Code Of Conduct
- The ECB is committed to maintaining the highest standards of behaviour and conduct. This code of conduct incorporates the Spirit of Cricket, as set out below. It applies to all matches played under the auspices of the ECB and may be applied to cricket in general.
- Captains are responsible at all times for ensuring that play is conducted within the Spirit of Cricket as well as within the Laws.
- Players and club officials must at all times accept the umpire’s decision. Players must not show dissent at the umpire’s decision or react in a provocative or disapproving manner towards another player or a spectator.
- Players and club officials shall not intimidate assault or attempt to intimidate or assault an umpire, another player or spectator.
- Players and club officials shall not use crude and/or abusive language (known as ‘sledging’) nor make offensive gestures or hand signals nor deliberately distract an opponent.
- Players and club officials shall not make racially abusive comments nor indulge in racially abusive actions against fellow players, officials, members and supporters. Clubs must operate an active open door membership policy and welcome players/members irrespective of ethnic origin.
- Players and club officials shall not use or in any way be concerned in the use or distribution of illegal drugs.
- Clubs must take adequate steps to ensure the good behaviour of their members and supporters towards players and umpires.
Spirit Of Cricket
- There are two Laws which place the responsibility for the team’s conduct firmly on the Captain.
- Responsibility of captains The captains are responsible at all times for ensuring that play is conducted within the Spirit of the Game as well as within the Laws.
- Player’s conduct In the event of any player failing to comply with the instruction of an umpire, criticising the decision by word or action, showing dissent, or generally behaving in a manner which might bring the game into disrepute, the umpire concerned shall in the first place report the matter to the other umpire and to the player’s captain, and instruct the latter to take action.
- Cricket is a game that owes much of its unique appeal to the fact that it should be played not only within its Laws, but also within the Spirit of the Game. Any action which is seen to abuse this spirit causes injury to the game itself. The major responsibility for ensuring the spirit of fair play rests with the captains.
- Fair and unfair play According to the Laws, the umpires are the sole judges of fair and unfair play. The umpires may intervene at any time, and it is the responsibility of the captains to take action where required.
- The umpires are authorised to intervene in case of:
- Time wasting
- Damaging the pitch
- Dangerous or unfair bowling
- Tampering with the ball
- Any other action that they consider to be unfair
- The Spirit of the Game involves respect for:
- Your opponents
- Your own captain and team
- The role of the umpires
- The game’s traditional values
- It is against the Spirit of the Game:
- To dispute an umpire’s decision by word, action or gesture
- To direct abusive language towards an opponent or umpire
- To indulge in cheating or any sharp practice for instance
- i. to appeal knowing the batsman is not out
- ii. to advance towards an umpire in an aggressive manner when appealing
- iii. to seek to distract an opponent either verbally or by harassment with persistent clapping or unnecessary noise under the guise of enthusiasm and motivation of one’s own side.
- Violence There is no place for any act of violence on the field of play.
- Players Captains and umpires together set the tone for the conduct of a cricket match. Every player is expected to make an important contribution to this.
Safety Matters Concerning Young Players
The League Executive Committee recommends that members should implement this guidance as failure to do so may render clubs liable in the event of a young player being injured; in addition as the guidance comes from cricket’s governing body failure to follow it may also render club insurance policies void in the event of a claim.
The Wearing Of Cricket Helmets By Young Players
In law a young person is deemed to become an adult at age 18. The law also imposes a duty of care on those responsible for minors (ie those under the age of 18). The ECB is recommending 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 ball.
- It is recommended that a helmet is 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 except with written parental consent. Coaches, teachers, managers and umpires should always ensure that a young player wears a helmet if this written parental consent has not been received.
- Players should regard a helmet with a faceguard as a normal item of protective equipment when batting against a hard ball, together with pads, gloves and, for boys, an abdominal protector (box).
- There is a British Standard (BS7928:1998) for cricket helmets and it is in the best interests of players to ensure that their helmet conforms to this standard.
The ECB is requesting that the new guidance is communicated to the parents or guardians of all young players through clubs and schools, and that parental consent is always obtained before young people are allowed to bat or stand up to the stumps when keeping wicket against a hard ball without wearing a helmet.
ECB Fast Bowling Match Directives
For the purposes of these directives a fast bowler should be defined as a bowler to whom a wicket keeper in the same age group would in normal circumstances stand back to take the ball.
Having completed a spell the bowler cannot bowl again, from either end, until the 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.
Captains, team managers and umpires are asked to ensure that these directives are followed at all times.
For guidance it is recommended that in any 7 day period a fast bowler should not bowl more than 4 days in that period and for a maximum of 2 days in a row.
Age groups are based on the age of the player at midnight on 31 August in the year preceding the current season.
ECB Guidelines For Junior Players In Open Age Cricket
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The ECB has issued guidance covering the selection and participation of young players in open age group cricket. This is to help clubs decide when to select young players in open age group cricket and how best to help their cricketing development when they play within open age groups. The ECB keeps these guidelines under review and, following feedback from clubs and leagues, has revised these guidelines for the 2011 season. The ECB will continue to monitor the impact of these guidelines and you are invited to feedback your thoughts and comments in writing to the ECB Non-First Class Cricket Department.
