League Match Format and Playing Conditions – 2015
The Laws of Cricket 2000 Code 5th Edition 2013 will apply except when varied below. Where this code has been amended ‘league regulation’ has been added in brackets to help identify the change. Where the current law is quoted, either in part or full, the phrase ‘Laws 2013’ follows the text.
- Duration of Matches
1.1 All Matches
Matches will consist of one innings per side and each innings will be limited to
- 50 overs (Division 1) or
- 45 overs (Division 2 and Division 3).
All sides are expected to complete the bowling of their overs within 3 hours playing time. This time includes the allowances for drinks – see 2.3 below.
- Hours of Play and Intervals
2.1. Start and Cessation Times
The start and cessation times for all league games are explained in detail in the “BCF T20 Cup and League Timings”.
2.2 Sessions of Play and Interval Between Innings
There will normally be two sessions of play of 3 hours 20 minutes for Division 1 and 3 hours for Division 2 and Division 3 each, separated by an interval of 30 minutes.
If the innings of the team batting first is completed within 30 minutes of the scheduled time for the interval, the interval shall take place immediately and the innings of the team batting second will commence correspondingly earlier.
If the innings of the team batting first is completed more than 30 minutes prior to the scheduled interval a ten-minute break will occur and then the team batting second will commence its innings. Thereafter, the interval will occur as scheduled. However, if both captains agree and local catering arrangements are such that tea is available immediately upon completion of the first innings, the interval will take place immediately and between innings.
If the team fielding first fails to bowl the required number of overs by the scheduled time for cessation of the first innings, play shall continue until the required number of overs has been bowled (also see 3.1 b)).
Where the innings of the side batting first is delayed or interrupted (ie for any reason other than the failure of the team fielding first to bowl the required number of overs in the time available), the interval may reduced where more than 30mins are lost. In this event the duration of the interval shall be agreed mutually by the umpires and both captains subject to no interval being more than 30 minutes duration or less than 20 minutes’ duration – subject to 3.3 d) below.
2.3 Intervals for Drinks
Two drinks intervals per innings shall be permitted, each taken after 15 and 30 overs have been bowled. The provision of Law 15.9 shall be strictly observed. Under conditions of extreme heat the umpires may permit extra intervals for drinks.
The time allowance for all drinks has been calculated into the overall time allowed for the innings and no extra time will be allowed for any extra drinks breaks that may be agreed. Whatever time is taken for drinks, the overs still have to be completed within the stipulated time in 1 above.
An individual player may be given a drink either on the boundary edge or at the fall of a wicket, on the field, provided that no playing time is wasted. No drinks will be taken onto the field of play without the permission of the umpires.
- Length of innings
3.1 General regulations for uninterrupted matches
- Each team shall have the opportunity to bat for their full quota of If they are dismissed before the completion of their full quota of overs or a result is reached, the remaining overs will not be bowled.
If the side batting first are dismissed before the completion of their full quota of overs, then for all subsequent purposes they are deemed to have faced their full quota of overs.
If the team batting first are dismissed before the completion of their full quota of overs the team batting second are entitled to have the opportunity to bat for full quota of overs.
- In the first innings, the umpires will monitor the over rate as the innings progresses and will inform the fielding captain, at appropriate times, if the over rate is showing signs of slowing down to an unacceptable level. The umpires shall take account of circumstances that are outside the control of the fielding side when making this judgement – eg delays caused by the batting side, extended time taken to retrieve the ball (maximum 2 minutes per instance), delays caused by serious injury(ies), and more occasionally extreme heat or wet ground conditions.
If the team fielding first fail to bowl the required number of overs by the scheduled time for cessation of the first session, play will continue until the required number of overs has been bowled.
In addition the umpires will take note of the number of overs bowled by the team fielding first at the scheduled time for the cessation of the first session. The over in progress at the scheduled cessation of time shall count as a completed over. The team fielding first will be penalised league points at the rate of 5% of maximum points attainable in a match per whole over not bowled.
The umpires may reduce this penalty if they are of the opinion that events beyond the control of the team bowling first prevented them from bowling the required number of overs. This decision will be made before the start of the 2nd innings and noted on the score sheets.
