Please note for the 2020 Special Season, a new set of temporary rules have been issued
The Rules of the Palace Shield Cricket Competition
Last Updated April 2020
MOORE & SMALLEY PALACE SHIELD COMPETITION
The objects of the Competition are to promote a greater interest in the game of cricket, foster and develop amateur talent, and arrange an Annual Competition.
1. The Competition shall be called "Moore & Smalley Palace Shield Competition".
2. Governance. The Competition shall be governed by a Management Committee of not less than one representative from each Club, a quorum of which shall be not less than 18 Clubs, two representatives of the Competition Umpires' Association and by an Executive, consisting of a President, Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer and Assistant Secretary, Fixtures Secretary, Registration Secretary, Results Secretary, Umpires’ Secretary, Rules Secretary and Junior Section Secretary, who shall have the authority to co-opt from time to time such other persons as may be appropriate.
3. Management Committee & Management Meetings. Regular meetings of the Committee shall be convened at such times and in such places as the Committee shall decide, or when called by the Chairman and Secretary, who shall inform all Club Secretaries, giving seven days' notice of the details of the Agenda. Clubs not represented at meetings called in accordance with the Rules shall be fined up to £25 for each absence.
3a. At all Committee meetings, the Chairman shall preside, or in his absence the Vice-Chairman, and voting at such meetings shall be on the basis of one vote for each Club in respect of each team in the Senior Competition, with a maximum of two votes on all issues and two votes for the Umpires' Association. However, clubs that do not have a 1st XI in the competition shall be limited to one vote on all matters. The members of the Executive shall each be entitled to cast one vote on all issues, irrespective of whether they are current members of a club within the Competition. A motion or proposal shall be carried by a simple majority of those present who vote, or as otherwise laid down in Rules 4e, 10 and 12. When voting is equal, the Chairman of the meeting shall have a second or casting vote. In all voting instances, abstentions shall be regarded as void.
3b. Clubs shall notify to the Secretary the names of their League Representatives, which shall be included in the official Handbook of the Competition, and who shall be the spokesmen in their Clubs, and who shall announce their names when the Roll is called at each Committee Meeting. Where a nominated representative(s) cannot attend, Clubs must send a substitute, who must be a member of that Club, and who must declare himself at the Roll Call. No person may represent more than one Club at any meeting.
3c. Items from any Club for inclusion in the Agenda must be submitted to the Secretary in writing to be received by him not less than 14 days before a Committee Meeting, although should any matter prove to be one of special importance or urgency, the Secretary, in consultation with the Chairman, may accept a less period of notice. 3d. The Committee may appoint, or approve the appointment of such officers other than those mentioned in Rule 2 as it thinks appropriate to the proper running of the Competition.
4. Annual General Meeting. An Annual General Meeting shall be held each year not later than the 14th December, at which a statement of the accounts of the Competition, duly audited by the Auditor, shall be presented, a President and Officers elected, and such other business transacted as may be appropriate to an Annual General Meeting.
4a. Notices of Motion In writing other than proposals for amendments to rules, or for the introduction or deletion of rules for the conduct of the Competition, for inclusion in the Agenda, must reach the Secretary not later than 15th October, and Clubs shall be given not less than 14 days' notice of the Annual General Meeting and the Agenda.
4b. At Annual General Meetings, the President shall preside over the election of officers, but in his absence or his decision to the contrary, the Chairman shall preside following his election.
4c. Proposals for amendments to all existing rules, or for the introduction or deletion of rules for the conduct of the Competition must reach the Secretary, in writing, not later than 31st August. These proposals will be circulated to Clubs and discussed at the October meeting of the Management Committee. The Rules Sub-Committee will consider the proposals and report its recommendations to a Management Committee Meeting between October 15th and the Annual General Meeting. Only those proposals, which are proposed and seconded by clubs or the Umpires' Association at this meeting, will go forward to the Annual General Meeting.
4d. AGM Voting. Conduct of business and voting shall be as laid down for Committee Meetings, except as specifically varied in the Rules of the Competition. At the wish of the Meeting, voting shall be recorded by public declaration, or by ballot. The voting rights of any Club at the Annual General Meeting shall be conditional upon its having discharged its obligations and paid its annual subscriptions to the Competitions set out in Rules 10/10a.
4e. No new rule or amendment to an existing rule concerned with the playing of the game shall become effective other than by a simple majority of those present who vote (this applies to Rules 18-29 inclusive). Where the administration only of the Competition is involved, i.e., fines, Umpires' Expenses, etc., a clear majority of at least ten votes shall be required. However, any proposed playing rule changes relating to a specific division/s or a specific cup competition/s shall be voted on only by those teams competing in those respective division/s and/or cup competition/s in the following season on a basis of one vote per team (this applies to Rules 18-29 inclusive). In all AGM voting instances, abstentions shall be regarded as void.
5. Special General Meetings. The Committee shall convene Special General Meetings at such times and places as they shall appoint, or following receipt by the Secretary of a request in writing from any Club, stating the objects of such Meeting, and signed by ten Clubs of the Competition. Such a meeting shall not be held within 14 days of receipt of the request.
6. Vice-Presidents. Those who have given distinguished service to the Competition may be invited by the Committee to serve as Honorary Life Vice-Presidents, but shall not be allowed to vote at any meetings unless qualified to do so under the entirety of Rules 3 & 4.
7. Club Officials & Welfare. Each Club shall be sent annually a ‘CLUB OFFICIALS' form, which must be completed in full and returned to the Secretary before the 6th January. Clubs must also complete the form giving information on Welfare Officers and Coaches, which must be returned to the Secretary before the 1st April. Clubs must also complete the form sent to them regarding information on Welfare Officers, coaches, captains & umpires, which must be returned to the Assistant Secretary before the 1st April each year. Clubs must also ensure that all of their captains & umpires have an up to date DBS check completed. Non-compliance with any of the administration contained within this rule will result in penalties as decided by the management committee.
8. Fixtures; Dates & Field Days. All Club Days or Field Days, which make unavailable any ground on one particular date, and for which a special adjustment to Fixtures is required, must be notified in writing to the League Secretary before 30th November each year, so that the Fixtures Secretary may incorporate such rearrangements in the fixtures for the forthcoming season. Any resulting re-arrangement must be notified, in writing, to the Competition Secretary by the Home Club, by the 28th February. Any failure to comply with the given dates, and ultimately failure of a Club to fulfil any fixture shall be dealt with under Rule 8b of the Competition.
8a. Similarly, in any other situation where the commitment of its ground makes a Club unable to fulfil any fixture, such Club must make arrangements for the fixture to be played on an alternative ground, acceptable to the Palace Shield Committee, or to be transferred to be played on the Sunday following the date on which the fixture should have been played, either at home, on the opponents' ground, or on an alternative acceptable ground. Failure to re-arrange the fixture in this way shall incur the application of the provisions of Rule 8b of the Competition. Games cannot be moved to after the final full set of fixtures in any Saturday division
8b. In both league and cup games any club failing to fulfil its engagement by not fielding a team at the time of commencement of a fixture approved by the Competition shall forfeit up to £50.00 to the Competition funds and up to £50.00 to the opposing Club. In league games the Committee may also:
(a) award maximum points for a win, including bonus points, to the opposing club;
(b) make a deduction up to the maximum win points from the offending club.
(c) for cup matches, elimination from the knock out competition'
8c. All Premier and Division 1A fixtures shall be played as laid down in the fixture list, only in exceptional circumstances beyond the control of the host club, not associated with weather, player availability or other such matters, the Executive Committee may grant exceptions in order to guarantee the integrity of the competition. No team may play more than one Sunday League fixture on the same day
8d. Fixtures in the Sunday competition may be postponed during the season (by either team) where grounds become unavailable, or where a fixture clash occurs, as long as sufficient notice is given. This notice must be at least 7 days before the due date of the fixture or within 24 hours of the reason for postponement becoming apparent. The Fixtures Secretary must be informed of the change, with the club requesting the postponement responsible for notification of the change and the original home club responsible for notice of the rearranged date. Failure to comply may incur penalties as per Rule 8b.
Any matches not played will be regarded as abandoned at the end of the season, with points awarded accordingly.
9. Protests. Any Club protesting against another Club shall within fourteen days of the alleged offence becoming known, lodge the protest and a £10.00 deposit with the Secretary, who shall immediately forward a copy of the protest to the Club protested against. Unless the deposit is made, the protest will not be entertained. The Club failing to sustain its protest shall forfeit its deposit to the Competition Funds unless the Committee decide otherwise.
10. Club Constitutions & Competition Fees. The Competition shall consist of properly constituted Clubs, having a suitable ground, appropriately equipped, (see Appendix A), and available for cricket in accordance with the published list of fixtures, that a three-fourths majority (of those present entitled to vote) decide to admit. The annual subscriptions for Clubs taking part in the competitions shall be made up as follows:
£30 per club
£45 for each team in the Premier and Divisions 1-6
£20 for each team in the Sunday League
£20 for each team in the 20-20 Competition
plus the cost of Handbooks in equal proportions.
