CRICKET clubs throughout England and Wales are coming to terms with the surprising decision that scorers no longer have to be DBS (disclosure and barring service) checked.

This potentially means that an adult scorer could be with a junior in an enclosed scorebox without any checks having been made concerning the adult.

Best practice advice from the Yorkshire Cricket Board (YCB) to the shock news from the ECB (England and Wales Cricket Board), who have taken legal advice on the ruling, is that a table should be set up outside the scorebox to make the scorers more visible.

Alternatively they could score near the changing rooms or inside the pavilion where their presence would also be more visible.

Failing these two options, it is recommended that a second adult be in the scorebox at all times to have a weather eye on proceedings.

However, each of these options could be problematical due to cold weather, a lack of an suitable alternative to the scorebox or a lack of a second adult, bearing in mind that cricket volunteers are thin on the ground.

For a league to insist on scorers having a DBS would incur a £40 fee to as club, plus £13 for every year after the initial payment, which most would find prohibitive.

Colin Steele and Joy Walker, from the YCB’s safeguarding team, addressed and took questions at the West Yorkshire Leagues’ Council annual meeting, while, 24 hours later, their colleague Kimberlee Corson addressed the Bradford Premier League’s annual meeting, also at Cleckheaton Sports Club.

The YCB’s advice to the Craven League, and indeed all other leagues within the county, is: “For those scorers who are now no longer legally required to have a DBS check, we are asking clubs and leagues to continue to practice additional safeguarding measures.

“We recognise that there may be difficulties with the practicalities of having other measures in place, such as an additional scorer present with under-18s or scorers being positioned in a visible location to a previously used box.

“However, even if a scorer were to have a DBS, having these additional safeguarding measures in place is best practice and should be encouraged.”

Walker said that there were five main areas that the YCB’s safeguarding team are looking at - governance and compliance, listen to children, safeguarding visibility, training and education, and quality assurance.

She emphasised that the YCB could be making unannounced visits to clubs to check on their safeguarding structure and to interview spectators.

Steele said that clubs could have league points docked, be fined or be denied promotion or be relegated if they do not have a safeguarding officer.

For example, the Craven League have relegated Barrowford’s first and second XIs, who were each docked all of their league points, in the past for failing on this matter.

Steele reminded clubs that their chairman could be liable to a £20,00 fine, which has happened on one occasion, if clubs are not safeguarding compliant.

He said: “The YCB are trying to get ahead of the ECB. There will be a club safeguarding officers’ meeting in either March or April, be that or Headingley or at another cricket club.”

Meanwhile, ENCO Halifax League triple champions Thornton will take on Yorkshire Southern Premier League’s Hallam in the Yorkshire final of the indoor six-a-side competition on Sunday, February 11 at Headingley.

Clubs from leagues within Yorkshire have been encouraged by secretary-treasurer Steve Pickles, of the West Yorkshire Leagues’ Council, to enter next winter’s competition.