RULES



LAWS AND STRUCTURE

1.1 – Laws
1.1.1 The current Laws of Cricket https://www.lords.org/mcc/the-laws-of-cricket will apply except where varied by the rules of the competition and playing conditions. 

1.2 – Structure
1.2.1 The League will be played in the structure agreed at the annual AGM.

CONDUCT AND SAFETY

2.1 – Sporting conduct
2.1.1 Team captains are responsible for the sporting conduct of their players. 

2.2 – Players under 18
2.2.1 Appropriate arrangements must be made to ensure that under-18s playing in League and Cup matches are safeguarded according to current ECB policy. 
2.2.2 In particular, for a player under the age of 18 to be allowed to play, the following must be observed:
(i) They must be in at least school Year 8
(ii) They must be a minimum of 13 years old on 1st September of the preceding year.
(iii) Parental consent should be provided to the League Secretary at least 48 hours in advance, so that the Secretary can contact the parent for verification.
(iv) The opposition captain must be informed
(v) Both captains are to read, and be guided by, the League’s safeguarding policy document (available on the League website) ahead of the match.
2.2.3 Players under 18 must wear a helmet while batting. Any player under 18 who is hit on the helmet whilst batting shall immediately retire, and not return as a player that innings.

2.3 – Helmets (adult)
2.3.1 The wearing of helmets by batsmen is highly recommended.
2.3.2 Any adult that is hit on the head, whilst not wearing a helmet, shall immediately retire, and not return as a player in that innings.

2.4 – Full-toss deliveries and bouncers
2.4.1 Any full-toss passing the batter above their waist and any delivery which, after pitching, passes the batter above their sternum (breastbone) shall be called no ball.

2.5 – Injuries
2.5.1 All injuries sustained during play should be reported to the Secretary. 

2.6 – Disrepute
2.6.1 If the Committee considers a team or player to have brought the League into disrepute, it may result in disciplinary action, ranging from a warning to expulsion from the League.
2.6.2 Disrepute includes, for example, a formal complaint being received from other teams or Committee members or the local council or a member of the public, regarding unlawful actions or actions that transgress the park bye-laws by an individual associated with the League. 
2.6.3 Disrepute examples might include, but are not limited to:
(i) Transgression of park bye laws (eg: mopeds brought on to the park)
(ii) Violence
(iii) Racist or homophobic language.
2.6.4 The sanctions available to the Committee include, but are not limited to:
(i) An official warning
(ii) Suspension for a period of time or matches at the Committee's discretion
(iii) Expulsion from the League, with any re-admittance subject approval by the Committee.
2.6.5 Single incidents by players and/or teams will result in a warning.  Persistent and/or serious breaches will result in in more serious sanction. 



UMPIRES AND DISPUTES

3.1 – Umpiring
3.1.1 Each team will have at least one player in each game to act as an umpire and who is conversant with the Laws of Cricket and the Rules of the League. 
3.1.2 Each team during their innings will provide the non striker’s end umpire and the striker’s end umpire, unless captains agree alternative arrangements.

3.2 - Unaffiliated umpires 
3.2.1 A registered umpire to be paid a fee determined by the Committee for any match they are requested to umpire. Until further notice this fee will be £20 per game.
3.2.2 The requesting captain pays the fee. The opposition captain chooses the umpire from a list of registered umpires.
3.2.3 If both captains make the request, they share the cost.

3.3 – Disputes 
3.3.1 Except under Rule 3.2 (Unaffiliated umpires), there are no independent umpires, so disputes should be avoided. Captains should resolve between themselves in the spirit of the game any disputes that do arise. Trying to sort out disputes after a match is extremely time-consuming and generally a fruitless exercise.
3.3.2 If captains feel they must bring a dispute to the attention of the Committee, the procedure will be as follows:
– Contact the Secretary with details.
– The Secretary will either nominate two Committee members to investigate the complaint or refer the matter to a separate disputes Committee
– The two Committee members will report back within seven days to the Chairman with their recommendation.
– The Chairman will either accept the recommendation or make an alternative ruling. The Secretary will inform captains concerned of the decision, which will be final and not subject to appeal.


MATCHES AND EQUIPMENT

4.1 – Matches
4.1.1 Games shall consist of two teams of eight players playing each other in matches of 16 six-ball overs. A maximum of four overs per bowler is permitted, reduced pro rata when the overs are reduced, e.g a maximum of three overs in a 12-over match (see Rule 4.2 Start times).
4.1.2 In all matches, the first half of each innings to be bowled from one end; the second half then bowled from the other end. For both innings, bowling will begin from the Victoria Park nets end.

