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Greater Manchester Cricket League

Founded 2016


Matchday Preparation & Rules

GMCL rules are intended to be comprehensive and should be read in their numbered order and only refrenced with the full paragraph.

The Board recognises that there will be times where a combination of events give rise to circumstances where the rules might be viewed by some as open to interpretation.  On any such occasion application should be made to the league on for a ruling.

Where an issue of interpretation arises in-play then the umpires standing shall be deemed the arbiters on the day and the matter referred to the league for a formal decision post match. The umpires decision on the day is final as regards that game in play but not binding until confirmed by The Board after the game upon application. The Board ruling will apply to all similar combination of events from that point forward, the retrospective position will also be considered at that point..

Please note that umpires do not rule on Player Eligibility - any concerns should be raised with the league before match day. The use of ineligible players will be punished post match.

5.    League Match Structure & Timings
5.1.    General Laws
5.1.1.    All matches must be played under the Laws of Cricket produced by the M.C.C. except as provided by these rules, or as the GMCL Board might decide.

5.2.    Match Commencement
5.2.1.    Team Cards    MCC Law 1.2 Nomination of Players: - Each Captain shall nominate his players in writing to one of the umpires before the toss. No player may be changed after the nomination without the consent of the opposing captain.    The Umpires should immediately make the lists available to the scorers to ensure that the cricHQ team on the Scoring App is completed ready to start the game.
5.2.2.    The Toss    Captains shall toss up no later than 30 minutes before the commencement of the game, after which the batting sides captain can request that the pitch be rolled for not more than 7 minutes. 
5.2.3.    The Bell    A hand bell must be rung 10 minutes prior to the time play should commence, and 5 minutes from the resumption of play at the interval.    Players must take the field along with the umpires 5 minutes prior to the time a match shall commence and at the interval. The ringing of the bell is to be the responsibility of the umpires. 

5.3.    Late starts 
5.3.1.    Circumstances where no blame attached    Where a late start arises because of the late arrival of players/team due to circumstances beyond their control;    for every 7.5 minutes lost, the match shall be reduced by 2 overs to a minimum of 40 overs, i.e. 20 overs per team, with the first innings allowed to a maximum of half the remaining overs. 
5.3.2.    Where one team responsible for late start    Penalties can be levied against clubs responsible for a late start to be decided by the Board.    Umpires should report the reasons given for any late starts other than weather.
5.3.3.    When overs lost to bad weather    Overs can be lost due to bad weather before the start of the game – see section 10

5.4.    Timings & Length of Games
5.4.1.     Matches in the Premier Division, Division One and Division Two    shall commence at 1.00 p.m. except for matches in April and from the 3rd Saturday in August, when matches will commence at 12.30 p.m.    will consist of two innings. Each innings shall be limited to 50 six ball overs.    Both sides must bowl their overs within a timescale of 3 hours 10 minutes. 
5.4.2.     Matches in Division Three, Divisions Four and Divisions Five    shall commence at 1.30 p.m. except for matches in April and from the 3rd Saturday in August, when matches will commence at 1.00p.m.    will consist of two innings. Each innings shall be limited to 45 six ball overs.    Both sides must bowl their overs within a timescale of 2hrs 50 mins.
5.4.3.     Matches in the Sunday competition    shall commence at 2.00 p.m. except for matches in April and from the 3rd Saturday in August, when matches will commence at 1.30p.m. Or 1pm by club agreement.    However, and this is for Sunday competition games only    in certain circumstances, such as where bad weather is forecast and where both teams and umpires agree, the game may be brought forward to allow the fixture to go ahead.    The deadline to agree an earlier start must be a minimum of 24 hours before the scheduled start time whereby both teams and both Umpires agree to the earlier start.    will consist of two innings. Each innings shall be limited to 40 six ball overs.    Both sides must bowl their overs within a timescale of 2hrs 25 mins
5.4.4.    For Rain Affected games and information on start times see Section 10 

5.5.    Bowling Restrictions in League Games
5.5.1.    Maximum for Bowlers    No bowler will be allowed to bowl more than 30% of the overs of an innings (the expected innings length at the time the over is bowled).    The maxima are therefore:    50 over game max 15 per bowler,    45 over game max 14 overs,    40 over game max 12 overs. 
5.5.2.    Reduction when overs lost    Bowlers maximum overs can change in Rain Affected Games – see section 10

