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Playing Conditions - Level 1&2

NPCL/PS Cup Competitions 2020 (Level 1 & 2)

Playing Conditions (based on LKO)

These rules should be read in conjunction with the ‘ECB Return to Cricket Guidance dated July 2020 which takes precedence’

Link to Guidance

All matches are to be played under the Laws of Cricket, except as otherwise provided for in these rules, and in accordance with the ECB Code of Conduct. 

ECB Helmets and Fast Bowling Guidance

1. All players under the age of 18 must wear helmets as per ECB guidance. Written parental consent will not be accepted as a reason not to adhere to this regulation which applies to all LCF Competitions.  
2. All players under the age of 19 must adhere to the guidance laid down in the ECB Fast Bowling Directives.


1. Normal hours of play will be 13.00 – 19.00 (Except for the semi-finals and finals which may be amended), 
2. Each innings shall be limited to 40 six ball overs.


The tea interval shall be 20 minutes, between the innings in an uninterrupted match. Should there be an interruption or delay, the length of the interval shall be agreed mutually between the umpires and both captains as long as the interval is not more than 20 minutes, or less than 10 minutes.

Length of Innings

In uninterrupted matches each team shall bat for 40 overs unless all out earlier.

1. All sides are expected to be in position to bowl the first ball of the last over of their 40 over within 2 hours 40 minutes playing time. If the team fielding first fails to bowl the required number of overs by the scheduled time for the close of the first innings, play shall continue until the required number of overs has been bowled. Unless otherwise determined by the umpires, the team batting second shall only have available to it the number of overs bowled by the scheduled stoppage time of the first innings. The over in progress at the scheduled close time shall count as a completed over.
2. The interval shall be of full 20 minutes duration and the innings of the team batting second shall start thereafter. If the team fielding second fails to start its final allocated over by the scheduled close of the match it shall continue to bowl the full allocated number of overs but the batting side shall receive an additional 6 runs for each over not started at that time. If the penalty runs added under this provision take the team batting second beyond the total required for victory, the game will be over at that point. It is the responsibility of the captain to ensure that his team bowls their allocated overs within the playing time.
3. If the team batting first is all out, and the last wicket falls at or after the scheduled time for the commencement of the interval, the innings of the team batting second shall, subject to the discretion of the umpires as provided in 2), be limited to the same number of overs bowled to the team batting first at the scheduled time of the interval. The over in which the last wicket falls shall count as a complete over.
4. If the team batting first is dismissed in less than 40 overs, the team batting second shall be entitled to bat for 40 overs, except as provided in 2).
5. If the team bowling second fails to bowl 40 overs, or the rescheduled number of overs as provided for in 3),
by the scheduled cessation of the second innings, the hours of play shall, subject to ground, weather and light be extended until the required number of overs have been bowled or a result achieved.

6. For interrupted games the umpires will advise the Captains of the time by which the final over must start at the beginning of each resumption. Failure to be in a position to bowl the first ball of the last over by this time will result in the penalties described in 1 and 2 above.
7. Allowances will be made by the umpires for drinks breaks which it is accepted may be longer than usual in the current ‘crisis situation’ In addition a time allowance of 10 minutes as noted above has already been made to allow for the ball cleaning outlined in ‘Bowling’ below. No additional time is therefore required for such hygiene breaks. Umpires will keep the Captains informed on a regular basis of time elapsed    

Bad Weather

1. If bad weather delays the start of the match, or play is suspended during the first innings, the number of overs will be re-arranged so that each team bats for the same number of overs. This shall be calculated by deducting 2 overs for every full period of 8 Mins, to be deducted equally from each side.
2. If play is suspended during the second innings, 1 over shall be deducted for every full period of 4 Mins 
3. Each team must bowl 10 overs to ensure a result, unless the second innings is reduced in length through a slow over rate (rule – Bowling 5.) or the side batting second scores enough runs to win the match in 10 overs or less.
4. Captains and Umpires are reminded that they must agree on the covering of the pitch before the toss is made.  Every effort must be made to protect the pitch before and during the match.


