WOMEN’S WORLD CUP: Explainer – Reserve Player Regulations

Squads are now being named for the Women’s World Cup, which starts in New Zealand on 4 March – South Africa named theirs yesterday, and England’s is expected to be announced next week, on 9 February.

As well as the 15 players included in the main squad, South Africa also announced 3 ‘Travelling Reserves’ – something all teams are able to do.

Up to 3 reserves are able to travel with each team. They will fly to New Zealand and quarantine along with the official squad; and will to all intents and purposes be part of the squad, except on match days.

They will only be eligible to play if they are swapped into the official 15-player squad in the event that an injury (or “The Dreaded ‘C’ Word” – COVID) forces a squad player to withdraw from the competition; so they won’t be able to be used to just rest or rotate squad players, and they won’t be able to act as substitute fielders, but they could still be called-upon at a moment’s notice, should the worst happen.

One final factor teams need to consider is that there is also an overall limit on the number of people able to travel to New Zealand, so some teams are opting to take fewer reserves, because this allows them to bring additional support staff.