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Competition Rules



Please note the change in directive, from the ECB, about fast bowling; on the last but one page.
Please note the suggested rules if weather conditions force games to be played on an ASTRO or in a sports’ hall, on the last page.

Eligibility of schools and players

1. Competitions will be open to any affiliated schools.
2. Age limits for competitions are as at midnight on 31st August/1st September, preceding the season concerned, and all players shall be bona fide pupils of the school on 1st June in the relevant season. For U19 League & Lemon Cup – none; Miskin Cup & Miskin Plate – U15; Girls’ U15 Cup – U15; Oliver (Lord’s Taverners) & U14 20/20 Cups – U14: Thomas & U13 20/20 Cups – U13; Ossie Ford (David English) & U12 20/20 Cups – U12 and Summers Cup – U11
3. Management of all competitions will be by Competition Secretaries, appointed by the Association’s Committee. All disputes can be referred to them and their rulings are final. They may make the draw, may zone the early rounds to avoid excessive travel and will determine limit dates for the completion of rounds. The Committee will fix the dates and venues for the Finals.
4. The closing date for entries will be 1st February prior to the season and the Competition Secretary has discretion over late entries.

Applicable laws and results of games.

5. Games will be played according to the Laws of Cricket and any Experimental Laws currently in force, subject to such special regulations as apply to schools’ cricket or are contained herein; 20/20 games have some additional rules (below).
6. All stages of competitions shall be played on a limited over basis. For the length of games see additional rules.
7. A match shall be won by the team scoring the most runs. If scores are equal then, in rank order: –

  • The team losing fewest wickets wins or
  • The team scoring most sixes wins or
  • The team scoring most fours wins.

If none of these produces a result then the tie shall be replayed, at the same venue, within the time limit for the round or, if both teams are agreeable, the match may be decided by a bowl off or on the toss of a coin.

8. If a game is unfinished due to bad weather or light then:-
(a). No valid result is possible unless the side batting second has completed at least 10 overs, unless in less than 10 overs that side has exceeded the score the
first side achieved after 10 overs.
(b). If the second side has completed 10 overs, or more, the scores shall be compared at the end of the last completed over of the second side, with the same number of overs for the first side.

  • Wickets and runs scored in incomplete overs shall be disregarded.
  • If such totals are equal rule 7 is applied to the number of completed overs in b (i).

9. Each side shall provide a cricket ball with which it shall bowl, that will be offered for inspection to the umpires. Balls will be provided for the final, by the Association.
10. Umpires must ensure that they refrain from acting as adviser during any innings. The Umpires in Finals will be neutral and appointed by the umpires association and approved by the Association’s executive committee. Schools are encouraged to use neutral umpires in ¼ & semi-finals.
11. Each side shall provide a competent scorer so that rules 7 and 8 can operate if necessary.


12. In all KSCA competitions girls may play in the same team as boys; except that boys may not play in girls’ only competitions.
13. In all non-20/20 cup competitions, matches shall be of maximum length 40 overs (30 overs for girls only) with a limit of 8 (6) overs per bowler. In shorter matches the limit on bowlers shall be proportionately reduced so that no bowler bowls more than one fifth of the total overs. The same restriction on bowlers applies in the U19 League. The finals of competitions are scheduled for up to 40 overs per side (30 overs for girls only). Rounds prior to the final can be of a shorter duration, bearing in mind the travelling for evening games, provided that the duration is agreed prior to the day of the game.
14. ECB guidelines on bowling restrictions have been adopted by the KCB Youth Committee and hence KSCA for all games that come under their jurisdiction. See below for guidelines.
15. The Ossie Ford winner (U12) shall represent Kent Schools in the David English Competition for Schools (U13) during the following season. The Oliver winner (U14) shall represent Kent in the Lords Taverners Cricketer Colts Trophy for Schools (U15) during the following season. The Miskin Cup winner (U15) shall represent Kent in the ESCA U15 National Competition in the same season.
16. If a side wishes to play on an artificial wicket then the opposition must be informed at least a week in advance of the type of wicket and, where a “proper” cricket ball is inappropriate for that surface, what kind of ball should be used.
17. Rules specific to the U19 league are supplied separately to participating schools.
Additional rules for the Kent U12 & U13 Twenty/Twenty competitions
18. Both team managers may agree, in advance of the match commencing, to play with a wide counting 2 runs and no extra delivery, except for in the final over of each innings, for U12 & U13 20/20 matches.
19. If, because of “impossible weather”, an indoor game is used to decide a tie, within a limit date, then the managers must agree on local variations to the laws of cricket, bearing safety in mind.
20. If a bowl off becomes necessary then it shall be conducted in the following way. Under arm bowling is not permitted in a bowl off. Only the eleven on the pitch at the end of a rain abandoned game or the nominal 11 named for a match which never starts may take part. Three individuals from each team bowl two balls each, with a normal bowling action, at a wicket over the normal pitch length for that age group. If after each team’s 6 deliveries, the number of wickets taken is equal, then “sudden death” will apply in a similar manner to a penalty shoot out in football competitions. Players who bowled the first 6 deliveries of the bowl off may not take part in this stage. If after 8 rounds of sudden death, by which time all 11 players will have bowled at the stumps, the wickets taken tally is still the same for each side then “sudden death” continues with each player bowling one delivery until a result is obtained. Managers may opt for a coin toss instead.

