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Disciplinary Regulations and Procedures

            GREATER MANCHESTER CRICKET LEAGUE

           DISCIPLINARY REGULATIONS

 

AIMS AND JURISDICTIONS 

 

  1. CODE OF CONDUCT AND SPIRIT OF CRICKET   
  1. BREACHES   
  1. PROCEDURE   
  1. DISCIPLINARY HEARINGS   
  1. PENALTIES   
  1. APPEALS   
  1. NON-PAYMENT OF FINES 

APPENDIX 1 – BREACHES OF DISCIPLINE

APPENDIX 2-  ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

 

ECB Cricket Partnerships Department – March 2016

  1. AIMS AND JURISDICTION 
    1. The England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is committed to maintaining the highest standards of behaviour and conduct within Leagues and thus the GMCL and we take this commitment very seriously.   
    1. To this end, these discipline regulations, incorporating major parts of the ECB Model Code of Conduct and The Spirit of Cricket, have been adopted by all the Leagues.   
    1. The regulations shall be complied with by all those who participate under the jurisdiction of the Board therefore the regulations shall apply to any player at any club, at any level, under the auspices of any of the GMCL.
    2. The regulations are intended to provide assistance and uniformity to all clubs in dealing with any alleged breach of the Code of Conduct and The Spirit of Cricket and are aligned to ECB Non - First Class procedures.   
    1. 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 League, breaches this Code of Conduct.   
    1. 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.   
    1. For the purposes of these regulations, the expression ‘player’ shall throughout this document be deemed to mean and include not only any player, whether professional or otherwise, but also any 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. Code of Conduct   
      1. The League 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 GMCL, 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. The captains are responsible at all times for ensuring that play is conducted within the Spirit of Cricket as well as within the Laws.   
      1. Players and club officials must at all times accept the umpire’s decision. Players and club officials must not show dissent at the umpire’s decision or react in a provocative or disapproving manner towards another player or a spectator.   
      1. Players and club officials shall not intimidate assault or attempt to intimidate or assault an umpire, another player, a club official or a spectator.   
      1. 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. 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. Players and club officials shall not use or in any way be concerned in the use or distribution of illegal drugs.   
      1. Players and club officials shall not make any public or media comment which is detrimental to the League, 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. Players and club officials shall not disclose or comment upon any alleged breach of this Code.   
      1. Clubs must take adequate steps to ensure the good behaviour of their players, officials, members and supporters.   
    1. Spirit of Cricket 

Cricket is a game that owes much of its unique appeal to the fact that it should be played not only within its Laws, but also within the Spirit of the Game. Any action which is seen to abuse this spirit causes injury to the game itself. The major responsibility for ensuring the spirit of fair play rests with the captains. 

 

      1. There are two 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. 

 

Player’s Conduct 

In the event of any player failing to comply with the instructions of an umpire, criticising his decision by word or action, showing dissent, or generally behaving in a manner which might bring the game into disrepute, the umpire concerned shall in the first place report the matter to the other umpire and to the player’s captain, requesting the latter to take action. 

 

      1. Players 

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. Fair and Unfair Play 

According to the Laws the umpires are the sole judges of fair and unfair play. The umpires may intervene at any time, and it is the responsibility of the captain to take action where required. 

 

      1. The umpires are authorised to intervene in cases of: 

Time wasting 

Damaging the pitch 

Dangerous or unfair bowling 

Tampering with the ball 

Any other action that they consider to be unfair 

 

      1. The Spirit of the Game involves RESPECT for: 

Your opponents 

Your own captain and team

The role of umpires 

The game’s traditional values 

 

      1. It is against the Spirit of the Game: 

To dispute an umpire’s decision by word, action or gesture 

To direct abusive language towards an opponent or umpire

To indulge in cheating or any sharp practice

          • Appeal knowing the batsman is not out 
          • Advance towards an umpire in an aggressive manner when appealing
          • Seek to distract an opponent either verbally or by harassment with persistent clapping or unnecessary noise under the guise of enthusiasm and motivation of one’s own side. 
      1. Violence  

There is no place for any act of violence on the field of play. 

 

    1. 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 League.   
  1. BREACHES   
    1. A breach of the disciplinary regulations occurs when:- 
          1. 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 and interests of the league.  
          1. Any club fails to properly control or discipline its players or acts in a manner prejudicial to the good name or interests of the League.   
    1. Any player or club committing such a breach shall be liable to penalties in the manner prescribed in this document.   
    1. A breach of the Code of Conduct will normally be categorised as Level 1, 2, 3 or 4, as set out in Appendix 1.   
    1. Reporting of Breaches   
      1. For a first offence of a Level 1 breach of the Code of Conduct in a match, the umpire(s) should warn the player as to his future conduct and advise him and his captain that any repetition in the match will result in a formal report.   
      2. If any player receiving such a warning then commits a further Level 1 breach in the match, the umpire(s) will advise him and his captain that they will be submitting a formal report. 
      1. Should the umpire(s) consider that the first offence of a Level 1 breach is sufficiently serious, they have the authority to decide to submit a formal report without having previously issued any warning. The player and his captain should be advised accordingly.   
      1. In all instances of any perceived Level 2, 3 or 4 breach, the umpire(s) must complete a formal report.   
      1. The report should be submitted using the standard discipline report form. 

