Structure and Content
This document is primarily addressed to players and match-day officials. The main text lays down the basic playing rules and is then followed by 6 supplementary sections governing the staging of competitive matches. Section A prescribes General Rules for all blind cricket events, while other sections set out the rules which are peculiar to the individual competitions: section B for the National League, C for the Regional Leagues, D for the BCEW Primary Club Heindrich Swanepoel Cup, E for the BCEW David Townley Memorial Twenty20 Cup and F for Regional T20 Cup competitions.
In prescribing the basic Playing Rules for all BCEW events, this text focuses on the rules which differ from those in the MCC Laws of Cricket. Where it is silent on some point, the relevant MCC law will apply and, in the event of any ambiguity or uncertainty, its provisions should be interpreted in accordance with established MCC norms. The laws governing normal cricket will not be repeated, though, to demonstrate BCEW’s endorsement of ‘The Spirit of Cricket’, its full text is reproduced below:
The 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, teachers, coaches and parents.
Respect is central to the Spirit of Cricket.
Respect your 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.
1. The Players
1.1 Sight Classification
1.1.1 All players must be registered as blind or partially sighted and, as the playing rules vary according to the sight classification of each individual player, players must be further classified under BCEW’s Sight Classification Procedures set out as Part A of its Regulations. Each player must be placed in one of four sight categories which must be declared on the club’s team sheet and designated on the field by the wearing of an appropriately coloured wristband, Purple or black for totals, yellow for low partials, green for mid partials and red for high partials.
1.1.2 Unless granted an official exemption, players wearing a purple or black band should also have their eyes covered to the satisfaction of the umpires by BCEW-approved blackout shades. Shades may be adjusted between overs, but otherwise only with the permission of an umpire and while the ball is dead.
1.2 The Team
1.2.1 Each team must consist of a mix of players from different sight categories. No team may contain more than 2 players from the high partial category or more than a combined total of 7 players from the high and mid partial categories. The balance of the side should be made up by either 4 totals or 3 totals and a low partial.
1.2.2 When a team is batting, no more than 1 high partial may bat in the first four of the batting order.
1.2.3 So long as they are available, at least 1 total should bat in the first 3 of the batting order, at least two totals in the top six and at least 3 totals or 2 totals and 1 low partial in the top nine.
1.2.4 In order to prevent the operation of the last provision being frustrated, a total or low partial batter should only be permitted to retire if replaced by a player in the same or a lower sight category. A batter leaving the crease in breach of this condition should be recorded as retired out.
1.2.5 When a team is fielding, totals must bowl a ratio of at least 3 in every ten overs bowled, with compliance being monitored after every ten overs and again at the end of the innings. Any such overs bowled ahead of schedule should be carried forward to the next monitoring point, but any shortfall should be recorded as a default.
1.2.6 Where, for any reason, a team finds itself unable to bowl a full quota of total overs and the required overs have to be bowled by others, every over or part-over so bowled will attract a ten run penalty.
1.2.7 The minimum number of players required for a team to be permitted to start a match will be six, including at least one total.
1.3 Player Eligibility
BCEW Competitions will generally be open to players of all ages and both genders, but no player under the age of 11 will be permitted to play in any competitive match.
1.4 Dress Code
1.4.1 All teams must play in coloured kit and no item of white clothing will be allowed.
1.4.2 Apart from wearing a visible wristband of the correct colour, all players on the same side should be dressed alike in designated team shirts and trousers. Where this is not possible shirts and trousers must at least be the same colour as those worn by the rest of the team. The wearing of shorts is not permitted.
1.4.3 On receiving a valid complaint from an opposing captain, the umpires should ask any offending player to leave the field and not to return until attired to their satisfaction.
2. The Umpires
2.1 BCEW will aim to appoint two neutral umpires for each fixture.
2.2 If, for any reason, this last aspiration is frustrated, the following rules will apply:
2.2.1 Each club should endeavour to provide one umpire.
2.2.2 If only one umpire is present, he/she should be aided by an assistant to be agreed upon by both captains.
2.2.3 If no umpire is available, the captains may improvise, using partially sighted players to perform the umpires’ duties, but no player with a low partial registration should ever be allowed to assume this role.
2.3 In marked contrast to the red ball game, umpires may not wear visible white clothing and, as well as signalling their decisions to the scorers, they should also communicate them verbally to the players.
3. The Scorers
BCEW will aim to appoint a scorer for all matches, but, if this proves impossible, it will then become the joint responsibility of the clubs involved to provide at least one scorer.