1. A ‘New’ standard PS or NPCL ball must be used at the start of each innings. Each club is to bowl with its own ball.
2. A 1 minute ‘hygiene break’ will be called by the umpire every 6 overs or 20 minutes whichever is sooner, during which all participants should clean their hands using a suitable sanitiser and the Fielding Captain should clean the ball with an anti-bacterial wipe (conforming to BS EN 14476). Such action should also take place at any drinks break.
3. No sweat or saliva is to be applied to the ball at anytime.
4. In an uninterrupted match no bowler may bowl more than 8 overs. 
5. If the start of a match is delayed and both teams are restricted to less than 40 overs, no bowler may bowl more than one fifth of the total overs allowed except when the number of overs is not dividable by five. Up to 4 bowlers may then bowl one extra over. E.g. at 32 overs, 2 bowlers may bowl 7 overs maximum for the other 6 overs.
6. If the team fielding first fails to bowl the required number of overs by the scheduled time for the cessation of the first innings (2 hours 40 minutes for 40 overs), play shall continue until the required number of overs has been bowled. 
7. Unless otherwise determined by the umpires, the team batting second shall only have available to it the number of overs that it bowled by the scheduled time for the cessation of the first innings. The over in progress at the scheduled cessation time shall count as a completed over. 
8. The umpires shall have the discretion to increase the number of overs to be bowled by the team bowling second if both of them agree that events beyond the control of the team bowling first (including time wasting by the team batting first) prevented that team bowling the required number of overs by the scheduled cessation of the first innings.


1. Batters must run in distinct lines to ensure they are not within 2m of the bowler or other batter. To assist this process lines will be marked on the square either side of the wicket square to the popping crease, 2m from the edge of the wicket.
2. Batters should sanitise their bat when leaving the field of play and wicket keepers their gloves.

Unfair Play

Law 41 will be applied in full with the addition of the following regarding Dangerous and Unfair Bowling

In addition to Law 41.6 the following regulations shall apply:

1. Any delivery, after pitching, which is clearly over the head of the striker standing upright at the crease, will be called No Ball. (Law 21.10)
2. A bowler shall be limited to one fast short pitched ball per over. (The Umpire at the bowler's end shall make it clear to both the bowler and the batsman when such a delivery has been bowled).
3. A fast short pitched ball is defined as a ball which passes or would have passed above the shoulder of the batsman standing upright in the crease.
If this limit is exceeded the Umpire at the bowler's end shall call and signal "No Ball" on each occasion.

4. If the bowler exceeds his limit of short pitched deliveries in an over not only must the Umpire call "No Ball" but he must invoke the procedures of Law 41.6 in regard to cautioning the bowler indicating that this is a first and final warning. 
5. If a bowler is "No Balled" a second time in the innings for the same offence the Umpire shall direct the captain of the fielding side to suspend the bowler immediately from bowling.

Restriction on Placement of Fielders

1. Two semi circles shall be drawn on the field of play. The semi circles shall have as their centre the middle stump at either end of the pitch.  The radius of each of the semi-circles shall be 30 yards (27.43 metres). The semi circles shall be linked by two parallel straight lines drawn on the field. The fielding restriction areas should be marked by a continuous white line or 'dots' at 5 yard (4.57 metres) intervals. Each 'dot' to be covered by a white plastic or rubber (but not metal) disc measuring 7inches (18cm) in diameter. 
2. At the instant of delivery, there may be no more than 5 fielders on the leg side.
3. The first 8 overs of each innings will be a compulsory power play. 
4. Only two players are allowed outside the 30 yard circle for the first 8 overs at the instant of delivery.
5. After the compulsory overs have been completed, at the instant of delivery there must be 4 fieldsmen plus the wicket keeper and bowler within the 30 yard (27.43metre) circle. 
6. In circumstances when the number of overs of the batting team is reduced, the number of power play overs shall be reduced in accordance with the following table below. For the sake of clarity, it should be noted that the table shall apply to both the 1st and 2nd innings of the match.
7. In the event of an infringement of any of the above fielding restrictions, the square leg umpire shall call and signal ‘No Ball’.