- In the first innings, if the team batting first is all out and lose their last wicket after the scheduled time for the interval, the team fielding first will be penalised league points at the rate of 5% of maximum points attainable in a match per whole over not bowled in exactly the same way as b) above. (The over in which the last wicket falls to count as one complete over).
- In the second innings, if the team fielding second fails to bowl their full quota of overs by the scheduled cessation time the hours of play shall be extended until the required number of overs have been bowled or a result reached but e) below will apply.
- In the second innings, the umpires will monitor the over rate as the innings progresses and will inform the fielding captain, at appropriate times, if the over rate is showing signs of slowing down to an unacceptable level. The umpires shall take account of circumstances that are outside the control of the fielding side when making this judgement – eg delays caused by the batting side, extended time taken to retrieve the ball (maximum 2 minutes per instance), delays caused by serious injury(ies), and more occasionally extreme heat or wet ground conditions.
In the event of overs not being bowled within the scheduled time limit, d) above will be enforced.
In addition the umpires will take note of the number of overs bowled by the team fielding second at the scheduled time for the cessation of the second session. The over in progress at the scheduled cessation of time shall count as a complete over. The team fielding second will be penalised league points at the rate of 5% of maximum points attainable in a match per whole over not bowled.
The umpires may reduce this penalty if they are of the opinion that events beyond the control of the team bowling second prevented them from bowling the required number of overs. This decision will be made before the score sheets are signed and noted thereon.
3.2 General regulations for delayed or interrupted matches
- The object must always be to arrange the number of overs so that both sides have the opportunity of batting for the same number of overs. When a recalculation of overs is necessary, this calculation will be based on an average of 15 overs per hour in the total time available for play. No re-arrangement of overs will take place until more than 15 minutes, in aggregate, of playing time has been lost. (Hence the cessation of play during a delayed or interrupted match can be extended by 15 minutes).
- If either side is dismissed before the completion of their agreed allocation or recalculated overs, it is deemed that they have faced their full quota of overs and any subsequent calculations e.g. Over Run Rate (ORR), will be based on their having faced their full quota of overs.
- If the team batting first are dismissed before the completion of their allocated or recalculated overs the team batting second are entitled to bat for their full allocation.
- Even though a match may be reduced in length the principles laid out in 3.1 b), c), d), and e) above still apply. Any contravention of these Regulations will still attract the relevant penalties. The fact that a match is reduced in length does not negate the requirement that the overs have to be bowled within the laid down time limits – even though these limits will differ according to the unique circumstances surrounding a particular match.
- A start may only be legitimately delayed provided the delay is not caused by either team (where a team is responsible for a delay it shall be penalised in line with the League Rules and the General Rules and Administration). However if the start of the game is delayed because a junior game prior to the senior game runs over time, that will be considered as a legitimate delay not caused by a club (but clubs are asked to take the necessary steps to avoid junior matches running excessively over time). Where a match is legitimately delayed in this way, section 3.3 for recalculating match overs will apply, unless both captains agree beforehand to play a full 45 overs per side prior to the toss.
3.3 Delay to the start of, or interruption during the 1st innings
- a) Any recalculation of overs based on 3.2 a) will be divided by two and any odd over ignored – eg a recalculation that gives 49 overs remaining (and taking into account the 20 overs that have already been played) would give a match total of 69 overs means that the match is now one of 34 overs per side.
Where the situation arises that, having done this calculation, the side batting first have already exceeded the new innings total for each side, their innings will be terminated immediately. The side batting second will receive the balance of the overs. For instance, a match reduced to 64 overs in total (should be 32 each) but the side batting first have already received 34, the side batting second will bat for 30 overs (64 – 34 = 30).
The target score for the side batting second will be calculated using the principles as laid down in 10.1 c) The Result. For instance in the above, if the side batting first score 153 in their 34 overs, their ORR is 4.50, so the target score for the side batting second is 30 x 4.50 = 135 + 1 = 136.
- b) In order to constitute a match, both sides must have the opportunity to face at least 20 overs. In the first instance, the teams must make a genuine attempt to reschedule the fixture. When the game couldn’t be played on the rescheduled date the game will be considered as “Cancelled” and no points will be given to both the team.
- c) If there is no play before 17h00, (or start plus 3hours 30 minutes where the start is earlier than 13:30), the game will be treated in same way as described in 3.3b.
