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Cricket Fields Site Selection

Project Update

On Thursday, July 30, the Planning Board unanimously approved the recommendation to locate a dedicated cricket field at the southwest corner of Schaeffer Road and Burdette Lane in the South Germantown Recreational Park. The Board also approved the cost estimate to design and construct the field. This field will be included in the Department of Parks recommended FY 17 – 22 Capital Improvements Program (CIP) for design and construction.

During its review of the site selection analysis, the Board also approved a location for a second dedicated field, at the corner of Skylark Road and Piedmont Road at Ovid Hazen Wells Recreational Park, if and when the Montgomery County Recreation Department (MCRD) chooses an alternative site for a combined community recreation and aquatic center, and; property acquisition (from a willing seller) of the site is complete. The Board agreed that if the Ovid Hazen Wells site is chosen for the MCRD facility and is therefore unavailable to Parks, the second dedicated field should be located at South Germantown Recreational Park. – powerpoint presentation (PDF., 2.3MB)

Background

Montgomery County’s population mix is changing and the demands for different types of sports recreation is also changing. Cricket, a relatively new sport in our county, has grown rapidly in popularity. Cricket has been, and continues to be a sport played in the countries of the old British Empire. It is estimated that the World Cup of Cricket will be watched by over 1 billion people.

The need for cricket pitch facilities in our park system was brought to our attention by the public and confirmed throughout the planning process by the Vision 2030 Strategic Plan and the 2012 Park Recreation and Open Space (PROS) Plan which determined that the estimated need for dedicated cricket fields large enough to serve all skill levels will be four (4) by the year 2022.

What we have learned

There are three levels of cricket players; all with different field needs: Youth, soft ball, and hard ball players. Because hard ball players hit the ball further, they need the largest field. In the site selection analysis, Parks is seeking sites for the largest fields so that Parks can accommodate all types of cricket players.

In the past, Parks has experimented with a number of different approaches to provide for the sport of cricket. What we have learned:

  • Sharing a field between cricket players and American baseball or softball players creates problems for both groups because of the hard surface of the rectangular cricket pitch in the diamond outfield
  • Converting softball fields to cricket fields does not always provide the necessary oval shape
  • Converting a softball field may not provide a field for all skill levels
  • Locating the cricket pitch in between soccer fields resulted in soccer cleats ruining the pitch.

The first attempt at providing cricket facilities was a field shared between two soccer fields at Damascus Recreational Park. The second attempt was to put two fields at Calverton Galway Local Park sharing a baseball field and a softball field. Sharing the field with other sports has proved to be problematic due to the hard surface of the pitch in the outfield.

In spring 2012, Parks opened a dedicated cricket field at South Germantown Recreational Park. The field was converted from a softball field, but is small for the higher skilled players who hit balls into the parking lot. This field at South Germantown will soon need to be relocated. Phase III of the Soccerplex requires the use of that field for soccer beginning the summer of 2015.

The next attempt was the conversion of two softball fields at Strawberry Knoll Local Park. These fields are best suited only for the youth and soft ball games.

Parks has determined the best way to fill the need for cricket fields is to build dedicated cricket fields large enough to safely handle all skill levels under all conditions.

Site Selection Study

Staff has conducted an analysis to find the best location for up to four (4) dedicated cricket fields in our Park system. A temporary cricket field is being displaced by the construction of Soccerplex Phase III in South Germantown Recreational Park.

The first priority is to replace the temporary field being lost at the Soccerplex. The second priority will be to find sites for new cricket fields as anticipated increase in demand for the sport is expected to grow by 2022.

The study examined sites that:

  • Are on existing or proposed undeveloped parkland
  • Are large enough for the hard ball game (400 ft. diameter)
  • Have relatively flat terrain
  • Avoid or minimize natural and cultural resources impacts
  • Are located near the field currently being displaced (I 270 corridor)
  • Have good access to I-270

Three potential sites were considered:

FAQ’s
  1. What is the process and time line for capital funding?
    The Planning Board will send a request to the County Council on November 1, 2015 with all Capital Improvements Program (CIP) requests. The County Council has a public hearing in February 2015 with a final vote later in the spring.
  2. What will be the funding source for the cricket fields?
    The Montgomery County Capital Improvements Program (CIP).
How to play cricket imageHow to Play Cricket

Cricket is similar to many “more traditional” sports in that is has youth players, adult county league players, and adult regional league players.

There are two types of balls commonly used. The first type is a softer yellow ball resembling a tennis ball.  The second is a red hard ball similar to a baseball. The hard ball is hit further and needs the field to be large similar to baseball only a circle versus a diamond.

