Go to the Stoolball England home page

Spirit of stoolball

Stoolball is a sport that owes much of its unique appeal to the fact that it should be played not only within its rules but also within the spirit of the game. Any action which is seen to abuse this spirit causes injury to the sport itself. The major responsibility for ensuring the spirit of fair play rests with the captains.

1. The responsibility of captains and players

  1. 1.1 The captains are responsible at all times for ensuring that play is conducted within the spirit of the game as well as within the rules.
  2. 1.2 In the event of a player failing to comply with instructions by an umpire, or criticising, by word or action, the decisions of an umpire, or showing dissent, or generally behaving in a manner which might bring the game into disrepute, the umpire concerned shall report the matter to the other umpire and to the player’s captain, and instruct the latter to take action (see rule 16).
  3. 1.3 If 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 match at the end of an over or fall of a wicket.
  4. 1.4 Captains shall notify umpires if they are player(s) short and if they are expected to arrive.

2. Fair and unfair play

  1. 2.1 The umpires are the sole judges of fair play.
  2. 2.2 The umpires may intervene at any time and it is the responsibility of the captain to take action where required.

3. The umpires

The umpires are authorised to intervene in cases of time-wasting and dangerous bowling and any other action that they consider to be outside the rules of the game.

4. Respect

The spirit of the game involves respect for:

  1. 4.1 your opponents
  2. 4.2 your own captain and team
  3. 4.3 the role of the umpires
  4. 4.4 the sport’s traditional values.

5. Acting against the spirit of the game

It is against the spirit of the game:

  1. 5.1 to dispute an umpire’s decision by word, action or gesture
  2. 5.2 to direct abusive language towards an opponent or umpire
  3. 5.3 to indulge in cheating or any sharp practice, for example:
    1. 5.3.1 to appeal knowing that the batsman is “not out”
    2. 5.3.2 to advance towards an umpire in an aggressive manner when appealing
    3. 5.3.3 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 team.

6. Violence

There is no place for any act of violence on the field of play.

7. Players

Captains and umpires together set the tone for the conduct of a stoolball match. Every player is expected to make an important contribution to this.

8. Insurance

To cover all regulations governing sport played in public places and to comply with health and safety issues, it is recommended that all clubs and players are covered by public liability, civil liability and personal accident insurance. Full details and special rates are available from Stoolball England at www.stoolball.org.uk/insurance.