Grade Cricket in Hobart
With the establishment of the STCA a structured form of competition between clubs started to evolve. However, it was not until the 1869-70 season that a Premier Club was formally recognised, through the consequence of a series of Challenge matches between Derwent, Break o’Day and Wellington, which saw one club merge as the Champion. It would take another twenty years before there was a formal club pennant competition played for premiership points.
Aside from the Challenge series the clubs played social engagements with minor clubs such as Albert, Military, Tradesmen, New Town, Waratah and St Johns to name a few. Trial matches for selection in the Association team to play the Northern Association in the annual intra-colonial fixture, and matches between Hutchins School and the High School, were significant events played on the Battery Ground.
But with only one suitable senior playing field available on the Domain and matches often played over three successive Saturdays (with occasional mid-week afternoons allocated to achieve a result) there was great demand from other clubs to use the facility. The playing schedule included specific dates for major matches such as the annual North v South fixture and, with intercolonial matches also slotted into the programme when arrangements were finalised there were rarely more than three meetings between the senior clubs each season.
Being able to commit to playing cricket was not easy for many Hobartians; in fact only men of substance were able to do so. On occasions when a club was unable to raise sufficient players from its own ranks players from another club would fill the vacancies. Names from Hutchins and High School dominated the scorecards. It would be many years before labourers and the common folk would have both time and money to become members of the Association and senior clubs.
A fourth senior club, Lefroy, had a short existence but in 1889 the club, together with its assets and liabilities, was taken over by Break o’Day. Perhaps the most significant part of the acquisition was Charles Eady, then a lad of 19 years; he and Ken Burn (who played with Wellington) would become the two most significant cricketers produced by Tasmania for almost a century.
Break o’Day and Wellington, rather than Derwent, shared the spoils of victory until the introduction of District Cricket in 1905-06 when the three old clubs were disbanded and a pennant competition with three grades was implemented between five new clubs – North Hobart, South Hobart, East Hobart, West Hobart and New Town.
The Great War was devastating. During this period the Southern Tasmanian Cricket League was formed to administer the game until the Tasmanian Cricket Association resumed control in 1919 when the district competition of pre-war days was abolished with the original clubs, Derwent, Break o’Day and Wellington, continuing on. When the Defence Act was relaxed in 1923 district cricket was re-introduced but with only four clubs – Eastern Suburbs, South Hobart, North-West Hobart and New Town – none with a direct association with the former district clubs established in 1905.
In subsequent years other clubs were admitted; some remain while others disbanded or changed names. Eastern Suburbs became Sandy Bay in 1926; Glenorchy and Kingston (later renamed as Kingborough) were admitted in 1931; Clarence (1956) and University (1961) followed and in 1987 South Hobart and Sandy Bay amalgamated. Lindisfarne was admitted in 1992.
A system of Grade finals has been in place since 1954-55. In 1967 club boundaries were abolished and the district structure was again replaced by club cricket. The limited over one-day and T20 formats were incorporated into the competition in 2003 and 2010 respectively.
The Tasmanian Cricket Association Grade competition was renamed the Cricket Tasmania Premier League in 2010. There are now eight clubs playing in five grades – 1st, 2nd, 3rd, Under 17 and 15’s. All eight clubs field teams in a Women’s Grade and under-pinning the CTPL the association administers Junior and Youth Leagues for boys and girls from primary and secondary schools.
February 1 - Establishment of the Southern Tasmania Cricket Association
The first evidence of an organised competition in the form of a Challenge Cup between Derwent, Break o’Day and Wellington.
STCA’s playing headquarters relocated from the Battery Ground to the new Association Upper Domain Ground.
Lefroy Cricket Club, previously a junior team, admitted to senior ranks.
Lefroy Cricket Club disbanded, assets acquired by Break o’Day Cricket Club.
A Pennant competition established between Derwent, Break o’Day and Wellington in September 1890.
New Town Cricket Club’s application to join the competition was approved by STCA provided New Town did not share in any of the trophies. Wellington refused to comply with this arrangement.
New Town played the team with the bye.
New Town withdrew but the following year resumed playing the team with the bye.
A points system introduced for the first time.
Two clubs from the New Town Association participated in a separate, limited pennant competition with the three STCA clubs, which still conducted their normal pennant competition.
On 4 August 1905 the introduction of a district-based competition was authorised and in October the old clubs disbanded. A pennant competition with three grades of competition was implemented between five district clubs – North Hobart, South Hobart, East Hobart, West Hobart and New Town.
Compulsory drills under the Defence Act made it impossible to continue with the C Grade competition – the previous season South Hobart was forced to withdraw from the Junior Grade because of lack of numbers.
The impact of WWI and loss of cricketers forced the TCA to reduce the number of clubs from five to four: New Town withdrew from the pennant competition.
TCA cricket cancelled – all grades.
Southern Tasmanian Cricket League formed to revive cricket competition in Hobart. Forty players “ineligible for active service” were assigned in equal numbers to three clubs: Derwent, Break o’Day and Wellington.
TCA resumed control from the STCL which became the organising body of several lesser Hobart clubs. The district competition of pre-War days was abolished and club competition resumed between the three old clubs.
The senior competition was increased to two grades with five clubs; Risdon and Holbrook being admitted.
Relaxation of the Defence Act made the re-introduction of district cricket possible. Competition was resumed with four newly established clubs – Eastern Suburbs, South Hobart, North-West Hobart and New Town – in three grades. A Club Championship points system was also introduced.
Eastern Suburbs replaced by Sandy Bay Cricket Club.
TCA Grade Pennant Committee was appointed to arrange Grade cricket competition.
New clubs Glenorchy and Kingston admitted to the top two grades.
Glenorchy joined C Grade and Kingston a year later.
