Role of the Disciplinary Committee
The Disciplinary Committee will ensure that the cricket played in the League is competitive, fair and sporting. The Committee (and the Chairman, acting alone on behalf of the Committee) have the power to sanction breaches of discipline by punishing the offending club, players and/or the team captain. In line with ECB Disciplinary Regulations, breach of Code of Conduct will be categorised as Level 1,2,3,or 4 as set out in Appendix 1 at the end of this chapter.
The following kinds of transgressions will be addressed by the Committee:
Players’ behaviour: Failing to comply with the instructions of an umpire, criticising his decision by word or action, showing dissent, using abusive language, or generally behaving in a manner which might bring the game and/or the name of the League into disrepute.
Accumulated bad behaviour: Repeated infringements by an individual of the Spirit of the Game (where it is decided that each infringement in itself does not merit any immediate disciplinary action). Repeated infringements by a team are likely to result in the captain being held responsible for the conduct of his team (whether or not individual players are identified for disciplinary action). When issuing the penalty, the Chairman or the Disciplinary Committee may take into account poor team discipline in previous years, particularly where the on-the-field captain held the same position in those previous years. Captains bear responsibility for their own on the field behaviour as well as that of their team members.
Violence: There is no place for any act of violence on the field of play. Proven cases of violent conduct will result in expulsion from the league.
Racial Abuse: Players and team officials must not make any racially abusive comments nor take racially abusive actions against fellow players, officials, members and supporters.
ECB Code of Conduct and the Spirit of Cricket: Any breach of the Code of Conduct and the Spirit of Cricket.
Club Members and Supporters: Non-playing members and supporters are the responsibility of the club and any cases of misconduct will be dealt with by the Chairman or the Disciplinary Committee accordingly.
Social Media: 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.
The fast track Disciplinary Process will be decisive and efficient.
A) Matches with panel umpire(s)
The Panel umpire(s) will submit a comprehensive match report to the Chairman of Discipline and to the clubs league representative by no later than the Sunday evening following the match if there was cause to report a player or a club. Umpires are the sole judges of fair and unfair play; their judgment of any poor conduct by individual players or the team will be final. The Chairman of Discipline is empowered to issue appropriate penalties to individual players or the team. The decision will be notified to the relevant club by Tuesday of the same week or soon after and in the case of Level 1 and Level 2 breaches penalties will be applied immediately. A Level 3 and Level 4 complaints will automatically be subject to a full Disciplinary Hearing. In the case of violent conduct, the player(s) involved will be suspended from playing cricket with immediate effect pending an investigation and disciplinary hearing.
Note: If a panel umpire is not appointed, process B) below will apply.
B) Matches with club or player umpire
The Captain or the League Representative will submit a comprehensive match report to the Chairman of Discipline and to the League Representative of the opposing team by no later than the Sunday evening following the match if there was a cause to report a player or a club. The recipient (the League Representative or the Captain) must submit a response to the report by the end of the Wednesday following the match to the Chairman of Discipline. Having considered the documents he has received within the timeframes set out above, the Chairman of Discipline is empowered to issue appropriate penalties to individual players or the team. The penalties will be applied as soon as possible thereafter. The League Representative will be informed of the effective date of the penalties. A Level 3 and Level 4 complaints will automatically be subject to a full Disciplinary Hearing. In the case of violent conduct, the player(s) involved will be suspended from playing cricket with immediate effect, pending an investigation and disciplinary hearing.
A disciplinary hearing in a case involving violent conduct will be notified in writing to the League Representative of the relevant member clubs with at least 7 days’ notice. Any adjournments may be granted at the discretion of the Chairman of Discipline. The player(s) concerned and the member club shall be entitled to attend the hearing and state their case (a member club may only be represented by its League Representative or other club official). They may each be supported by one colleague and may call witnesses. The hearing will be conducted by the Disciplinary Committee of the League which shall consist of no fewer than three persons, none of whom shall be connected with the player, the club or the opponents.
