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League Rules

Rules of Play

1. General

The normal laws of cricket will apply with the exceptions listed below

2. Duration of Play

Each game will normally be of 90 overs duration

3. Umpires/Scorers

Each team in Premier and Advanced criteria shall provide a non-playing umpire who shall stand for the duration of the match. Where one team has not provided an umpire, the remaining umpire can choose whether to stand for the whole match at the bowlers end and the batting side provide the square leg umpire, or they can choose not to do both ends; then the batting sides um- pire will take one end. . The offending side will then suffer the following penalties which will be applied at the end of the season:

On the first 3 occasions…………………………….......…………Nil

4th and 5th occasions…………………………………........£5 each

6th and above…………………5 points deducted for each offence


Each team will provide a scorer.

Advance Criteria Only - Each team will be awarded two bonus points for each game that they provide a non-playing umpire to stand

4.  Times of Play

Each game should start at 1:30pm except on the first two Saturdays of the season and the last two Saturdays of August and any game in September when games should start at 1:00pm. With the prior agreement of both Captains, a match may start earlier than the scheduled time. In this event, all match timings shall be adjusted accordingly. This change MUST be notified to the appropriate Critera Result Secretary prior to the match taking place. The teams shall 'spin up' at least 15 minutes before the start of the game with both sides having at least seven players available at the ground. Failure by either team to comply with this regulation will result in the forfeiture of the 'toss', leaving the right of choice to the team not offending.

a. Innings time restrictions

In all divisions 2 Points shall be removed for a fielding side taking more than 3 hours to bowl the 45 overs

5.  Date and venue of games

League matches shall take place on Saturday on the dates and at the venues determined by the League Executive Committee. A 1st XI fixture shall take precedence over a 2nd XI fixture. This principle also applies to clubs with more than two XI's

6.  Tea Interval

The visitors will pay £35 towards the tea. The time taken for tea shall be 20 minutes. This is to be taken between innings or by prior arrangement between the Captains, given that the team batting second is allowed a minimum of 30 minutes batting before tea is taken. If the first innings is completed in less than 32 overs, tea will be delayed until a total of 42 overs have been bowled. In the event of a rain-affected first innings, these figures will be reduced appropriately.

7.  Match Ball

Two new balls shall be available in League matches. The captain of the side fielding second may elect to delay taking the second new ball until the beginning of the 16th over at the latest. If this over is commenced with the old ball, the second new ball is for- feited. The standard of the ball to be specified by the League Executive Committee. Non-compliance will incur a penalty deduction of the minimum number of points available for a win plus half the bonus points available (current total 25). Note: The League Committee rules that the home side shall provide both balls for the match.

8.  Batting First

The team batting first shall have the option of using a maximum of 45 overs. The overs remaining - for whatever reason shall auto- matically be available for the second innings. If an innings is closed before the end of an over, that over will be deemed to have been completed as far as working out how many overs remain for the use of the opposition.

9.  Overs 

Bowlers In all Criteria games only, each bowler is limited to bowling a maximum of 25% of the available overs at the start of the in- nings. Therefore, in a 45 innings mach, one bowler could bowl a maximum of 12 overs and the remainder of the bowlers 11 each. If the bowler breaks down during the course of an over, then the over must be completed by another bowler.

10. Penalty runs

Penalty runs for new offences (as detailed in the Laws issued 1/10/2000) will NOT be applied in League matches unless at least one neutral BCOA umpire is standing. There will be however penalty runs awarded for teams being late to a match as laid out below. 1 run per minute where no play takes place up to 1/2 hour after official start time (max 30 runs). After the first half hour one run per minute is still awarded but the game is reduced by one over for every three minutes lost with the overs equally split between the two sides. After the 2nd 1/2 hour the team who has turned up claims the match and is awarded the appropriate points for a cancelled match.