5.6.    Over Rates
5.6.1.    Responsibility        The Captain of the fielding side is responsible for his teams over rate, which he may check with the umpires at any time during the innings. 
5.6.2.    Umpires Advice    Umpires should inform the fielding captain of the passage of each full hour of playing time and the number of overs then bowled. Umpires will allow a maximum five minutes per drinks interval, if taken, and will make appropriate allowances for unavoidable stoppages caused by injuries or other extenuating circumstances. 
5.6.3.    Failure    If a side fails to bowl their overs within the allotted time scale the umpires must report the matter on the Umpires match report form, which they complete at the end of each match. On receiving such a report, the League will apply the following sanction:    1st occasion - issue a warning;    2nd occasion - a One-point deduction;    3rd occasion - a Two-point deduction;    4th occasion - a Three-point deduction;    In the event of further reports, the points deduction will increase by one point for each report.

5.7.    Tea interval 
5.7.1.    The tea interval shall be 30 minutes.
5.7.2.    In the event of tea taken early, time can be reclaimed with the turnaround time set at 10 minutes between innings.
5.7.3.   All tea costs are to be paid by the home side in League and Cup Competitions

5.8.    Declarations 
5.8.1.    In matches in all Saturday and Sunday League matches the side batting first has the right to declare its innings. 
5.8.2.    In the event of a declaration, any remaining overs from the first innings will be lost, there is no carry forward of overs. From 2017 there is no carry forward of overs. 
5.8.3.    The side batting second will not be allowed to declare.


This section of the rules covers GMCL requirements for matchday including sightscreens, boundary, changing facilities, ground watering and local ground information for visitors and also gives rules on Start Times, Team Numbers, Player's clothing, Scorers and Captain's Report.

7.    Ground & Facility Rules

7.1.    Sightscreens
7.1.1.    This is New Legislation from the ECB
7.1.2.    Where sightscreens are normally inside the boundary marking (i.e. wholly or partly within the field of play), all clubs shall place a boundary line sufficient to allow the movement of the sightscreen to accommodate all bowlers actions during the whole game. 
7.1.3.    Where a rope delineates the boundary this rope must be in position before start of play to allow the sightscreen to be moved without moving or alteration to the boundary throughout the game and any ball pitching behind the line and within the extremities of the sightscreen will count six runs.

7.2.    Boundary Perimeter
7.2.1.    Clubs should endeavour to remove overhanging trees and branches
7.2.2.    If this is not possible umpires must advise captains of the local rule 

7.3.    Watering of grounds
7.3.1.    Under no circumstances shall the pitch be watered after 9:00 p.m. on the day but one before the day of the match. (i.e. 9pm Thursday for Saturday)

7.4.    Visitors Changing
7.4.1.    Clubs should ensure that visitors changing rooms are clean and tidy prior to their arrival

7.5.    Umpires facilities
7.5.1.    Clubs should ensure that Umpires changing rooms are clean and tidy prior to their arrival

7.6.    Ground Information
7.6.1.    With many clubs visiting new venues for the first time we ask that clubs make information available to inform visitors of such things as the location of first aid kits, local rules, practice areas, neighbour issues etc.

8.    Match Day Rules – League Matches
8.1.    Start Time
8.1.1.    Prompt starts are expected always and a fine of £25 shall be imposed for a late start in circumstances where the Umpires consider that the circumstances were not beyond the control of the offending players/team, unless The Board or an Executive Sub-Committee shall excuse the offending team on reasonable grounds.

8.2.    Full Team
8.2.1.    Incomplete Team    A fine, with a minimum of £10 for first teams per player and £5 for 2nd teams per player, shall be imposed on any club not playing a full team, unless The Board, shall excuse them on reasonable grounds.
8.2.2.    Minimum Players    The minimum number of players to constitute a team at the start of play will be 7. 
8.2.3.    Participation of Late Arrivals    MCC law 24.2 will apply to those players who arrive late with regards as to when they bat/bowl.

8.3.    Cricket Costumes
8.3.1.    Base layer    Players wishing to wear a visible base layer underneath a shirt may do so, as long as the base layer is white in colour. 
8.3.2.    Whites    All players must appear in full cricket attire and 
8.3.3.    Caps    if caps are worn by any player these must be crested club, league or county caps ONLY.

