New or updated rules are shown in red.
- The League shall be known as the West Somerset Cricket League.
- Membership is limited to village clubs and lower teams from town clubs. Applications for membership should be made to the League Secretary, and the Committee will decide whether to accept them or not. By joining the league, all clubs and their players agree to abide by the rules set out in this handbook.
- The affiliation fee will be fixed each year by the Committee and announced in the invitation to the AGM. All clubs must bring the requisite fee to the AGM. Failure to do so will result in the expulsion of the club unless there are exceptional circumstances, in which case payment must be made within two weeks.
- The 50 teams accepted for 2018 will be divided into five divisions, as follows:
First Division: Ashbrittle, Bishops Hull I, Bridgetown, Churchinford, Holford, Roadwater I, Sampford Arundel, Stogumber I, Wiveliscombe I, West Monkton 1.
Second Division: Bagborough, Crowcombe 1, Dulverton, Lydeard St Lawrence, Morebath, North Curry, Over Stowey 1, Stoodleigh, Taunton, Timberscombe.
Third Division: Brompton Ralph I, Cannington, Carhampton, East Huntspill, Hemyock, Huish Champflower, Minehead, North Curry Saints, Stoke St Mary 1, Winsford.
Fourth Division: Bishops Hull 2, Crowcombe 2, Culmstock, Cutcombe, Dunster, Kilve, North Newton, Roadwater 2, West Monkton 2, Wiveliscombe 2.
Fifth Division: Ashbrittle A, Brompton 2, Buckland St Mary, Crowcombe 3 Fitzhead, Over Stowey 2, Stogumber 2 Stoke St Gregory, Stoke St Mary 2, Watchet.
- The Committee will consist of the League’s officers and two representatives from each division – all to be elected at the Annual General Meeting. Additional members may, however, be co-opted at any time. At Committee Meetings each member of the Committee will be entitled to one vote, and the Chairman will have a casting vote if necessary.
- Rules may only be changed at the AGM, unless there are exceptional circumstances. Proposals for changes must be submitted to the Secretary not less than 3 weeks before the AGM, and must contain the names of a proposer and seconder, each from a different club.
- The date of the AGM will be fixed by the Committee at not less than two weeks’ notice. No more than two representatives from each team will be allowed to speak, and only one representative per team, plus League officers not representing a team, will be allowed to vote, with motions requiring only a simple majority. The Chairman will have a casting vote if necessary. Any club not represented at the AGM will be fined £25.
- An Extraordinary General Meeting may be called at any time by the Committee at not less than one week’s notice, or by five member clubs at not less than two weeks’ notice. An EGM will be confined to the issue raised by the Committee or by the member clubs, with attendance and voting procedures as set out in Rule 7.
- In the event of a dispute, the Committee’s interpretation of the rules is final.
- The purpose of this Rule and Rule 32 is to prevent clubs from unfairly strengthening a team by selecting players of high cricketing ability who would normally not be available for that team. If there is any doubt about the eligibility of a player you wish to select, you should contact your league representative by e-mail as early as possible during the week before the game.It is not a violation of Rule 10 to include at any time:
- any U-12 County or Area squad player (who was at least 11 on 1st September in the preceding year) (see Rule 15),
- any U-13 player (who was at least 12 on 1st September in the preceding year) (see Rule 15),
- any player between U-14 and U-17 (whose 14th-17th birthday was after 1st September in the preceding year), who has not been playing regularly for a higher team in the same club (see Rule 15),
- an occasional “makeweight” player brought in purely to make up numbers,
- a player brought in from a lower team in the same club,
- a player who does not play regular Saturday league cricket for another club, who does not bowl, and who bats last. A second such player may bat second from last, but permission must be given by the League for any further stand-bys. Such matches will not count as qualification for non-members or players from higher teams to play in either cup competition or in the last 3 league matches of the season.
- Teams should consist of club members who are regular Saturday League players. Teams should not be strengthened by
- The inclusion of players who are not club members,
- Players who are not available to play regularly for the club in the WSCL,
- Players who are brought in for particular matches from higher teams in the same club.
Exceptions to (iii): loss of form, return from long-term injury or absence, excess of high quality players available for higher teams. Exceptions will be closely monitored by the Records Officer, and false information may be punished as under Rule 10 (c).