11. Points

Points shall be awarded as follows in all Divisions

Match Points 

Win (Batting First) 25 + Bonus Points

Win (Batting Second, lost toss) 25 + Bonus Points

Win (Batting second, won toss) 20 + Bonus Points

Lose 0 + Bonus Points

Tie (Same Score) 10 + Bonus Points

Draw (same runrates) 7 + Bonus Points

Draw Points

Wining Draw (Greater runs/over rate) 15 points minus the losing draw points dependant how close the team batting 2nd gets to the 1st Innings total - See below for point deduction

Losing Draw (Lesser runs/over rate)

95% of opponents rate 5 points

90% of opponents rate 4 points

85% of opponents rate 3 points

80% of opponents rate 2 points

75% of opponents rate 1 point

Bonus Points

Batting and Bowling bonus Points to be awarded as follows:


Bowling 1 Point for every 2 Wickets Batting


1 Point for first 75 runs and further 1 point every 25 runs (max 5),


Premier Criteria: 1st Point award after 100 runs and further 1 point every 25 runs (max 5)

If batting second and win, having bowled out the opposition, any bowling points not earned by the fielding side (max 10 points per inning)

Note: In a drawn match and the scoring rates are identical the points allocations will be 7 each

Umpiring Bonus Points: In Advanced criteria, 2 bonus points per team who provide a non playing umpire

Penalty Points

2 penalty points will be deducted from the points tally if a team does not complete its bowling innings with in the time specified in Rule 4a 

Abondoned games Game void


12. Cancellations

If a game is cancelled for any reason other than Rain affected the following points shall be awarded

Cancelling Team: 0 Points

Opponents 30 Points (or final average if greater) 

In addition to the provisions detailed above, teams in the Premiership Division shall have the following penalties applied:

1st Offence ……………………………….……….…..£20 + 15 point deduction

2nd Offence……………………………….…………...£40 + 15 point deduction

3rd Offence……………………………………..……...£60 + 15 point deduction, etc

13.  Registrations

New registrations are allowable any time during the season. Players are not allowed to play League Matches for more than one club without the prior approval of the League Executive Committee. No transfers will be accepted by the League Executive Commit- tee after two-thirds of the fixtures have been fulfilled. During the last 4 scheduled fixtures, no player who has played for a club's League 1st XI and has not previously that season appeared for the same clubs League 2nd XI may play for the said 2nd XI (this principle also applies to downward movement in clubs with more than two XI's) Every player must be a bona fide member of the club concerned.

14.  Rain

In the event of rain the object will be to bowl the maximum amount of overs. The following rules shall apply:

  • If a start is not possible by 4:00pm (3:30pm in the event of a 1pm start) the game shall be abandoned.
  • If the first innings is interrupted then the match shall be reduced by one over for every 3 minutes lost excluding the first 30 minutes for which no reduction shall be made, subject to the match being at least 50 overs in duration, and always an even number of overs rounded up. In respect of a. and b. above, where the match is reduced as a result of a delayed start or interruption during the first innings the overs shall be split evenly.
  • If more than 2 hours are lost before the first innings is completed the game shall be abandoned.
  • If the second innings is interrupted then the side batting second will lose one over for every three minutes except for the first 30 minutes (or in the event that the time was lost during the first innings, the balance of that 30 minutes e.g. 20 minutes lost in the first innings, balance available in second innings 10 minutes) for which no deductions shall be made, subject to the side batting second having a minimum of 20 overs. The side batting second will only be deemed to have won the game if they score more runs than the side batting first regardless of the difference in overs faced.
  • If inclement weather suggests that a fixture is unlikely to allow sufficient play to afford a result, the home captain (or his deputy) is responsible for contacting the away captain (or his deputy) as early as possible stating the reason for the pro posed abandonment and including the batsman and position of the individual responsible for the decision. If either, The away side cannot be contacted in sufficient numbers/time to prevent travel, Or The away side disputes the proposal to abandon the fixture. Then the home side MUST meet their opponents at the ground and (assuming play is still not possible) wait until either :- 
    • the game must be abandoned (4pm/3:30pm)
    • or both captains agree earlier that the game be abandoned.

Note: The decision of a council or named groundsman cannot be disputed.

15.  Match Reports and Score Cards

Results of matches and details of best performances shall be telephoned to the relevant Divisional Results Secretaries, as listed on the DRS page of the current handbook. Failure to do so will incur the penalty as detailed on that page. In all games where ANY play takes place, completed match reports signed by both captains must be sent by the home side to the Criteria League Results Secre- tary and completed score cards must be sent by both captains to the Criteria League Results Secretary, both items to arrive no later than the first post on Friday following the Saturday fixture. In the event of the match being cancelled due to rain or by order of the Executive Committee, the home side shall notify the relevant Divisional Results Secretary.