Kingston renamed Kingborough.
Competition reduced to two grades.
Hobart High School replaced Kingborough in B Grade. The aggregate Club Championship award suspended for the duration of WW2.
Kingborough withdrew from all competition leaving five teams in A Grade and six in B Grade.
Police Cricket Club joined A Grade.
Competition rebadged as 1st and 2nd Grades.
Kingborough re-admitted to 1st and 2nd Grades, and Police withdrew from 1st Grade. 3rd Grade re-instituted; all clubs entering teams except Kingborough. Hobart High School entered a team in 3rd Grade.
North-West renamed North Hobart. The competition divided into two sections: A Senior Division consisting of two grades of the six senior clubs and a Junior Division including New Town, Glenorchy, North Hobart, South Hobart, Sandy Bay, Hobart High, Ogilvie High and Junior Technical High.
TCA Colts and Brighton Cricket Club admitted to 1st Grade. Brighton admitted to 2nd Grade, together with Ogilvie High – promoted from Junior Division.
TCA Colts replaced by New Norfolk in 1st Grade which was also admitted to 2nd Grade. Ogilvie High returned to the Junior Div, which also admitted Kingborough.
Semi-finals and Final introduced for 1st Grade. New Norfolk admitted to Junior Division.
Junior Division changed to 3rd Grade comprising the six senior clubs only. A separate High School competition established.
Brighton replaced by Clarence District in 1st Grade, which also entered teams in 2nd and 3rd Grades. Brighton entered two teams in 2nd Grade.
Brighton’s second 2nd Grade team replaced by a second Glenorchy team. Kingborough replaced Glenorchy in 3rd Grade.
Glenorchy re-admitted to 3rd Grade.
New Norfolk replaced in 1st Grade by a second Glenorchy team, promoted from 2nd Grade. Kingborough also withdrew from 2nd Grade. Semi-Finals and Final introduced for 2nd and 3rd Grades.
Kingborough re-admitted to 2nd Grade, joined by University.
University admitted to 1st Grade, replacing second Glenorchy team.
New Norfolk and University added to 3rd Grade replacing Kingborough.
Kingborough re-admitted to 3rd Grade.
District cricket reverted to Club cricket. Brighton withdrew from 3rd Grade.
Brighton withdrew from 2nd Grade.
New Norfolk withdrew from 2nd and 3rd Grades.
TCA domestic knockout limited overs competition introduced.
TCA Cricketer of the Year award commenced – compiled from umpires’ votes. TCA clubs extend limited overs participation to Statewide Kookaburra Cup.
Sandy Bay and South Hobart amalgamate to form South Hobart Sandy Bay CC. Brighton entered a team in 1st Grade only, University entered two teams in 2nd Grade, and SHSB entered two in 3rd grade. A limited 4th Grade competition introduced with Clarence, Glenorchy, Kingborough, New Town and North Hobart. TCA moved its headquarters to Bellerive Oval.
4th Grade extended to all clubs except Brighton, which replaced the second University and SHSB teams in 2nd and 3rd Grades respectively. TCA domestic limited overs competition disbanded in favour of integrated Statewide Kookaburra Cup.
Brighton admitted to 4th Grade.
Brighton withdrew from the TCA on the eve of start of season resulting in a seven team competition, necessitating rostering of extra one-day matches on Sundays to eliminate a bye.
Lindisfarne admitted to all grades.
4th Grade restructured as an U18 competition.1996-97
Glenorchy relocate from Eady Street to KGV Oval.
U18 competition restructured to U17 competition.
4th Grade competition resumed but abolished at the end of 2002-03.
TCA Pennant Committee replaced with an independent (5-man) Grade Cricket Committee. One-day limited overs fixtures incorporated in pennant competitions in all grades. In 1st Grade limited over matches contributed to both Premiership and Kookaburra Cup points. Jamie Cox Plate intra-state competition introduced.
TCA domestic T20 competition introduced.
Renaming of Major Awards: Emerson Rodwell Medal (TCA Grade Cricketer of the Year) and Roger Woolley Medal (Player of the Grand Final). Computer scoring introduced in 1st Grade matches.
Computer scoring extended to 2nd Grade matches. Clubs also bridged IT gap adopting a Computer Management Programme linked to the Internet to help club administrators maintain registrations, club records, transfers electronically. Grade scorecards accessible on TCA website. TCA T20 competition expanded into two-division roster with final.
Introduction of a Statewide T20 involving grade, suburban and country clubs and associations in a KO-style competition.
TCA renamed as Cricket Tasmania. Introduction of Women’s Grade – a limited T20 competition involving four clubs (Clarence, North Hobart, University and Glenorchy). Women's Player of the Year award named the Kim Fazackerley Medal.
TCA Grade Cricket re-badged as Cricket Tasmania Premier League. T20 incorporated into the competition in all grades with the 1st Grade roster consisting of 7 two-day, 5 50-over one-day and 7 T20 matches with reduced T20 matches in lower grades.
Kingborough relocated to the Kingston Twin Ovals complex. Women’s Grade included in the Club Championship.
Computer scoring enhanced to on-line access via MyCricket on the Internet.
T20 fixtures reduced to five matches to minimize programme and help manage time commitments to Premier Cricket. Kookaburra Cup restricted to competition between CTPL clubs – CN and CNW clubs excluded.
An Under 17 Girl's competition introduced with six clubs participating. Completion of historical research programme of all 1st Grade cricket records since 1866 on proprietary data base “Cricket Statz 10”.
An Over 40's competition was introduced with six clubs participating. Some Player of the Year Awards were renamed, 3rd Grade the Jim Stevens Medal, U/17's the Michael Di Venuto Medal, U/15's the Tim Paine Medal (2nd Grade remained the Allan Newman Medal).