 

  1. PROCEDURE   
    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 players captain or an executive of the player’s club, on the day of the alleged offence, prior to leaving the ground.   
    1. Any such alleged breach of the Code of Conduct subject to a report (to be known as ‘a complaint’) will then be notified by preferably by email by the complainant to the Discipline Director (hereinafter referred to as ‘Discipline Director’) 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 Director or his nominated Deputy and be received within 48 hours of the end of the match.   
    1. The Discipline Director or his nominated deputy shall, as soon as reasonably practicable, inform the Secretary or official of the club against whom the complaint has been made.   
    1. 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 Director within 48 hours of any action taken. In the case of Level 1 and Level 2 breaches, this shall, as a minimum, be a two week (Level 1) or three week (Level 2) ban to be effective immediately.   
    1. Within 48 hours of receipt of the written complaint, the Discipline Director or his nominated deputy shall consider the complaint and resolve either: 
          1. To take no action except to record the complaint and notify the club; or 
          2. To endorse any action taken by the club and confirm that no further action is required; or 
          3. To refer the matter for a full Disciplinary Hearing. 

 

Level 3 or 4 complaints will automatically be subject to a full Disciplinary Hearing.   

    1. Any bans of 6 weeks or greater imposed by the club under paragraph 4.5 b. above shall be advised in writing to the relevant club’s County Board. Players should understand that weeks bans will normally apply to all cricket played under the auspices of ECB.   
    1. 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: 
          1. A welfare and child protection case or 
          2. An outright disciplinary case. If the incident is being investigated by another organisation (e.g. the Police, ECB Welfare Department etc.) the League will await the outcome of that investigation.   
  1. DISCIPLINARY HEARINGS   
    1. In any case which is referred for a Disciplinary Hearing, the Discipline Director shall convene the hearing within 14 days of the decision to refer. Any delay may only be granted at the discretion of the Chairman of the Disciplinary Hearing.   
    1. 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.   
    1. At least seven days’ notice in writing of the hearing shall be given to the player via his club Secretary/official 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.   
    1. 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.   
    1. 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 Director not less than 48 hours before the date of the hearing.   
    1. The Hearing shall be conducted by a Disciplinary Panel appointed by the Discipline Director and shall consist of not less than three persons and not more than five persons drawn from a list approved by the Board of Directors. 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.   
    1. 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.   
    1. The standard of proof shall be on the balance of probabilities rather than the criminal standard of beyond reasonable doubt. 

 

  1. PENALTIES   
    1. As a guideline, the following penalties should be expected to be imposed for any complaint referred and, if appropriate, proved at a disciplinary hearing:- 

 

                        Level 1                     2 to 6 weeks

                        Level 2                      3 to 8 weeks

                        Level 3                      4 to 10 weeks 

                        Level 4                      A minimum of 10 weeks 

 

played under the auspices of ECB 

 

    1. Where applicable, penalties will be carried over to apply in the following season.   
    1. 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 6.4 below.   
    1. If at a hearing a breach of the Code of Conduct is proved, 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 £500
          • 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 League 

 

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 
          • To deduct League points from the club’s team 
          • To expel the club from any competition of the league 
          • To relegate to any lower division of the League or to a ‘linked’ league   

 

    1. Panels will take the following factors into account when determining the penalties to be imposed:  
          1. If the accused player/club has pleaded guilty 
          2. The player’s previous disciplinary record 
          3. If the player is also the captain 
          4. The conduct of the player subsequent to him being warned and told that he will be reported 
          5. If an appeal is considered to be spurious 

 

    1. 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.   
      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.  
    1. 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.   
    1. 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.  