8.4.    Scorers
8.4.1.    Mandatory Scorers    Competing clubs are to have scorers for all teams.    If one team does not supply a scorer, then    They must, in advance of the game, notify the other team that they don’t have a scorer and    The team not supplying the scorer must pay the normal fee of the scorer in attendance    The team with the scorer need only pay the excess agreed by the teams for the scorer scoring alone.
8.4.2.    CricHQ    All matches from Under 11’s to Premier Division MUST be scored using CricHQ with either    Live ball by ball connected via wi-fi or the phone network to the cricHQ match Centre or    Scored on the app and the full scorecards to be uploaded post-match    For Senior games within an hour of the end of the game    For Juniors within 24 hours of completion of the game.    All matches in the Premier Division, Divisions 1, Divisions 2 and Divisions 3 MUST be scored ‘Live’ using wi-fi or data connection.    “Live” scoring is requested but not mandatory for all other divisions.

8.5.    Captain’s Umpires Report
8.5.1.    Each captain, within 48 hours following a match, must submit the GMCL Captain’s Match Report found via the GMCL League website. (Fines to be imposed on clubs for late submission of forms after Wednesday Midnight).

9.    In Play Rules

This section of the rules covers Fielding Restrictions, young players playing in GMCL competition (age limits, bowling restrictions & equipment), leg side wides, Dangerous & Unfair bowling, bowler striking stumps.

9.1.    Minimum Age to play in Senior Cricket
9.1.1.    Under 13s    Any player in the Under 13 or Under 12 age group must have explicit written consent from a parent or guardian before participating in adult matches.    Clubs must ensure that their player registration procedures ensure that consent is obtained.    The ECB guidance relating to changing and showering must be adhered to.
9.1.2.    County Under 12s    Players who are selected in a County U12 squad in Spring or a Summer squad deemed by ECB Performance Managers to be of a standard above “District Level” for that season are eligible to play Open Age Cricket provided they are at least 11 years old, and in School Year 7 on 1st September in the year preceding the season and have written parental consent to play.
9.1.3.    Detailed Guidance    can be found in the ECB document in our Junior Documents page of the GMCL website. 
9.1.4.    Duty of Care    In allowing these players to play in Open Age Cricket it is essential that Clubs and Coaches recognize the “Duty of Care” obligations towards their young players.

9.2.    Fielding Restrictions
9.2.1.    Restriction on the placement of fielders    At the moment of delivery, a minimum of 4 fielders (plus the Bowler and Wicket Keeper) must be within the area bounded by two semi-circles centred on each middle stump, each with a radius of 30 yards and joined by a parallel line at each end of the pitch.    The fielding circle shall be marked at 5 yard intervals by a plastic or rubber disc measuring around 7 inches in diameter.    In the event of infringement, the Striker’s End Umpire shall call and signal “No Ball”. 
9.2.2.    Proximity of Young Fielders    No young fielder except the wicket keeper, shall be allowed to field nearer than the distances shown below, measured from the middle stump, except behind the wicket on the off side, until the batsman has played at the ball: -    Under 15 players – 8 yards (7.3metres)    Under 13 players - 11 yards (10 metres)    These minimum distances apply even if the player is wearing a helmet.    Should a young player in these age groups come within the restricted distance the umpire must stop the game immediately and instruct the fielder to move back.    In addition, any young player in the Under 16 to Under 18 age groups, who has not reached the age of 18 must wear a helmet and, for boys, an abdominal protector (box) when fielding within 6 yards (5.5 metres) of the bat, except behind the wicket on the off side. 

9.2.3.    Protective Equipment    All Players should wear appropriate protective equipment whenever they are fielding in a position where they feel at risk.

9.3.    Wide Balls
9.3.1.    For Premier, Division 1, Division 2 and Division 3, Umpires shall call and signal “Wide” to deliveries that go behind the batsman’s legs and miss the batsman’s leg stump 
9.3.2.    This is in addition to any ball that would traditionally be called wide.

