Surrey , England UK

League Rules

”Cricket at its Best”

            The name shall be “Surrey Downs League” (possibly prefixed by a sponsor’s name if one             exists), hereinafter referred to as “the League”.

The objects of the League are to promote an annual cricket competition between its member Clubs, together with such social or other activities as may be ancillary thereto; to improve the facilities of the member Clubs, the standard of play, and of umpiring; to preserve, foster and improve the enjoyment of the game, the fellowship, and the sportsmanlike behaviour of those taking part.

(a) The League shall consist of 4 Divisions with 10 teams in each Division, with 2 teams promoted/relegated from each Division.  A friendly Development division (sub-divided into East and West conferences) shall run during the 2022 season with no promotion from this division to Division 4. The clubs participating in the development division in 2022 will be subject to the behaviour codes laid out in these rules.

From the end of the 2010 season two teams from the same club are able to compete in the same division. Where this occurs the two teams from the same club shall play the first match in each half of the season (e.g., Matches 1 and 10 in a league comprising ten teams) thereby minimising the risk of collusion to secure a particular final league position.

The Management Committee shall have the power in a General Meeting to revise the number and size of divisions should the number of teams available for the following season be insufficient to run four divisions. Any such revision must be ratified at an annual general or extraordinary meeting.

(b) When two or more teams are tied for positions then, for the purposes of promotion and            relegation, league positions will be decided by applying the following rules sequentially:

    ..a) highest proportion of wins in completed games.
    ..b) highest points total in the two (or more) matches between the two (or more) sides involved.
    ..c) where a) and b) above fail to separate teams the final placings will be decided by the Officers of the League.

    (a) The affairs of the League shall be governed by a Management Committee comprising a League Representative from each member Club, together with the Officers.

    (b) Each League Representative shall have, at all times in relation to League matters, the power to commit and speak for their Club.

    (c) The Officers, who shall be elected annually, and comprise Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer, Fixture Secretary, and Results Secretary, shall be responsible for the day to day running of the League. In the absence of nominees for Fixture Secretary, the Secretary will take on this role.

    (d) It shall be the duty of the Officers, and other members of the Management Committee, at all times to enforce and preserve the objects of the League.

    (e) Each member club is required to exercise control over its website including its pages on Play-Cricket. Each member club is responsible for the security and content of its website and Play-Cricket webpages. Each member club must have a named and suitably qualified Safeguarding Officer listed on the club’s Play-Cricket webpages, along with their contact information. Each member club may also be held responsible for any press comment, based on the content of their website that may be deemed by the Management Committee to have brought the League, or its name, into disrepute.

    (f) In any instance where the Management Committee considers that the League, or its name, has been brought into disrepute they have power to sanction the club concerned.

