Age is a protected characteristic: ECB EDI Training

The ECB have produced an excellent EDI online training module for recreational cricket. This is, in part, a response to recent findings of racism in cricket as discussed by the DCMS committee for example. 

The module explains that age is one of the protected characteristics within the ECB Anti-Discrimination Code (2022).

The module also includes the following statements:

  1. It is unlawful to treat someone less, or more, favourably because of their age.
  2. Indirect discrimination is putting rules, policies or arrangements in place that apply to everyone but put someone with a protected characteristic at a particular disadvantage.

So it is unlawful to discriminate because of age indirectly through rules, policies or arrangements.

Every year the ECB hold an event for Regional U15s. This arrangement forms the first stage of the ECB international pathway. The ECB has a rule that players are only allowed to play if they are 14 or under on the 31st August of the previous year. This is a chosen cut-off date.

If you are born in the first three months of this administrative year (i.e. September, October and November) you are 4x more likely to be selected for the Regional U15s than if you are born at the end of the administrative year (June, July & August) (Kelly et al, 2021). This seems like a particular disadvantage and treating someone less favourably because of their age. These figures are known and quoted by the ECB yet they have a policy of ignoring them.

Is this therefore unlawful? Is it, at the very least, a breach of the ECB Anti-Discrimination Code (2022)?

Rob Reed
Rob Reed

Interested in Relative Age Effects & Maturation in Player Id & Development 🏏 #OneMoreSummer