NB: Other reasons such as occasional work or family commitments will not be accepted, but see preamble above. If an established top-level player has regular commitments that prevent him from playing all or most away matches, this fact should be registered with the Records Officer before the season begins.
- In the last three matches of the season, no team may include any player who has not played or been selected to play (see Rule 20) in at least three league matches for that team earlier in the season.
Exceptions to (b):
- See preamble above.
- Any long standing member of the club who has a legitimate reason for not having played three matches (e.g. absence, injury, non-selection).
Written evidence of long standing membership will be required if a player is not known to at least one member of the Committee who is unconnected with the club.
- A player who is dropped from a higher side because of loss of form. This must be cleared beforehand with the Records Officer, to whom documentary evidence must be submitted (e.g. precise figures for recent matches).
- The Committee shall have the right to investigate breaches of this rule independently and at any time (even if no complaint has been received), to declare the result null and void, to deduct 26 points from the offending team, and to award 26 points to the non-offending team. The Committee’s decision on the deduction/award of points shall be final, and penalties may if necessary be carried over to the following season. An ineligible player’s performance will not be recorded in the averages.
NB: Any club or player deliberately providing false information relating to any section of Rule 10, including any player assuming a false name, will be subject to procedures outlined in Rules 10c and 38 (Discipline)
Guidelines for Rule 10
In the last three matches of the season, the Records Officer will report the names of all players who have not fulfilled the criteria for eligibility. A subcommittee will then investigate whether the player may be deemed “make-weight”, what influence he/she may have had on the match, and if he/she should be allowed to take a full part in any subsequent matches.Any club that is found to have deliberately strengthened the team with an ineligible player will be subject to the penalties specified in 10 (c). It should be borne in mind that even if there is nothing at stake for your own side, an ineligible player could cost your opponents the championship, promotion, or their place in your division
Additional Guidelines for teams that are short of players
There are no rules about this. The captain must decide for himself whether he wishes to play the match, bearing in mind that if he does not, his team will automatically receive 0 points, and the opposition will receive 26 points. If he does not wish to go ahead, he should inform the opposition as early as possible in the week, so that their players and caterers can make alternative arrangements. It is not fair to wait until the last minute in the hope that it might rain.If the match goes ahead but the team has fewer than nine players, the captain should inform the opposition beforehand, to give them time to consider how to approach the match. There is no obligation for the opposition to provide substitute fielders, though they may do so if they wish. If a side comes with, say, six or seven players, it would be a sporting gesture to allow them to bat first in order to avoid scores of farcical proportions, but again this cannot be made into a rule.
Additional guideline regarding players who arrive late
Before the match begins, the captain must advise the opposition (and neutral umpires, if applicable) of any missing players or known late arrivals. These will be allowed to play a full part in the match as soon as they arrive, provided they do so before 25 overs have been bowled. After 25 overs their participation in the match will be limited to fielding and batting at No.11, and they will not be allowed to bowl.
Under exceptional and unforeseeable circumstances (e.g. a traffic accident), neutral umpires have the right to override this guideline and allow the player(s) to take a full part regardless of when they arrive. If there are no neutral umpires, the opposing captain shall have the same right.
- Teams should consist of club members who are regular Saturday League players. Teams should not be strengthened by
- Players wishing to change West Somerset League clubs during the season must inform the Secretary in writing and must enclose permission for the transfer signed by a responsible official from the club they are leaving. Permission should only be withheld for non-cricketing reasons (e.g. bad conduct, debt etc.). In the event of a dispute, the matter will be decided at the next Committee Meeting. Transfers must take place in time for the player to play in the last six fixtures for his new club. Once a player has played Saturday league cricket for another club, he may not play any more West Somerset league or cup matches for the club he has left. No player will be allowed to transfer at any time, even to a club in a different league, if he owes money to the club he is leaving.
- a) Teams will play each other twice, 40 overs per side, on Saturdays.b) The 20 week season will run from the 28th April until the 15th September. The Fixture Secretary will endeavour to comply with individual clubs’ requirements, but if a ground is not available for a particular fixture, it is up to the home club to find an alternative venue.c) A fixture may be rearranged by mutual consent of the captains concerned, provided that the rearranged date is not later than 15th September and the League Secretary and Umpires’ Organiser (if applicable) are notified of the change not less than two weeks before the original date of the fixture.
