sizes, and will also include Lacuna Period Pants (for emergencies – something every club should do – and a discount coupon for those wanting to buy theirs from Lacuna Sports), and we will be selling our NBCC branded Lacuna Ponyflo Cap.

The virtual kit bag will also include our existing coloured playing tops, and from NEXX a selection of women’s cricket bats, women’s batting pads, girl’s batting pads, women’s batting gloves, and girl’s batting gloves.

Phase One for us is to have equality in our kit bags: Whites that we provide to all players when the game is a Red Ball game. For white/pink ball games we have Coloured Tops for the adult and development games which can be worn with your existing black playing trousers or you can buy our branded Masuri ones which are available in both Male and Female options, and the women and girls’ team have coloured trousers to match the tops. We have bats, pads and gloves suitable for both men, women, boys and girls which can be used by those who don’t have their own.

NEXX are providing a 20% discount on their whole range with the code noboundariescc which you use at checkout.

“It’s really exciting to be using cricket equipment designed specifically for women and girls.” World Cup winner Georgia Elwiss

Inside our match day bags we will carry the  FabLittleBag Eco Coach’s Bag full of organic cotton period products and FabLittleBags for easy confident disposal. The perfect durable, ethically sourced bag which all Coaches should have in their coaching kit, taking away the angst around managing periods whilst playing cricket. 

What Next?

The project is much more than ‘just’ a team having the right kit, crucially important as this is, and fundamental to our belief in whakapapa, so we are also launching a range of downloadable guides and information sheets to help clubs understand and become #periodpositive. Sue Strachan (@sue_strachan) will be helping us with this as part of her consultant role.

We will be working with clubs to help them develop their womens and girls’ teams and to ensure their club facilities are friendly, accommodating and ‘fit for purpose’.

Our team will play a number of games throughout the year to promote women’s and girl’s cricket at clubs looking to introduce or grow womens and girls’ cricket. We will hold coaching sessions, advise on the transition from softball to hardball, and play a game against the club to demonstrate to the club and community how inclusive the game can (and should be).

If you are interested in any of this then please feel free to email us

in addition to our own Downloadable Infographics Lacuna Sports provide an excellent Woman and Girls Cricket Resource Hub

A Few Words From The Brands Involved

NEXX cricket equipment has been designed specifically for female players in consultation with some of today’s top international cricketers. No more long straps, bulky pads or baggy gloves. We are delighted to be partnering with NBCC to help introduce more women and girls’ into cricket, and help Clubs understand how they can introduce and develop women and girls’ cricket.

Joe Leach: NEXX

FabLittleBag is determined that periods should not be a barrier to participation in cricket. A view shared by NBCC. Feeling welcomed at your club is key. The reality is that managing periods whilst playing cricket can be tricky, awkward and embarrassing, and periods remain a taboo subject for many. A lack of access to period products and questionable facilities can cause women and girls to feel worried and stressed if their period arrives unannounced, or worse, miss training or a match altogether. We are delighted to work with NBCC and support their commitment to qualifying for our Period Supportive Club kitemark; ensuring that all players have their basic needs met with our Coach’s Bag full of tampons, pads and FabLittleBags for easy responsible disposal; bin or no bin. 

Martha Silcott: Fab Little Bags

Lacuna Sports is the only brand dedicated to creating performance enabled cricketwear designed for a woman’s body. Created for women and girls who are serious about cricket, Lacuna’s mission is to remove barriers to movement and ambition, so that all women can walk out on the pitch feeling confident, comfortable, and able to focus on their game, not their kit. Embodying the same commitment to inclusivity in cricket, Lacuna Sports was pleased to work with the No Boundaries Team to design a range of kit options and styles that will give players the ability to choose the teamwear that suits them best.

Leigh Burns: Lacuna Sports

Background Information

NEXX Cricket: cricket equipment which has been designed specifically for female players in consultation with some of today’s top international cricketers. It delivers a range that caters for all ages and abilities.

Lacuna Sports: cricketwear designed for a woman’s body, removing the barriers to movement and ambition so that all sportswomen can walk out onto a pitch feeling confident, comfortable and able to focus on their game, not their kit.

FabLittleBag: striving to keep period products out of our rivers & oceans, while ensuring easy, discreet and responsible disposal with confidence.

Additional Reading

Worries over confidence and periods hitting UK girls’ enjoyment of PE

The pride of wearing cricket whites meets period anxiety

‘Truly alarming’: girls put off sport in UK by clothing requirements