The Hamilton Cricket Association (HCA) is the organisation managing all club, school and Hamilton district representative cricket in the Hamilton region.
One of six District Associations that make up the Northern Districts Cricket Association, Hamilton has a history spanning back to the 1800s. While Hamilton township was first formed in 1864, cricket in the Waikato region already existed, and by December of that year a local cricket club was mooted.
Although a number of changes occurred to the structure of cricket in the region over the following 110 years, it continued to develop and flourish. A designated association for Hamilton was formed in 1899, and in September 1911 a 'South Auckland Cricket Association' was incorporated to the New Zealand Cricket Council.
The local club competition, which had existed since at least the 1890s, was finally crowned with the Howden Cup being donated for competition in the early 1900s.
The local representative side was markedly successful in the Hawke Cup once that competition was formed, and the region formed part of the spine of the Northern Districts side first accepted into the Plunket Shield in 1956.
Since 1975 (when the Hamilton Cricket Association was changed to its current form) the side has had huge success in District Association cricket, and now has one of the most successful DA sides in New Zealand.
The HCA now has representative sides in both men's and women's cricket, as well as Senior Secondary, Junior Secondary, Secondary Girls and Primary Boys age-group levels.
Alongside representative cricket, the HCA organises all the club and junior cricket played in the Hamilton region. Club cricket has four Saturday grades, with six Premier grade sides, eight sides in Senior A (formerly Senior Reserve), and many more sides in B and C grade club cricket.
Twilight cricket is played on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, with four divisions currently playing over the two days.
Junior cricket covers all ages and abilities. It starts with Friday Night cricket, which caters to schoolkids from Years 1 to 6.
Saturday cricket starts from Year 5, and has grades to cover all Primary and Intermediate-aged cricketers, including an Intermediate 1st XI grade.
Secondary School cricket covers all years, from 9 to 13, with grades to cater to all players, from social and recreational to the prestigious Secondary Schools Division 1 and David Hoskin Trophy.
Girls' cricket is also covered at both Primary/Intermediate and Secondary levels.