NB: Rule 10 still applies to such fixtures.d) Each team may initiate only one rearrangement per season, but it can agree to any number of requests from its opponents. If both teams cannot agree to a rearrangement, the original date will stand.e) In an emergency the Committee may allow any changes to the above rules.
- UMPIRES: The League may appoint neutral umpires for games in any division, and they must be paid by both teams on the day of the match. The costs, to cover expenses, for 2018 are £25 for each umpire or £40 if there is only one umpire officiating at both ends. If only one neutral umpire is available, the teams will share the cost and the batting side will provide the second umpire unless otherwise agreed. Before any match with one or two neutral umpires, captains must hand the umpire(s) a completed team sheet. In all other matches, the batting side will provide both umpires, unless otherwise agreed. In such games, captains are responsible for their own side’s implementation of Rule 15, but when bringing on a bowler aged under 19, must inform the umpire of the bowler’s age. Umpires must be notified if a match is cancelled, and if they have already travelled, must be paid £10 each to cover expenses.
SCORERS: Every effort must be made to have TWO scorers who cooperate at all times. If the fielding side cannot provide a scorer, the batting side should provide two. After the first innings it is the duty of the captains to agree on the target that has been set. No change can be made to the score after the commencement of the second innings. Immediately after the second innings, both captains must check the scores and agree on the result before declaring the game officially over. They must also ensure that the names of all catchers and stumpers are recorded on the results sheet.
- The captain of the home side must provide a new ball and show it to the captain of the away side before tossing up. Two-piece balls must not be used. Either side has the right to provide a new ball for the second innings but must inform the opposition before the toss. Both balls must be the same. From 2019 onwards, only Lords balls will be allowed. In 2018, if those clubs who were granted exemption for this year wish to use two new balls, they must provide both balls for home matches, and either provide both balls for away matches or buy a Lords ball from their opponents.
- All players under the age of 19 must wear a helmet when batting or keeping wicket close to the stumps. No player under 15 may field less than 8 yards from the wicket, except in the slips, (11 yards for under 13s), and 15-19 year-olds must wear a helmet and box if they field within 6 yards of the bat. Young fast bowlers are restricted to the following spells, and may not bowl again until the same number of overs has been bowled from the same end: U-13 5 overs; U14 and U-15 6 overs; U-16 to U-19 7 overs. Ages are fixed on September 1 of the preceding year. U-13s and U-12 County or Area squad players must have written permission from a parent or guardian to play adult league cricket, and no other players U-12 are allowed to play. It is the duty of the captains to ensure that these ECB rules are implemented, and any violation may result in the deduction of points
- Teams batting first are not allowed to declare. No bowler may bowl more than 12 overs in any one match
- Games must start at 2.30pm., and at 2pm. from 11th August onwards, unless both captains have agreed beforehand to an earlier start. Games must not be cancelled before 11 am on the day of the match (except as under Rule 25), and the side cancelling the game must ensure that they speak to a member of the opposition to inform them of the cancellation; a text or voice mail message is not sufficient. If weather conditions are bad, both captains may agree at any time before the start of play to a game of 30 overs per side, in which case each bowler will be limited to 9 overs. Points will remain the same as in a 40-over game. Only if weather conditions prevent a match from being played on grass may an artificial wicket be used, provided both captains agree. Otherwise, the match will be classified as cancelled, with 8 points to each side.
Guidelines for cancellation of matches (in addition to Rule 17)
Only the home team can cancel a match because of weather / pitch conditions, and they must inform the opposition directly. The away team cannot refuse to travel if the home team regards the pitch as playable. Matches must never be cancelled because of the weather forecast. If there is any chance of the match being played even after a delayed start, the away team must travel to the ground. In the event of a dispute, the WSCL cannot supply pitch inspectors.
