As it’s currently pre-season for clubs and schools in the UK and northern hemisphere, this episode of #AskAsh covers what you need to do to prepare your ground ahead of laying a 2G Flicx Pitch …
The advice from Flicx UK Business Development Manager Ashley Appleby in this episode centres around the application of a 2G Flicx Pitch on grass. Particularly covering how to use it to add facilities to an existing ground for example, using the 2G Flicx Pitch as a second wicket to extend the cricket season (see Bute CCC case study for an example of a club in Scotland using our product as an all weather solution) and also when rolling out the 2G Flicx Pitch on the outfield for nets or to host multiple junior cricket matches. In terms of installing, the 2G Flicx Pitch is very quick and easy to use and if you follow the five pointers below you can achieve a realistic playing surface when laying it on grass…
1. IDENTIFY | Select a firm, flat area 22 x 2m on your grass field where you lay your 2G Flicx Pitch. Put on your gloves.
2. PREPARE | Cut the grass short in this area. Grass should be cut to 10-15mm with shorter grass giving you optimum performance Fill all diverts with a similar compact-able soil to the base surface and level off any high spots. Rolling is recommended for optimum
performance before each use.
3. PLACE | Position your two strapped pitch rolls in the middle of the strip. The 2G Flicx Match Pitch is rolled from the middle to the two opposite creases so place both rolls parallel to each other with the ends facing each other and remove the straps. Do not unroll the
4. ROLL OUT | Make fine adjustments to align the connectors. This should be done when the two sections are still rolled up. Once all the connectors are correctly positioned, clip the two batting ends together. Roll the two batting ends out from the middle to the creases.
5. WAIT | Your 2G Flicx Pitch needs time to settle. We advise rolling out your 2G Flicx Pitch 30-45 minutes prior to each use. Failure to do this may result in low, uneven bounce at the start of play.
The 2G Flicx Pitch has always been more than just a cricket pitch … we love hearing reports from customers about how the world’s most versatile cricket pitch has helped them to grow and offer more facilities and more opportunities for people to play cricket. Here we present our top 10 ways that the 2G Flicx Pitch can help you develop cricket be in your club, home or school. If you would like more information on the 2G Flicx Pitch do contact one of our advisers on 01295 816765 and they can answer any questions or GET A QUOTE
1. CREATE NEW PLAYING FACILITIES
The beauty of the 2G Flicx Pitch is that it enables more cricket to be played by either converting a field (perhaps used for football or rugby) into a cricket venue OR you can increase your junior capacity by rolling out batting ends (1/2 pitches) on your outfield to enable multiple junior games to take place at one time … each on a consistent wicket with crease marks already in situ. Another popular option is to use the 2G Flicx Pitch as your main square or a second or third strip to guard against overuse or mitigate poor weather conditions thus extending the season. The same product can also be used for indoor cricket – confirming our claim to be the world’s most versatile cricket pitch.
2. CREATE NEW TRAINING FACILITIES
In a similar vein to match capacity, training capacity can also be increased with a 2G Flicx Pitch. Roll them out in your nets to upgrade or refurbish worn surfaces or use for winter nets again adding capacity to your club or school all with minimal fuss and preparation work required. Training matches, where you want to conserve your turf wicket would be another application. Versatility = value for money for your organisation plus you get the longevity factor too unless some synthetic mats.
3. INSPIRE YOUNG AND NEW PLAYERS
Young players respond really well to the colours and targets on the 2G Flicx coaching pitches. Bowling on a blue pitch or one with bright / bold target tiles is different and creates a much more memorable experience linked with the vibe and atmosphere of T20 cricket and the Big Bash. This is especially important when trying to engage players into cricket for the first time. Increasing junior cricket participation is a big priority at the moment for many leading cricket organisations; we can bespoke pitches to the requirement of the game for example 14m pitches for U10’s matches (Watch our #AskAsh on this topic)
4. DEVELOP YOUR BATTING AND BOWLING SKILLS
The 2G Flicx Coaching pitches enable you to develop the skills of your younger players. Coloured targets and markings help bowlers achieve consistency with their line and length and help batsmen with their shot timing and selection. These visual targets also make it easier for non cricket specialist teachers to help younger players (and adults too) improve whilst a number of different games can be played adding fun and challenge.