4.2 – Start times 
4.2.1 All teams are expected to turn up in good time for a 6 p.m. start to enjoy the best opportunity of playing a full game.
4.2.2 No team may start a game with fewer than five players. 
4.2.3 Any team not ready to commence by 6.15 pm forfeits the toss.
4.2.4 Teams not ready to start by 6:30 pm will forfeit the game and be charged the full cost of hiring the pitch (see rule 7.5 Defaults).
4.2.5 In April, the first two weeks of May, and the last two weeks of August:
(i) Games are to start no later than 6.00 pm
(ii) After 6.00 p.m. the overs must be reduced by one over for every five minutes.
For example:
Games starting after 6.00 but before 6.05 – 15 overs
Games starting after 6.05 but before 6.10 – 14 overs
Games starting after 6.10 but before 6.15 – 13 overs
4.2.6 The number of overs to be played must be agreed by both captains in advance.
4.2.7 For games scheduled to start after junior cricket practice:
(i) Games must start no later than 7 pm. Teams are advised to be present by 6.15 pm in case the pitch is free.
(ii) Any team not present (with at least five players) by 6.45 pm will forfeit the toss.
(iii) Teams not ready to start by 7pm will forfeit the game and be charged the full cost of hiring the pitch (see Rule 7.5 Defaults).

4.3 – Declarations 
4.3.1 Declarations are permissible. 

4.4 – Balls 
4.4.1 The team named first on the fixture list is the home team and will supply the match ball. 
4.4.2 Balls will be provided by the Committee at the beginning of the season.

4.5 – Stumps and scoreboards
4.5.1 Stumps and scoreboard are provided by the League. They should be collected, and returned, from the lock-up container next to the changing block.
4.5.2 Each team should collect their stumps. The home team (see Rule 4.4 Balls) should also collect the scoreboard. Teams must provide their own bails. 
4.5.3 Each team will be provided with a key for the container. If teams lose their key, they should contact the Secretary to arrange for a replacement (at their cost).


4.6 – Pitch 1 boundary
4.6.1 Pitch 1 is the one next to the changing rooms and tennis courts. 
4.6.2 The near edge of the Tarmac path forms the boundary between the two points where the marked grass boundary reaches the path.
4.6.3 There are trees growing inside this line. If a ball hits one of these trees, having bounced before impact, a boundary of four is to be scored and the ball is immediately dead.
4.6.4 If the ball hits a tree on the full, a six is to be scored and the ball is immediately dead. It is not possible to be caught off the trees.


PLAYERS

5.1 – Team membership
5.1.1 There is no pre-season player registration.
5.1.2 Team membership is dated from the start of each season.
5.1.3 A player is deemed to be a member of the team for whom they first appear in the season, unless they are an unaffiliated player on the Reserve Player Pool (see Rule 5.4 Guest Players).
5.1.4 A player can only move to a new team as a full player (rather than guest) once the season has closed, except at the discretion of the Committee and only under limited circumstances, including Rule 7.8 (Withdrawals).

5.2 – Substitutes 
If a team starts a game with a side which includes one or more substitutes, for example, if a player is late arriving, this must be declared in advance. Substitutes cannot bat or bowl.

5.3 – Guest players 
5.3.1 Only teams who have unsuccessfully tried the Reserve Player Pool can acquire a guest player from another League team.
5.3.2 The Reserve Player Pool is a list of non-affiliated players and is maintained by the Committee. The primary aim of this list is to provide a way for new players to find a team to join. Players from the Reserve Player Pool can play for as many teams as they wish, but after each appearance must indicate to the Committee whether they wish to remain in the pool or join a team permanently. Reserve Player Pool players do not count as guest players and can bat and bowl normally as required. Priority for the allocation of pool players will be given to clubs with only one team in the League.
5.3.3 A guest player from another League team will not be able to bowl and cannot bat higher than number five. 
5.3.4 Teams may field a maximum of two guest players per team, per game. This is in addition to any players from the Reserve Player Pool.
5.3.5 A guest player from the same division, or a higher division, as the team they are guesting for, in addition to not being able to bowl and not batting higher than number five, must retire at 25 runs.
5.3.6 Where a club has more than one team in the League, players will be permitted to appear as a full player (and not be restricted as a guest) in more than one of these teams, provided that they do not appear for both teams in League games within the same calendar week. To help ensure this, a club's two (or more) teams' matches should be scheduled on the same evening, wherever possible.
5.3.7 There are additional restrictions of guest players in the Cup competition – see Rule 8.2 Cup player eligibility.

