Cricket clubs in Cornwall have been warned to ensure that risk assessments are carried out before
all games to minimise the threat of injury to fielders.

This follows two recent incidents in Cornwall Cricket League’s Division 2 East and Division 4 where
fielders diving to save runs on the boundary edge sustained injuries.

One was treated for a cut hand and finger after falling on a tarmac path close to a boundary line,
while another required stitches to a split shin after colliding with a metal pole linked to netting.

It used to be the case that 1 metre was the recommended safe distance between a boundary rope
or line and hard object, such as stone wall, granite hedge or sight screen wheels.

That advice has changed. The England and Wales Cricket Board now advises clubs that the
recommended safe distance run-off area should extend to 2.74 metres (9 feet).

ECB Health and Safety Manager Andy Cooper stated: “At base level this is all about risk
assessment and common sense being applied by clubs and players alike.

“We recommend a distance of 2.74 metres, yet recognise this might not always be possible.

“On such occasions the club needs to measure the risk should a player slide over the boundary
rope or line: what are they likely to come into contact with?

“If the risk is at an unacceptable level, can mitigating controls be put in place? Move the rope or
adjust the line, or provide a crash mat or something similar.

“Clubs that fail to suitably mitigate the risk must expect the worst, be it player injury, civil litigation
(especially if they know about the recommended distance yet fail to impose it) or perhaps guilt,
knowing preventive measures could have been taken.”

Mr Cooper has made 3 recommendations to clubs:
1 : Conduct and record a risk assessment.
2 : Ensure any mitigating controls have been communicated.
3. Monitor the outcome. Are the mitigating controls being used and are they effective? If not, make

He warned: “If a club has already suffered an injury from such an incident, then it now becomes
‘foreseeable’ and no defence will suffice.”

Cornish Cricket has seen a precedent set on this very matter, where a judge ruled that the club
being sued for damages by an injured fielder was at fault and ordered to pay a substantial sum.

Signed: Joe Skinner, Managing Director, Cornwall Cricket Board;
Stuart Wilder, Chair, Bond Timber Cornwall Cricket League;
Simon Johnson, Chair, Cornwall Association of Cricket Groundskeepers;
Philip Dale, Chair, Cornwall Association of Cricket Officials.
Dated : May 26, 2023.