5. ACTIVATE COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS
If your club is seeking to be more pro-active in it’s player recruitment and engagement with the local community, the 2G Flicx Pitch is a great asset. The portability factor means you can transport the pitch to other venues where you might be able to grow your participation with school visits or outreach programmes, pop up cricket, cricket festivals etc etc. You are only limited by your imagination! See how Middlesex Cricket or the Sydney Sixers have used the pitch in their programmes.
6. GIVE YOUR SPONSORS ADDITIONAL VALUE
Your 2G Flicx Pitch can now be branded with either your club or schools logo or that of a sponsor (perhaps in exchange to funding the pitch itself). For brands this offers excellent visual exposure of their support and sponsorship. Further to that we can also match a brands corporate colours to the exact pantone shade of the pitch tiles which creates a great opportunity too…(generation unique PR). If your club is looking for help in generating funding, you might want to take a look at our FUNDING GUIDE (UK centred)
7. GENERATE UNIQUE PR COVERAGE
We are very proud to have taken cricket to some of the most amazing places around the world including hosting cricket in the London Eye, up Mt Everest and in the Kenyan Desert with the Maassai Warriors. Get creative to spread the word about your club or charity. Most recently Cricket Sweden have hosted an ice cricket game which was unsurprisingly picked up by the local press…
Preparing a turf wicket can be a very time consuming process and you might not have sufficient resource or capacity for… Using a 2G Flicx Pitch is a quick and easy way to solve this issue. Pitches can be rolled out with minimal surface preparation by 2 people. Schools are typically using Flicx to save time by converting rugby and football fields into cricket pitches in the summer and also transforming the standard of their nets. Read more about Installation and Maintenance
All pitches are match ready and come with all crease and wide markings, no need to paint, mark and cut pitch strips as is the case with turf and maintenance is minimal.
9. INVESTMENT VALUE FOR MONEY
Our pitches are very durable and some original Flicx Pitches from our launch in 1997 are still in use today!! With their versatility and numerous applications comes greater cost efficiency and value for money. You can get a 2G Flicx Pitch for a fraction of the cost of other artificial surfaces and the performance value is excellent – you just need to location a firm, flat surface on which to lay or roll it out on.
10. BE INNOVATIVE
Cricket is changing. Surveys are pointing to some players not now being able to commit their whole day to cricket and with that comes opportunities for short or more informal versions of the game. The 2G Flicx Pitch is well suited to this shift – imagine playing on a car park after work, rolling it out on a 3G rubbercrumb surface or waterbases pitch otherwise used for hockey or football … this multi surface, innovative approach taken by clubs, charities and cricket associations is proving popular and is a great way to retain players in the sport.
If your club or school is looking to create extra capacity to host more junior cricket (thus boosting participation) then take a watch of our second episode of #AskAsh …
Business Development Manager Ashley Appleby talks through our new 14 metre 2G Flicx Pitches (available in Blue, Green or Beige). These pitches can be rolled out onto the outfield to divide an oval into one, two, three or four junior pitches for matches or training thus taking traffic away from your first team square and exciting young players.
Smaller pitches and shorter boundaries mean more runs for batters and for bowlers they can now pitch the ball onto the wicket more easily thus these games see more action whilst increasing the skills of the players and generally creating a better experience, more likely to retain kids in the sport.