4. The Ball
4.1 The ball should be a white size 3 football containing a noise-making device, as supplied by BCEW.
4.2 A clean ball should be used at the start of each innings, but either captain may request a replacement after every ten overs.
5. The Playing Area
5.1 Home teams may opt for a grass or artificial pitch, but, if grass is chosen, it must be prepared to an acceptable standard, which means that it must be cut, rolled and properly marked.
5.2 The boundary should be a maximum of 50 yards and a minimum of 40 yards from the centre stump at each end of the pitch and should be indicated by a rope, a painted line or plastic markers, so that it is clearly visible to lower partially sighted players.
5.3 At each end of the pitch, there will be a further defined area called a “fielder exclusion zone, which will be marked with flat discs. These zones will be rectangular in shape, extending to 18 inches on either side of the pitch and from a line one foot behind the bowling crease to a line 4 feet beyond the popping crease. If an artificial strip is used and this is narrower than a conventional grass pitch, an appropriate adjustment should be made when the discs are sited.
6. The Wickets
6.1 The stumps should be of the design supplied by BCEW, 10 inches wide and 35 inches high, without bails and mounted on a flat base.
6.2 For the avoidance of doubt, it should be noted that the base does not count as part of the wicket.
6.3 The stumps should normally be white but, if both captains agree, orange ones may be used instead.
7. Start and cessation of Play
7.1 Unless otherwise agreed by both captains and the nominated umpires and scorers, play should begin promptly at 1 pm.
7.2 As a general rule, all matches should be played to a finish, but, if either captain so insists at the toss, a definite finishing time must be fixed and, in the absence of agreement to the contrary, this will be six hours after play commences.
7.3 Provided that each team has the minimum-permitted number of players present, either captain may insist that play should begin at the agreed start time regardless of the fact that some players may not have arrived.
7.4 When one hour of any agreed playing time remains, the over in progress should be completed, but then a minimum of 12 further overs must be bowled.
8. Scoring Runs
8.1 In blind cricket, if a non-striker sets off for a run before the bowler releases the ball, the umpires should call that run short and, unless the batsmen cross more than once, return them to their original e
8.1 In blind cricket, if a non-striker sets off for a run before the bowler releases the ball, the umpires should call that run short and, unless the batters cross more than once, return them to their original ends.
8.2 All runs scored by a total batter will count double.
9. Dead Ball
In bIn blind cricket, a novel problem is presented by the nature of the ball. If it bursts, it should immediately be considered dead.
10. No Ball
10.1 Notwithstanding the difficulties presented by the nature of the blind cricket ball, two-handed bowling will not be permitted, but, for a total bowler, any one-arm overarm action will suffice. In assessing the legitimacy of other bowler’s actions, umpires should seek to distinguish between bowlers struggling to control the ball and those trying to gain an advantage by deliberately throwing it.
10.2 The bowler must verbally ascertain whether the batter is ready and additionally call “Play” in a clearly audible voice at the moment of release.
10.3 In marked contrast to the normal rules, balls delivered to a total or low partial batter must bounce at least twice before the popping crease or be such that they would have done so save for some intervention by the batter and, subject to the same proviso, balls delivered to any mid partial, or to a high partial under the age of 14, must bounce at least once.
10.4 The ball should not bounce more than three times or be rolling before it reaches the popping crease.
10.5 Any ball delivered in breach of any of the above rules should be called a no ball.
10.6 Further reasons for calling a no ball in blind cricket can be found in rule 14.2.
11. Wide Ball
11.1 In blind cricket, if a ball pitches off the pitch, strikes a fielder or is so wide that it appears that any attempt on the part of the batter to strike it would carry a serious risk of injury to a fielder, the umpire should immediately call “Dead ball, wide ball”.
11.2 In other cases, a ball should only be called wide if it makes no contact with the batter and passes the wicket outside the line of the return crease.
12. Substitutes and Runners
12.1 Given the difficulties that many visually impaired players have to overcome in travelling to venues and the number of other medical conditions frequently affecting them, the normal rules relating to late arrival and absence from the field shall not apply. Any player whose name has been included on a club’s team sheet, should be permitted to participate fully in the match immediately on being introduced to the umpires or on returning to the field, but in no case may a substitute be of a higher sight category than the absentee.
12.2 When batting, all totals and low partials must have a partially sighted runner and should not be permitted to act as a runner for anyone else.
12.3 All players suffering from additional medical conditions making it difficult for them to run and mid partials with concerns as to whether they have enough sight to run for themselves may apply to the BCEW committee for permission to use a runner.