- d) For all games of less than 25 overs per side, there will be a 20 minute interval between innings.
- Restrictions on the Placement of Fielders
4.1 For the entire length of the innings – at the instant of delivery, there may not be more than five fielders on the leg side.
4.2 Two outer semi-circles shall be drawn on the field of play. The semi-circles have as their centre the middle stump at either end of the pitch. The radius of each of the semi-circles is 27.5m. The ends of each semi-circle are joined to the other by a straight line drawn on the field on the same side of the pitch. The field restriction area should be marked by continuous painted white line or ‘dots’ at 4.5 m intervals, each ‘dot’ to be covered by a white plastic or rubber (but not metal) disc measuring 18 cm in diameter. These discs will NOT be fixed to the ground by means of a nail/pin or any other dangerous, sharp object. (Discs are recommended but painted markings will be acceptable as long as they are marked sufficiently clearly).
4.3 For the first 15 overs – at the instant of delivery, no more than two fielders are permitted to be outside this outer fielding restriction area.
4.4 For the remaining overs – at the instant of delivery no more than 5 fielders are permitted outside this outer fielding restriction area.
4.5 Two inner circles shall be drawn on the field of play. The circles have as their centres the centre point of the popping crease at either end of the pitch. The radius of each of the circles is 15 yards (13.72 metres). The field restriction area should be marked by ‘dots’. The segment of the circles reserved for the slip positions shall not be demarcated. (The final mark of the 15 yard radius shall be a line placed at an angle of 45 degrees, measured from the popping crease at a point level with the middle stump).
4.6 For the first 15 overs – at the instant of delivery, there must be a minimum of two stationary fielders within this inner fielding restriction area. When a fast bowler is bowling the two stationary fielders may be permitted to stand deeper than 15 yards (13.72 metres) (in the non-demarcated area – ie always more than 45 degrees behind square) provided only that they are standing in slip, leg slip and fine gully positions.
4.7 In circumstances where the number of overs for the batting team is reduced, the number of overs in regard to the restrictions in 4.3 and 4.6 above shall be reduced proportionately in a ratio of 15:45 in accordance with the table below. Fractions are to be ignored in all calculations re the number of overs.
Total overs No. of overs for which
in innings fielding restrictions in 4.3 and 4.6 above will apply.
4.8 In the event of infringement of any of the above fielding restrictions, the striker’s end umpire will call and signal “No Ball”.
- Number of Overs Per Bowler
No bowler shall bowl more than 10 overs (Division 1) and 9 overs (Division 2 and Division 3) in an innings.
If the start of the match is delayed and the overs are reduced for both teams, no bowler may bowl more than one fifth of the total overs allowed. Where the total overs are not equally divisible by 5, one additional over shall be allowed, to as many bowlers as is necessary, in order to make up the balance – eg in a game reduced to 33 overs a side, and using 5 bowlers, their allocations would be 7+7+7+6+6 = 33.
In a match where the innings of either or both sides is reduced after the start of the match, the maximum number of overs allowed per bowler shall remain as at the start of the match.
In the event of a bowler becoming ill, injured or suspended thus being unable to complete an over, the remaining balls will be bowled by another bowler (even the wicket keeper can also complete the over). Such part of an over will count as a full over only in so far as each bowler’s limit is concerned.
- Law 14 Declaration and Forfeiture
Law 14 will not apply. The captain of the batting side may not declare his innings closed at any time during the course of a match nor can he forfeit an innings (league regulation).
- Wides and No Balls
7.1 Law 25.1 Wide Ball – Judging a Wide
No delivery will be called wide if
- It comes into contact with the striker’s bat or person or
- It is called a No Ball (Laws 2013).
For all other deliveries, the following interpretation will apply:
Off side Wides
Two white lines will be painted joining the bowling and popping creases. Each line will be parallel to the Return Crease and will be 35” (89 cm) from the centre of the middle stump.
Any delivery that passes over or outside of this line will be called a Wide by the umpire.
It does not matter that the striker may move thus bringing the ball into an area where he could play a normal cricket stroke – it will still be a Wide (league regulation).
It will also be a Wide if the striker moves away from the ball and it passes over or outside of this white line (league regulation).
Leg side Wides
The white line markings mentioned above do not apply to leg side deliveries. A ball will be judged a Wide if it passes the striker behind his legs when standing in a normal guard position (league regulation).