10a. Payment of Fees. Subscriptions must be paid by 1st June each year. Clubs must also send a copy of their insurance details to the Secretary by 1st April each year. Clubs will be reminded of these deadlines giving at least 7 days notice. Failure to meet either deadline after due warning shall result in suspension of the club. Similarly, persistent failure to comply with the rules of the competition may also result in suspension from the Competition for the club, or a team within the club. During a period of suspension, the team or club will be unable to compete in the Competition and will forfeit points during the period of suspension. Continued suspension may result in the team or club being expelled from the Competition.
Failure of any Club to pay any other account within one month after submission shall incur a fine of £5.00 and after due warning, continued failure to pay shall incur a further fine of £5.00 per week until payment has been made.
11. Ground Facilities. The facilities of each ground shall be of a standard acceptable to the Ground Sub Committee (which shall be elected by the Committee), and shall be periodically inspected to ensure that standards are maintained. In addition to the minimum entry criteria, clubs must achieve the minimum score appropriate to the division in which they play, or are due to play, in view of promotion or relegation. Adverse reports shall be conveyed to the club concerned, and failure to comply with the requirements after a period laid down by the Grounds Sub-Committee, shall result in a fine or points deduction as decided by the Management Committee. Persistent failure to comply, or to maintain the improved standard required, or for adverse reports to continue to be made about a ground's facilities, (see Appendix B), may lead to recommendation that the Club concerned be demoted to an appropriate division, or, expelled from the Competition if they do not meet the minimum criteria specified at Appendix A. Any such recommendation will be put to a specially convened General Meeting.
12. Competition Structure. The Competition shall consist of eight Divisions, Premier, Divisions 1A and 1B, 2 - 6 and a Sunday League.
The Premier Division will consist of first teams only and Division 1 will be split into two sections, with Division 1A for first teams only and Division 1B for second teams only.
All references to Division 1, in rules, codes, appendices, etc. will apply to Divisions 1A and 1B unless otherwise stated.
Clubs with a first team in the Northern League will be eligible to enter a second team into the competition, with the exception of Barrow & Penrith. Third and fourth teams from these clubs (excluding Barrow & Penrith) will be subject to the normal election process. Clubs who enter the league structure via rule 13C are not permitted to enter additional teams, unless their 2nd team also obtains the criteria laid out in rule 13C in subsequent years to their 1st team having entered the structure as per rule 13C
Clubs having a third team in the Saturday competition may enter a fourth team. Clubs having a 4th XI may apply for the admission of an additional team to the Saturday Competition. Admission will be subject to the structure and numbers of teams competing .
The Sunday League will be organised in two divisions but the second division will be split into two further groups according to location.
Knock out competitions for the Meyler, Loxham and Crabtree Cups will be played each season by First, Second and Third XIs of clubs.
13. Promotion & Relegation. In each Division the Club scoring the most points in the season shall be considered the Champions for that year. In the event of two or more Clubs tieing at the head of any Division, or for any position affecting promotion, relegation or re-election, the number of games won shall decide or, in the event of a similar record of wins, the net run rate per wicket of each team and its opponents throughout the season shall decide the issue.
13a. The top two teams in the Premier Division shall be eligible for promotion to the Northern League. The clubs concerned must decide on whether to take up this promotion by 30th September. Should one or both of these teams wish to be promoted, the lowest placed team(s) in the Northern League will be automatically relegated into the Palace Shield Premier Division.
Automatic relegation of the bottom two teams of each division shall normally take place as shall promotion of the top two teams in each division, subject to the following conditions:
- The Premier Division shall comprise of 1st XIs of clubs only, with optional promotion for the top two teams.
- Division 1A shall comprise of 1st XIs of clubs only with Division 1B comprising of only 2nd XIs. Promotion and relegation shall take place between the Premier Division and Division 1A. There will be no promotion from Division 1B.
- In Division 2, at least two teams, with a maximum of three, will be eligible for promotion.
(a) If the top two teams are both 1st XIs, then they will be promoted into Division 1A with the bottom two teams relegated.
(b) If (a) applies, the highest placed 2nd XI will also be promoted into Division 1B, with the bottom team from 1B being relegated. This is subject to there being an eligible 2XI team finishing in the Top 6 places in Division 2. If the top two teams are second teams, the same happens in reverse.
(c) If the top two teams consist of a 1st XI and 2nd XI team, they will both be promoted accordingly and the bottom teams only from Divisions 1A and 1B will be relegated.
- The highest division that any 3rd XI is eligible to play in shall be Division 2.
- no club may have more than one team in any division except Division 6,
- if a team is relegated to a lower division in which a team from that club already plays, then the club’s lower team will also be relegated to the next lower division, instead of the higher of the two teams liable to relegation. Should two teams be in this position then they will take the places of both teams liable to relegation,
- if a team, eligible for promotion, has a team from that club already playing in, or due to be relegated to, the next higher division, then it will not be promoted
- promotion and admission to the various divisions will be subject to each club achieving and maintaining the agreed levels on the ‘ Club and Ground Check List’ and having the essential agreed facilities. These will be agreed annually between representatives of the club and the grounds sub-committee. Should there be failure to agree between the club and sub-committee on the overall points score, the matter will be referred to the Executive for a final decision.
- Using the criteria above, should either, or both, of the top two teams in any division not be eligible for promotion, the highest placed eligible team(s) finishing in the top 4 places shall be promoted.
13b. The bottom two teams in Sunday Division 1 will be eligible for relegation and the top placed team in each group in Sunday Division 2 will be eligible for promotion.
13c. If the Westmorland League champions are within Lancashire and meet the ground criteria, that team will be offered the option to come up to the Palace Shield. Any decision would be needed by 30th September. If accepted, the team will automatically go into Division 1 (A or B as appropriate) with any other teams remaining in the Westmorland League. The relegated teams from Division 1 will have the option to drop into the Westmorland League or Div 2 with any decision to be made by 30th September. Any team entering the Palace Shield via automatic promotion from the Westmorland League in this way would automatically be relegated back should they be in the relegation positions in Division 1.
14. New Applications. Applications from clubs to join the Competition for the following season shall be received by the Secretary by 30th June, as shall notification from clubs leaving the Competition. Notification from existing clubs of withdrawal of Second, Third or 4th XI, or applications to enter additional teams for the following season must be made to the Secretary by 15th October. Applications from clubs in the Westmoorland League will only be accepted as per rule 13C and not via this process.
Any club, which confirms the entry of one of its teams at the AGM and subsequently withdraws that team at any time before the completion of the following season's fixtures, shall be fined £100.
New clubs joining the Competition with one team will normally be placed in Division 6, but any club admitted with more than one team will have its teams placed in appropriate divisions by the Management Committee and confirmed at either an SGM or AGM, taking into account playing standards, facilities, vacancies, etc.
The admission of new clubs may result in the expansion or the re-structuring of divisions. The promotion of the two eligible teams will first take place and new teams will then be placed in the appropriate divisions. All divisions from the Premier Division down to Division 3 shall consist of 12 teams and the structure of the remaining divisions will be decided annually at the AGM. This may require an additional team, or teams, to be relegated in order that the division remains at 12, according to the following table:
Number of teams in higher division to be unaltered 2 up, 2 down
Number of teams in higher division to be reduced by I, 2 up, 3 down
Number of teams in higher division to be reduced by 2, 2 up, 4 down
Number of teams in higher division to be reduced by 3, 2 up, 5 down, etc.
Number of teams in higher division to be increased by I, 2 up, 1 down
Number of teams in higher division to be increased by 2, 2 up, 0 down
Number of teams in higher division to be increased by 3, 3 up, 0 down
Number of teams in higher division to be increased by 4, 4 up, 0 down, etc.
Number of teams in higher division to be increased by 4, 4 up, 0 down, etc.
15. Registrations. Players may not play for any Club unless registered for that Club, with their consent, by noon on the day of the game. This is done by placing the registration, via the Palace Shield Website, onto the online registration system. If by the following weekend the registration has not been confirmed by the Registration Secretary, the player will not be deemed eligible to play, until such time as the Registration Secretary is satisfied with the registration. The onus is on the club to ensure that the player is indeed eligible to play and that the signing is not a transfer from another Palace Shield club prior to playing. However, players will be free to move between clubs at the end of each season unless they have outstanding commitments to the previous club, but must be registered individually by their new club.
15a. Transfers. No player shall play for more than one Club in the Competition in one season, except with the consent of the Committee of the Club he has previously played for. Any player wishing to transfer during a season shall follow the transfer process onto the Palace shield online registration system. The Registration Secretary will then seek approval of the transfer from the player's previous club. Once approval is received, subject to the registration cut off time (i.e. as, long as the transfer can be approved by midnight of the Wednesday prior) the player will become eligible to play for the new club from the following weekend. Any infringement of this rule shall bring penalties in line with Rule 8b.
