At the end of each year we publish a series of articles about the season gone past. In the first instance there are the reports on the winners of competitions, promotion and relegation outcomes [in so far as they can be determined on the field of play], player averages and the story of the main competitions - league by league. The final elements, which we are now embarking on, is the analysis of competition and club activities. This last element is to help build up a picture of how the competitions are faring and clubs performing. It looks to the through flow of youth cricket into adult competitions, participation, playing strengths and activity levels.
Notwithstanding the major changes that are taking place in the professional layer of cricket in Ireland, the foundations for the sport, more so than in any other Test nation, lies in the club game. For this reason, if for no other, it is important that we have a good understanding of how the club system works and of emerging trends: trends relating to participation and drop-out, activity rates, player movement and volatility and the changing profile of the playing community.
One of the aims over the next few months will be to build up a detailed profile of the open competitions, to be followed as soon as possible thereafter for women and youth cricket.
All this depends on having good information about how much cricket is played, who is taking part and the structure of clubs. This involves bringing together information provided through the player registration process, on-field activity from scorecards submitted and the some information from the accreditation process. One of the reasons why we are not in a position to provide a full profile of women and youth cricket is that we lack some critical data [a gap in knowledge which it is hoped to fill next season].
The aim is to publish the breakdown of the key figures in a series of articles. The first of these [participation in OC Competitions] is already available on the website. The second [below] focusses on the movement of players and the overall volatility in the numbers participating in OC. It is an Interim report as we are still working on the breakdown of player movements and there may be some alterations to the final figures. These are not expected to materially affect the findings.
The Volatility Rate
A matter of more than just academic interest is the level of movement of players between clubs. Those of a certain vintage will remember an era when a player moving form one club to another would be the talk of the season. A change in club allegiance could lead to some quite tasty confrontations on the field of play - in part because it was so rare. Not so today.
The Club Volatility Rate [CVR] measures the percentage of new players in a club each season - whether coming from youth academies, movements from other clubs, players returning to the game or those new to club cricket in Leinster. It is designed to help clubs [and competition administrators] to get a better insight into how the sport is growing [or declining] and identify those aspects of the competition structures that require attention. Hopefully it use will grow more useful over time when we have the benefit of data from multiple years. But even in a single year it can point to areas of concern within clubs who find themselves excessively reliant on the influx of new players to fill their teams. On the other end of the spectrum, clubs with a very stable playing section may be running the risk that they are unable to quickly replace players in the event of an unexpected drop in numbers.
The overall competition figures are as follows:
The preliminary breakdown as between clubs is set out in the Table below.
Transfers: Movements between Clubs
Gap: Players who did not play in 2016 but were last registered for another club
New: Includes both debutants and returnees [the final report will include breakdown of this figure]
Total Gain/Loss: Adjusted to exclude players moving between clubs who did not play in 2016
CVR: New players in 2017 [transfers and debut/returnees] as percentage of total players.
*: Gorey did not take part in OC league in 2016
Movements between clubs involving DU players not included.
Figures relate to Leinster clubs only.