The only ground preparation would be to cut the grass short on the outfield, then roll the pitches out (2G Flicx Pitches can also be laid on other sub surfaces). This process is very quick and easy whilst the pitch will negate an imperfections in the under surface and provide good pace and bounce. Clubs can now tap into junior participation programs and develop these basic skills into small matches whilst local schools could be invited to participate in tournaments or cricket festivals which is a great way to attract more players to the clubs whilst also potentially increasing sponsorship and F+B income. As your number of sides increases, more pitches can be purchased to house these additional teams and because the 2G Flicx Pitch is so versatile, these same pitches could be used indoors for winter nets.
As it’s the start of the New Year, we wanted to share some of our favourite projects from 2017 …it is always great to hear such fantastic stories about how the 2G Flicx Pitch is helping to increase cricket participation globally
William Perkins School (Middlesex Funding) | Cricket matches had never been hosted at William Perkins School prior to the purchase of a 2G Flicx Pitch which was part funded by Middlesex Cricket. “It’s easy to set up and gives a good playing surface for our students to practice and play matches on, increasing our participation greatly” says Director of Cricket, Paul Harrison (Read More)
Roturua T20 Tournament | Junior cricketers in New Zealand prepared for the new season by participating in an innovative pre-season T20 tournament hosted under floodlights at the Rotorua International Stadium and played new 2G Flicx Pitches. (Read More)
Coimbra Knights CC | Coimbra Knights Cricket Club are a social cricket club based in Coimbra, Central Portugal. They openly welcome touring teams from Germany, Russia and the UK as well as playing fixtures against teams in Porto and Lisbon. “Our 2G Flicx Pitch has performed extremely really well so far and we have already used it on four different surfaces around the city. On grass the bounce was excellent then on three differing artificial surfaces the mat settled down quickly (Read More)
Women’s Cricket Festivals | Flicx UK were proud to be part of the Women’s Soft Ball cricket festival hosted at Beaconsfield CC. Matches were hosted on 3 X 10m blue 2G Flicx Batting Ends which were used to divide the main cricket oval into 3 smaller cricket areas.
Sydney Sixers | The Sixers Beach Blast was back and bigger for 2017 and see’s the community team travelling around NSW beaches and hosting cricket clinics for young Sixers fans on magenta throwdowns. (Read More)
The association has purchased a new 2G Flicx pitch from agents Complete Cricket NZ which is a portable cricket strip that can be used to play the game anywhere. It’s 18m in length and can be varied, allowing it to be used for various age groups and doesn’t need to be flattened by a heavy roller and has crease marks included in the surface, ready to roll out.
South Canterbury Cricket development manager Shane Gilkison said the primary schools’ tournament at Ashbury Park was about encouraging more people to have a go at the game. “It’s about giving people a chance to have a crack at something different, and that’s what these tournaments are all about.”
He said the arrival of the new Flicx pitch helped. “It means all the games could be played on some sort of proper surface rather than a mowed strip.”
Winchester Rural School pupils Jacob Gilkison and Ethan Bolt were pleased with the new surface. “I play quite a lot of cricket and I thought it was pretty cool,” Jacob said. Ten teams were competing in the tournament, Geraldine Primary, St Joseph’s Temuka, St Joseph’s Timaru provided two, Highfield School and Winchester Rural provided three stories each.
Junior cricketers in New Zealand have been preparing for the new season by participating in an innovative pre-season T20 tournament hosted under floodlights at the Rotorua International Stadium and played new 2G Flicx Pitches loaned by Complete Cricket (new distributors of the Flicx Pitch)
The Rotorua Little League Cricket T20 tournament aimed to get local juniors excited about cricket and the comprised of four teams of Year 7 and 8 players from the Eastern Bay of Plenty, Rotorua and Taupo, who vied for early season honours during two days of T20 action. The Whakatane Wizards, Taupo Rebels and two John Paul College teams, the Dragons and Thunder played a round robin before the top two, the Wizards and Thunder, played off in the final, which the Wizards won in a nail-biter.