If the striker moves to the off side to play the ball and the ball passes behind his legs the umpire will have to imagine the profile of the striker standing in a normal guard position, and only provided that the ball would have passed behind this profile, will he call it a Wide. If the ball would have hit this profile it will not be a wide (league regulation).
Umpires are instructed to apply a consistent interpretation in regard to this Law, in order to prevent negative bowling wide of the wicket.
Umpires should try and be consistent:
- in their own interpretation
- with the interpretation of their colleagues
- with the interpretation adopted throughout the whole league which is playing to these regulations
7.2 Free Hit after a No Ball Foot Fault
In addition to the standard penalty for a no ball, the delivery following a no ball called for a foot fault (Law 24.5) shall be a free hit for whichever batsman is facing it. If the delivery for a free hit is not a legitimate delivery (any kind of no ball or wide ball), then the next delivery will become a free hit for whichever batsman is facing it.
For any free hit the striker can be dismissed only under the circumstances that apply for a no ball, even if the delivery for a free hit is called a wide ball.
Field changes are not permitted for free hit deliveries unless there is a change in striker.
The umpires will signal a free hit (after the normal No Ball signal) extending one arm straight upwards and moving it in a circular motion.
7.3 Ball not Pitching on the Mat
Any delivery that does not pitch on the mat or pitches on the edge of the mat shall be called a No Ball. For the purposes of this playing condition, where a delivery pitches shall be defined as the first time the ball having been delivered by the bowler lands on the ground without previously having touched the striker’s bat or person, or any fielder or umpire (league regulation).
- Law 42.6 – Dangerous and unfair bowling
8.1 Law 42.6 (a) (ii) Bowling of fast short pitched balls
The following league regulations are added to this Law:
- A bowler shall be entitled to bowl no more than one bouncer per over – except in the circumstances of d. below.
- A bouncer is defined as a ball which having pitched passes or would have passed above the shoulder height of the striker standing upright at the crease.
- The umpire at the bowler’s end shall advise the bowler, the batsman on strike, and his colleague when each bouncer has been bowled.
- Notwithstanding b. above, any ball that having pitched passes or would have passed above the head height of the striker standing upright at the crease shall be always called a no ball in accordance with Law 42.6 (a) (ii) even where it is the first such delivery in the over. For the avoidance of doubt any such delivery that is called a no ball shall also count, where applicable, as an allowable bouncer in that over.
- In the event of a bowler bowling more than one bouncer in an over as defined in b. above, the umpire at the bowler’s end shall call and signal no ball on each occasion.
- Upon third bouncer in the same over, after a call of no ball, the bowler is not allowed to complete the over.
- When the bouncers are not dangerous and unfair the bowler is allowed to bowl again in the same innings.
- Whenever an umpire considers any bouncer to be dangerous and unfair, he can invoke the provisions of Law 42.7 immediately.
Notwithstanding the regulations above, umpires are particularly reminded of their powers and responsibilities under Law 42.6 (a) (i):
The bowling of fast short pitched balls is dangerous and unfair if the bowler’s end umpire considers that by their repetition and taking account of their length, height, and direction they are likely to inflict physical injury on the striker irrespective of the protective equipment he may be wearing. The relative skill of the striker shall be taken into consideration, (Laws 2013).
This allows umpires in certain circumstances to caution a bowler under this law even if fewer than three bouncers are bowled in a single over especially where the skill of the striker needs to be taken into consideration. All parties are also reminded that short pitched deliveries can be considered dangerous and unfair even if they pass or would have passed the striker below shoulder height when standing upright at the crease since physical injuries from such bowling can be sustained on the upper body as well as the head.
8.2 Law 42.6 (b) i) and ii) Bowling of high full pitch balls
This Law is amended to the following:
Any delivery (irrespective of its speed) which passes or would have passed on the full above waist height of the striker standing upright at the crease is to be deemed dangerous and unfair, whether or not it is likely to inflict physical injury on the striker. Any such delivery will be called as a No ball by the bowler’s end umpire and will be followed by the appropriate disciplinary action as laid down in Law 42.7. The umpires will ensure that no such deliveries go unpunished (league regulation).
8.3 Law 42.8 Deliberate bowling