The transfer of players from other clubs including clubs outside the Competition will not be accepted after August 14th in each year unless sanctioned by the Committee or registration Secretary. However, the registration of players not attached to any club will continue to be permitted. Any infringement of this rule shall bring penalties in line with Rule 8b.
15b. Residency. Registration will not be granted to any player who has not been resident in the United Kingdom for the twelve months prior to the commencement of each League Season. However, there will be a relaxation on these restrictions as follows; those clubs that wish to take advantage of this situation may register ONE player per club, who will be recognised as an overseas amateur. This condition does not apply to expatriates of the United Kingdom. Any application for further relaxation of this rule must be made in writing to the Secretary, copied to the Registration Secretary, giving details of the player’s previous residence and playing record.
15c. Professionals & Payments. Amateurs only shall be allowed to participate. No player who has had a professional appointment in the previous season shall be allowed to play in the following season, although the Management Committee may give permission in extreme circumstances. No cash bonuses or payments shall be made to any player for playing.
15d. Registrations – Pre-season housekeeping. At least 7 days prior to the beginning of the season all clubs must check their own online registration lists and inform the Registration Secretary of any amendments that are required. If no amendments are required, the club still needs to inform the Registration Secretary of such. The AGM or the Management Committee shall order a complete re-registration of all players where this is deemed necessary.
15e. Loaning of Players. Players will be allowed to temporarily transfer to another club for a game, as allocated by the League Executive. Details of the operation of the centrally managed scheme are contained in Appendix F.
16. Senior Leagues. A Senior League (excluding the Northern League) is any league in which clubs are allowed to include a professional cricketer on their playing staff and is defined as such by the Competition. The First XIs of such clubs are senior to all teams in the Competition.
17. Player Eligibility. Any player who has played in twelve or more Senior League games for the First XI in the current season shall not play in this Competition, without the Executive’s consent. Any application for relaxation of this rule must be made in writing to reach the Secretary of the Competition not later than mid-day, Thursday prior to the Saturday upon which it is desired to play the player in question.
17a. Any player who has played in 12 league games, or more, in a higher level team for the club, shall not play in a lower level team. If a player has played in more than 50% of available league games in a higher level team, in the current calendar year season, they shall not be eligible to play in any game for a lower level team when the higher level team does not have a scheduled game. Where a game does not start, the fixture does not count in respect of any calculations under this rule. In the Sunday League these restrictions will apply to 1st XI players in a Senior League, the Premier Division and Division 1A plus second XI players from Division 1B, but not to any player under the age of 21, or over 40 (as at the commencement of the season). However, no more than 3 such players (any combination of U21 & Over- 40) may play in any Sunday team
17b. Any player who has played men’s senior representative cricket (e.g. Minor Counties or County 2nd XI) in either the current or previous season may not play in Division 2 or below without the consent of the Executive
17c. Eligibility Relaxation. Any application for relaxation of any element of rule 17, 17a or 17b, must be made in writing to reach the Secretary of the Competition not later than mid-day, Thursday prior to the Saturday upon which it is desired to play the player in question, and must give full details of the player's batting and bowling record in all matches together with details of the Division of the Competition in which he has played, (with emphasis on his last six performances) the reasons for wishing to play the man in the game concerned, and the name of the Club against whom his first match is to be played. In all cases the Secretary may only give consent following consultation with members of the Executive, and shall report such action to the next meeting of the Committee. Failure by the Clubs to comply with any of these requirements will invalidate an application. Any infringement of this rule shall bring penalties in line with Rule 8b.
18. Match Format. Matches will be played on a Win/Lose basis, with the team scoring most runs being declared the winner in a completed game. A game will be a tie if both teams score the same number of runs. Points will be awarded as per the table in Appendix C.
18a. Start Times. All matches shall be played under the revised M.C.C. Laws of Cricket (2017 Code) with such exceptions as may be found in the Competition Rules, and shall commence at 1.30 p.m. (1.00 p.m. in September). Teams failing to start at the appointed time, by not having a minimum of seven players present, or not being ready to recommence at the end of the 30 minutes interval, may have 1 point deducted every 15 minutes late at the discretion of the Management Committee. Umpires must report all late starts and the offending Club to the Umpires Secretary. No practice will be allowed on any ground within 10 minutes of the start of play.
18b. Toss. Team captains shall toss for first innings and submit a completed team sheet to the umpires 15 minutes before the start of play.
18c. Number of Overs. The game shall be of 90 overs, each of 6 balls duration, with the side batting first being limited to a maximum of 45 overs, any complete overs not being taken by the team batting first due to their having been bowled out or having declared their innings closed, will be added to the team batting second. However, in the Sunday League, no overs will be added to the team batting second, both innings will be a maximum of 40 overs. A team may not declare their innings closed until a minimum of 75% (rounded up to the next complete over) of their allotted overs have been bowled. (An over started will count as a complete over.)
18d. Fielding Restrictions. In the Premier Division and Division 1 only, at the instant of delivery, a minimum of four fieldsmen (plus the bowler and the wicketkeeper) must be within an area bounded by two semicircles centred on each middle stump (each with a radius of 30 yards) and joined by a parallel line each side of the wicket. In the event of an infringement, the square leg umpire shall call and signal No Ball. The fielding circle should be marked by painted white dots at five yard intervals, each dot to be covered by a plastic or rubber (not metal) disc measuring seven inches in diameter.
18e. Wides. Any Offside or Leg Side delivery which in the opinion of the Umpire does not give the batsman 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 umpires when judging wide deliveries on the Offside of the wicket). In the Premier Division and Division 1 only, for guidance purposes, any ball which passes leg side of the striker and leg side of the wicket, shall be called a wide. Any ball passing on the legside of the batsman outside of the 17” line should be classed as a wide in division 2 and below
18f. Bowling Restrictions. In the Saturday divisions, one bowler may bowl a maximum of fifteen overs and all other bowlers will be limited to a maximum of twelve overs each. These restrictions will remain the same in any reduced overs innings (due to disruption mid game) and for the first 45 overs of any increased overs innings (with no further restrictions after the 45th over).
Where the number of overs are reduced at the start of the game so are the maximum number of overs that each bowler may bowl. This is 1/3rd of the total for one bowler and 1/4 for all the others. This does not apply if the overs are reduced after the start
In the Sunday League, no bowler may bowl more than 8 overs, reduced on a pro-rata basis in a reduced overs match.
19. In accordance with the provisions of Law 2, para. 2.7 of the revised 2017 M.C.C. Laws of Cricket, the umpires shall take into account the wishes of both captains, but shall be the final judges of the ground, weather and light for play, both before the commencement of a match and once play has started. Any discussions will take place between Captains and Umpires only. After the interruption of a match once started, due to weather or other conditions, the umpires shall, when it is judged by them that play may re-commence, notify each captain of their decision and the time when play shall re-start. Umpires and captains are reminded that play shall not commence, continue or be resumed whilst rain is falling, irrespective of the state of the match.
If the start of the match is delayed or an interruption occurs during the first innings due to adverse weather or other circumstances, overs will be deducted from the total overs as per the table below. Where overs are deducted, the side batting second shall have a maximum of half of the revised number of overs.
8 minutes = 2 overs
15 minutes = 4 overs
The minimum overs allowed shall be a total of 40 overs, unless a decision has earlier been reached. No game shall commence later than 5.08pm (4.38pm in September), tea having been taken. Any interruption during the first innings of a minimum 40 overs game will result in it being abandoned as an uncompleted game
19a. Tea. There shall be an interval of 30 minutes between innings. If tea has been taken earlier during a break owing to adverse weather, the interval between the innings shall be reduced to 10 minutes. During a break in play due to adverse weather, tea may be taken early in an attempt to save playing time. The umpires shall take into account the wishes of both captains, but shall be the final judges of when the tea interval should be taken
19b. Last Hour. In all matches, a minimum of 16 overs, if available, shall be bowled in the last hour of play, commencing at 7.00pm, or earlier in September. Should adverse weather, or other circumstances interrupt play during this period, this requirement shall be reduced at the rate shown in the table below but this will not affect the number of overs to be bowled in the second innings.
4 minutes = 1 over
8 minutes = 2 overs
15 minutes = 4 overs
30 minutes = 8 overs
60 minutes = 16 overs
The match shall normally end at 8.00p.m. (7.30p.m. in September), only continuing beyond this time to complete the over in progress or to complete the required minimum number of overs in the final hour, as specified above.