 

  1. APPEALS   
    1. Appeals shall only be allowed against an automatic ban instigated for a Level 1 or 2 offence on the grounds of mistaken identity, misrepresentation or failure of the umpires to follow the procedures in Paragraph 4 above.   
    1. Where a breach of the Code of Conduct has been proved at a Disciplinary Hearing, 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.   
    2. A notice of appeal setting out the grounds must be given in writing by the player or club to the Discipline Director within seven days of the decision of the Disciplinary Panel, together with a payment of £250.00 by way of a deposit. 
    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 and in any event within 14 days of receipt of notice of the appeal.
    4. The Appeal shall be by way of a new hearing before a different Panel. The Appeal Panel shall be appointed by the Discipline Director and shall consist of not less than three persons and not more than five persons one of which will be appointed as chairman drawn from a list approved by the League’s Board of Directors. 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. 
    5. The player or club shall have the same entitlements as set out in Paragraph 5.4 above. 
    6. If the player or club is to have representation present at a hearing then the details of that representation must be given to the Discipline Director not less than 7 days before the date of the hearing. 
    7. Non-attendance at a hearing of the Appeals Panel by the club or person that submitted the appeal without good and valid reason for such non-attendance will automatically result in forfeiture of their right of appeal.  
    1. 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. Should the Appeals Panel find in favour of the player or club then the deposit will be refunded. 
    1. The decision of the Appeals Panel or, if no appeal, of the Disciplinary Panel, shall be final and binding. 

 

  1. NON-PAYMENT OF FINES   
    1. Any fine levied under these procedures or imposed for the breach of any match rule must be paid to the Treasurer of the League within twenty-eight days of the Club being notified of such fine. 
    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 of play, amounting to a breach of the Laws of Cricket and/or the Spirit of Cricket has been categorised into 4 levels which are set out below:- 

 

Level 1 

        1. time wasting by either the fielding side or the batting side 
        2. abuse of the cricket ground, equipment or fixtures 
        3. showing dissent at an umpire’s decision by word or action 
        4. using language that is obscene, offensive or insulting and or the making of an obscene gesture 
        5. excessive appealing
        6. any abusive remarks or gestures to a batsman when he has been dismissed.   

 

Level 2 

        1. showing serious dissent at an umpire’s decision by word or action 
        2. inappropriate and deliberate physical contact between players in the course of play 
        3. charging or advancing towards an umpire in an aggressive manner when appealing 
        4. deliberate and malicious distraction or obstruction on the field of play, regardless as to whether such conduct is deemed to be fair under law 42.5 
        5. throwing the ball at or near a player, umpire or official in an inappropriate and dangerous manner 
        6. using language or gesture that is obscene or of a serious insulting nature to another player, umpire, team official or spectator 
        7. changing the condition of the ball other than as permitted by Law 42.3 
        8. the bowling of fast short pitched balls that result in the bowler being disallowed from bowling further in that innings 
        9. causing avoidable damage to the pitch contrary to Laws 42.13 and/or Law 42.14 that results in a five runs penalty being awarded 

 

Level 3 

        1. intimidating an umpire 
        2. threatening to assault another player, team official or spectator 
        3. using language or gesture 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 
        4. the deliberate bowling of any high full-pitched ball contrary to Law 42.8 

 

Level 4 

        1. threatening an umpire 
        2. physical assault of another player, umpire, official or spectator 
        3. any act of violence on the field of play 
        4. using language or gestures that seriously offend, insult, humiliate, intimidate, threaten, disparage or vilify another person on the basis of that person’s religion, sexual orientation, colour, descent or national or ethnic origin. 

 

The conduct listed in Level 1 to Level 4 above cannot be considered to be exhaustive.

 

ECB Cricket Partnerships Department – March 2016

 

 

APPENDIX 2--- ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

 

  1. The new disciplinary regulations and revised MCC Law 42 will be rolled out across all senior cricket, this includes all Saturday, Sunday and T20 competitions. Therefore, all umpires (including Club Umpires) will need to be aware of these regulations.
  2. Note that any penalty imposed will be in terms of weeks (not matches)
  3. Please note that a Level 1 offence is no longer just a warning. A reported Level 1 offence is now subject to minimum of a 2 weeks ban to a maximum of a 6 weeks ban.
  4. Any existing Level 1 or Level 2 offences which were subject to a 2 years recording will be carried over to the 2018 season.
  5. In view of the number of disciplinary issues (some of them very serious indeed) the league has had to deal in the last two seasons, there will be a ‘totting up’ procedure implemented from next season. This will lead to the deduction of league points. The points will be deducted from all the club senior teams.

Therefore, should a club pick up a cumulative of 12 weeks in bans (either players or club) the club will be subject to 5 points being deducted from all their senior teams.

Each one week ban thereafter for the same club (either player or club) will result in another 1 point being deducted from all their senior teams.

Any club reaching a total of 40 points deduction across all their teams will be subject to a mandatory disciplinary hearing and a fine of a minimum £200.00.

It is worth noting that for instance any Level 4 offence would be a minimum ban of 10 weeks, therefore the club would be very close to a points deduction.

Please note that only served bans will count in relation to points deductions, however should the suspended bans be imposed at a later date the points deduction will apply as described previously.