16.  League Positions

League positions will be on average points (i.e. points gained/fixtures completed). In the event of the average points scored being equal, the position of the clubs concerned shall be determined as follows:  

  • The highest position shall be awarded to the club recording the most wins (including cancelled against fixures) in the league programme.
  • If there is still equality then the club with the least number of defeats in the League programme shall be awarded the higher position.
  • In the event of the clubs still being equal, the highest position shall go to the club which has lost least wickets during the League programme, on percentage of games played.

Promotion shall normally be on a "two-up, two-down" basis. Promotion shall be subject always to the League Committee being satisfied that the club facilities in respect of square, outfield and general facilities meet the stringent criteria required. For promotion to the Premier Division or Division One, it is clearly understood that this would be subject to the very close scrutiny of all club facilities by the League Committee and, that the League Committee's decision is final subject to the provision of rule 12 in the Constitution.

17. Clubs confirmations to the League

All clubs are to provide the following 2 weeks prior to the Captains Meeting:

  • Proof of Public and Private Liability Insurance; 
  • Proof of Local Cricket Board membership,
  • Proof of a CRB policy being in place.


Guidance on Rule 4a.(Time)

  • The intention of the new rule is to avoid lengthy delays and the completion of the 45 overs in good time.
  • The Umpires are entirely responsible for administering and monitoring the time, including starting and stopping the clock where they deem it necessary.
  • The Umpires should take into consideration time lost in the innings for injury, searches for lost balls and any other un avoidable delays.
  • The allotted time for drinks breaks is 5 minutes maximum and for tea, 20 minutes maximum. [Drinks breaks during the innings shall be completed is a little time as possible to allow play to resume quickly].
  • The Umpires are responsible for restarting the game and can restart the clock whether the fielding side is ready or not.
  • The Umpires shall note whether a side is on target for completing their overs in the time and warn the fielding side captain in good time (for example at 25 overs) to allow corrective action to be taken by the fielding captain.
  • The key to this rule is for the fielding side captain to ensure his side does the following: 
    • moves quickly between overs; 
    • avoids unnecessary on-field consultations and over-complicated field changes during and between overs; 
    • thinks ahead about where fielders move from to avoid long walks from position-to-position; ensure enough searchers if a ball is lost.  
    • Have spare balls easily accessible

Please remember the Umpires decision is final.

Artificial Wickets

Committee guidance for the use of artificial wickets The objective of the League is to play all matches on grass. Only in exceptional circumstances e.g. inclement weather, the use of artificial wicket be allowed. The regular use of artificial wicket will only be allowed with the express written sanction of the League Committee.


Committee guidance regarding promotion "Two-up. Two-down" will apply assuming no clubs leave the league. "Two-up" promotion will always take precedence.

Match Start Times

Committee guidance on the match start time. Games are scheduled to start at 1:30pm, except the first 2 fixtures in May, the last two fixtures in August and ANY fixtures in Sep- tember, which will start at 1:00pm. With the prior agreement of both Captains, a match may start earlier than the scheduled time. In this event, all match timings shall be adjusted accordingly. This change MUST be notified to the appropriate Critera Result Secretary prior to the match taking place.

ECB Live Scores

ECB Live Scores

Latest scores from ecb.co.uk
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ECB News

ECB Latest England News

  • Joe Root plans to continue "living my dream" by lining up for his first Test appearance on his home ground of Headingley.

  • New Zealand have confirmed Brendon McCullum will keep wicket in the second Investec Test, a decision that sees Martin Guptill recalled to bat at six.

  • Peter Such has stressed the importance of England not becoming complacent because they have three high-quality spinners at their disposal.

  • The ECB has unveiled a new and ambitious strategic plan which seeks to deliver successful England teams at all levels, to produce a vibrant domestic game as well as increasing and enthusing participation during 2014-17.

  • England selectors have named an unchanged 12-man squad for the second Investec Test against New Zealand commencing Friday May 24 at Headingley following the 170-run victory against New Zealand in the first Test at Lord’s.

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