9.4.    Bowling Restrictions – ECB Directives
9.4.1.    Under 19 Directives    The number of overs per bowler, now includes the E.C.B. Fast Bowling Directives, relating to players Under 19 and below.    The E.C.B. Fast Bowling Directives 2013 version will apply to all matches in the Greater Manchester Cricket League and Cup Competitions.    A fast bowler is defined as a bowler to whom a wicket keeper in normal circumstances would stand back to take the ball and the restrictions apply to any bowler bowling “seam up”.    Bowlers aged Under 19, cannot bowl more than 7 overs in any one spell with a maximum of 18 overs per day.    For Under 17 and Under 16 players the restriction is a maximum of 7 overs in any one spell with a maximum of 18 overs per day.    For Under 15 and Under 14 players the restriction is a maximum of 6 overs in any one spell with a maximum of 12 overs per day.    For Under 13 players the restriction is a maximum of 5 overs in any one spell, with a maximum of 10 overs per day.    Having completed a spell, the bowler cannot bowl again, from either end, until an equivalent number of overs to the length of his spell have been bowled from the same end.    A bowler can change ends without ending his current spell provided that he bowls the next over that he legally can from the other end. If this does not happen his spell is deemed to be concluded. If play is interrupted, for any reason, for less than 40 minutes, any spell in progress at the time of the interruption can be continued after the interruption up to the maximum number of overs per spell for the appropriate age group. If the spell is not continued after the interruption the bowler cannot bowl again, from either end, until the equivalent number of overs to the length of his spell before the interruption have been bowled from the same end. If the interruption is of 40 minutes or more, whether scheduled or not, the bowler can commence a new spell immediately.    Once a bowler covered by these Directives has bowled in a match he cannot exceed the maximum number of overs per day for his age group even if he subsequently bowls spin. He can exceed the maximum overs per spell if bowling spin, but cannot then revert to bowling fast until an equivalent number of overs to the length of his spell have been bowled from the same end. If he bowls spin without exceeding the maximum number of overs in a spell the maximum will apply as soon as he reverts to bowling fast.
9.4.2.    Restrictions combined with GMCL over limits    Note: Because of these restrictions, the maximum number of overs that can be bowled by young fast bowlers in a 50 over Greater Manchester Cricket League innings are as follows: -    Under 19 = 14 overs    Under 17, Under 16 =14 overs    Under 15, Under 14 = 12 overs    Under 13 = 10 overs    All These overs must be reduced further if the bowler has already bowled any overs earlier in the day. This is most likely to arise for Under 13s on a Sunday afternoon when they may have had an Under 13 game on Sunday morning.    The maximum may also be reduced in games losing overs to weather or other circumstances

9.5.    Young Players and Helmets
9.5.1.    ECB Guidance    The England and Wales Cricket Board has issued safety guidance on the wearing of cricket helmets by younger players.    A helmet is to be worn by young players when batting and when standing up to the stumps when keeping wicket against a hard cricket ball in matches and in practice.    A young player should not be allowed to bat or to stand up to the stumps when keeping wicket without a helmet against a hard ball.    The ECB recommends that this guidance is followed by all players up to the age of 18. It applies to young players in adult cricket as well as to all junior cricket played with a hard cricket ball.
9.5.2.    Mentor Care    Coaches, teachers, managers and umpires should always ensure that a young player wears a helmet.
9.5.3.    Self-Governance    Players should regard a helmet with a faceguard as a normal item of protective equipment when batting against a hard ball

9.6.    Dangerous and Unfair Bowling
9.6.1.    In addition to Law 41.6 the following regulations shall apply:
9.6.2.    Short Pitched Delivery    Any delivery, after pitching, is clearly over the head of the striker standing upright at the crease will be called No Ball.    A bowler shall be limited to one fast short pitched ball per over.    A fast-short pitched ball is defined as a ball which passes or would have passed above the shoulder of the batsman standing upright in the crease.    The Umpire at the bowler's end shall make it clear to both the bowler and the batsman when such a delivery has been bowled.
9.6.3.    Penalties    If this limit is exceeded the Umpire at the bowler's end shall call and signal "No Ball" on each occasion.    If the bowler exceeds his limit of short pitched deliveries in an over not only must the Umpire call "No Ball" but he must invoke the procedures of Law 42.7 (a) regarding cautioning the bowler.    If a bowler is "No Balled" a second time in the innings for the same offence the Umpire shall advise the bowler that this is his final warning as provided for in that innings.    A third such offence in the same innings shall cause the Umpire to invoke Law 42.7 (c), i.e. the bowler shall be removed forthwith and shall not be allowed to bowl again, in that innings.

9.7.    High, non-pitching deliveries
9.7.1.    Law 41.7 Bowling of high full pitched balls    Any high non-pitching delivery (regardless of its pace) which passes or would have passed above waist height of the striker standing upright at the crease shall be called and signaled “No Ball” by the umpire at the bowler’s end.    In addition,  the umpire at the bowler’s end, in addition to the call and signal of No ball, will adopt the procedures of Law 41.7 and issue a caution with a first and final warning .

9.8.    Bowler breaking stumps in delivery
9.8.1.    An addition to the No Ball Law was made in 2014 in making it a No Ball if the bowler breaks the wicket during his delivery stride. PLEASE NOTE – This law will be adopted by the GMCL in 2018.