NEW LAWS – 2001.

As these have been in operation for 10 years they are largely assumed in Rule 5.
A ball that bounces more than twice, or is full pitched above shoulder height (slow bowler) or above waist height (other bowlers) shall be called a no ball.
Under “The Spirit of the Game” the following are specifically mentioned in the preamble to the laws.
Dispute of an umpire’s decision by word, action or gesture.
Direct abusive language towards umpire or opponent.
To indulge in any cheating or sharp practice, for instance:
1. To appeal, knowing that the batsman is not out
2. To advance towards an umpire in an aggressive manner when appealing
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 side.
For any 20/20 Cups, should KSCA & ESCA rules be contradictory, then the rules provided by ESCA will take precedence.

Responsibilities for communication & getting games played on time (Revised 05/12).

  1. Be aware that the dates of finals will not be moved, from the dates published on the draw; usually the same as published on the entry form.
    • All communication with competition secretaries must be by email. The message title should state explicitly which competition the communication refers to.
    • It is advisable to make all game arrangements by email so that, in the event of contention arising, the competition secretary can easily be “copied in”. If a competition secretary is to be forced into the position of eliminating a side, they would want to do it in an evenhanded way.
    • When arranging games, at least two dates must be offered by the home side.
    • If poor weather is proving problematic then an indoor 8-a-side game is a cricketing contest and thus preferable to a bowl off, coin toss or elimination of a side by the competition secretary.
    • If a school have educational experiences arranged, of longer than one day’s duration, that will affect their ability to fulfil a fixture then they need to email possible opponents (& the competition secretary) with at least two weeks notice. Year 10 fixtures are often affected by “Work Experience” & GCSE examinations.
    • The primary responsibility for arranging the game, within the limit dates lies with the home side. If a game can not start, be replayed or no date can be agreed within the limit date for the round then the home side must seek agreement, from the competition secretary, for an extension to the limit date. This must be done prior to the expiry of the limit date. The length of any extension shall be decided by the competition secretary. Extensions to limit dates will normally only be granted in the case of severe weather difficulties.
    • If agreement for an extension to a limit date is authorised, by a competition secretary, then both home & away sides must inform all possible next round opponents and must also offer them (at least two) dates when that next round game can be played. This must be done prior to the expiry of the limit date.
    • If the tie has still not been decided by the approved extension date and the home side must inform the competition secretary if it has not, the competition secretary will eliminate the home side, unless they are satisfied that the away side bears the major responsibility for the delay.
    • The away side is responsible for informing the competition secretary if they have not been contacted by the home side and a date for the game arranged, at least one week in advance of the limit date; at which time they should also contact the home side. If no contact has been made by the home side, by the limit date, then the home side will be eliminated.
    • It is the responsibility of both teams to inform the Competition Secretary of the result within 24 hours of the game being played. Staff can take this opportunity to mention any outstanding performances by individual players; such as a score of 50, or more, or a bowler taking four wickets or more. The winning side should “copy in” any possible next round opponents.
    • If no result has been reported for a game by the limit date, nor some communication received by the competition secretary, then the competition secretary has the authority to eliminate both home and away sides from the competition.

ESCA/ECB rules for 20/20 games, not included in the Association’s Rules.

  1. The length of each innings, including The Final, will be of 20 overs per side. One hour and fifteen minutes is the scheduled time allowed to bowl the 20 overs.
  2. If a bowler breaks down, the remainder of the over will be bowled by another bowler. Such part of an over will count as a full over, for both bowlers, when working out each bowler’s limit.
  3. If the scores continue level, after runs and wickets have been taken into account then the winner shall be the side, in order:-
    • Which has received fewer balls by the end of the match
    • Which has the highest scoring rate over the first 10 overs of the innings
    • Which loses the least number of wickets in the first 10 overs of the innings
  4. If rain curtails a match, the winner shall be the side scoring most runs in the first 10 overs of the innings, or if necessary 9, 8, 7, 6 down to 5.

