Octopus Club Guide

 

Welcome to Octopus!

 

It’s great that we’ve had a number of new players swelling our ranks in the past few seasons, and we’re always on the look-out for new Octopi - our objective is to make everyone feel welcome. We’re a club with a rich history and proud tradition dating from 1947 – we’ve even had an ex-England player turn out for us!

 

But before we take the field, here’s what you can expect from the club from a playing, selection and communication perspective, and also a couple of things the club expects from you:

 

Selection

 

In line with our inclusive nature we are far removed from traditional clubs selection polices whereby strict net attendance is a pre cursor to inclusion! We would be a bit stuffed if that was the case…

 

Selection is very rarely a topic for Octopus – 95% of the time it takes care of itself – but on the odd occasion we have too many players for a Sunday, this is how we typically run our selection process:

 

  • The skipper for the day will send out an email early in the week of the game, saying we are over-subscribed for the match, and asking if anyone wants to step down.
  • If after this we are still oversubscribed, we’ll go through a selection process. Typically this involves the skipper, vice-skippers, or if the vice-skippers are not playing that week, members of the committee. In the event of any disagreement, the final say (and also responsibility) lies with the club skipper.

 

If we do need to make a ‘selection’ here’s the rough criteria/considerations used:

 

  • previous commitment (attendance at nets/previous games)
  • balance of the side
  • When the player signed up for the game – earlier the better
  • relative strength of the opposition.

 

If we do ask you to stand down for a game, your place is always guaranteed for the next game in which you’re available.

 

Vague commitments on availability are highly unappreciated ‘I might/might not be able to play’ – this is the stuff of nightmares for the Sunday skipper. Preference will always be given to those of firmer conviction.

 

Last minute drop-outs (from Friday onwards) are deeply frowned upon and should be avoided at all costs. Ideally a replacement should be sought. In such circumstances texting the skipper directly is the correct course of action.

 

Very last minute drop-outs (Saturday night/Sunday) are completely taboo.  Remember that hangovers are a reason to play cricket, rather than vice-versa.

 

Playing

 

Our approach to games is simple: we play to win, but the social, participative and enjoyment elements are our primary focus. The intention and priority at the start of every game is to ensure that everyone in the team participates in one discipline or another.

Of course, cricket doesn’t always allow for this luxury – if the game situation is critical, we’re chasing a huge target, or desperately need wickets we might do an in-the-moment rethink, but generally speaking we are committed to giving everyone a fair go.

Much like selection, if you find you don’t get much of an opportunity one week for the above stated reasons, you’ll get a real go the following week. Having said this, for obvious reasons there might be some functions within the team we try to keep consistent where possible: opening the bowling or batting, and keeping wicket.

 

Conduct

 

Not much need to linger here, suffice to say we pride ourselves on upholding the old-fashioned principles of the game - meaning treating the opposition and teammates with dignity and respect, respecting umpiring decisions, and generally speaking, representing the club in the right way.

 

Communication

 

Living as we do in the days of social media, email, apps and mobile phones, connecting has never been easier or cricketing correspondence so proliferous.  Email serves as a forum for banter, banalities, key messages, team selection, drop-outs, want-ins, cancellations and general confusion. It can be hard to keep up, but please look out for the email titles, as these will carry the critical information.

Whether a game is on or off is a negotiation/agreement between the opposition captain and our skipper, whatever the weather. The best approach on match day is just to sit tight and wait to be informed – always assume the game is on until text of doom arrives.  Generally speaking if it’s an away game it’s the oppo’s call. If it’s a home game, it’s our call.  We’ll never make a call to cancel a match before 10am on Sunday.

 

Thanks for taking the time to read this guide, and here’s to a great season filled with triumph and disaster ahead.  Enjoy