12.4 There will be no limit on the number of batters for whom a player may act as a runner and the fact that a runner has still to bat shall be immaterial.
12.5 A runner will be required to carry a bat, but not to wear any external protective equipment.
13. Practice on the field
In view of the fact that the blind game does not damage the pitch and that totals will find it extremely useful to be able to familiarise themselves with the strip to be used for the match, the umpires should normally allow each team to practise on the pitch for up to 15 minutes before the scheduled start time.
14. The Fielder
14.1 In blind cricket, a Fielder must not deliberately kick the ball in order to return it to the wicket. The fielding side must not be permitted to gain any advantage from a breach of this rule and, in appropriate cases, such play should be treated as dangerous.
14.2 All fielders, including the wicket keeper, must remain on their feet and ensure that no part of their body intrudes into the fielder exclusion zone from the time the bowler ascertains the batter’s readiness until the ball has been struck, hit the batter or passed the stumps. Any breach of this provision should result in the ball being called a no ball.
15. The Wicket is Down
15.1 As there are no bails in blind cricket, the wicket should be regarded as having been put down if the umpire concerned is satisfied that, in the relevant circumstances, the stumps have been touched by the ball, the striker’s person or equipment or a fielder’s hand or arm holding the ball.
15.2 Once a wicket has been put down, it shall not be permissible for the batters to take any runs, though, if they have already crossed, they will be at liberty to complete the run in progress.
15.3 If the wicket is put down as a direct result of a fielder kicking the ball towards it, any run in progress at the time should be regarded as having been successfully completed.
16.1 A major departure from the rules of normal cricket is that a total fielder can complete a catch by taking the ball on the first bounce.
16.2 Such a catch may not be completed however if, at any point after the ball has bounced, it makes contact with a fielder who is not a total.
17. Hit Wicket
17.1 Total batters may not be given out hit wicket, but, if they make contact with their wicket while the ball is live, the only runs that may be scored will be the extras accruing as a result of the relevant delivery being called as a wide or no ball.
17.2 The contact with the wicket will not, however, prevent a batter being given out in any other way, including run out.
18. Leg Before Wicket
18.1 For the avoidance of doubt, it should be noted that, in interpreting LBW laws, references to the pitch of a ball should always be taken to apply to its first bounce.
18.2 A major difference from other cricket is that, as far as the LBW rule is concerned, total batters are given two lives. On the first occasion they are adjudged out LBW, they should be given half-out and allowed to continue their innings, but, on a second occurrence, their innings will be over.
18.3 For statistical purposes, the bowler delivering the ball leading to the second decision will be credited with the wicket.
Total batters will always be deemed to be in their ground, so cannot be given out stumped and can only be run out as a result of the actions of their runner.
20. Unfair Play
20.1 In applying MCC law 41 to blind cricket, umpires should take account of the peculiarities of the game and the limitations of some of the players. They should therefore be especially strict in dealing with attempts to distract or deceive other players, but take a lenient view of unintentional breaches of the rules.
20.2 Slow Play
20.2.1 Notwithstanding the fact that it may often be more difficult for captains to organise their players on the field, there has to be a limit even to unintended timewasting. Accordingly, it should be considered unreasonable for a team to bowl their overs at a rate of less than 12 per hour.
20.2.2 While the umpires should keep a fielding side’s captain fully apprised as to the extent of any accumulating default, they should also be prepared to make allowances for matters beyond that side’s control such as extra drinks breaks in hot weather, stoppages for injuries or extraneous noise, delays caused by the batting side or, in the event of an extraordinary number of boundaries, time spent retrieving the ball.
20.2.3 Where the appropriate standard is not met, however, they should, in addition to applying any competition rules governing the match, report the matter to the BCEW committee.
21. Unacceptable Conduct
Although there is no reason to modify any of the provisions of MCC law 42, umpires should be alert to the possibility that some instances of apparent misconduct, e.g. inappropriate touching, might be entirely accidental.
22. Blind Cricket Offences
22.1 In blind cricket, it is particularly important that all the sight-specific rules should be rigorously enforced. Umpires’ reports should accordingly draw attention to all instances of deliberate rule-breaking or other unfair play.
22.2 On entering the field of play, either as a fielder or batter, all players required to have their eyes covered should present their shades for inspection by an umpire, who should check to ensure that they are of a BCEW-approved design and that they have not been damaged in any way which impairs their functionality.
22.2.1 If a total’s eyes are not properly covered at a time when the ball is in play and there is any possibility that this has resulted in an advantage accruing to that player’s side, the umpires should call the ball dead and require it to be re-bowled.
