All junior batters must wear helmets with integral face grills when batting in a match or practice session against a hard cricket ball.
That’s the rule – technically it is an ECB guideline not a rule however it is quite simply a safety matter. Once upon a time parents could write to the club and give permission for their child not to wear a helmet, this is no longer the case.
Wicket keepers are required to wear a helmet when standing up to the wicket but our strong recommendation is that younger, less experienced keepers should wear a helmet no mattter how close or far away they keep from the stumps.
Face protectors are available for wicketkeepers but again, we recommend these only for the more experienced.
Close fielders should also wear helmets however rules for fielding in junior cricket prohibit fielding too close :
Under 13 players must be at least 11 yards (half the pitch length) away from the ball striker even if they are wearing a helmet.
Under 15 players must be at least 8 yards away from the ball striker even if they are wearing a helmet.
Junior cricketers complain bitterly about the discomfort of wearing a tight fitting helmet but this discomfort is nothing compared to the potentially serious effects of head injury.
Selection of the right helmet and knowing how to adjust it to fit, will help alleviate some of the discomfort.
There are 3 means of adjusting a helmet :
1. Face grill nuts – these are located on either side of the helmet and can be adjusted to change the angle of the grill and proximity to face. Tighten regularly as these nuts frequently fall off.
2. Chin strap – once the helmet is on, this needs to be adusted snugly to ensure minimal side to side helmet movement on the head. Some have a chin cup, others just a strap. Young juniors frequently find difficulty adjusting this comfortably once the helmet is on. Loosen the catch before putting it on and then tighten.
3. Rear tensioner – located at the back of the helmet, this will ensure a secure fit to the player’s head size. Again, loosen to put the helmet on and then tighten to ensure the player and helmet move together.