Changes under Consideration for the 2017-18 Season
1). Restructuring the Competition: Moving to Four Grades
Aimed at a more even competition for all teams and allowing for a more compact season.
Possible Structure (based on last year’s team submissions and results):
An additional team is shown in C Grade but could be exchanged for a team in B Grade. Also, we may end up with fewer teams in one or both of the lower grades, making a bye necessary.
All grades to play a 14-round roster, with the top four teams playing finals over three weeks.
Playing conditions to be the same for A Grade and A Reserve, and for B and C grades, respectively. E.g. A Grade and A Reserve would play 50-over games, B and C grades would play 40-over games.
After consulting clubs, the Committee of Management would decide on promotion / relegation for top two / bottom two teams for the following season. Clubs may have more than one team in a lower grade.
2). White Balls
Aimed at more exciting cricket – more runs scored, easier to see for spectators – and recognising that higher grader teams are wearing all coloured clothing.
Kookaburra two-piece white balls, one per innings, to be used in A Grade and A Reserve – assuming we move to four grades – or, if not, in A and B grades. Lower grades to continue to use red balls.
3). Fielding Restrictions
Aimed at more exciting cricket.
For A Grade and A Reserve under a four-grade model, or only in A Grade, either no more than two fielders outside the circle in the first 10 overs or the ICC model, including power plays.
As with existing ground and pitch markings, home clubs will be responsible for ensuring a fielding circle is marked appropriately.
4). Earlier Starting Time
Aimed at helping to attract / retain players.
All games to begin at 11am, except by the agreement of both sides to amend the start time or by a decision of the Committee of Management to make exceptions for good reason, such as games at Acton due to softball.
5). Twenty20 Games to be Included in the Roster
Aimed at making the Twenty20 format more of a fixture, responding to players’ concerns about playing twice on weekends, and allowing for ground availability issues early in the season.
First three rounds of the season to be Twenty20 games for A Grade and A Reserve, under a four-grade model, or for A Grade or A and B grades otherwise.
Games to be played for half points. In A Grade, roster in two halves, with top two teams in each to continue to the finals of either a North-West Community or a BCL Twenty20 competition.
The regular roster season would commence for all three grades following the rostered rounds of the Twenty20. Finals would be additional games.
6). Net Run Rate Penalty for Forfeits
Aimed at ensuring that a forfeit doesn’t advantage the team forfeiting.
The forfeiting team will have the allotted overs of an innings added to their total of overs faced. This would have the effect of reducing their runs scored / overs faced run rate and with it their overall net run rate.
This method of adjustment is used by other leagues and is possible on MyCricket.
7). Adjusting the Minimum Age to Play
Aimed at encouraging more young players to play in the BCL by keeping peer groups together.
The current By-Law means that young players in the same school year as their slightly older peers are not eligible to play.
It is suggested the By-Law be: “The minimum age for players is such that they must have begun or completed Grade 6 (or equivalent) by the beginning of the roster season.”
8). Removing the Playing in Senior Competitions Rule
Aimed at increasing participation, allowing players to try other formats, recognising that we may have clubs in the future that will field teams in both Cricket North West and the BCL.
The rule provides that a player who plays in more than two games in the first grade of a senior competition is no longer eligible to play in the BCL in that season.
It is suggested that rules relating to registration and, particularly, finals eligibility may be sufficient to respond to any concerns about player movements having an unfair impact on the competition.
9). Player Behaviour – MCC Changes to the Laws of Cricket
Under the MCC changes, umpires will have the ability to impose sanctions that would affect games. Specifically, a five-run penalty could be imposed against a team if one of its players is found to have committed a lower level offence, while a more serious offence could see the umpire instruct the player to leave the field for a number of overs or even for the remainder of the game.
This change will be problematic for community competitions like ours’ where not only do many of our games not have independent umpires, but also where those that do are only officiated by one umpire (except for finals). We also have many new, inexperienced umpires.
Our current Code of Conduct has worked well, with very little need to convene the tribunal while it has been in place. We will need to decide if we adopt these new Laws of Cricket.
10). Extending the Break between Innings
It has been suggested that the current break of only 15 minutes is too brief, and that on most occasions the second innings is likely starting sometime later – even in games with umpires.
A break of 20 minutes might be more reasonable.
11). Finals Qualifications
With a move to a 14-round roster for lower grades, it is suggested we also should look at finals qualifications.
We particularly need to consider how many games an individual should have to participate in to be eligible to compete in finals in that grade. For example, is seven too many in a 14-round roster or in a 14-round roster with byes?