22.2.2 In any case where the umpires consider a player to have infringed the rules relating to the wearing of shades, that player must be given a formal warning. In the event of a repeat offence, or if the umpires have some other reason to believe that a breach of the rules is deliberate, the misconduct should result in 5 penalty runs being added to the other side’s score. If the same player proceeds to commit a further breach, the umpires should, as well as imposing a further 5-run penalty, require that player to be excluded from the rest of the match.
22.3 There will, however, be some transgressions, especially those involving sight classification procedures, which may not be evident to umpires. The BCEW committee should, therefore, always be watchful and willing to respond diligently to complainants and whistle-blowers.
23 Off-field Misconduct
23.1 The BCEW committee will also take note of certain types of off-field misconduct on the part of players, Officers and supporters of affiliated clubs and will seek to intervene if their behaviour can readily be linked with BCEW or one or more of its affiliated clubs. Relevant misconduct might involve:
a) Any act of violence.
b) Any derogatory words or discriminatory conduct based on an individual’s race or religion,
c) Any offensive words or unwarranted act of discrimination founded on an individual’s age, gender or sexual orientation,
d) Any act of sexual harassment,
e) Any deliberate or grossly negligent act causing damage at a cricket ground,
f) Anything else that brings cricket, BCEW or any of its affiliated clubs into disrepute.
23.2 It shall not be permissible for any person subject to BCEW’s jurisdiction to make any public statement, orally, in writing, by email or on social media which:
a) Questions the integrity or competence of umpires or scorers officiating at BCEW events,
b) Falsely and maliciously imputes discreditable conduct to any member of a BCEW affiliated club or to officers of BCEW, or otherwise
c) Brings cricket, BCEW or any of its affiliated clubs into disrepute.
SECTION A: GENERAL RULES FOR COMPETITIONS
A1 Scheduling of Fixtures
A1.1 Prior to the start of each season, the BCEW committee will publish an official fixture list setting out provisional dates for all league and cup matches. Subject to obtaining the permission of the Business & Competitions Director, Clubs will be at liberty to agree to reschedule their matches for alternative dates, but will not be permitted to choose dates designated by the official list as ‘Reserve Dates’ set aside for matches which have to be postponed for reasons of bad weather or other causes beyond the control of the clubs concerned.
A1.2 Unless both teams agree otherwise, all fixtures should be scheduled on a Saturday.
A1.3 For any fixture being staged at a neutral venue, the choice of day will be a matter for the BCEW committee.
A2. Health and Safety
A2.1 All clubs shall be responsible for making a helmet available for any player acting as their wicket keeper.
A2.2 All home teams shall be responsible for conducting an appropriate risk assessment of any ground they use and for communicating any known hazards to visiting sides.
A2.3 Home teams should also provide a First Aid Kit for the match and ensure that there is a convenient means of contacting the emergency services.
The home team will be responsible for extending hospitality to the visiting team and officials and, unless agreed otherwise by both captains, for providing drinks, at intervals as agreed by the captains and the umpires at the time of the toss.
A4 Information to be Included on Team Sheets
In addition to the sight classification for each of their nominated players, captains should:
a) Identify any high or mid partial who has been granted permission to use a runner and
b) In the case of any junior player, give their age on the day of the match. In blind cricket this will be the age which is relevant in interpreting all rules referring to a player’s age.
A5 Players Injured in Tournaments
Where a player is injured in one of a series of matches taking place over the course of a single day or weekend and is granted the right to a runner, that right will continue in operation for the remainder of the series.
A6 Communicating with Match Officials
All comments or discussions relating to the conduct of a match must be in a language which is understood by the captains & officials involved.
A7 Coaches Entering Field of Play
During play, the only time that a coach may enter the field of play is either during a drinks’ break or to check on or assist a player who has sustained an injury.
A8 Scorecards and Reports
A8.1 Completed scorecards should be forwarded to the BCEW Business & Competitions Director by the appointed scorer within 7 days of the match.
A8.2 In the event of a dispute which is not resolved on the day of the match, reports should be submitted to the BCEW Business & Competitions Director and exchanged by both captains and umpires within four days of the match. The BCEW committee will then decide on the action to be taken, which could include ordering the fixture to be replayed.
A9 Unsatisfactory Ground
A9.1 If they consider that a ground is unsatisfactory in some way, the umpires or the visiting captain should make appropriate representations to the BCEW Business & Competitions Director.
A9.2 Any ground which receives similar adverse criticism following two separate competitive fixtures in the same season must be assessed for suitability by the BCEW committee before hosting any further competitive cricket.