19c. Serious / Blood Injuries. If both umpires consider an injury to a player to be serious or a blood injury, then the player will be instructed (if mobile) to leave the field of play for treatment. If it is a batsman, then he will retire and return at the fall of a wicket or the retirement of a subsequent batsman. If he is one of the last batsmen at the wicket, then 10 minutes will be allowed for treatment with play suspended, after which the innings will be closed and the batting side will be deemed to be all out. The match may extend beyond 8.00p.m. (7.30p.m. in September), to allow for this 10 minutes.
19d. Revised 1st Innings Total. The 1st Innings total may be amended to a revised total using the procedure and tables laid out at Appendix E. This rule shall only apply if the first innings is interrupted on the one occasion and is unable to continue, a minimum of 20 overs have been bowled and the game resumes with the second innings. (in Divisions 2 to 6)
19e. Use of Duckworth Lewis (DL) System. In the Premier and Division 1 only, where weather intervenes after play has commenced in either the 1st or 2nd innings, Duckworth Lewis on Play Cricket (DL) will be used to calculate revised scores. The detail of the procedure and responsibilities is laid out in Appendix E.
20. Incomplete Game. Where inclement weather has either prevented the start of a game or so interfered with the play as to prevent a conclusion, the game shall be counted as abandoned or incomplete. If, both in the absence of a result and following completion of the last hour (16 overs), the total allocated overs for the second innings have not been completed, then stumps shall be drawn, and the match declared incomplete. But should the Umpires consider that failure to complete the 16 overs was due to causes other than weather conditions, then penalties on the offending club, laid down under the Disciplinary Code, may be imposed.
21. Early Abandonments. A decision to abandon a match shall not normally be taken before 3.00pm (2.30pm in September) on the appointed day with both teams and umpires present. In extreme weather conditions, when there is no prospect of play, the match can be called off after 10am on the morning of the game subject to all of the following conditions, as appropriate, being met:
a) Initially, the Captains of both clubs teams will verbally agree, which must then be followed up by a written (e-mail or text) confirmation b) The weather forecast and conditions and state of the ground mean that there would be no chance of play by the latest possible start time using normal drying
c) In the case of games in the Premier Division and Division 1, the ground must be inspected by a panel umpire as designated by the umpires committee. This umpire will be entitled to expenses for the abandoned game.
21a. In the event of all viable games in a particular division being cancelled due to the weather, no team in that division shall be able to claim 12 points due to a forfeited fixture.
Other Playing Conditions
22. Over-Rates. The rate of overs bowled shall not fall below 16 overs per hour throughout an innings. Offending clubs must be reported by the umpires to the Secretary and may be liable to a fine or points deduction as decided by the Management Committee
23. ECB Directives. The ECB Fast Bowling Directive, the Fielding Regulations, the Guidance on Helmets for Young Players and the Guidance for Junior Players playing in Senior open age cricket will operate in all matches in the Competition.
24. Penalty Runs. The Provisions of the the revised M.C.C. Laws of Cricket (2017 Code) provide for the award of penalty runs to the batting or fielding side for various transgressions. These will now be observed in full unless otherwise stated in these rules.
25. Scorers & Scoreboard. Each team shall have a competent scorer, and failure to so provide shall incur a fine or points deduction as decided by the Management Committee. If a team fails to provide a scorer the team that does not have a scorer should pay £10 per innings to the person who is scoring the match on the understanding that they are doing both books.
Scorebooks (either handwritten or electronic) shall be approved by the Umpires officiating, and shall indicate the number of overs to be bowled in each innings, and details shall cease to be entered in the scorebook when the winning run has been made. Scorers, both Junior (under 16) and Senior may take part in a Competition for which Trophies will be presented for the best kept scorebooks during a season.
The scoreboard must clearly indicate the score ball by ball, and shall display the number of overs completed. The scoreboard shall also display the total number of overs to be bowled in that innings.
26. Late Arrivals. If a player arrives late, but before the completion of the first innings, provided his arrival on the ground has been reported to the Umpires and the opposing Captain, he shall be allowed to participate in the remainder of the game, as laid down in Law 24 of the 2017 Code.
27. Artificial Pitches. These may not be used in the Premier Division, Divisions 1 and 2, the Meyler Cup or the Loxham Cup. However, they may be used in Divisions 3 and below, the Sunday League, the Crabtree Cup and the 20-20 Competition.
28. Sight Screens & Covers. All grounds shall have adequate sight screens and no match in the competition may take place without them. Clubs playing in Division 3 and above must have adequate covering for the pitch and will be subject to reports by the umpires on its effectiveness and deployment, both prior to and during the match. In the Premier and Division 1 clubs must also have adequate covering for the bowlers run ups.
29. Match-balls. In all matches, each team shall provide its own ball. The ball used shall be the standard ball marked 'P.S.' and shall be approved by the Umpires, together with suitable replacements, before the commencement of the relevant innings. “League Special” balls may only be used in Division 4 and below and the Sunday League. In the Premier and Division 1 each team should begin the innings with a new ball.
30. Entering Results. The Home Club in all Divisions must post the result of its match and notable performances on the Competition website, using the prescribed procedure detailed at Appendix D. Failure to complete any of the match information required will result in a fine for either home or away club as detailed in Appendix D.
30a. Website Scorecards. Scorecards entered must contain the full details of the entire team, even if some members of the team ‘Did Not Bat’. Where a match is abandoned without a ball being bowled, scorecards should not be entered on the website.
30b. Team Sheets / Result Cards. These must be sent to the Registration Secretary by the Panel Umpires, where they are standing, to be received by the first post on Friday following the match. If the same player is named on more than one team sheet on the same day, the player will be declared ineligible for both teams and penalties may be imposed as per Rule 8b. Where no panel umpires are standing, it is the responsibility of the home club to scan and e-mail or to return by post, both cards to the Registration Secretary by midday of the Friday following the completion of the game. Clubs failing to do this will be fined £5.00 for each omission.
30c. Points & Scorecard Queries. All clubs are responsible for providing any information regarding matches played, which the Secretary may require at any time, for the purpose of maintaining records and resolving complaints. In particular, clubs must notify the Results Secretary in writing (by post, fax or e-mail), within ten days, of any discrepancies arising in the weekly publication of results and league tables throughout the season. Failure to do so may result in loss of points and/or players not being credited with performances.
31. Panel & Appointments. The Umpires’ Association shall appoint a Panel of Umpires, who shall be appointed to officiate for all matches in the Premier, Division 1 and Division 2 (if available), the Meyler Cup and the semi-finals and finals of the Loxham and Crabtree Cup Competitions and who shall be known as "Panel Umpires". Should appointed Panel Umpires fail to attend, alternative Umpires shall be arranged by the competing teams. Should the number of umpires available on the Competition Panel be insufficient to man fully the weekly fixtures in the above divisions or in Meyler Cup matches, the Competition may require Clubs to nominate supplementary Umpires to bring the Panel up to the required number.
31a. Club Umpires. For matches in Divisions 2 - 6, each Club shall provide a competent Umpire for both home and away fixtures. Under 18’s must be qualified to at least ACO Stage 2. Such Umpires shall be known as Club Umpires and all clubs required to provide them must register them, plus any substitutes who may be called upon, with the Umpires’ Secretary prior to the start of the season. Changes and updates to this registration may be submitted during the season. Clubs, which fail to provide an umpire, may be liable to a fine or points deduction as decided by the Management Committee. The registered Club Umpires will be entitled to membership of the Umpires’
31b. Retirement. All Panel and Club Umpires shall retire on attaining the age of 70 years, or earlier should the Association so decide, and any application for an Umpire to be retained beyond that age shall be made in writing to the Umpires’ Secretary at the end of the appropriate season. If the Association gives approval for an extension, this shall be for one year only, and for each succeeding season, a further application will be required. Any consideration by the Association shall be based upon reports from Clubs and upon information received from the Umpires' Secretary.
31c. Markings. In all Divisions and Knock-out matches where Panel Umpires are officiating, Clubs shall enter on the Umpires Report Sheet the names of the two umpires and shall mark the umpires according to the assessment form. This Report Sheet must be submitted to the Umpires’ Secretary by each club within seven days of the match to which the report refers. Failure to return the Report Sheet may result in fines or deduction of points, as determined by the Management Committee.
31d. Payments. Each umpire on the panel shall be paid £45 expenses for each match to which he is appointed and attends to officiate. Club umpires shall be paid £30 for each match which they attend to officiate. Where no play is possible the panel umpire shall receive £25 expenses and the club umpire £15 expenses. Should a Panel Umpire, due to the non-attendance of his colleague, be required to officiate at the bowler's end throughout the match, he shall be entitled to £90 expenses.
The cost of panel umpires should be split between both clubs rather than being the responsibility of the home club
Club Umpires shall be entitled to £45 expenses, but the club failing to provide an umpire shall pay the standing umpire the first £30. Should a Panel Umpire standing for a club in Divisions 2 –6, the Sunday League or the Loxham and Crabtree Cups be required to stand at both ends, where the opposing club has not provided an umpire, the offending club will be liable to a fine of £10.