- Any short-pitched ball which passes or would have passed above shoulder height of the striker standing in a normal stance at the crease (= bouncer), and any full-pitched ball which passes or would have passed above waist height of the striker standing in a normal stance at the crease (= beamer), shall be called a no-ball by either umpire. (NB: This rule is specific to the WSCL and does not conform to the Laws of Cricket). Standard procedure: first occurrence, the umpire will issue a warning to the bowler and will inform the captain. Second occurrence: the bowler will be suspended immediately from bowling, and the over will be completed by another bowler. The bowler will not be allowed to bowl again during the match. N.B.: bowling a bouncer and bowling a beamer are separate offences, and the bowler will receive separate warnings for each. In all games with appointed umpires, any delivery passing down the leg side will be called a wide.
- No charge is to be made for teas.
- The home side must telephone or email the result to the Records Officer on the evening of the match, and must send the signed result sheet to the Records Officer by first class post within three days of the match. In the event of a cancellation, the home side must follow the same procedure, giving the reason for cancellation if other than the weather, and the captains of both sides must send the names of their selected players to the Records Officer. Under Rule 10, cancelled matches will only qualify if the Records Officer has been given the names of the players immediately after the cancellation. Any side failing to comply with this rule will be fined £5 on the first occasion, and £10 on each subsequent occasion
- Teams should inform the Records Officer on the result sheet or by letter of any bad pitches. If three or more complaints are received about the same ground in any one season, the Committee has the right to expel the club concerned.
- The winning team will receive 16 points plus any bonus points. The losing team will receive only their bonus points. A tie will be decided by runs only, and each team will receive 8 points plus any bonus points.
- Bonus points:
Batting: 1 point for 70 runs, and 1 for every 20 runs thereafter to a maximum of 5.
Bowling: 1 point for every 2 wickets.
Should the side batting first make less than 150 runs, the batting points not gained will be available to the other side at the rate of 1 for every two wickets in hand when the opposition target is passed. For example, should the side batting first be bowled out for 60, the side batting second must have ten wickets in hand (5×2 wickets in hand) to score maximum batting points. If a side batting first is bowled out for 80, the side batting second must have at least 8 wickets in hand (4×2 wickets in hand, plus one point for scoring more than 70 runs) to score maximum batting points, and so on.
- When a game is cancelled because of the weather, both teams will receive 8 points. If the game has started but cannot be completed because of the weather, both teams will receive 8 points plus any bonus points gained. Should a game be cancelled or abandoned owing to safety factors, a full written report must be submitted to the League Secretary within three days. The Committee will decide the allocation of points according to the circumstances.
- In the event of a team cancelling a match through inability to raise a side, the non-offending team will be awarded 26 points, The offending team will be awarded 0 points, provided the match is cancelled by 9 pm on the preceding Friday, but will lose 8 points if the cancellation is any later. The offending team must speak directly (i.e. not by message etc. – see Rule 17) to a member of the opposition, and must email the Records Officer immediately as proof that they have met the deadline. Captains should inform the opposition as early as possible during the week if there is a likelihood of them cancelling through shortage of players. If a game is cancelled for any reason other than the weather and/or safety factors, or inability to raise a side, the non-offending team will be awarded 26 points whilst the offending team will have 26 points deducted unless there are exceptional circumstances. Such circumstances must be reported in writing to the League Secretary within three days.
CHAMPIONSHIP, PROMOTION & RELEGATION
- Two teams will be promoted and relegated from each division. If a team drops out of the League, the Committee will determine the appropriate procedure.
- The champion of each division will be the team with the highest number of points.
- If there is a tie on points between teams competing for honours, promotion or relegation, the deciding factor will be the aggregate number of points in the two completed matches played between the teams concerned. If the points are equal, the deciding factor will be the average of runs scored divided by the number of wickets lost in the two completed matches. If fewer than two games have been played, the deciding factor will be the average of runs scored divided by the number of wickets lost in all away games.
- Championship, Runners-Up and Knock-Out trophies shall remain the property of the League, but the winners will be responsible for their safekeeping. The League will provide trophies for individual performances, and these will remain the property of the winners.
LEAGUE KNOCK-OUT & HINKLEY POINT CUPS
- The West Somerset League Knock-Out Cup is open to all members of the WSCL, and the Hinkley Point Cup is open to teams playing in the 3rd, 4th and 5th divisions.