A10 Cancellations and Postponements
A10.1 If a match is postponed for any reason, the BCEW Business & Competitions Director must be informed as soon as possible. Where a fixture is cancelled in advance and not rearranged, the BCEW committee must review all the circumstances, and if necessary, will rule on the validity of any reasons given. One reason which will not normally be accepted is difficulty in raising a team.
A10.2 Following a postponement for good reason, the teams involved will have the right to choose a new date for the fixture, but, if they fail to agree, the match will take place on one of two reserve dates written into the official fixture list. Normally, this should be the reserve date next following the postponement, but not if this date falls within 15 days of the date originally scheduled and one of the clubs raises an objection.
A10.3 As a general rule, a club initiating the cancellation of a match which is not rearranged should expect to be treated as having lost it, but the precise consequences may vary as between the different competitions.
SECTION B: THE NATIONAL LEAGUE
National League competitions will take the form of single or double round robins.
B2 Duration of Matches
B2.1 All league matches will consist of 1 innings per side.
B2.2 A match will last for no more than 60 overs in total.
B2.3 The team batting first will be required to declare after 40 overs.
B2.4 After that team has completed its innings the other side will have the remainder of the 60 overs in which to complete its innings.
B2.5 In the event of a delay occasioned by rain or other extraneous cause, the total number of overs to be bowled should be reduced by 1 over for every 5 minutes lost, but, if both captains, the umpires and scorers agree, the reduction in overs may be partly or wholly abated in order to facilitate as much play as possible.
B2.6 When the number of overs to be bowled is reduced by delays occurring before the end of the first innings, the batting side will be required to declare when it has batted for two thirds of the revised number of overs still available.
B2.7 If unavoidable delays prevent the completion of the second innings, the match will be declared a draw and points awarded accordingly.
B3.1 No bowler, including a total, may bowl more than three overs during the first 15 overs of an innings, but the normal rules relating to total overs will continue to apply.
B3.2 Teams must bowl their overs at a minimum rate of 12 per hour.
B3.3 The details of any unjustifiable delay extending to ten or more minutes at the time when the batting side’s innings comes to an end must be included in the umpires’ report.
B4 Points for Merit
Points for Results shall be awarded as follows:
• 14 points to the winning side.
• 8 points to each side in the event of a tie.
• 6 points to each team in the event of a draw.
• 0 points for a defeat.
B4.2 Bonus Points
B4.2.1 Batting bonus points will be awarded at the rate of 1 point for every 50 runs scored, up to a maximum of 4.
B4.2.2 Where a team batting second wins a match with a score of less than 200, points will be awarded according to the average number of runs scored per wicket lost:
• 1 point if it is equal to or greater than 5 but less than 10,
• 2 points if it is equal to or greater than 10 but less than 15,
• 3 points if it is equal to or greater than 15 but less than 20,
• 4 points if it is equal to or greater than 20.
B4.2.3 Bowling bonus points will be awarded commencing with 1 point at the fall of the third wicket and a further point at the fall of the fifth, seventh and ninth or last wicket.
B5 Cancelled Matches
B5.1 If a cancellation results from an agreement between the two clubs involved or both of them are found to have had legitimate reasons for not fulfilling the fixture, 8 points should be awarded to each of them.
If one of the clubs is judged to have been wholly or mainly at fault, 22 points should be awarded to the other club.
B5.2 When both clubs are willing to play, but no play is possible as a result of bad weather or some other cause beyond the control of the players and officials, the match will be classified as cancelled. Such a match may be rearranged, but, if this proves impossible, both clubs will be awarded 8 points.
B5.3 If play commences, but a result cannot be achieved as a result of the sort of circumstances just mentioned, the position should be treated as follows:
B5.3.1 If 15 or more overs have been played, the match should be recorded as drawn and the clubs involved awarded 6 points each plus any bonus points earned.
B5.3.2 If fewer than 15 overs have been played, the match may be rearranged, but, if this proves impossible, the case should be treated as it would have been if 15 overs had been played.
B6.1 Unwarranted Cancellations
Where a club is judged to have been wholly or mainly responsible for the cancellation of a match, it will be subject to a 5 point penalty.
If a club is responsible for cancelling more than a third of its fixtures, it will be considered not to have taken part in the competition and no points will be awarded to any team in respect of any of its matches.
B6.2 Slow Over Rate
If an umpires’ report reveals any noncompliance with the prescribed minimum over rate, the team responsible should receive a deduction of one point for every completed ten-minute period of default.