5.4 – Clothing 
5.4.1 All players in any one team should wear matching colours, either traditional whites or any colour other than that of the ball being used. Players are encouraged to wear long trousers whilst playing. 
5.4.2 The wearing of appropriate and matching kit, as set out above, is a means of helping ensure the public users of the park are aware of the potential danger when matches are in play.
5.4.3 Metal-spiked shoes must not be worn by bowlers or batters in order to prevent damage to the surface of the all-weather pitches.

MATCH PLAY

6.1 – Wides
6.1.1 All deliveries are wide which pass the leg side of the batter and the leg side of the stumps without making contact with the bat or batter.
6.1.2 Wide lines are marked on each side of the wicket as a guide for judging off-side wides only. Any off-side ball that passes outside the wide mark as it passes the batter should be called a wide.

6.2 – Wides rules variation (one year trial for 2022)
6.2.1 All wides in overs other than the last one will result in two penalty runs and no extra ball, in order to save time.
6.2.1 The last over will be played under the normal wides rule of a one-run penalty and an extra ball to be bowled.
6.2.3 The top two divisions in each phase will be exempt (24 teams in phase 1 and 16 teams in  phase 2 in 2022).
6.2.4 The Cup competition will be played under normal wides rules.
6.2.5 This rule will be trialed for one year (2022)

6.3 – Retirement  
6.3.1 In League and Cup games a batter shall retire not out on reaching 50 runs. See Rule 5.3 (Guest players) for additional restrictions on guest players from teams from the same or higher leagues.
6.3.2 The retired batter may return at the end of the innings, after the fall of the penultimate wicket (or earlier, if other batters have also retired on 50). At the fall of the last wicket (usually the seventh wicket), the side's innings will be over.
6.3.3 Should it be the case that more than one batter retires, the first one to reach 50 is the first one back to resume their innings.
6.3.4 In addition to the above, a batter may retire at any point because of illness, injury or any other unavoidable cause. Such a batter is entitled to resume his innings later at the fall of a wicket. A batter who retires for any other reason (other than for Rule 6.3.1) may not return.


RESULTS

7.1 – League points
7.1.1 Three points are awarded for a win: two points for a tie; one for a No Result.  

7.2 – Scorecards and results 
7.2.1 Each team is responsible for keeping a full scorecard of their batting innings and of the opposition’s bowling and fielding.
7.2.2 The full names (first name and surname) of each player must be recorded. Teams must exchange a list of the full names of their eight players at the beginning of each game, to aid scoring and the compilation of League batting and bowling averages. 
7.2.3 Both winning and losing teams must submit their scorecards within 24 hours after the end of the match to the Results Secretary or their nominated deputy, as determined by the Committee. Until further notice, the deputy is George Watson. 
7.2.4 Any team failing to submit their scorecard within 24 hours after match is played will be sent a warning notice by the Results Secretary. If that team has still failed to submit its scorecard within 48 hours, it will be awarded zero points. 
7.2.5 If a team submits a scorecard considered by the Committee to be of an unacceptably poor standard, it will receive one warning. Any further substandard scorecards will result in a one-point deduction per offence.
7.2.6 For Cup games where no scorecard has been received within 48 hours, neither team shall progress to the next round, and a bye shall be given to the next round’s opponents. 

7.3 – League positions 
7.3.1 In the event of two or more teams tying on points in any division, the table positions shall be based on the following criteria in order, until a satisfactory resolution is reached.
(i) - The result of the games between the relevant sides (in effect a mini-league).
(ii) - Top of tables: the result(s) against the team(s) who finish above them in order, and then those below them in descending order until a difference is noted.
(iii) Bottom of tables: as (ii), but in ascending order.
(iv) Any titles left unresolved will be shared unless the teams involved wished to arrange a play off or bowl out.
7.3.2 Any unresolved promotion or relegation issues will be considered by the Committee.

7.4 – Defaults
7.4.1 Any team failing to fulfil a fixture will forfeit the match and three points will be awarded to their opponents. Such non-fulfilment will be reported to the Committee. 
7.4.2 The team forfeiting the game will also be charged the full cost of hiring the pitch. 
7.4.3 The team which misses the game because of their opponent’s forfeit will be credited with their match fee (half the cost of the pitch hire and the ball). 
7.4.4 A team that defaults their matches three times in a season will be suspended immediately from the League.

7.5 – Adverse weather
7.5.1 In the event of rain preventing the playing, or causing an abandonment of a match, then it will not be replayed.
7.5.2 Each team will be awarded one point.
7.5.3 In inclement weather, consideration should be given to the prospect of the game starting at some point during the evening and the likelihood of it being possible to then conclude the game before darkness falls.
7.5.4 No game can be called off for rain unless both teams are present to inspect conditions on the night, except by prior mutual agreement.
7.5.5 If one team does not want to play, the game will not go ahead, but only if that team has at least five players on the pitch.
7.5.6 In the event of only one team turning up, that team will be awarded the game. 
7.5.7 Should there be a dispute as to whether a match should have been played or not, the Committee will take into consideration whether any other matches safely took place on the same evening.
 
