Billed as a “new era” of women’s cricket, Newcastle’s Sixers Social Women’s Competition has certainly seen an explosion of popularity in recent times, as the concept has spread across the state and continues to grow at home.
Originally started as a good way to get women out onto the pitch and “having a bit of fun” according to organiser Sharyn Beck, the competition has ballooned into multiple locations, a host of teams and many smiling ladies smacking sixes out of bounds on Sunday afternoons.
“It really is just about going out there, having a bit of a go at cricket and having a laugh,” Beck said. “There are teams that enjoy a bit of competitiveness around their game, but for the most part everyone is just there to get moving, having fun with cricket and swing the bat around.”
Beck said she was blown away when 20 teams signed up, and doubly so the next competition when 30 teams registered to play.
“I think that what is most appealing is that it’s a short competition, just five weeks, and it’s on a Sunday afternoon,” Beck said.
“Anyone can play. We had a team with a daughter, mother and grandmother one year. The oldest player we had last year was 67.”
The spring league will begin on November 11, while a summer competition is set for February 3.
Competitions are played on Sunday afternoons from 4.30pm, at Smith Park, Adamstown Park and Waratah Park. All teams will play each other in a round robin tournament during the five weeks.
Game length is currently set at 1 hour and 15 minutes, with each team playing 16 overs. Everyone bats 4 overs and bowls 2. Teams are locked at 8 players, with both full squads and individual registrations welcomed. The competition is open to women aged 16 and above.
The competition costs $60 per person for each five week tournament, or $100 to play in both seasons.
The competition, which is affiliated with the Big Bash League’s Sydney Sixers, was launched in Newcastle in January 2017. After the initial success of the competition, the program has now expanded to the Central Coast and Illawarra, as well as Port Macquarie and Castle Hill.
The Hunter will also see a Port Stephens competition founded this season.
To register go to playcricket.com.au and search for Sixers Social Womens – Newcastle.