B6.3 Late delivery of umpires’ report
B6.3.1 Where a club fails to submit an umpires’ report within 7 days of the match to which it relates, they should be given a formal warning.
B6.3.2 A failure to comply within a further 7 days will attract a 3 point penalty and further penalties will continue to accrue for every subsequent 7-day period of default up to the end of the season.
B6.3.3 If a club is late with a second report in the same season, there will be no warning and penalties will begin to accumulate after the first 7 days.
B7 Splitting a tie in the League Table
B7.1 Two Clubs
If two teams finish level in the league table, priority between them will be determined by applying the following criteria in the order prescribed.
1) Result between the teams without reference to bonus points;
2) Number of league wins: higher number wins;
3) Number of league defeats: lower number wins;
4) Number of batting points: higher number wins;
5) Number of bowling points: higher number wins;
B7.2 Three or More Clubs
In the event of a tie involving 3 or more clubs, the results in matches between them should be examined in isolation as if they’d been participating in their own mini-league, with priority being determined, first by reference to points and then the criteria set out above. If this process establishes a winner, that club will have priority. If it does not establish a winner, but there is a clear loser or losers, such club or clubs should be eliminated from the calculations. Once this process has reduced the number of tied clubs to two, priority should be determined by applying the tie-breaking criteria in the normal way. If all of this fails to separate the tied clubs, the position will be shared.
SECTION C: THE REGIONAL LEAGUES
All competitions will be organised as single or double round robins.
C2 Duration of Matches
C2.1 A game will last for no more than 52 overs in total.
C2.2 The team batting first will be obliged to declare after 26 overs, but may not declare before the end of the twentieth over.
C2.3 After the team batting first has completed its innings the other side will have the remainder of the overs in which to complete its innings.
C2.4 In the event of a delay occasioned by rain or other extraneous cause, the total number of overs to be bowled should be reduced by 1 over for every 5 minutes lost, but, if both captains, the umpires and scorers agree, the reduction in overs may be partly or wholly abated in order to facilitate as much play as possible.
C2.5 Where a reduction in the number of overs is unavoidable, Those that remain should be allocated equally to each side, but, in the event, of an odd number, the extra over should be given to the side batting first.
C2.6 Where the delays occur after the commencement of the first innings, the batting side will be required to declare immediately if it has already batted for half the revised number of overs available.
C2.7 In all cases, if the number of available overs is less than 40, the side batting first will be at liberty to declare whenever it chooses and the unused overs will be allocated to the other side.
C3.1 No bowler may bowl more than 4 overs in the first 24 overs of an innings, but this restriction will cease if an innings continues beyond that point.
C3.2 If, however, a team only has one total on its team sheet, that player will be permitted to bowl all the total overs required.
C3.3 Wides and no balls will be treated in the normal way, but no over will last more than 9 balls except for overs 25 and 26 of the first innings in a full length match, the last two overs of the first innings in a reduced overs match and the last two overs of any second innings. In these instances, all illegitimate deliveries must be re-bowled.
C3.4 Weak Bowlers
If so agreed by both captains and notified to the umpires at the toss, any player. who is thought to be incapable of bowling a legitimate delivery from the standard distance, may be permitted to bowl from some other prescribed mark up to a maximum of 5 yards in front of the normal line, but, if the umpires form the view, in relation to some particular individual, that such a concession is either unnecessary or is being abused, they shall be at liberty to intervene and to vary or cancel it.
C4.1 Bowling to Junior Batters
Balls delivered to a High or Mid partial batter aged under 13 must bounce at least twice before they reach the popping crease.
C4.2 Batter to retire on reaching 50
C4.2.1 Any batter scoring 50 runs must retire immediately and can only return to the crease once all other team members have batted. In the event of multiple retirements, the batters concerned must return to the crease in the order determined by their priority in the original batting order.
C4.2.2 Any player not coming to the crease before the return of a retired batter or any retired batter not returning ahead of another with a lower priority should be given out.
C5 Experienced Players
C5.1 While there will often be a good reason for including experienced players in a Regional League team, Such players should not be allowed to play an unduly dominant role.
C5.2 Any individual, playing three or more games for a National League team in the previous season and scoring an aggregate of 150 runs or more, 100 in the case of a total, will not be permitted to bat in the first four of the batting order and will be obliged to retire, as under rule C4.2 above, on reaching a score of 25. Although such players will be permitted to return to the crease according to their turn in the prescribed order after everyone else has batted, they will, on reaching a score of 50, be deemed retired out.