- Clubs must inform the Fixture Secretary at the AGM if they do not wish to enter the competition.
- Only regular WSCL Saturday players are eligible to play in cup competitions. In the first round, players must have played for the team they are representing in at least one league match during the current season or four league matches during the previous season. In subsequent rounds, players must have played for the team in at least two league matches during the current season or four league matches during the previous season. In the finals, all players must have played at least three league matches during the current season, not including league matches in which they batted last or second to last and did not bowl, as under the preamble to Rule 10, having been drafted in from a higher team or from outside the club.
Exceptions: It is permissible at any time to include:
- any U-12 County or Area squad player (who was at least 11 on 1st September in the preceding year)
- any U-13 player (who was at least 12 on 1st September in the preceding year), (see Rule 15),
- any player between U-14 and U-17 (whose 14th-17th birthday was after 1st September in the preceding year) who has not been playing regularly for a higher team in the same club,
- a player brought in from a lower team in the same club,
- a player who does not play regular Saturday league cricket for another club, who does not bowl and who bats last. A second such player may bat second from last, but permission must be given by the League for any further stand-bys.
- Any long-standing member of the team who has a legitimate reason for not having played the required number of qualifying matches (e.g. long-term injury or absence).
If there is any doubt about the eligibility of a player you wish to select, you should consult your league representative by e-mail as early as possible before the game. In the event of a team fielding an ineligible player, the Committee has the right to disqualify the team concerned and award the match to the non-offending side.
- Games must be played by the dates specified in the cup draw. The home team must contact the away team before the specified period to arrange the fixture. Failure to do so, or failure of either side to fulfil the fixture during the specified period for any reason other than the weather, may result in the tie being awarded to the non-offending side. Ties cancelled owing to bad weather must be played during the week following the original fixture.
- Evening games must begin by 6.30pm. If a side causes the start to be delayed by more than 15 minutes, the non-offending side will have the choice to bat or bowl.
- The game will consist of 18 overs per side, with a maximum of 5 overs per bowler, and the winner will be the team that has scored the most runs. If scores finish level, the winner will be the team that has lost fewer wickets, but if the teams are still level, the winner will be the team that has hit the most boundaries.
- The home team must phone in or email the result to the Records Officer within 24 hours, and the result sheet must be posted first class to the Records Officer within two days of the match being played. Any side failing to comply with this rule will be fined £5 on the first occasion, and £10 on each subsequent occasion.
- The two Cup Finals will be organised by the Committee, who will nominate the ground where they are to be played.
The West Somerset Cricket League was established to promote village cricket, which ought to mean all that is best in the game. While every match should be played competitively, it should also be played in a friendly and sporting spirit.
The League will not tolerate violent conduct, cheating, abuse of umpires or opposition players, foul language, or any comments made in public or through any media that might be detrimental to the League, clubs, umpires or individuals. Captains are at all times responsible for the behaviour of their side, and should lead by example as well as by direction. They are urged to try and settle any dispute before involving the Committee.
- Complaints must be in writing and e-mailed or sent by first class mail to the League Secretary within a week of any incident. The League’s disciplinary subcommittee will decide if the matter warrants further investigation. If a disciplinary hearing is considered necessary, the League Secretary will give all parties at least seven days’ notice, and the Committee shall have the right to make attendance compulsory. All those summoned to a disciplinary hearing may be accompanied by one other representative from their club. They will leave the meeting after presenting their case, and will be sent written notification of the disciplinary subcommittee’s decision.
Guidelines to Rule 38
If the accuser wants the committee to take action, the accused will be informed of the charges and, depending on the nature of the incident, the subcommittee will endeavour to mediate between the two sides, or will summon them to a disciplinary hearing. If the accuser does not want the committee to take action but is simply drawing their attention to the behaviour of a player or team, the complaint will be put on file, and if further complaints are made against the same player or team, the committee will take whatever action is deemed necessary, which may include summoning the player and/or captain to a disciplinary hearing. Reminder: the captain is at all times responsible for the behaviour of his team.
- The subcommittee has the right to deduct points, suspend players, and expel players or clubs from the League.
NB: If in doubt about any rule, please contact your League representative.
All clubs are strongly advised to make adequate insurance arrangements.