The ECB has recently announced new helmet safety measures, which are being introduced with a
view to reducing the risk of head and facial injuries within the game. The purpose of this brief note is
to assist Leagues and Clubs at the recreational level to understand the key elements of these changes
and what they mean.
Players over the age of 18
The ECB strongly recommends that all adult recreational cricketers should wear helmets for certain
activities, preferably which meet the most recent British Safety Standard (see below). This
recommendation applies to batting against all types of bowling, wicket-keepers standing up to the
wicket (who may as an alternative wear face protectors) and fielders fielding closer than eight yards
from the batsman’s middle stump, except behind the wicket on the off side.
The position in relation to u18s currently remains unchanged, and is governed by the ‘ECB Guidance
on the Wearing of Cricket Helmets by Young Players’
(www.ecb.co.uk/youngplayershelmetguidance). In essence, batsmen and wicket-keepers standing
up to the stumps must wear head protection when playing or practising. That Guidance should be
referred to in full for the position in relation to u18s.
British Safety Standard
The latest British Safety Standard is BS7928:2013 (for both adults and juniors). The full list of
helmets meeting this standard is available at www.ecb.co.uk/helmets. For wicket-keeping face
protectors the relevant British Safety Standard is BS7929-2:2009 (again, for both adults and juniors).
The ECB understands that there is currently no specific women's helmet and as a consequence no
specific standard for women's cricket helmets. As the size of the standard women's cricket ball is
between the standard men and junior balls, it is recommended that women use helmets that have
been tested against both the men's and junior sized ball, or at least against the junior size ball (as
that could potentially get through the gap above the face guard on a men's helmet).
What do Leagues and Clubs need to do?
Whilst it is strongly recommended that all adult recreational cricketers wear helmets in the on-field
circumstances detailed above, it is not mandatory for them to do so. For the avoidance of doubt,
Leagues or Clubs do not need to go above and beyond the ECB’s recommendation by forcing their
cricketers to wear helmets.
However, Leagues and Clubs in recreational cricket should ensure that their cricketers are made
aware of the ECB’s above recommendation in relation to helmets, including the need to check that
any newly purchased helmets meet the latest British Safety Standard. The ECB recommends that
Leagues and Clubs bring the link above (i.e www.ecb.co.uk/helmets) to the attention of their
cricketers and encourage all cricketers to carefully consider their own health and safety regarding
Leagues and Clubs should always ensure that they have adequate public liability insurance.