Innings Duration  PowerPlay Overs
 10-15  3
 16-20  4
 20-25  5
 26-30  6
 31-35  7
 36-40  8


Match Result

1. The side with the highest aggregate score will be the winners. 
2. If the scores are equal at the end of the match the game will be a tie 2 points each. Number of wickets will not be used to decide on a winner. 

Interrupted Matches

1. In an interrupted match where the number of overs has had to be reduced, a result can only be achieved if both teams have batted for at least 10 overs unless one of the teams has been all out in less than 10 overs or unless the team batting second scores the runs to win in less than 10 overs. 
2. If, due to suspension of play after the start of the match, the number of overs in the innings of either team has to be revised to a lesser number than that originally allotted (minimum of 10 overs), then a revised target score should be set for the number of overs which the team batting second will have the opportunity of facing. This will be calculated by using Duckworth Lewis (DL) Method in all rounds using the Play-Cricket Scorer App. A G50 value of 200 will be used.
3. If a match is abandoned before it has been played to a conclusion and before the team batting second has received its allotted number of overs (providing that it has received not less than 10 overs or reached their target as calculated by the relevant method within the set number of overs), the result shall be decided by DL Method in all rounds using the Play-Cricket Scoring App/Scoring Pro.


It is the responsibility of the host club to make sure that the Play-Cricket Scoring ‘ App is available and that the ‘Par Score’ is clearly displayed on the scoreboard during the 2nd Innings prior to each over starting.Both Teams/Umpires/Scorers need to familiarise themselves with how the ‘App’ works in the event of rain delays.

Wide Ball 

1. Any Offside or Legs ide delivery which in the opinion of the umpires does not give the batsmen a reasonable opportunity to score shall be called ‘a wide’. Two lines shall be marked at each end of the pitch running parallel to the return crease 17 inches from the return crease. (This is to assist the umpires in judging wide deliveries on the offside of the wicket. For guidance purposes any ball which passes leg side of the striker and leg side of the wicket shall be called a wide. 

Free Hit after a No Ball 

1. The delivery following a no ball shall be a free hit for whichever batsman is facing it. If the delivery for the free hit is not a legitimate delivery (any kind of no ball or a wide ball) then the next delivery will become a free hit for whichever batsman is facing it. 
2. For any free hit, the striker can only be dismissed under the circumstances that apply for a no ball even if the delivery for the free hit is called wide ball. 
3. Field changes are not permitted for free hit deliveries unless there is a change of striker. 
4. The Umpires will signal a free hit by (after the normal No Ball signal) extending one arm straight upwards and moving it in a circular motion.

Additional Specific Covid Guidance 

1. Players must maintain social distancing at all times. This is 2 metres except in the case of wicket keepers standing up to the stumps and the distance between slip fielders. when 1m+ Is permitted
2. The ball must be returned direct to the bowler either on the full or rolled along the ground. It should not be passed around the field.
3. The umpires will not collect the ball at the fall of a wicket or at any breaks; instead the ball will be returned to the base of the stumps.
4. Only umpires should replace bails and remake the wicket including after any attempted stumpings or run outs.
5. Bowlers when returning to their mark should maintain social distancing when passing the umpire.
6. Bowlers should maintain social distancing when making any appeals.
7. Umpires will not hold any players equipment this should be placed at least 1 metre beyond the boundary.



1. Any breach of the Covid guidelines during play will result in a first and final warning under Law 41. Any subsequent breach will result in the award of 5 penalty runs.

2. A player intentionally moving within 1 metre of anyone else for non-cricketing purposes will be treated as a Law 42 Level 3 offence (Removal from the field for 1/5th of the allocated overs at the start of the innings 40 overs game = 8 overs)

3. A player intentionally spitting or coughing at and within 2 metres of, another person will be treated as a Law 42 Level 4 offence (Offending player to be removed for the remainder of the game)


In the event of any disagreement, the decision of the (Northern League and Palace Shield Chairmen) shall be final. 

ECB Club Support

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