Changing Rooms and Showering Facilities Policy
For safeguarding, children become adults on their 18th birthday. For the protection of children, safeguarding rules require no mixing of under 18s with over 18s in situations such as changing rooms. This strict statutory position raises practical issues for teams, including County Age Group U18s boys and girls, who may be in the same school year and changing/showering together at school or when playing other sports. It will also be relevant in men's and women's county teams where players under 18 are selected and also across the recreational game in open age cricket, particularly in smaller clubs where changing space is limited.
The ECB provides a kit bag of safeguarding guidance which would usually cover such areas but their bank of policies and advice are currently being updated. Having considered their old guidance and what other counties provide, some practical suggestions follow. This is intended to provide interim guidance until we have up to date guidance from the ECB.
During this interim period, common sense can be applied to the statutory position to facilitate a more flexible approach in some situations, remembering at all times that safeguarding our young cricketers remains of paramount importance.
As a starting point, male and female players must change separately. Players under 16 must not change in spaces with adults under any circumstances. A more individual approach can be considered for players aged 16 and 17 (see below). On reaching 18 players are considered adults for safeguarding purposes.
This guidance applies equally to male and female cricketers. It may require more consideration in non-binary or transgender situations. It will also require more thought where there are players with disabilities requiring help or where there are issues with mental or physical capacity.
If in any doubt, or for any clarification, please contact Jane Law, County Safeguarding Officer ([email protected] or 07340 588963).
This guidance comes with a reminder that mobile phones should not be used in changing rooms for any purposes.
Players under 16 in open age teams
1. There should be no changing or showering together with adults. Allowing young people time and space to change separately in changing rooms is required even if this presents a logistical challenge. Alternatively they can arrive in whites and enter changing rooms with bags when others are already changed.
2. All players in a team may be in the changing room together if not changing for team talks, but no undressing with under 16s present should take place.
3. It is the captain's responsibility to remind adult players of their responsibilities if needed.
These players are children and our duty to safeguard their wellbeing is paramount. Caution must be exercised and no mixed age changing is allowed.
For 16 and 17 year old players
1. Cricketers of this age can share a changing room with over 18s if they want to, provided they are properly consulted beforehand. You must ensure they feel comfortable with the arrangements on a case by case basis. The adult who has this conversation with the young cricketer must not be part of the team selection process.
2. If the young person changes their mind, they need to have a way of communicating this without threat to selection or worrying about the reaction from teammates. Clubs are best placed to deal with any concerns internally. Club safeguarding officers and your county safeguarding officer are available to help if needed. L2YP feedback will provide a further means of communication.
3. The adults on the team should also feel comfortable before agreeing to this concession.
2. You must also check parents are happy with your arrangements for 16 and 17 year olds. Again, their view could change over time so it's important to keep lines of communication open.
3. Adults in Positions of Trust, mainly coaches, must not change with 16 and 17 year olds in any circumstances.
Essentially guidance is to ensure all players, including adults, young people and their parents feel comfortable on an individual basis.
Transgender and non-binary participants
Using gendered changing facilities can be a source of stress for transgender and non-binary children. Clubs should consider how to support these young people to use the changing rooms that they feel comfortable with. Club policies should reflect that decisions need to be made on a case-by-case basis, taking into consideration all children’s welfare.
References and Supporting Documentation
Using gendered changing facilities can be a source of stress for transgender and non-binary children. Clubs should consider how to support these young people to use the changing rooms that they feel comfortable with.
Stonewall tips for LGBTQ+
Inclusion Gendered Intelligence Guide for Trans Inclusion in Youth Residentials
UK Active Transgender Guidance for Leisure Facilities