The Derbyshire Owls were formed in the summer of 2010 and are a charitable club run for the benefit of Visually Impaired persons from the age of 11 years. With only a handful of players to begin with, it's been a long journey but they've now got a competitive team on the field competing in the North & East Regional League run by BCEW (Blind Cricket England & Wales). 

A special mention must be given to the founder of the club Andy Lewis.

Without his enthusiasm and dedication, they wouldn’t be here today. All players are registered blind or partially sighted. The team consists of both male and female players and has a huge diverse age range from the youngest at 18 to the eldest at 83. Of the eleven players in a team, at least four must be totally blind. The club seeks to ensure that players have a smile on their face both on and off the field and new members are always welcome. The sport offers camaraderie and a chance to compete on equal terms. 

The Owls meet at Alvaston & Boulton Cricket Club every Friday evening for training and for a get-together in the Clubhouse afterwards. The cricket session is from 6.00pm until 7.30pm and afterwards until "whenever"! Currently, they play around 12 games in the year, always on a Sunday.

Due to dedication and a great team spirit, they are a successful club and are known nationally for their friendly squad and fair play. 

The Rules!

The main difference between standard Cricket and Blind Cricket is the ball. A size three football is used in UK Blind Cricket to help the partially sighted players to see it and it is filled with a quantity of ball bearings to allow the totally blind players to hear it. The MCC Laws of Cricket have also been adapted in other ways in an attempt to allow blind and partially sighted people to compete on equal terms. The major variations are as follows: 

  • The wicket is larger, making it easier for the partially sighted players to see and easier for a Batsman or Bowler to touch for the purpose of orientation. 
  • The ball must pitch at least twice before the crease of a totally blind Batsman but must not be rolling. 
  • The ball must pitch at least once before the crease of a partially sighted Batsman. 
  • A totally blind Batsman is given one chance before being given out LBW and cannot be stumped. 
  • The Bowler must ask the Batsman if he is ready before beginning his run up and shout "play" as he releases the ball. 
  • A totally blind Fielder can make a catch after the ball has bounced once.

It is an honour to be able to support Derbyshire Owls as our chosen charity and to create a dynamic Brand Identity for them along with their official kit branding. We are also currently in the process of developing a website for them to create more awareness of the sport and hopefully gain some local support, as they strive to develop the club and increase the number of players. Emma Shaw one of the directors of SBC has a vested interest in the team as her brother and two cousins are members. All three have a form of macular dystrophy, a genetic eye condition. Emma Said “It is truly inspiring going to watch and support them, it’s great to see them being part of a team sport and celebrating their successes” They secured a victory against Nottinghamshire Knights in the North & East Regional League last weekend which sees them go top of the table! Well done to everyone involved in the club for all your hard work and dedication!