The Chairman of Discipline shall have the power to impose one or more of the following penalties, together with such order as to costs as he deems appropriate:
(a) In the case of a player –
- To require the player to submit an appropriate letter of apology within a specified time
- To record a reprimand and to give a warning as to future conduct
- 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.
(b) In the case of a member club –
To require the club to submit an appropriate letter 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 clubs team(s)
- To relegate the clubs team to any lower division of the League
- To expel the club from any competition of the league
- To expel the club from the League.
(c) In the case of violent conduct, the player(s) concerned will be suspended with immediate effect and the matter investigated thoroughly. A disciplinary hearing will take place once the investigations are completed.
(d) Any decision to suspend a player will be communicated to his teams opponents scheduled to play the team during the suspension, to the leagues umpires, and reported to the Surrey Cricket Board for national circulation. Suspensions will cover the appropriate number of League games played to a result, including rearranged fixtures.
(e) Violent conduct hearing: The Disciplinary Committee shall have the power to suspend the operation of any part of or the entire penalty it imposes for such period and subject to any terms that it deems appropriate. Decisions of the Disciplinary Committee, a finding that a complaint is proved or otherwise or a decision on penalty shall be by a majority vote. Where necessary the Chairman shall have a casting vote.
(f) Any decision to expel a player or a club will be communicated to Surrey Cricket Board and other Surrey Leagues, after an appeal process if applicable.
(g) 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 matches
- Level 2 3 to 8 matches
- Level 3 4 to 10 matches
- Level 4 A minimum of 10 matches
- A player or member club shall have the right of appeal to the Appeals Committee. The notice of appeal must be given in writing (by email) setting out the grounds of appeal to the League General Secretary within 7 days of notification of the decision and a fee of £100 must be sent immediately. If 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.
- The appeal shall take the form of a re-hearing before a different committee. The composition of the committee shall be at the discretion of the Chairman of the League and shall consist of no fewer than three persons none of whom shall be connected with the player, the club or the opponents, or who sat on the Disciplinary Committee. The player or the club shall have the same rights of attendance as they had before the Disciplinary Committee.
- The Appeals Committee may confirm, vary or reverse the decision of the Disciplinary Committee and it shall have the power to increase or reduce the penalty and award costs of the appeal hearing. The decision of the Appeal Committee shall be by majority vote; where necessary the Chairman shall have the casting vote. The decision of the Appeals Committee or, if no appeal, of the Disciplinary Committee, shall be final and binding.
- In the event of a successful appeal, the fee shall be returned in full. If the appeal is unsuccessful, the appeal fee shall be forfeited unless the Appeals Committee considers that, in the circumstances of the case, the fee should be returned in full or in part.
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:-
- time wasting by either the fielding side or the batting side
- abuse of the cricket ground, equipment or fixtures
- showing dissent at an umpire’s decision by word or action
- using language that is obscene, offensive or insulting and or the making of an obscene gesture
- excessive appealing
- showing serious dissent at an umpire’s decision by word or action
- inappropriate and deliberate physical contact between players in the course of play
- charging or advancing towards an umpire in an aggressive manner when appealing
- 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
- throwing the ball at or near a player, umpire or official in an inappropriate and dangerous manner
- using language or gesture that is obscene or of a serious insulting nature to another player, umpire, team official or spectator
- changing the condition of the ball other than as permitted by Law 42.3
- the bowling of fast short pitched balls that result in the bowler being disallowed from bowling further in that innings
- causing avoidable damage to the pitch contrary to Laws 42.13 and/or Law 42.14 that results in a five run penalty being awarded
- intimidating an umpire
- threatening to assault another player, team official or spectator
- 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
- the deliberate bowling of any high full-pitched ball contrary to Law 42.8
- threatening an umpire
- physical assault of another player, umpire, official or spectator
- any act of violence on the field of play
- 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.