John Paul College cricket coordinator and Rotorua Little League spokesman Mark Chapman said it was rare for children to have the opportunity to play cricket under lights, let alone in a stadium predominantly used for representative rugby. Chapman said the idea for the tournament came about when the organisation was approached about a trial of a new artificial wicket from Flicx. “We thought how best we might get some coverage for the product coupled with what is traditionally a difficult period to secure pitches for junior pre-season games. The pitch can just be rolled out and means you can play anywhere!”
One of the tournament organisers, Crispian Stewart, said playing at the stadium and under lights created a great atmosphere for the young players. “The event was a great success – we had all four teams here and there must’ve been about 80 parents up there watching. All the parents have said this is such a civilised way to do cricket and in some respects, that’s part of it, getting the parents involved,” Stewart said. He said the quality of cricket from all the teams involved had been “fantastic”.
Speaking from Complete Cricket (New Zealand distributors of the 2G Flicx Pitch) Neeraj Kumar said “We had a great weekend in Rotorua watching the young junior cricketers play on the 2G Flicx match pitch. It was great to watch such amazing young talent play. The 2G Flicx Pitch performed extremely well and the young cricketers and their families watched as they played under the lights, which is a once in a lifetime experience. The event gave us great exposure for the pitch and we were really pleased that everyone had everyone enjoyed playing on it and already Rotorua are looking into buying three pitches”
Cricket under the lights in Roturua’s Rugby stadium transformed with Flicx
Just a few recent images from events involving the 2G Flicx Pitch to share…
Warwick School cricket festival
Warwick School cricket festival was a massive success. Flicx UK were very happy to help facilitate the many 8 over matches on the outfield using our blue 2G Flicx 10m batting ends. The format allowed for softball cricket in the morning then hardball cricket in the afternoon (the new 2G Flicx pitch makes it possible to use both types of balls). To use the 2G Flicx Pitch on your outfield, you simply need to cut the grass down short (10-15mm) then roll the pitch out on top.
Warwick School used their two 2G Flicx Skills batting ends for 2 of the matches, whilst Flicx brought two additional blue batting ends for the other games.
Middlesex in the Community
In recent weeks the Middlesex participation team have been out and about using their Pinky’s Pavillion 2G Flicx Pitch at various events, laid on various under surfaces. Events have included the Middlesex Schools day at Lord’s, Allstar’s Cricket at the Westminster Mile and most recently at a pop up event in Hounslow town centre. Not only is the pitch versatile and portable, but it also adds alot of fun and excitement to the Middlesex events programme with the coaching tiles, helping to focus the attention of bowlers when pitching the ball.
New upgraded 1/4 2G tiles in the crease has made a big difference in terms of the speed the 2G Flicx Pitch settles. The pitch now settles in half the time and flattens instantly allowing games to commence faster than previously. We recommend you lay the pitch an hour before use although the condition of the under surface and the weather will both impact on how quickly it reaches optimum pace and bounce.
New England Test captain Joe Root, stopped by at his former primary school in Sheffield yesterday for a surprise visit to launch the 2017 Yorkshire Tea, National Cricket Week which uses the #powerofcricket to inspire children to participate. Root was introduced in the school assembly before joining in a cricket session on the schools playground hosted on a 2G Flicx Skills pitch owned by the school.
Joe hosted a cricket masterclass, bowling at some of the children before taking a more familiar role with the bat. PE co-ordinator Richard France is delighted with their Flicx Pitch which they purchased a couple of years ago
“Our Flicx Pitch plays a vital role in our cricket programme; not only do the bright colours excite the children but for us its not practical to create and maintain a turf wicket at the school so the Flicx Pitch has solved this issue – whilst its portability means that we can use it on both the school playground and to convert our playing fields”
Yorkshire Tea National Cricket Week will take place this year between the 19th -23rd June. Over 1,500 schools take part in the event every year and turn their timetable over to cricket. Organisers Chance 2 Shine provide schools with cross-curricular cricket lesson plans, from teaching coordinates of a cricket field in Maths to pinpointing cricket playing countries in Geography.