7.6 – Other cancellations 
7.6.1 Any matches that are cancelled by the Committee due to unforeseen circumstances (other than due to inclement conditions) will be treated as a No Result unless captains agree to rearrange the game outside the current fixtures schedule (with any additional cost wholly born by the two teams). Otherwise, the points are to be shared as per the usual cancellation procedure.
7.6.2 Alternative arrangements available for teams to obtain a result are:
(i) to play a super over at the convenience of both teams; or
(ii) to play a rearranged fixture on a weekend, on a bank holiday; or on a weekday in the afternoon (to be concluded before any scheduled fixture).
7.6.3 Any such a fixture may be played at any suitable and mutually agreed venue.

7.7 – Withdrawals
7.7.1 If a team withdraws from the League during the season, then the results of games played shall be void and their players shall become free agents. 
7.7.2 Such players will be eligible to join the Reserve Player Pool and will not count as guest players until they join a new team (see Rule 5.3 Guest Players)


THE CUP

8.1 – The Cup
8.1.1 The Cup competition shall operate on a simple knockout basis. 
8.1.2 If a Cup match is tied or rained off, captains are to use their best endeavours to either:
(i) re-arrange the fixture, 
(ii) arrange at some other agreed time prior to the next Cup round to obtain a result by: 
(a) playing a super over, 
(b) a bowl out or, as a last resort, 
(c) a coin toss.
 
8.2 – Cup player eligibility
(see also Rule 5.3 guest players)
8.2.1 A player shall not play for a side in the Cup unless they have previously represented that side in the League. 
8.2.2 In addition, Cup teams cannot field any players who have played for other Victoria Park Community Cricket League sides during the current season, except those covered by Rules 8.2.3 and 8.2.4.
8.2.3 Note that Rule 8.2.2 does not affect eligible players who have played as a guest for other teams (as under Rule 5.3). 
8.2.4 Rule 8.2.2 also does not affect players who are members of a club with more than one team in the League and who have played as a full player for one or more of those teams in League matches during the season. 
8.2.5 However, clubs with more than one team in the League will NOT be able to move players between their teams in the Cup once one of their teams has played their first match in the tournament.
 
8.3 - Tied Cup games 
8.3.1 In the Cup and only in the Cup, if a match is tied with scores level, then whoever has lost least wickets is declared the winner. 
8.3.2 If the number of wickets lost is equal, then a bowl out will take place. Five players will each bowl two balls at unguarded stumps. 
8.3.3 If the scores are still level then the sixth players will bowl, then seventh and eighth if required. Then, if still required, the first player will bowl again, etc, until a winner is determined. 
8.3.4 If conditions are unsuitable, for example it is too dark, then the two sides may come back for the bowl out on another date but before the next round match is due. This bowl out can take place in the nets.
8.3.5 Otherwise, teams may decide the winner by tossing a coin.


TROPHIES
 
9.1 – Trophies
9.1.1 Teams must respect the trophies they have won and ensure they are looked after. 
9.1.2 The trophies must be returned by the AGM after which they will be engraved at the League’s expense and then returned to the teams. 
9.1.3 The teams will finally return the trophies in time for them to be presented to their new winners at the deciding games of the season. 
9.1.4 Failure of any team to return the trophies could result in their expulsion. 
 
COMMUNICATIONS

10.1 – Communications with the League
10.1.1 Every team shall provide to the League, the name, telephone number and email address, for at least two people who can be contacted regarding fixtures and any other League business. It is the responsibility of the captain of each team to ensure that this information is kept up to date. 
10.1.2 Emails from the League shall be acknowledged or responded to, if required, within 48 hours.
10.1.3 Emails will be deemed received on the date upon which they are sent.




CLUBS WITH MORE THAN ONE TEAM
For clarity, the rules covering clubs with more than one team are the following:

5.3 - Guest players 
5.3.6 Where a club has more than one team in the League, players will be permitted to appear as a full player (and not be restricted as a guest) in more than one of these teams, provided that they not do so in League games within the same calendar week. To help ensure this, a club's two (or more) teams' matches should be scheduled on the same evening, wherever possible.

8.2 - Cup player eligibility 
8.2.5 Clubs with more than one team in the League will NOT be able to move players between their teams in the Cup tournament once one of their teams has played their first match.