32. The award of trophies in each Division shall be as follows:-
|Premier Division||Palace Shield||Palace Cup|
|Division One A||Fylde Cup||Deveney Cup|
|Division One B||Joe Dooley Trophy||Norman Willacy Trophy|
|Division Two||Barcroft Cup||William Sharples Cup|
|Division Three||Shaw Cup||Langton Birley Cup|
|Division Four||Charles W. Walsh Trophy||Tom Croft Trophy|
|Division Five||Michael Dunn Trophy||Bernard Vanner Trophy|
|Division Six||Carr Trophy||Derek Blease Trophy|
|Sunday Div 1||Moore & Smalley Trophy|
|Sunday Div 2||Taylor Trophy|
The Brian Costin Nompere Trophy and the Club Umpire’s Trophy are awarded to the umpires considered to have the best assessments for the season, having stood in at least 12 matches.
All Clubs will take part in the award of 'The Fair Play Trophy' to be judged annually by the Umpires for the Premier and Division 1A, and awarded to the Club considered by the Umpires to have, to the greatest extent, fulfilled the aims and spirit of the game as set out in the Preamble and Disciplinary Code of the Competition.
32a. The Committee shall insure the Shield and other League Trophies for a figure provided by independent professional valuation (such a valuation to be obtained at a maximum every five years).
32b. All Trophies must be returned to the Secretary by the end of September. Trophies for the Knockout Competitions shall be returned, by the previous year's winners, to the Secretary in clean and polished condition not later than one month prior to the final of each competition.
32c. Averages. The end of season averages will be taken from the main competition website, from information that is present and correct as of 30 September each year. Minimum qualifications eligible for awards in the Premier and Divisions 1 - 5 shall be as follows: Batting - 14 innings. Bowling - 30 wickets - in Division 6, 12 innings and 25 wickets. Where there is a significant change in the number of teams, or matches, in a division, these qualifications may be adjusted to take account of this.
33. Application of Rules. The Palace Shield Management Committee or its Executive, shall have full powers over the application of these rules and the Codes of Practice and Conduct, or to take decisions over such matters as are not provided for therein, in the best interests of the Competition. Decisions taken by the executive will be reported to the next meeting of the Management Committee or to the AGM, for information or ratification as appropriate. At the management meeting, clubs may make further verbal representations to the Management Committee before any vote is taken. Once the vote is taken, any further disagreement from any party shall take the form of an appeal, which must reach the league secretary in writing within 7 days of the management meeting taking place and must be accompanied by a deposit of £20.00. The Club may also be ordered to pay expenses as laid down for hearings of the Disciplinary Sub-Committee. The appeal will be heard solely by an Independent Appeal Committee appointed by the Disciplinary Chairman and the outcome of the appeal will be full and final.
Minimum Requirements – all grounds
An adequate outfield and square (or artificial pitch as per Rule 27)
Exclusive sheltered changing facilities (i.e. not shared)
Sheltered Scoring facilities
Provision for catering
A minimum appropriate score in the club & grounds checklist audit, including a minimum divisional score in category A 'Square, Pitch & Outfield' - see remainder of Appendix A plus Appendix B
Division 6 & Above – additional requirements to the above;
A minimum score of 21 for Catagory A in the ground audit or 16 if using a NTP
Division 5 & Above – additional requirements to the above;
A minimum score of 22 for Catagory A in the ground audit or 16 if using a NTP
Division 4 & Above – additional requirements to the above;
A minimum score of 23 for Catagory A in the ground audit or 16 if using a NTP
Division 3 & above – additional requirements to the above;
A grass pitch & square
Adequate Covers (as per rule 28)
A minimum of 65 points in the ground audit
A minimum score of 25 for Category A in the ground audit
Division 2 & Above – additional requirements to the above;
Absolute control over the use of the ground (i.e. not a school or other shared facility)
A minimum of 70 points in the ground audit
A minimum score of 26 for Category A in the ground audit
Division 1 & Above – additional requirements to the above;
Adequate umpires facilities scoring the entire full 2 points in the grounds audit
Adequate covering for the bowlers run-ups
A minimum of 75 points in the ground audit
A minimum score of 27 for Category A in the ground audit
Premier Division – additional requirements to the above;
A minimum boundary distance of 35 yards square of the wicket on both sides
A minimum of 80 points in the ground audit
A minimum score of 28 for Category A in the ground audit
These conditions will be applied for the entry of new teams or for the promotion of existing teams to the higher division.
Adequate Covers - Covers used by a club must take into account the contours of the square & surrounds, the prevailing weather and the ability to be deployed quickly & efficiently. They must be capable of keeping rain off the pitch and adjoining areas
Showers - They must be clean & hygienic and conveniently located for both players & umpires. There must be at least two showerheads per team with an adequate supply of hot water and a non-slip floor
Umpires Facilities - They must be separate, secure, lit & ventilated and of a minimum size of 4 sq metres. They must be complete with coat hooks, seating, washbasin (with H&C water), mirror and with suitable flooring. They must score the full 2 points on the ground audit.
Grounds Audit Checklist – minimum scores required for each individual division;
|Division||Minimum score required||Min Cat A|
|Division 4 – Grass Pitch||60||23|
|Division 4 – Non-Turf Pitch||42||16|
|Division 5 – Grass Pitch||55||22|
|Division 5 – Non-Turf Pitch||37||16|
|Division 6 – Grass Pitch||50||21|
|Divison 6 – Non-Turf Pitch||32||16|
Win 9 points plus any bowling points
Loss 0 points pus any batting or bowling points
Tie 5 points each plus bowling points
Incomplete Game 2 points each plus batting and bowling points provided that the team batting first has received at least 20 overs, or has previously completed its innings. An uncompleted game where the scores are level will be regarded as a tie.
Batting Points - First innings
1 point for scoring two runs per over throughout the whole innings
2 points for scoring three runs per over
3 points for scoring four runs per over
An over started counts as a completed over for this calculation.
If an innings is completed inside the allocated overs, the run rate shall be calculated using the final number of overs available in the innings
Batting Points – Second Innings
1 point for scoring 70% of the total of the side batting first
2 points for scoring 80% of the total of the side batting first
3 points for scoring 90% of the total of the side batting first
1 point for 5 wickets
2 points for 7 wickets
3 points for bowling the opposition out irrespective of the number of batsmen available.
|Division||Day of Match||Summary Result Due||Late Penalty||Responsibility||Scorecard Due By||Late Penalty||Responsibility|
|Premier & Div 1||Saturday||10PM Saturday||£5||HOME||12noon Sunday||£5||HOME|
|Divisions 2-6||Saturday||10PM Saturday||£5||HOME||12noon Monday||£5||HOME|
|Sunday Divisions||Sunday||10PM Sunday||£5||HOME||12noon Tuesday||£5||HOME|
|Twenty20||Tuesday||10am Wednesday||£5||HOME||12noon Thursday||£5||HOME|
|Twenty20||Wednesday||10am Thursday||£5||HOME||12noon Friday||£5||HOME|
|Twenty20||Thursday||10am Friday||£5||HOME||12noon Saturday||£5||HOME|
|Meyler Cup||Sunday||10PM Sunday||£5||WINNING||12noon Monday||£5||HOME|
|Loxham Cup||Sunday||10PM Sunday||£5||WINNING||12noon Tuesday||£5||HOME|
|Crabtree Cup||Sunday||10PM Sunday||£5||WINNING||12noon Tuesday||£5||HOME|
When a Scorecard has to be chased to become complete, a warning will be raised, any subsequent chases will be fined as follows.
|Missing Results & Scorecards|
|Initial Chase||HOME||24 Hours after Deadline||£10|
|Subsequent Chases||HOME||24 Hours after Chase||A Further £10 per occasion|
|Missing Information (eg Catchers/Unsures)|
|Initial Chase||HOME/AWAY||When Issue is Spotted||Warning|
|Subsequent Chases||HOME/AWAY||48 Hours Later||£5 to responsible team (ie whose player is missing)|
19d. Revised 1st Innings Total. The 1st Innings total may be amended to a revised total using the procedure and tables laid out at Appendix E. This rule shall only apply if the first innings is interrupted on the one occasion and is unable to continue, a minimum of 20 overs have been bowled and the game resumes with the second innings.
The score may be adjusted in the following manner:
1. Take the score at the interruption; Total, Wickets, Overs (use the score at the end of the previous over if the game is stopped in mid-over).
2. Using Table A – find the current match score (take the next score below the current score if it is not there) and check that the wickets fallen do not exceed the stated total.
3. If the wickets are OK, proceed to the bottom line of the column to find the projected score.
4. Using Table B, using the projected score, proceed along the row to locate the revised score applicable for the number of overs for the innings.