Find out more about how the sport is played. Click on the image at right for a printable cricket primer, watch this Youtube Video (Parks Rec n Roll – MOCO Cricket, 11-25-14). Below are some links to some local Cricket organizations.

Public Input

Ideas and comments from the public were welcome throughout the site selection process with a number of opportunities for early input. Public meetings were scheduled for public comment on the preliminary concepts and recommendations. The public was also encourage to use an online comment tool or contact the project coordinator with their ideas and feedback as the Plan progressed.

Outreach Strategy

Staff will relied on this web page to keep citizens updated on the project progress. Interested citizens and civic groups were encouraged to attend Public Meetings, contact the project coordinator directly, or sign-up for our e-mail lists. For those interested in the plan who do not have e-mail, information was available via U.S. mail. Press releases and electronic noticing were used to publicize meetings.

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Calendar and Meeting Notes

This calendar is updated as community meetings and events are planned for this project. Digital copies of the Meeting Notes, Presentations and Planning Board Memos will be attached to each calendar event after its completion.

DATE | TIME EVENTS & MEETING NOTES LOCATION
2014
Spring – Winter
Staff Research and Evaluation
January 16
Boyds Civic Association Quarterly Meeting ( as part of a MCDOT public meeting) Boyds Presbyterian Church 19901 White Ground Road
Boyds, Maryland 20841-9460
Spring/Summer
Ovid Hazen Wells Rec. Park Master Plan Update Community Meetings: April 28 – May 28 – June 16, 2014
July 17
Boyds Civic Association Community Meeting Boyds Presbyterian Church
19901 White Ground Road
Boyds, Maryland 20841-9460
Fall
Ovid Hazen Wells Rec. Park Master Plan Update Public Hearing, Planning Board Worksession, Plan approval and adoption
2015
April 16
Boyds Civic Association Quarterly Meeting
presentation (PDF, 1.5MB)
Boyds Presbyterian Church
19901 White Ground Road
Boyds, Maryland 20841-9460
June 3
Black Rock Hills Citizens Association Meeting – presentation (PDF, 2MB). MD Soccerplex, Germantown, MD
Monday
July 13
Upcounty Citizens Advisory Board Forum on Capital Improvement Program (CIP)
URAB newsletter notice-
BlackRock Center for the Arts
12901 Town Commons Drive
Germantown MD 20874
Thursday, July 30
Planning Board Public Meetingagenda (item #13) – Staff Presentation and public testimony
meeting invite (PDF., 244KB)
powerpoint presentation (PDF., 2.3MB)
M-NCPPC – Montgomery Regional Office Auditorium 8787 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring, MD 20910
Construction Phase
Once the planning phase is complete, this project will move to our Park Development Division

Media Center

Below are links to press releases, print articles, videos and community links for your convenience.

Media Releases
  • JULY 14, 2015 – MEDIA RELEASE: Planning Board to Decide Where to Build New Cricket Fields in Montgomery Parks
  • MAY 14, 2012 – MEDIA RELEASE: Public Hearing Scheduled for May 24 for 2012 Park, Recreation and Open Space (PROS) Plan
  • JANUARY 18, 2012 – MEDIA RELEASE: Department of Parks and Montgomery County Recreation Department Seek Input on Future Facility Needs and Delivery of Services
Online Articles
  • JULY 31, 2015 – ONLINE INTERVIEW: wamu.org – Cricket Boom Prompts Montgomery County To Build New Fields
  • APRIL 20, 2015 – ONLINE ARTICLE: Gazette.net – Boyds Civic Association celebrates 50 years
  • JANUARY 28, 2015 – ONLINE ARTICLE: Gazette.net – More parking spaces planned for MARC train stop and developing local park in Boyds
  • SEPTEMBER 12, 2013 – ONLINE ARTICLE: Gazette.net – Local clubs compete in Maryland Cricket Cup
  • JULY 18, 2013 – ONLINE ARTICLE: Washingtonpost.com – Youth cricket gains ground in Maryland
  • JANUARY 29, 2014 – ONLINE ARTICLE: Gazette.net – Montgomery cricket players singing out for new field
  • MARCH 28, 2012 – ONLINE ARTICLE: Patch.com – A Field of Their Own: Cricket Field Debuts Friday in Boyds

Contact the Project Coordinator

To submit written comments or request more information, please contact:

Mark Wallis
Project Coordinator, Park Planning and Stewardship Section

Mark.Wallis@montgomeryparks.org | 301-650-4389

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Last Updated: August 11, 2016