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Let’s Play Ball – Cricket in New York City Public Schools

March 4, 2008
Come this spring, the phrase “Let’s Play Ball” will take on a whole new meaning.
No, this is not America’s favorite pastime -- baseball, its Cricket!

Schools, students, parents, teachers, cricket leagues, cricket umpires and cricket officials in the United States and around the world are all talking about Cricket in New York City Public Schools.

This is a very exciting for cricket in New York City and the United States of America.

Two years ago, when officials of the New York City Public Schools Athletic League (PSAL) sat down to plan their activities for the upcoming season, the question was asked, what new sport can be added to the PSAL program? Cricket was suggested.

Because of immigration pattern, a vast amount of students from cricket playing countries are in New York City Public Schools.

PSAL officials soon realized that they were on to something special.

They found that students of immigrants from cricket playing countries are not interested in traditional American sport -- they are only interested in playing cricket.

So adding cricket to the New York City Public Schools Athletic League (PSAL) program was an easy decision to make.

Officials of the PSAL then contacted the Untied States of America Cricket Association (USACA), the parent body for cricket in the United States, and immediately sought their assistance in setting up a school’s program for cricket.

USACA officials responded immediately and provide the assistance and support PSAL was looking for.

Some may be asking the question, what kind of cricket are they talking about?

Well make no bones about it, the New York City Public Schools cricket program is the most comprehensive cricket program you will find anywhere.

This level of organization is unmatched, not only here in the United States, but also anywhere else in the cricket world.

Yes folks, this is hardball cricket with regulation size cricket balls and cricket equipment for both boys and girls!

Like every other sports in the PSAL, cricket has its own Commissioner in Mr. Basset Thompson. Again, this is a first in Cricket.

Beginning April 1, 2008, fourteen (14) schools will be participating in the pilot program.

(See list of participating schools)
Schools that expressed interest for next year are Edison HS, Jamaica HS, Hillcrest HS, John Bowne HS, Francis Lewis HS and Flushing HS just to name a few.

These schools have a large population of students that are from cricket playing countries.

Obviously, the long term plan is to teach American Born kids the sport as well.

ICC “Teach Cricket”, video and print material, were already distributed to several schools in New York City and were well received.

Several clinics were held the coaches already with more scheduled before the season starts. Coaches are teachers within the NYC Public Schools System.

Cricket fans and officials are being encouraged to come out to the games and support students and the program.

Link: PSAL Cricket for Schools and Schedule

Competition Format
The fourteen (14) schools will divided into two groups of seven (7) teams.

Each school will play twelve (12) games in the regular season competition – with home and away games.

After the regular competition there will be a play-off to determine the champion.

About the games
As stated earlier, these are legitimate cricket matches, with complete cricket equipment, for both boys and girls.

The matches will be of 20 overs duration.

Games will start at 4.00pm and end at 7.00pm.

Each school will have their own uniform -- with the number and name of the player.

Close-in Fielders must wear protective gears, including helmets, at all times

It is mandatory that each school have a teacher-coach.

The USACUA will provide umpires for the games which I might add that they are being paid for their services. Two umpires per game.

Mandatory, two scorers are required per a game. Box scores and results will be published within two days.

At the end of the season Trophies will be awarded in the following categories.

PSAL END OF SEASON AWARDS
BATTING AWARDS

Best Batting Average by a player
Most Runs Scored by a player
Highest Individual Score by a player
Centurions (players that scored a hundred)

BOWLING AWARDS
Best Bowling Average by a player
Most Wickets by a bowler
Best Bowling Figures by a bowler
5 Wickets or More in an Inning by a bowler
Hat-trick (3 wickets in 3 balls)

OTHER AWARDS
Most Dismissal

TEAM AWARDS
Regular Season Competition
Champion and Runner-up
Season’s Most Valuable Player (MVP)

PARTICIPATING SCHOOLS
NORTH EAST DIVISION
H.S. 610 Aviation High School
LONG ISLAND CITY, QUEENS
H.S. 440 Dewitt Clinton High School
S. BRONX,
H.S. 480 John Adams High School
OZONE PARK, QUEENS
H.S. 555 Newcomers High School: Academy for New Americans
LONG ISLAND CITY, QUEENS
Queens High School of Teaching, Liberal Arts and Sciences
BELLEROSE, QUEENS
H.S. 475 Richmond Hill High School
RICHMOND HILL, QUEENS
H.S. 450 Long Island City High School
LONG ISLAND CITY, QUEENS

SOUTH WEST DIVISION
H.S. 405 Herbert H. Lehman High School

BRONX
H.S. 590 Medgar Evers Preparatory School at Medgar Evers College
BROOKLYN
H.S. 440 Prospect Heights High School
BROOKLYN
H.S. 415 Samuel J. Tilden High School
BROOKLYN
H.S. 475 Stuyvesant High School
MANHATTAN
H.S. 620 William E. Grady High School
BROOKLYN
H.S. 505 Franklin D. Roosevelt High School
BROOKLYN

PSAL Official Website: www.psal.org
USA Cricket Association: www.usaca.org
PSAL Cricket Link: http://www.psal.org/psalsports/sport/psal_sppage.aspx?csport=056

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