Cricket Victoria has enjoyed a 3.44% increase in participation in 2011-12 with more than 275,000 playing the sport across the state.
Following the release of the Australian Cricket Census, the figures revealed 275,949 participants played cricket in Victoria in 2011-12 – a 3.44% increase on 2010-11 – with 214,393 (+0.43%) playing outdoor formats, 61,556 (+15.5%) playing indoor formats and 36,668 (+24.81%) taking part in the entry level MILO in2CRICKET programs for boys and girls aged five to 10.
In total, 104,835 people participated in traditional 11-a-side club cricket across the state in 2011-12 across 161 associations and 1,112 clubs.
Over the past decade, outdoor participation has grown 2.69% in Victoria.
CV Chief Executive Officer Tony Dodemaide said the figures show the organisation is taking strong steps to ensuring cricket is Australia’s favourite sport.
“Participation is crucial to all sports and is a key pillar within the strategy for Victorian cricket,” Mr Dodemaide said.
“We are pleased with the overall participation figures as we strive to remain the number one cricket state in Australia on these, and other measures.
“In addition to attracting new participants, Cricket Victoria is also conscious of the importance on retention in the game. To address this we are working closely with the clubs and associations to develop appropriate strategies that encourage people to have a long-term relationship with the game, not just ‘sample’ and move on to something else.
“This includes promoting our message of ‘Harmony in Cricket’ to ensure a welcoming and inclusive cricket environment to all.”
Nation-wide, 880,291 participants played cricket in 2011-12, a 3.54% increase on 2010-11.
The figures incorporated 682,109 (+2.98%) participants playing outdoor formats, 198,182 (+5.53%) playing indoor formats and 163,329 (+28.32%) taking part in the entry level MILO in2CRICKET programs.
In a sign of cricket’s growing popularity among women, female participation jumped significantly in the past 12 months, recording a 26.93% increase to 150,178, or 17.1% of the 880,291 participants.
Participation grew in all categories except club cricket, which recorded a 3.5% decrease.
The 2011-12 Australian Cricket Census is the 10th analysis of cricket participation.
In the decade that data has been collected, outdoor participation has grown from 464,253 to 682,109, a 4.37% per annum increase, although indoor participation has only been measured since 2010-11.
A ‘participant’ is defined by the Australian Cricket Census as someone that participates in at least four sessions or matches of an organised cricket program.
The census is compiled by specialist auditor Street Ryan, with the cooperative efforts of Cricket Australia and its state and territory affiliates including Cricket Victoria.
CV is responsible for recording the number of programs, teams and registered players within the state for each of its program areas.
Drawing on the popularity of the Twenty20 format, the MILO T20 Blast junior participation program will be launched in 2012, creating further opportunities for participation.
MILO T20 Blast targets boys and girls aged 8-12 years and acts as a bridge between the entry level MILO in2CRICKET program and club cricket.