    • Except where extraordinary circumstances prevent this, there will be no fewer than four Management Committee Meetings held annually together with an Annual General Meeting to be held before 28th February each year.
    • A Special General Meeting can be called at any time by the Officers of the League, or at the request of five or more member Clubs in writing to the Secretary, clearly stating the object of the meeting.
    • The Secretary shall be required to give 28 days’ notice in writing of all meetings, and any motions to be put forward at the meeting shall be submitted in writing to the Secretary no less than 14 days before the set date. Copies of any motion shall then be sent to all Officers and League Committee members not less than 10 days before the date of the meeting.
    • Each Member Club shall appoint a Representative to attend Management Committee Meetings and Annual General Meetings. Any member Club may upon giving notification to the League Secretary appoint a substitute to attend and vote at any meeting, should its League representative be unable for any reason to attend.
    • No business may be transacted at any Management Committee Meeting or General Meeting of the League at which fewer than half of the Member Clubs are represented. The next such Meeting held and for which the required notice has been given shall automatically be deemed to be quorate.
    • Any Club failing to be represented at two successive League meetings may forfeit ten League points for all the teams they have playing in the League.
    • At all Management Committee Meetings, and at a General Meeting of the League, voting shall take place on the basis of one vote per Club, irrespective of the number of persons present.
    • The Chairman shall have a casting vote in the event of equality of votes.
    • Voting shall be taken by poll of those present, and entitled to vote, and no vote shall be accepted by proxy, post or any other manner from any Club not represented at the meeting.
    • All decisions at Management Committee Meetings or General Meetings shall be determined by a simple majority vote including those relating to Match Rules and Points System (Sections 10 and 11 of the League Rules).  A two-thirds majority shall be necessary in order to alter the objects or constitution and whether by way of election or expulsion, the membership of Clubs to the League. Alterations of Rules and Constitution can take place only at an Annual General Meeting and thus are subject to the required period of notice.
    • Each member Club shall be required to contribute an annual amount towards the funds of the League. The Management Committee shall propose the amount at an Annual General Meeting.
    • The Treasurer shall present the annual accounts for approval at the Annual General Meeting.
    • Each member Club shall pay an appropriate fee (to be decided at the AGM), at the     commencement of each season, with a proportion of the fee to be given to the host Club to cover the cost of hosting the League Presentation Evening.
    • Member clubs who fail to pay their annual subscriptions and payment for match balls by the due date requested will lose any discount which may have been offered by the League for the purchase of match balls. If full payment is still outstanding at the time that the League season starts, clubs will not earn any points for matches played before full payment is received.
    • Application for Membership of the League shall be considered at any time by a General Meeting. For admission for the following season, applications must normally be submitted by the October 31st. By October 31st, each existing member club must confirm to the League secretary their intention to participate in the League during the following season, and the teams that they wish to enter. Each member club must also confirm by October 31st, to the League secretary, which home ground or grounds they will be using for the following season, along with any hiring arrangements that they wish to make with other clubs/sides, irrespective of whether those other clubs/sides involved are inside or outside the League. The requirement to report ground use information applies equally to clubs hiring their home ground out to, or hiring their home ground from, another club/side. Failure to confirm ground use details by the above deadline may result in the member club not being allocated all their home matches on any dates specifically requested.
    • Any Club wishing to resign from the League must do so in writing to the League Secretary giving a season’s notice, the resignation to be received by April 1st.

    (a) All complaints, disputes, and protests must be submitted by the club’s officially appointed League Representative or, failing him/her, the Club Secretary. Submissions must be in writing to the League Secretary not later than fourteen days after the incident.

    The Officers of the League have the authority to impose a penalty on any Club or                         individual.

    The penalty may consist of either a loss of points or monetary fine, or a combination of the two.

    A Club shall only be expelled from the League at an AGM or at any EGM requested as per rule 5b. 

    Any Club or individual against whom a penalty is made shall have the right of appeal to the Annual General Meeting or Special General Meeting of the League. In arriving at its decision, the Officers shall have regard to the Code of Conduct appended to these Rules.

    (b) The League abides by decisions made by all County Boards, and Cricket Leagues regarding the eligibility of players.

    (c) Any disputes in the playing season will be dealt with by the League Officers within the following prescribed times:-

    – playing disputes: within 5 days or as soon as possible after the report of the occurrence.

    – administrative disputes: at the next Management Committee Meeting, or sooner if the Officers believe that to be in the best interests of the League.

    (d) All disciplinary matters will be dealt with in accordance with the ECB Discipline Regulations and Codes of Conduct.

    (a) In each Division, fixtures will be played on a home and away basis on the date set by the League Fixture list.

    In divisions of more than ten teams home and away matches will be evenly split insofar as possible.

    Any request to change the date or venue of a fixture must be submitted in writing prior to the last League Meeting before the start of the Season.

    No change in venue is allowed following the start of the season without the prior approval of a League Official.

    All member clubs must confirm the exact location where their Surrey Downs League fixtures will be played (and on which ground/pitch if clubs have more than one). In accordance with the current League Rules the Club would have to apply for permission to move a fixture or face a penalty.

