The ECB has also extended the existing regulations covering the minimum fielding distances for young players in all matches where a hard ball is used
No Young player in the Under 15 age group or younger shall be allowed to field closer than 8 yards (7.3 meters) from the middle stump, except behind the wicket on the off side, until the batsman has played at the ball
For players in the Under 13 age group and below the distance is 11 yards (10 meters).
These minimum distances apply even if the player is wearing a helmet.
Should a young player in these age groups come within the restricted distance the umpire must stop the game immediately and instruct the fielder to move back.
In addition any young player in the Under 16 to Under 18 age groups, who has not reached the age of 18, must wear a helmet and, for boys, an abdominal protector (box) when fielding within 6 yards (5.5 meters) of the bat, except behind the wicket on the off side.
Players should wear appropriate protective equipment whenever they are fielding in a position where they feel at risk. A fielder shall be allowed to move into the restricted area to make a catch or field a ball provided that he/she was outside the area when the stroke was made.
These fielding regulations are applicable to all cricket in England and Wales. Age groups are based on the age of the player at midnight on 31st August in the year preceding the current season.