5. This score will count as the first innings score for the purposes of the side batting second winning, tieing or losing and collecting bonus points.
Use of Duckworth Lewis System in the Premier, Divisions 1A and 1B and in Cup Competitions.
(i) In Premier and Division 1 only and in the Cup Competitions, as stated in Cup Rule 7b, where weather intervenes after play has commenced in either the 1st or 2nd innings, Duckworth Lewis on Play Cricket (DL) will be used to calculate revised scores.
(ii) The home team will be responsible for ensuring that the Play Cricket APP is available for the purpose of calculating DL revised scores. The home team will also be responsible, at the end of each over, for displaying the par score at the end of the forthcoming over and for adjusting this if a wicket should fall.
(iii) Calculations of revised scores will be the responsibility of the scorers.
(iv) Where a game ends abruptly in the second innings, at least 20 overs having been completed, DL will provide a “par score” after every ball bowled in the second innings. This will be a whole number and is intended to reflect where a team should be, given the number of overs used and number of wickets lost. The actual score and the par score at that point are compared to determine the result.
(v) Batting Bonus Points will be calculated based on ”revised scores” as calculated by DLS
(vi) It should be noted, as per Rule 19d, that unless 20 overs in the 2nd innings have been completed the game will be abandoned as an uncompleted game, unless a team opts to chase the target or bowl out the opposition in less than 20 overs as per rule 19E (DLS). If the available overs is less than 20 the side batting second and electing to chase the 20 over target as calculated by the DLS method in fewer than 20 overs will lose the match if it is bowled out for less than the said target score or otherwise fails to achieve that score but will be entitled to bonus points as per appendix C.
The side bowling second electing to attempt to bowl out their opponents if fewer than 20 overs are available will lose the match if their opponents achieve the said target score or if it fails to bowl out their opponents but will be entitled to bonus points as per appendix C.
In either of the above circumstances, should there be a further suspension of play during this stage of the game it will end as an uncompleted game and 2 points will be awarded to each team along with any bonus points earned
(vii) If a DLS target is reached in less than 20 overs there is no requirement to continue to play till 20 overs.
(viii) In games where Duckworth Lewis is to apply, if there is a delay or an interruption occurs during the second innings of the game, the available overs shall be calculated as a count back from 8pm (7.30 pm in September), using 4 minutes = 1 over, 15 minutes = 4 overs. If the available overs is less that the expected total for the innings, a revised target should be calculated using Duckworth Lewis.
(Rule 19d, as above, will continue to apply to all other Divisions)
Players will be allowed to transfer temporarily to another club for a match, as allocated by the League Executive.
- A loans committee will be appointed from within the League Executive Committee.
- Each week, any club short of players for games on the coming weekend should register their requirements via the competition website by Thursday at 6pm.
- Each week, any player who is available for a temporary transfer should register their interest via the competition website by Thursday at 6pm.
- Clubs may include a preference for the type of player required and players may express a preference for their role in the game and location.
- The Loans Committee will allocate players to clubs by midnight on the Thursday taking into account the preferences expressed but allocating the places primarily on a needs basis
- Both club and player should accept the offer by 6pm on the Friday.
- Once this is agreed, the acceptance shall be binding with neither club nor player allowed to alter their decision. Any failure to comply with this will be taken into account when considering future temporary transfers.
- The player will be transferred to the club concerned on the day of the game and transferred back to their original club immediately following the game.
- The player is expected to pay match fees and cost of teas as any other player. If there is an element of annual subscription in the match fees, this should be excluded from the amount charged.
- If requests from players or clubs are received after the given deadlines, the loans committee will attempt to find a suitable match but all parties should appreciate that this may not be possible.
The Loan Request Form can be found here
This Code of Practice and preceding rules represent those principles and condition with which all Clubs, Players and Officials, including Umpires, will be required to comply, IN SPIRIT, just as much as in word.
(a) Each Club will be responsible for the preparation of its ground and pitch to the standard required by the Competition, and for the facilities of each Club to meet the requirements of the Competition as laid down through its Ground Sub-Committee. These facilities will, where possible, include separate changing accommodation for Umpires, where they may also consult in private if and when play is suspended or delayed.
(b) No practising, or the playing of games of any sort, by adults or children, shall be allowed in the vicinity of the playing area, the score box or of the pavilion, during the course of the match. However, this does not include the team fielding second warming-up prior to the commencement of the 2nd Innings, but this may only take place during the break between innings.
(c) The covering of the pitch and the run-up thereto at each end is in order during preparation of the ground prior to the commencement of the match, and such covering will also be permitted during any break due to weather conditions, from any rain, which may be failing. No work on the pitch or outfield will be permitted, except with the permission of the Umpires once the toss has taken place. The home club has an obligation to make every effort to bring the pitch and ground to a condition fit for play at the earliest opportunity, where inclement weather has delayed the start or interrupted play.
(d) The proper dress for cricket is white or cream for shirt, long trousers and socks, and white or cream cricket boots or shoes, with spikes or special patterned moulded studded soles. Sweaters or sleeveless pullovers must be white or cream, with coloured stripes only around neck, cuffs and waist. Parti-coloured shirts or footwear should be strongly discouraged by Clubs. Any logos of club sponsors should be of discrete size and placement and subject to the approval of the Executive.
(f) It is essential that adequate and easily accessible First Aid materials are available on all grounds.
(g) ECB Safe Hands -Cricket's Policy for Safeguarding Children - The Competition expects all clubs to adhere to the ECB policy and practices for safeguarding children.
(h) Clubs will be required (where requested to do so) to display advertising boards relating to the Competitions main sponsor
Moore & Smalley Palace Shield Disciplinary Regulations & Code of Conduct 2020
AIMS AND JURISDICTION
1. CODE OF CONDUCT AND SPIRIT OF CRICKET
4. DISCIPLINARY HEARINGS
7. NON-PAYMENT OF FINES
APPENDIX 1 –BREACHES OF DISCIPLINE
APPENDIX 2 – MUTUAL RECOGNITION
AIMS AND JURISDICTION
The Moore & Smalley Palace Shield is committed to maintaining the highest standards of behaviour and conduct.
To this end, these discipline regulations, incorporating major parts of the ECB Model Code of Conduct, the new MCC Laws and The Spirit of Cricket, have been adopted by the League.
The regulations shall be complied with by all those who participate under the jurisdiction of the Competitions’ Management Committee. The regulations shall apply to any player at any club, at any level, under the auspices of the Competition.
The regulations are intended to provide assistance and uniformity to all clubs in dealing with any alleged breach of the Code of Conduct, the new MCC Laws and The Spirit of Cricket and are aligned to ECB Non-First Class cricket procedures.
Any club which fails to take all reasonable steps to ensure the proper conduct of its players, officials and/or members in all matters for which the club or its committee is responsible, or acts in any way which is prejudicial or detrimental to the interests or reputation of the Competition, breaches this Code of Conduct.
There is nothing in this Code preventing or discouraging clubs from applying additional or stronger sanctions against offenders than those appearing within the
Code, whether or not they are the subject of a discipline report. To this end, it is important that clubs have their own code of conduct and disciplinary procedures in place.
For the purposes of these regulations, the expression ‘player’ shall throughout this document be deemed to mean and include not only any player, , but also any, umpire or member or official of any club in any incident of alleged misconduct occurring on any part of a cricket ground or building and not merely the field of play.
1. CODE OF CONDUCT AND SPIRIT OF CRICKET
1.1. Code of Conduct
1.1.1. The Competition is committed to maintaining the highest standards of behaviour and conduct at cricket matches both on and off the field. All clubs and players, by virtue of their registration with the Competition, explicitly agree to abide by this Code of Conduct, which incorporates the Spirit of Cricket, and are bound by the provisions in these Regulations.
1.1.2. The major responsibility for ensuring fair play rests with the
captains, but extends to all players, umpires and coaches.
1.1.3. Players and club officials must at all times accept the umpire’s
decision. Players and club officials must show self-discipline, even when things go against them.
This means not showing dissent at the umpire’s decision or reacting in a provocative or disapproving manner towards another player or a spectator.
1.1.4. Players and club officials shall not intimidate assault or attempt to intimidate or assault an umpire, another player, a club official or a
1.1.5. Players and club officials shall not use crude and/or abusive
language (known as “sledging”), nor make offensive gestures or hand
signals, nor deliberately distract an opponent.
1.1.6. Players and club officials shall not use language or gestures that offend, insult, humiliate, intimidate, threaten, disparage or vilify another person on the basis of that person’s race, religion, sexual orientation, colour, descent or national or ethnic origin.
1.1.7. Players and club officials shall not use or in any way be concerned in the use or distribution of illegal drugs.
1.1.8. Players and club officials shall not make any public or media
comment which is detrimental to the Competition, clubs, umpires or the game in general. In this instance, media shall include press, radio, television,
external websites, club websites, social networking sites and club match programmes.