    (b) Each game shall start no later than 1.00pm (13:00)

    The toss shall take place 15 minutes before the due start, and any Club not available at this time will forfeit the toss.

    (c) Only balls approved by the League for the season shall be used. One new ball shall       be used for each innings.

    (d) Each Club shall provide one Umpire and one Scorer, and at the commencement of each season each Club shall normally submit to the League Secretary the names of up to three prospective Umpires for its matches, and it shall in all League matches use its utmost endeavours to see that one such nominated Umpire officiates.

    (e) Every player in the competition shall be a bona fide member of his or her Club, and shall not play for more than one member Club in any one season. An exception to this will be for teams in Division 4 where players eligible to play under 16 cricket (under 16 at midnight on 31st August in the year preceding the current season) are also allowed to play for a team from a second Club in Divisions 2, 3 or 4. This exception is to promote junior player involvement in club cricket, and to allow the opportunity for fixtures to be completed and to be played with full sides.

    (f) There shall be a restriction on the number of overs bowled by an individual bowler with the maximum allowed being 8 overs per bowler irrespective of the length of the game.

    For young cricketers, captains must adhere to the restriction on the number of overs bowled as per the ECB/County Board Directive.

    It is the fielding side’s responsibility to ensure that bowlers do not bowl more than the number of overs permitted as described above. In the event of any bowler bowling more overs than permitted, the fielding side will receive a 5-point penalty for each transgression.

    (g) Tea shall normally be taken between innings, unless the captains agree otherwise, and will be of 20 minutes’ duration.

    (h) In the event of inclement weather only, a curtailed game may be played by reducing the number of overs. Both captains must agree before the toss, or the game becomes a “cancelled” game (see 11a), and a cancelled game shall not be replayed.  In the event of a reduced game: –

    1. The planned number of overs shall be not less than 40 in total,
    2. Both innings shall have the same number of overs.
    3. One ball shall be used for the game, unless agreed otherwise by the captains.
    4. No match should start after 4.00pm

    (i) The following principles are to be observed in determining whether or not play takes place in inclement weather, including rain, bad light and extreme heat:

    1. Prior to the toss the sole decision as to the fitness of the ground shall rest with                               the home Club.
    2. Once the toss has been made the game is deemed to have started. Whether or not play shall commence, or stop or resume after interruption, shall be determined solely by the non-playing Umpire or Umpires in accordance with the Laws of Cricket.
    3. In the event that the match has no non-playing umpires present then the decision will be taken jointly by the two captains in accordance with the Laws of Cricket and after giving primary consideration to the safety of the players.

    (j) When a non-striker attempts to leave his or her ground early, they will not automatically be given out, under the conditions described in the laws of cricket by Law 41.16 (the dismissal commonly known as “mankadding”). This mode of run out dismissal will be permitted in SDL matches only after that same batsman has been previously warned, at least once, by the same bowler earlier within the same innings. After hearing the warning, the umpire at the non-striker’s end shall acknowledge the bowler’s warning, inform the other umpire, and ensure that the batsman concerned is aware of the warning and its implications for his or her future dismissal by this means.

    (k) In all other respects the current Laws of Cricket shall apply.

    (l) Any Club failing to fulfil a fixture without reasonable notice shall be liable to defray any reasonable expenses or £20 whichever is the lower amount incurred by the opposition.

    (m) All Clubs and their members shall abide by the latest version of the ECB Recreational Conduct Regulations:

    In addition, all clubs and their members must abide by the latest version of the ECB’s

    anti-discrimination code:

    These ECB policies supersede the league’s own 2018 conduct regulations which were previously appended to the rules. In addition to these ECB conduct policies, in the Surrey Downs League the drinking of alcoholic beverages, smoking and vaping by players or umpires on the field of play during a match is not permitted.