The guidance will apply to boys and girls and any reference to he/his should be interpreted to include she/her. Age groups are based on the age of the player at midnight on 31st August in the year preceding the current season.
The guidance is as follows:
- Making the step up from junior to open age group cricket is a significant event in any player’s cricket experience. Ensure the player’s safety, personal development needs and overall cricket experience are considered. There is no definitive age at which a player should be introduced to open age group cricket, but each case is to be determined on an individual basis, depending on the player’s ability and stage of cognitive and emotional maturity to take part at this level. That said clubs, squad coaches and managers must take into account the requirements on age detailed in the last bullet of this guidance.
- ECB Fast Bowling Directives and Fielding Regulations should always be adhered to for junior players in open age group cricket.
- Provide an opportunity for players to show their talents in an appropriate way. Children who are just used as fielders will not fully experience the game.
- Be supportive, at all times, for all forms of effort even when children are not successful. Try and put them in situations where they will experience some success (however small) and ensure plenty of praise and encouragement.
- Try and involve them in all aspects of the game wherever possible, eg. socialising, team talks, practice, decision making and so on, so they feel part of the team.
- Children will often feel more comfortable and able to perform if they have a family member or friend also playing in the side.
- Remember, children’s early experiences will remain with them always and will often determine whether they want to remain playing the game or give up and do something else.
- Players who are selected in a County U12 squad in spring for a summer squad or in another squad deemed by ECB Performance Managers to be of a standard above ‘district level’ for that season are eligible to play open age cricket. This is providing they are at least 11 years old, are in School Year 7 on 1st September in the year preceding the season, and have written parental consent to play. In allowing these players to play in open age cricket it is essential clubs and coaches recognise the ‘duty of care’ obligations they have towards these young players
This means boys and girls who are county squad and area squad players, are able to play open age group cricket if they are in an U12 age group and are a minimum of 11 years old on 1st September of the year preceding the season. District and club players who are not in a county or area squads must wait until they reach the U13 age group, be in Year 8 and be 12 years old on 1st September of the preceding year before being able to play in any open age group cricket. As before written parental consent is required for these players.
The duty of care should be interpreted in two ways:
- Not to place a young player in a position that involves an unreasonable risk to that young player, taking account of the circumstances of the match and the relative skills of the player
- Not to create a situation that places members of the opposing side in a position whereby they cannot play cricket as they would normally do against adult players
In addition, the guidelines note the need for clubs and leagues to recognise the positive experience young players should have in open age cricket. Clubs should provide an opportunity for players to show their talents in an appropriate way. Children who are just used as fielders will not fully experience the game.
Guidance for Clubs and Leagues
All clubs must recognise that they have a duty of are towards all young players who are representing the club. This duty of care also extends to Leagues that allow the participation of young players in open age groups in their League. The duty of care should be interpreted in two ways:
- Not to place a young player in a position that involves an unreasonable risk to that young player, taking account of the circumstances of the match and the relative skills of the player.
- Not to create a situation that places members of the opposing side in a position whereby they cannot play cricket as they would normally do against adult players.
In addition the following specific requirements apply to young players in open age group cricket:
- All young players who have not reached their 18th birthday must wear a helmet with a faceguard when batting and when standing up to the stumps when keeping wicket. Parental consent not to wear a helmet should not be accepted in open age group cricket. A young player acting as a runner must also wear a helmet even if the player he is running for is not doing so.
- The current ECB fielding regulations must be adhered to and enforced by the umpires and captain. The umpires are empowered by these fielding regulations to stop the game immediately if a young player comes within the restricted distance.
- The umpires and the opposing captain must be notified of the age group of all players participating in n open age group cricket who are in the under 19 age group or younger even if the player is not a fast bowler. This requirement also covers any young player taking the field as a substitute fielder. The ECB Team sheet cards are freely available to facilitate this.
- Any player in the Under 13 age group and younger must have explicit written consent from a parent or guardian before participating in open age group cricket. Clubs must ensure that consent is obtained. The policy for changing and showering must be adhered to.
- Any club wishing to play a player in an open age group League or Cup match must obtain the explicit approval of the League or Cup Management before the player can play. Approval should only be given to exceptionally talented players. It is recommended that advice is sought from the County Age Group Coach or other ECB Level 3 coach as appropriate.
Clubs and Leagues can apply more strict restrictions on the participation of young players in open age group cricket at their discretion. It is strongly recommended that a parent, guardian or other identified responsible adult is present whenever a player in the Under 13 age group or younger plays in open age group cricket. This could include the captain or other identified adult player taking responsibility for the young player.
In November 2015, the ECB endorsed changes to the regulations governing the use of helmets across the professional and recreational game. From 2016, all male and female cricketers playing in professional cricket matches will be required to use helmets which meet the latest British Safety Standard. The key changes will apply to batsmen facing all types of bowling, wicketkeepers standing up to the wicket, and fielders closer than eight yards from the batsman’s middle stump, except behind the wicket on the off side.
The ECB strongly recommends that all recreational cricketers wear helmets which meet the latest British Safety Standard. The use of protective headgear is already mandatory for all under 18s within the recreational game.
The full list of helmets meeting this standard (BS7928:2013) is available at www.ecb.co.uk/helmets.
Helmets should be replaced after they have received a significant impact.