1.1.9. Players and club officials shall not disclose or comment upon any alleged breach of this Code.
1.1.10. Clubs must take adequate steps to ensure the good behaviour of their players, officials, members and supporters.
1.2. Spirit of Cricket
Cricket owes much of its appeal and enjoyment to the fact that it should be played not only according to the Laws, but also within the Spirit of Cricket.
The major responsibility for ensuring fair play rests with the captains, but extends to all players, umpires and, especially in junior cricket coaches and parents.
Cricket is an exciting game that encourages leadership, friendship and teamwork, which brings together people from different nationalities, cultures and religions, especially when played within the Spirit of Cricket
1.2.1. There are Laws which place the responsibility for the team’s conduct firmly on the captain.
Responsibility of Captains
The captains are responsible at all times for ensuring that play is conducted within the Spirit of the Game as well as within the Laws.
In the event of any player failing to comply with the laws relating to Player Conduct or Unfair Play the umpires shall summon and inform the offending player’s captain that an offence has occurred and will request that they take appropriate action.
Captains and umpires together set the tone for the conduct of a cricket match.
Every player is expected to make an important contribution to this.
1.2.2. Unfair Play
According to the Laws, the umpires shall be the sole judges of fair and unfair play. If either umpire considers an action, not covered by the Laws, to be unfair he/she shall intervene without appeal and, if the ball is in play, call and signal Dead ball and implement the procedure as required.
1.2.3. The umpires are authorised to intervene in cases of:
- Damaging the ball
- Distracting the batsman
- Unfair bowling
- Time wasting
- Damaging the pitch
- Non striker leaving the ground early
- Penalty runs
Any other action that they consider to be unfair
1.2.4. Respect is central to the Spirit of Cricket.
- Respect the captain, team-mates, opponents and the authority of the umpires.
- Play hard and play fair.
- Accept the umpire’s decision.
- Create a positive atmosphere by your own conduct, and encourage others to do likewise. - Show self-discipline, even when things go against you.
- Congratulate the opposition on their successes, and enjoy those of your own team.
- Thank the officials and your opposition at the end of the match, whatever the result.
- Cricket is an exciting game that encourages leadership, friendship and teamwork, which brings together people from different nationalities, cultures and religions, especially when played within the Spirit of Cricket.
There is no place for any act of violence on the field of play and if reported and guilty this act will be dealt with as a Level 4 offence.
1.3. Failure to comply with the provisions of the Code of Conduct may lead to disciplinary action, irrespective of a proven breach being related to a match not under the jurisdiction of the Competition.
2.1. A breach of the disciplinary regulations occurs when:-
a. Any player in the course of, or in connection with a match, offends against the Code of Conduct or acts at any time to prejudice the good name of interests of the Competitions
b. Any club fails to properly control or discipline its players or acts in a manner prejudicial to the good name or interests of the Competitions.
2.2. Any player or club committing such a breach shall be liable to penalties in the manner prescribed in this document.
2.3. A breach of the Code of Conduct will normally be categorised as Level 1, 2, 3 or 4, as set out in Appendix 1.
2.4. Reporting of Breaches
2.4.1. For a first offence of a Level 1 breach of the Code of Conduct in a match, the umpire (s) should issue a first and final warning which shall apply to all members of the team for the remainder of the match, and will report the occurrence as soon as possible after the match to the Executive/Captain of the offending player’s team and to the Competition Disciplinary Chairman, who shall take such further action as is considered appropriate against the captain, any other individuals concerned and, if appropriate, the team.
2.4.2. If the Level 1 offence follows an offence, at any Level, by that team, the umpire shall award 5 Penalty runs to the opposing team. 2.4.3. In all instances of a Level 1, 2, 3 or 4 breach, the umpire(s) must complete a formal report for any breach.
3.1. Notification that a report is to be submitted following any alleged breach of the Code of Conduct must first be advised, by the umpire(s), to the player’s captain or an executive of the player’s club, on the day of the alleged offence, prior to leaving the ground.
3.2. Any such alleged breach of the Code of Conduct subject to a report (to be known as ‘a complaint’) will then be notified either by telephone or email by the complainant to the Chairman of the Competition’s Discipline Committee
(hereinafter referred to as ‘Discipline Chairman’) or his nominated deputy within 24 hours of the end of the match. The written report should be sent, preferably by email, to the Disciplinary Chairman or his nominated Deputy and be received within 72 hours of the end of the match. Failure to adhere to these timings does not necessarily invalidate a report.
3.3. The Discipline Chairman or his nominated deputy shall, as soon as reasonably practicable, inform the Secretary of the club against whom the complaint has been made.
3.4. It is intended that any breach of the Code of Conduct shall in the first instance be dealt with by the participant’s club who shall notify the
Discipline Chairman within 48 hours of any action taken. In the case of Level 1 and Level 2 breaches, this shall as an indicator, be a minimum, of a final warning (Level 1) or two week (Level 2) ban to be served with immediate effect.
3.4.1. Any captain who has failed to maintain discipline will be subject to a minimum of 1 weeks ban
3.5. Within 48 hours of receipt of the written complaint, the Discipline Chairman or the nominated deputy shall consider the complaint and resolve either:
a. To take no action except to record the complaint and notify the club; or
b. To endorse any action taken by the club and confirm that no further action is required; or
c. To advise the club of the sanctions that will apply.
d. To refer the matter for a full Disciplinary Hearing in the case of a Level 3 or 4 complaints .
e. Failure to adhere to these timings does not invalidate a case.
3.6. Any match/time sanctions imposed under paragraph 3.5 b. or 3.5c above, shall be advised in writing to the relevant club’s County Board by the Competition. Players should understand that bans will normally apply to all cricket played under the auspices of ECB.
3.7. In the case of an incident involving a player under the age of 18 years old, the County Board Welfare Officer will immediately be informed. In such circumstances, the incident may be regarded as:
a. A welfare and child protection case or
b. An outright disciplinary case. If the incident is being investigated by another organisation (e.g. the Police, ECB Safeguarding Department) the Competition will await the outcome of that investigation.
3.8 In the case of a registered player being the subject of a complaint, the National Leagues & Competitions Manager to be advised immediately by telephone or email by the Secretary of the Competition and/or to the Chairman of the Competition or the Chairman of the Competition Disciplinary Committee.
4. DISCIPLINARY HEARINGS
4.1. In any case which is referred for a Disciplinary Hearing, the Discipline Chairman shall convene the hearing where ever possible within 14 days of the decision to refer.
Any delay may only be granted at the discretion of the Chairman of the Disciplinary Hearing.
4.2. Where a charge against a player is referred to a Disciplinary Hearing, his captain and club may be charged separately under their responsibilities as set out in the Code of Conduct above.
4.3. At least seven days’ notice in writing of the hearing shall be given to the player via his club Secretary. In the case of a club, its Secretary shall be so notified. The notice shall specify the alleged breach(es) of the Code of Conduct above.
4.4. The accused player or club shall be entitled:
- To submit written statements ahead of the hearing
- To attend the hearing
- To state his case (in the case of a club, by its Secretary or other official) -
To be supported by a colleague and to call witnesses.
4.5. If the player or club is to have representation present at the hearing then the details of that representation must be given to the Discipline Chairman not less than 48 hours before the date of the hearing.
4.6. The Hearing shall be conducted by a Disciplinary Panel appointed by the Discipline Chairman and shall consist of not less than three persons and not more than five persons drawn from a list approved by the Competition’s Management Committee. None of the Panel should be connected with the player, the club or their opponents at the time of the alleged breach, or a club which might directly benefit from any disciplinary action.
4.7. A club or player involved in disciplinary proceedings will be solely responsible for meeting such costs or expenses as it or they may incur, including the cost of any legal or other representation.
4.8. The standard of proof shall be on the ‘balance of probabilities’ rather than the criminal standard of ‘beyond reasonable doubt’.
5.1. As a guideline, the following indicative penalties should be expected to be imposed for any complaint referred and, if appropriate, proved at a disciplinary hearing. The higher end of the tariff band is most likely to be reserved for serial offences/offenders:-
Level 1 : Final warning to 6 weeks ban
Level 2 : 2 to 8 weeks ban
Level 3 : 4 to 10 week ban
Level 4 : A minimum of 10 weeks ban
These sanctions apply to all cricket played under the auspices of ECB.
5.2. Where applicable, penalties will be carried over to apply in the following season.
5.3. Where the complaint is not referred to a Disciplinary Hearing, repeated infringements, listed on umpires reports, by an individual player or by a Club may still result in additional penalties as laid out in 5.4 below.
