The first cricket tournament to played indoors is being held in February! With teams coming from various parts of Wisconsin to play, the excitement is mounting. The tournament is first of its kind in many ways. In order to play SAFELY indoors and have a active game of crickets, lots of factors had to come together. This included facility readiness, #Covidsafe rules, equipment, training and partnership of players.
Playing indoor is not new to YCW. In 2019 (pic above from 2019), coaching and games were held at Macdowell Montessori school. The program was in collaboration with Milwaukee Rec to propagate cricket in the community. #COVID made the Milwaukee Schools unavailable. Preparing a facility that was big enough and allowed for #COVIDsafe rules was the first challenge. Uihlien Indoor Soccer (another non-profit), stepped us to create a safe cricket capable environment. They worked with YCW to understand requirements, setup policy and procedures, cleaning schedules and safety awareness to ensure that the participants had a enjoyable and safe experience. The space allows for social distancing, sperate entrance for entry and exit, player separation between fields and several other setups. This collaboration has allowed for cricket to have a home for this tournament.
There were pilot events to try out the facility and participation of players. Lessons learned and updates were made to improve the experience.
Sharing equipment in team sports was a common norm. Cricket equipment was not locally available for purchase. Once something was ordered online, there was no idea of delivery (shipping issues in pandemic) or face quality, size, quantity issues. YCW established the first dedicated store for cricket in Brookfield.
YCW piloted a transition in Jan "back to cricket" using the same guidelines that were put in place last year. Using the Australian sporting authority, Wisconsin and Waukesha guidelines, ICC and USA cricket rules they developed rules and processes to keep players safe. Addition of masks for indoors and extra requirements, such as non-participants waiting in car, were effective in keeping training focused and safe. Limiting size of classes between 3 and 5 students from same school/house/neighborhood helped the risk level stay low.
The incorporation of scheduling and collaboration of parents has been a success in getting "back to cricket". We are hoping for an exciting 2021 and the upcoming tournament.