    (n) Any player who receives any kind of benefit to play cricket, by way of cash, kind or any form of expenses will be ineligible to play in the Surrey Downs League. A club playing an ineligible player will forfeit all points gained in matches in which that player played.

    (o) A player who does not arrive, or is not ready to play, within 90 minutes of the advertised start time, will be able to play only as a substitute unless this requirement is waived and agreed by both captains before the toss takes place.

    (p) The rule with regards to games being cancelled due to a Club being unable to field a       side has a two-tier value of penalties. To ensure that the correct points penalty is       deducted, the following procedure must be adhered to.

    Verbal contact (not answer phone or text message) must be made with the opposition. Contact should be with the Captain, League Representative or Club Secretary, followed by a message to the Results Secretary with the date and time of the contact confirming to the opposition that the game has been cancelled. The home Captain is still responsible for the procedure under Rule 11b.

    A team cancelling a game before 10.00 pm on the Thursday before a Saturday game will incur a 5 point penalty for the first offence and 10 points for second and subsequent offences. However, if the game was cancelled after the time specified above, penalty points will be doubled to 10 points for the first offence and 20 points for the second and subsequent offences.

    (q) All matches will be played on a win/lose basis.

    (r) The match shall consist of 40 overs per innings and the Captains shall have no power to vary this except in the event of inclement weather (see 10(h)).

      (a) A side’s final position, within each division of the league, shall be determined by the side’s average points per game calculated across all completed games in the season. Average points per game is defined as the total number of points won in all completed games divided by the total number of completed games. Penalty points awarded against a side for conceding a match are counted in their total of points used to calculate their average points. The results listed in the table below cover all the types of completed games. The table gives the points awarded for each type of result:

      Win20 points    + Bonus points
      Tie10 points+ Bonus points
      Loss  0 points+ Bonus Points
      Walkover30 points 

      A Tie shall be determined as when both sides have scored the same number of runs at the close of the two innings.

      Bonus Points:

      1 Batting point for reaching 100 runs, and then 1 batting point for every 25 runs over 100 to a maximum of 5 points (200 runs).

      100 runs1 point
      125 runs2 points
      150 runs3 points
      175 runs4 points
      200 runs5 points

      A side batting second and winning, when the side batting first have scored fewer than 200 runs, will be awarded maximum batting points (=5) irrespective of their score when the game is won, assuming the win is achieved by the end of the 40th over.

                  1 Bowling point for every two wickets taken, up to a maximum of 5 points (10 wickets).

      2 Wickets1 Point
      4 Wickets2 points
      6 Wickets3 points
      8 Wickets4 points
      10 Wickets*5 points

      *Maximum points shall be awarded even if the innings is “closed” without all 10 wickets being taken: e.g., when a team has players short or absent hurt.

      (b) The match result with full details of scores and points must be reported electronically by the Home team on the your club’s Respective ECB website by no later than 10 p.m. on the Sunday following the match day. By mutual agreement between the two sides this may be done by the Away team. For completed games, each team should enter the names of the players who represented them in the match, and should do so by the Sunday deadline above. In 2023, no penalties will be imposed for failing to enter full team names.

      This shall also apply whether the game is abandoned, incomplete or conceded.

       For the purpose of this rule, the match result and full details shall consist of:

      • result,
      • toss details,
      • who batted first,
      • runs scored,
      • wickets lost,
      • overs faced
      • points for each side.

      Confirmation of the result and details must be made by the Away team (or by the Home team when the result was first entered by the Away team by mutual agreement) no later than 23.59 on Wednesday following the match.

      Failure to abide by these rules will incur a five-point penalty. A second, and any                            subsequent failure, in the same season, will result in a ten-point penalty.

      MAY 2023

      SurreyDowns.Org also suggest the match scorecards are also completed to the benefit of all at end of season. Who took the most wickets and hit the most runs for example just click’s away if the data is completed.

      this page was last reviewed and updated 22 April 2024