C5.3 Any individual playing three or more games at the higher level and taking an aggregate of 10 or more wickets should not be permitted to bowl more than two overs at any stage in any match.
C6 Points for Merit
Points for results shall be awarded as follows:
• 16 points for a team batting first and winning
• 12 points for a team batting second and winning
• 8 points to each team in the event of a tie.
• 6 points to each team in the event of a draw.
• 0 points for a defeat.
C6.2 Bonus Points
C6.2.1 Batting bonus points will be awarded at the rate of 1 point for every 50 runs up to a maximum of 4, but where a team batting second wins a match with a score of less than 200, points will be awarded according to the average number of runs per wicket lost:
• 1 point if it is equal to or greater than 5 but less than 10,
• 2 points if it is equal to or greater than 10 but less than 15,
• 3 points if it is equal to or greater than 15 but less than 20,
• 4 points if it is equal to or greater than 20.
C6.2.2 Bowling bonus points will be awarded as follows: 1 point at the fall of the second wicket and subsequently at the fall of the fourth, sixth and eighth, or last wicket, up to a maximum of 4 points.
The National League rules set out in B6 will apply, but, in judging the various defaults, the BCEW committee should have regard to the level of experience of the personnel involved.
C8 Splitting a tie in the League Table
Where necessary, the National League rules set out in B7 should be followed.
SECTION D: THE BCEW PRIMARY CLUB HEINDRICH SWANEPOEL CUP
D1.1 The competition will be a knock-out cup.
D1.2 Each team will bat for one innings of up to 30 overs.
D1.3 No bowler, including a total, may bowl more than six overs.
D2 Unavoidable Delays
D2.1 In the event of a delay in play the total number of overs available will be reduced by one over for every 5 minutes lost, with the lost overs being deducted equally from each side’s allocation, but, if both captains and the umpires and scorers agree, the implementation of any reduction may be delayed or abated to allow as much play as possible.
D2.2 Upon a reduction in the number of overs to be bowled, there will be a proportionate reduction in the number of overs required to be bowled by totals.
D2.3 Where it is necessary to reduce the number of overs available for the second innings after the first innings has already taken place, the batting side’s target will be determined by reference to the other side’s score at the equivalent stage in their innings. The number of overs required to be bowled by totals will be determined by reference to the number of such overs which had been bowled up to the same point.
D2.4 If the second innings is brought to an end unexpectedly, the result in the match will be determined by comparing the score at the end of the last over completed with that at the equivalent stage in the first innings, but, in this eventuality, the number of overs bowled or still to be bowled by totals will not be considered.
D2.5 In the event of a second innings being reduced to less than ten overs the match should be abandoned.
D3 Slow Over rate
D3.1 Each innings should last no longer than 2 and a half Hours or, in a reduced match, such period as will be determined by multiplying the number of overs to be bowled by five minutes. Any team not bowling its overs within the time limit must still bowl the required number of overs, but will receive a ten run penalty for every over commenced after the deadline.
D3.2 In addition, where the delays are occasioned by the team bowling first, the number of overs available to them in their innings will be reduced to the number of overs which they managed to bowl on time. Where the delays are occasioned by the team bowling second, the batting side’s target will be reduced to that matching the bowling side’s total as it stood after the same number of overs as they manage to commence before the deadline.
D4 Match Result
D4.1 Following the completion of both innings, the team scoring the greater number of runs will be the winner.
D4.2 In the event of a tie, the team which has lost the smaller number of wickets will win.
D4.3 In the event of a tie where both teams have lost the same number of wickets, the team that has scored the most runs in the first ten overs of its innings shall be declared the winner.
D4.4 As a last resort, the result should be determined by a bowl-out.
D5 Matches Seriously Affected by Weather
If a match is abandoned after both the teams have arrived at the ground, every effort should be made to stage a bowl-out, but, if this proves impossible or the match is called off at an earlier stage, the match should be rearranged. If the clubs themselves are unable to agree upon a suitable date, the match will be rescheduled by BCEW.
D6 The Bowl-Out
D6.1 Each team must nominate 4 Bowlers, at least one of whom shall be a Total to bowl at unguarded stumps.
D6.2 The Captains will toss a coin to decide which team will bowl first. Each of the 8 Bowlers nominated will bowl, alternately by team, 3 consecutive balls.
D6.3 Once all 8 Bowlers have completed their 3 balls, the team with the most hits from balls which would have been legitimate deliveries to a mid partial batter will be declared the winner.