5.4. If at a hearing a breach of the Code of Conduct is proven, the Disciplinary Panel shall have the power to impose one or more of the following penalties, together with such order as to costs as it deems appropriate:
In the case of a player:-
- To require the player to submit appropriate letter(s) of apology within a specified time - To record a reprimand and to give a warning as to future conduct
- To impose a fine, not to exceed £50
- To suspend the player for one or more matches, or for a stated period of time
- To deduct League points from the player’s team
- To expel the player from the Competition
In the case of a club:-
- To require the club to submit appropriate letter(s) of apology within a specified time
- To record a reprimand and to give a warning as to future conduct
- To impose a fine not to exceed £100
- To deduct Competition points from the club’s team
- To expel the club from any competition of the league
- To relegate to any lower division of the Competition or to a ‘linked’ league
5.5. Panels will take the following factors into account when determining the penalties to be imposed:
a. If the accused player/club has pleaded guilty
b. The player’s previous disciplinary record
c. If the player is also the captain
d. The conduct of the player subsequent to him being warned and told that he will be reported
e. If an appeal is considered to be spurious
5.6. In addition, where an individual behaves inappropriately or fail to respect the formality at any level during a Disciplinary hearing, the Disciplinary Panel assumes the right to impose further corrective actions or penalties as it sees fit.
5.6.1 Where a representative and/or witness(es) behaves inappropriately or fails to respect the formality at any level during a Disciplinary hearing this can be dealt with under the code by having a separate hearing.
5.7. The Disciplinary Panel shall have the power to suspend the operation of any part, or all, of the penalty it imposes for such period and subject to such terms and conditions it deems appropriate.
5.8. Decisions of the Disciplinary Panel (a finding that a complaint is proved or not proved or a decision on penalty) shall be by majority vote; where necessary the Disciplinary Panel Chairman shall have a casting vote.
5.9. The Competition shall report match bans in writing to the relevant club’s County Board for national circulation. Players should understand that match bans will normally apply to all cricket played under the auspices of ECB. The Moore & Smalley Palace Shield and ECB Premier Leagues will also recognise suspensions from other Leagues.
6.1. Where a breach of the Code of Conduct has been proved a player or club shall have the right of appeal. Where a player and his club are appealing in relation to the same incident, they must do so separately.
6.2. A notice of appeal setting out the grounds must be given in writing to the Discipline Chairman within seven days of the decision of the Disciplinary Chairman/Panel, together with a deposit of £20 if the appeal is by a player or £50 if the appeal is by a club. Cheques should be made payable to Moore & Smalley Palace Shield.
6.3. If a notice of appeal is given, the penalty shall not take effect pending the hearing of the Appeal, which shall take place as soon as is practicable preferably within 14 days of receipt of notice of the appeal.
6.4a. The Appeal shall take the form of a review of the case but will not constitute a re-hearing. If sufficient new evidence is brought forward so that the Appeals Sub Committee feel a re-hearing may be necessary, the matter will be referred back to the Disciplinary Committee for consideration of a re-hearing. The timings shall restart as if from the initial incident.
6.4b.The player or club involved may make written representation to the Appeals Committee but will not attend the review itself. Any written representations must be received within 7 days of the Appeals Chairman confirming receipt of the Appeal.
6.4c.The Appeal Panel shall be appointed by the Appeals Chairman and shall consist of not less than three persons and not more than five persons drawn from a list approved by the Competition’s Management Committee. None of the Panel should be connected with the individual or the club or their opponents, or a club which might directly benefit from any disciplinary action or have been a member of the original Disciplinary Panel.
6.5. The Appeals Panel may confirm, vary or reverse the decision of the Disciplinary Panel and it shall have the power to increase the penalty and award costs of the Appeal hearing and forfeit the whole or part of the deposit. Decisions of the Appeal Panel shall be by majority vote; where necessary, the Chairman shall have a casting vote.
6.6. The decision of the Appeals Panel or, if no appeal, of the Disciplinary Panel, shall be final and binding.
7. NON PAYMENT OF FINES
7.1. Any fine levied under these procedures or imposed for the breach of any match rule must be paid to the Treasurer of the Competition within twenty-eight days of the Club being notified of such fine.
7.2. Any fines still outstanding at the end of that period shall be increased by 100% of the original fine, when the Secretary or Chairman of the offending Club shall be notified to the effect that the fine is outstanding.
They will be given a reminder that if after a period of fourteen days from that reminder, the fine is still outstanding, a deduction of five points shall be made from the points gained by the side that received the fine.
APPENDIX 1 – BREACHES OF DISCIPLINE
Certain conduct, whether on or off the field of play, amounting to a breach of the Laws of Cricket and/or the Spirit of Cricket has been categorised into 4 levels set
. a) Time wasting by either the fielding side or the batting side which results in a 5 run penalty or the bowler being disallowed from bowling any further in that innings in accordance with Laws 41.9 and 41.10.
. b) wilfully mistreating any part of the cricket ground, equipment or implements used in the match
. c) showing dissent at an umpire’s decision by word or action
. d) using language that, in the circumstances, is obscene, offensive or insulting
. e) making an obscene gesture
. f) appealing excessively
. g) advancing towards an umpire in an aggressive manner when appealing
. h) bowling a dangerous or unfair short-pitched delivery and/or an accidental non-pitching delivery that results in the bowler being disallowed from bowling any further in that innings in accordance with Laws 41.6 and 41.7.
. i) any other misconduct, the nature of which is, in the opinion of the umpires, equivalent to a Level 1 offence.
. a) showing serious dissent at an umpire’s decision by word or action
. b) making inappropriate and deliberate physical contact with another player
. c) charging or advancing towards an umpire in an aggressive manner when appealing
. d) deliberate distraction, deception or obstruction on the field of play under Law 41.4 or 41.5.
. e) throwing the ball at a player, umpire or another person in an inappropriate and dangerous manner
. f) using language or gesture to another player, umpire, team official or spectator that, in the circumstances, is obscene or of a seriously insulting nature
. g) causing avoidable damage to the pitch that results in a 5 run penalty being awarded under Laws 41.12.3, 41.14.3 and 41.15.3.
. h) any other misconduct, the nature of which is, in the opinion of the umpires, equivalent to a Level 2 offence.
. a) intimidating an umpire by language or gesture
. b) threatening to assault a player or any other person except an umpire.
. c) using language or gesture that offends, insults, humiliates, intimidates, threatens, disparages or vilifies another person on the basis of that person’s race, religion or belief, colour, descent, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, gender, sexual orientation or background.
. d) Deliberately bowling a non-pitching delivery which is deemed dangerous and unfair in accordance with Law 41.7
. a) threatening to assault an umpire
. b) making inappropriate and deliberate physical contact with an umpire
. c) physically assaulting a player or any other person
. d) committing any other act of violence.
. e) using language or gesture that seriously offends, insults, humiliates, intimidates, threatens, disparages or vilifies another person on the basis of that person’s race, religion or belief, colour, descent, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, gender, sexual orientation or background.
The conduct listed in Level 1 to Level 4 above cannot be considered to be exhaustive.
Note: - Level 3 Offences c) and d) and Level 4 e) in bold italics are dealt with off-field by report and not subject to Level 3 and Level 4 on-field sanctions
APPENDIX 2 - MUTUAL RECOGNITION CLAUSE
It is intended that Leagues will work with Minor Counties and County Boards to ensure these Disciplinary Guidelines have the greatest effect.
The first section refers to the sharing of information between cricket bodies and also advises the players this will happen:
The Competition shall report match bans in writing to the relevant club’s County Board, who will also inform the ECB, in accordance with the conditions set out at a) to c) below. In the case of a Minor County Player being the subject of a sanction the Minor County Cricket Association must be advised.
a. Information about penalties imposed under these discipline regulations shall be shared with individuals at the club and County Board on a need to know basis, for example with individuals who need to be informed in order to give effect to the penalty;
b. Information about match bans held by the County Board shall be shared with other clubs only for the purposes of ensuring recognition of penalties by other clubs; and
c. Individuals subject to these discipline regulations must be made aware by their clubs that by playing in matches under the jurisdiction of the ECB, they agree that information about penalties imposed on them will be shared with the County Boards, ECB and other clubs in accordance with these discipline regulations.
All clubs that play in ECB competitions or in County Board affiliated Leagues shall recognise and give full effect to any match ban, and/or any other penalty, imposed pursuant to by these discipline regulations by a League within that County Board boundary and the boundaries of the listed neighbouring Counties and Leagues.
All clubs that play in ECB competitions or in County Board affiliated Competitions shall also give effect to any match bans, and/or other penalties, imposed pursuant to any other disciplinary regulations as directed by the ECB.
The Competition and its clubs are affiliated to the Lancashire Cricket Board and these rules, codes and procedures are drawn up to meet the requirements of the Foundation in matters such as discipline and the transfer of players and clubs. Leading clubs in the Competition compete annually in the Lancashire Knock Out Cup. Lancashire Cricket Foundation handbooks are provided for clubs each season.