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Proposed stoolball rule changes for 2012

Friday 11 November 2011, 10.09pm

Following the Rules Working Party meeting on 2 October 2011, we propose the following changes to the Rules of Stoolball should be made ready for the 2012 season. These will be discussed and voted upon at the Annual General Meeting on 27 November 2011, and you’re welcome to come along and take part.

The Spirit of Stoolball

1. The responsibility of captains and players

1.2 Reference to rule 16 added

1.3 Statement added regarding late arrival of a player or when a fielder leaves the field of play during the course of the game. “In the event that a player arrives after a match has started or a member of the fielding team needs to leave the field of play for any reason during the course of a match; these players shall only join/rejoin the game at the end of an over or fall of a wicket.”

1.4 A statement has been added to make both umpires aware that a team is starting the game with fewer than the 11 players and that other player(s) are expected. “Captains to notify umpires if they are player(s) short and if they are expected to arrive.”

3. The umpires

The word “illegal” is replaced by “outside the rules of the game”.

Rules of Stoolball

2. Umpires

2.1 A statement has been added regarding immovable objects in the field of play. “Where there is an immovable object, for example a tree within the boundary of the field of play, the home team captain must advise the captain of the away team, the umpires and scorers how many runs will be added to the batsman’s score if the object is hit.”

2.5 Reference to rule 17.1 has been added

2.8 Statement regarding the time limit if the fielding team fails to appeal. “The time limit for an appeal expires when the ball is either back in the bowler’s hands and he/she is ready to bowl again or the umpire has called ‘over’.”

2.13 A sequence of events have been added if there is disagreement between the umpires about the condition of the pitch prior to a match. “In the event of a disagreement between the umpires regarding the condition of the field of play, the two team captains shall be consulted and if they are unable to agree, the match shall be cancelled and the fixture rearranged.”

4. Equipment and field of play

4.1 “a maximum of” has been removed from the size of the boundary

4.3.1 In response to a request from umpires, it has been suggested that a white wicket face is not the ideal colour with a white ball

4.6 “the back of the” has been added in this rule for clarification. “The back of the bowling crease shall be 9.15 metres (10 yards) from the batting wicket…”

5. Method of scoring

5.2 The rule referring to a “reverse bat” stroke was added at the last rules review but it was felt that this rule did not serve any purpose and it was agreed to remove it. Accordingly the umpire’s signal is also being removed.

6. Batsman’s innings

6.3 For clarity the word “relevant” has been added. “…they shall return to touch the relevant wicket or stake with their bat or hand.”

6.5 The statement “Only one batsman may retire in each over” has been removed

8. No ball

8.4 The word “extended” has been added before “returns” in the first sentence. A second sentence has been added regarding the position of the bowler’s feet. “The bowler has one or both feet on or over the bowling crease or its extended returns at the point the ball is delivered. This shall apply to both feet whether on the ground or in the air.”

10. Bye

10.2 This statement currently appears under rule 10 – Bye and is considered to be wrongly positioned. It is being moved to rule 11.5 under “dead ball”.

11. Dead ball

11.5 This rule has been extended to include the statement previously under rule 10.2

12. The batsman is out

12.1 Reference to rule 4.3.1 has been added. Rule 4.3.1 refers to the wicket consisting of the face and sides.

12.3 The results of the survey which was carried out over the last 2-3 years did not give a convincing majority for the previous “clean” catch rule or the current catch ruling and it was agreed to leave this rule unchanged.

12.4.2 The words “If the batsmen have crossed” have been deleted to clarify the rule.

12.4.7 For consistency, the word “fielder” in this rule has been replace by “member of the fielding team” as referred to in 12.4.8 and 12.4.9

16. Misconduct

16.1 It was felt that in this rule a sanction should be added to give the umpire assistance if he decides to “instruct a player to leave the field of play for persistent use of abusive language or unsporting behaviour”. The current wording does not give the umpire any help in deciding whether it is for a period of time or a complete dismissal from the match. A further statement has also been added to allow for any further problem(s) from the player when he/she returns to the field of play.

“An umpire may instruct a player to leave the field of play for 3 overs following persistent use of abusive language or unsporting behaviour. If there is a further problem with the player on their return to the field of play following the period of suspension, that player shall take no further part in the match. At the end of the match the umpires shall produce a full, written report which shall be submitted to the disciplinary committee of the county, league or organising body within seven days.”

Appendix 1: Health and safety

In paragraphs 2 and 3 references to “the umpires” have been changed to read “both umpires”. These changes are designed to stress the importance that the umpires work together as a team whether assessing the conditions of the ground prior to the match starting or making decisions on the field of play during the match.

Appendix 2: Umpires’ signals

Following the decision to exclude rule 5.2 on page 5, the signal for “reverse bat” has been taken out.

Proposed change regarding the use of protective equipment

In the agenda for the Annual General Meeting there is another item relating to protective equipment which has been proposed by Winterfold Stoolball Club in West Division of the Sussex County Stoolball Association. Currently the rules state that a player can wear shin pads and because there is no restriction stated, shin pads can be worn by a wicketkeeper, fielder or batsman but gloves cannot be worn by any player except on medical grounds. The Winterfold club feel that the rules should be standardised to maintain a consistent approach to potential health and safety issues.

Stoolball England has no published statement about protective headgear because to the best of our knowledge there is no appropriate headgear on the market which is suited to our game. The gaps between the protective face guards of cricket helmets are generally too far apart and the stoolball could pass through them. Hence as a governing body we have not pursued the issue of helmets any further because to design and produce a helmet specifically for stoolball could be very expensive. Since shin pads are sanctioned to protect the legs it seems inappropriate not to include similar protection for a fielder’s hands, particularly those of a wicketkeeper. In most cases wicketkeepers will not find it necessary to wear gloves but this should not be a reason for denying another person fielding very fast bowling the opportunity to protect their hands.

A consistent approach to these “issues of protection” would seem best served by removing specific statements and leaving the decision entirely up to the player concerned. These issues were considered by the Rules Working Party at the beginning of October but were not pursued and the decision was made to leave matters as they were. However, Stoolball England have been asked by the Winterfold club to include this proposal in the agenda for the AGM, so your opinions will be sought at this meeting.

Should the proposal be approved, the reference to “being able to wear shin pads” and “not wearing gloves” would be deleted so that all three issues of protection (shin pads, gloves, headgear), and gum shields could be added if deemed necessary, would be left to players to make their own decision. Accordingly, a statement would be added to the rules at the end of “Rule 4. Equipment and the field of play” stating that “protective equipment, for example, shin pads, gloves, helmets and gum shields may be worn by any player at their discretion.

If the proposal is not approved, the position would remain as currently stated in the rule book.

Tags: agm, meetings, rules