D6.4 If the scores are level after all 8 Bowlers have bowled their 3 balls, the competition will move to one of sudden death. One Bowler from each team, continuing in the same order, will bowl 3 further balls and this process will continue until a player from one team scores more hits than the player from the other.
SECTION E: THE BCEW DAVID TOWNLEY MEMORIAL TWENTY20 CUP
E1 Competition Format
The competition will take the form of a knock-out cup.
E2 Duration of the Game
E2.1 Each match will consist of a single 20-over innings per side.
E2.2 For a contest to count as a match, there must be a minimum of 5 overs per side.
E3.1 No bowler, including a total, may bowl more than four overs.
E3.2 Where, before the start of play or during the first innings, the time available for play is restricted as a result of bad weather or some other cause beyond the control of the players and officials, the number of overs to be bowled will be reduced so as to permit both sides to bowl the same number of overs in the time available.
E3.3 Where bad weather or some other cause affects a match during the second innings and the number of overs available to the batting side has to be reduced, the number of runs scored in the first innings will be deemed to have been those scored after the same number of overs as that to which the second innings has been restricted.
E3.4 In a reduced overs innings each bowler’s maximum will be as follows:
• 5 overs innings, 1 over per bowler;
• 6-10 overs innings, 2 overs per bowler;
• 11-15 overs innings, 3 overs per bowler;
• 16-19 overs innings, 4 overs per bowler.
E3.5 Totals must bowl a minimum of 6 overs per innings.
E3.6 In a reduced overs innings the minimum overs to be bowled by totals will be as follows:
• 5 or 6 overs innings, 1;
• 7-9 overs innings, 2;
• 10-13 overs innings, 3;
• 14- 16 overs innings, 4;
• 17-19 overs innings, 5.
E3.7 In a full-length match, each team will have 1 hour and 40 minutes to bowl the required 20 overs. If the final over has not started before the time limit is reached, the full number of overs must still be bowled but 5 penalty runs will be added to the other side’s score for every over commenced after the deadline.
E4 The No Ball
E4.1 In addition to the normal consequences, the bowling of a no ball will mean that the next legitimate ball will entitle the batter to a free hit.
E4.2 On a free hit, runs will be scored in the normal way, but the batter can only be dismissed: run out, ‘hit the ball twice’ or ‘obstructing the field’.
E5 Match Result
E5.1 Following the completion of both innings, the team scoring the greater number of runs will be the winner.
E5.2 In the event of the run scores being tied, the team that has lost the least number of wickets will win.
E5.3 If there is still a tie, the matter should be settled by a bowl-out.
E6 The Bowl-out
E6.1 Each team will select 5 players, one of whom must be a total, to bowl one delivery each at unguarded stumps on a pitch of normal length.
E6.2 After a coin toss to determine who should bowl first, each team will bowl alternate deliveries until all ten players have bowled.
E6.3 The team that hits the stumps most times with balls which would be legitimate deliveries to a mid partial batter will be declared the winner, but if the number of strikes is tied, there should be a sudden-death bowl-out.
E6.4 This means that the same 5 bowlers from each team will continue to bowl in the same order as before, but they will be competing against each other in pairs. The bowl-out will end when one team’s bowler hits the stumps and the other’s misses.
E7 Matches Affected by Rain
E7.1 Where a match is totally rained off, the teams may agree to rearrange it or to hold a bowl-out.
E7.2 If a match has actually started, but it proves impossible to reach a valid result, it should not be rearranged, but the teams should try to hold a bowl-out.
E7.3 If it proves impossible to stage either a match or a bowl-out, the result should be determined by the toss of a coin.
SECTION F: REGIONAL T20 CUP COMPETITIONS
F1 Competitions will follow the T20 rules set out in Section E as modified by the Regional League rules relating to:
• weak bowlers, section C3.4
• junior batters, section C4.1
• batter to retire on reaching 50, section C4.2
• experienced players, section C5
F2 They will also follow the rules relating to bowling in section C3.1 and C3.3 but the rules relating to the re-bowling of wides and no balls will be different. During overs 16 to 20 of an innings in a full length match, the last over of an innings in a match reduced to 5 overs, the last two overs of an innings in a match reduced to between 6 & 8 overs, the last three overs of an innings in a match reduced to between 9 & 12 overs and the last four overs of an innings in a match reduced to between 13 & 16 overs, all illegitimate deliveries must be re-bowled.
F3 The rules on slow over rates in section E3.7 do not apply; the time within which a team should bowl a full complement of 20 overs will be two hours.
NOTE: It is the responsibility of all clubs to have a copy of these rules at all matches run under the auspices of BCEW.
Last Updated: February 2022