Clubs hold Kwik cricket competitions for their local schools, while schoolchildren in Brighton and Cornwall compete in inter-school beach cricket tournaments. Sign your school up to participate in 2017 at http://chancetoshine.org/ncw_signups
Sky Sport’s Hayley McQueen officially opened William Perkin schools new £2m sports facilities including a 3G Artificial Grass Pitch (AGP) and state of the art sports pavilion. The school located in the London borough of Ealing is itself only four years old and sits on the former GSK sports area. The project which was masterminded by headmaster Keir Smith who has created a local hub of sporting excellence for the community with funding from Sport England, The Football Foundation, Middlesex CCC and Ealing LA as well as generous donations from school governors.
Cricket matches had never been hosted at the school prior to the purchase of a 2G Flicx Pitch which was part funded by Middlesex Cricket. Now the football field has been converted into a cricket venue, much to the delight of pupils, and the process was as simple as cutting the grass down really short (getting rid of the thatch in this particular surface) and then rolling out the 2G Flicx Pitch.
Director of Sport and former player Paul Harrison is delighted with the result “The 2G Flicx Pitch will enable us to play cricket where we couldn’t before. It was easy to set up and gives a good playing surface for our students to practice and play matches on, increasing our participation greatly”.
Whilst for Middlesex Cricket they are achieving their objective of creating more cricket facilities in the London area where typically suitable sporting spaces are at a premium so the versatile,portable cricket surface solution supplied by Flicx UK is vital.
In order to maximise participation throughout the calendar year, William Perkin is embarking on an ambitious second phase of this project. In partnership with Middlesex County Cricket Club, the vision is to create a centre for state school cricket, a hub for local primary school children to experience cricket and a base to be used by Middlesex Womens’ Cricket.
Keir Smith, said: “Phase two – the cricket centre – requires funding in the region of £100,000, so William Perkin has submitted funding bids to the ECB, The London Marathon Charitable Trust, The Heathrow Community Fund and the School Governors. We remain hopeful of securing the funding required to provide the school, and local community, with first class football and cricket facilities.”
To read the William Perkin school press release about their new sports facilities opening event (click here) or for more information about how the 2G Flicx Pitch can help create additional facilities for your club or school, contact one of our team by calling 01295 816765 or email our Business Development Manager Ashley Appleby (email@example.com) or Request a Quote.
If you are looking to create additional cricket capacity for your club or school and you have a grass field that is traditionally used for rugby or football during the winter, then the 2G Flicx Pitch could be your solution.
This was the exact predicament for Windsor Boys school, where their cricket programme had outgrown the number of turf wickets available on site for matches and practice. With the grass cut down short in the middle, (rolling would be beneficial too), a 2G Flicx Pitch was rolled out on top and a new facility created. The pictures below show senior boys who are all club cricketers playing a game on the 2G Flicx Pitch and you can see how the bowlers have good purchase off the surface and there is excellent pace and bounce.
This application is the most popular application of our pitch especially in countries like the UK, New Zealand, the USA and Australia. In Australia it could be AFL ovals being converted and in New Zealand at the moment, cricket facilities are at a premium so this method of converting grass fields is very popular.
The benefit of the new 2G Flicx Pitch product is that is multi purpose so the same pitch seen here can then be rolled up after the game and used in the nets (both grass and on synthetic surfaces), or split in the middle to create two batting ends for junior Kwik cricket or then used inside for winter nets or on the playground or concrete surfaces too. This versatility gives great value for money for the customer and means cricket can be taken to new audiences which is especially important given the popularity of T20 cricket and the need for more informal cricket options.
Schools or clubs with capacity issues now have a solution that is easy to create and virtually maintenance free. We would recommend the pitch is rolled up after each game and just rolled out an hour before the game to give it time to settle and for the tiles feet to mould to the under surface. If you could give more details on this application and its suitability for your requirements, feel free to give one of our pitch advisers a call on 01295 816765.