In rain affected games, overs will be deducted at the rate of one per 3.75 minutes to a minimum of 5 overs per side.
No valid result is possible unless the side batting second has completed at least 5 overs, unless in less than 5 overs it has exceeded the score the first side achieved after 5 overs.which has received fewer balls by the end of the match
(b) which has the highest scoring rate over the first 10 overs of the innings
(c) which loses the least number of wickets in the first 10 overs of the innings
4. a). If rain curtails a match, the winner shall be the side scoring most runs in the first 10 overs of the innings, or if necessary 9, 8, 7, 6 down to 5.
b). In rain affected games, overs will be deducted at the rate of one per 3.75 minutes to a minimum of 5 overs per side.
c). No valid result is possible unless the side batting second has completed at least 5 overs, unless in less than 5 overs it has exceeded the score the first side achieved after 5 overs.

KSCA rule for 20/20 games, where the team fielding first fails to bowl 20 overs in the allotted 1 hour & 15 minutes (U14 & U15) or 1 hour and a half (U13 & U12).

(The intention behind this rule, initiated by ESCA, is that teams bowl their overs at a smart pace).
The side batting first will get the full 20 overs allocation.
The side bowling first and hence batting second will only receive the number of overs that they bowled in the first 1 hour & 15 minutes (U14 & U15) or 1 hour and a half (U13 & U12).
E.g. if the team bowling first completes only 17 overs in the allotted 75 minutes (or 90 minutes for U12 & U13), then they will have to score the runs to win the match in just 17 overs.
(Delays caused by rain interruption, serious injury, lost ball or by a batsman not being ready to come in at the fall of a wicket are not to be used to penalise the side bowling first).


Schoolteachers and coaches should know and apply the current rules on safety.
Pitch lengths and ball sizes should be in accordance with ECB guidelines for youth cricket.

  1. Close fielding
    • No player may stand, or be moving through a point, within a circle based on middle stump at the striker’s end, as a ball is delivered. Once the ball has been played, or missed, by the striker then any player may move into the circle to field the ball.
    • The radius of the circle is 11 yards for players who are U13 and 8 yards for players in the U14 & U15 age groups. There is no such restriction for players in age groups above the U15 age group.
    • This restriction does not apply to the quarter of the circle that includes the slip/gulley area and wicket keeper. The wearing of protective clothing does not permit the contravention of this safety instruction.
    • If at any time either umpire considers that players, of any age, are at risk as the bowler runs up then they should intervene by calling dead ball; consult with their colleague and, if in any doubt, err on the side of caution. This applies to any player in any part of the field.
  2. Bowling
    • Either umpire may call no ball, in the case of a hazard for the batsman. This rule applies to all types of bowler. A bouncer is any delivery that, having pitched, gets above the batter’s shoulder height when they are in their normal stance. If more than one is bowled in any one over it should be called a no ball. Either umpire may call no ball.
    • If, in the umpire’s opinion, the batter is of such limited ability that they are unable to cope with any bouncer then any such delivery may be called as a no ball and the bowler, along with the skipper, spoken to if necessary about fair play. Either umpire may consult his colleague about the competence of a batsman to cope and once agreement has been reached then either umpire may call a no ball. If the umpires cannot agree on competence then the batsman shall be deemed not competent.
    • Only the umpire at the bowler’s end may judge if the delivery was intimidatory. In the case of intimidatory bowling the bowler must be warned, in the presence of his captain and the other umpire. If the same bowler re-offends he shall stop bowling immediately; be replaced by another bowler who shall complete that over; and not be allowed to bowl again in that match.
    • Any such player must be reported to W R Burton, Secretary of Kent Schools Cricket Association.
  3. Batting & Wicket keepingProtective equipment must be worn; box, pads & gloves. Batters should always wear helmets; as should wicket keepers when standing up to the stumps. Members of staff should be mindful of the advice given by the ECB about the wearing of helmets.
  4. Bowling restrictions.
    • The ECB guidelines for the restriction on “fast” bowlers in youth cricket. Fast means any bowler who is bowling within 75% of their ceiling.
    • The guidelines are based on an assumption of one or two matches per week and two or one practices.
    • The guide lines should be followed during all school & youth cricket and must be followed during competition games that come under the jurisdiction of KSCA i.e. all cup games and the U19 League. After a full spell a bowler may not bowl again, from either end, until a number of overs, equal to their spell, have been bowled from each end. This restriction does not apply to slow bowlers.

ECB Fast Bowling Directives as for 2010 Season

The Fast Bowling Directives are designed to raise awareness of the need to nurture and protect our young fast bowlers through their formative years, and have been welcomed by a significant number of coaches and managers.
Statistics clearly show that fast bowlers regularly win International matches, and if England is to achieve the vision of becoming the most successful and respected cricket nation, every effort must be taken to produce bowlers to reach the goal.
Fast bowling directives change for 2010 (61 KB)
The ECB fast bowling directives have changed following a two-year consultation process. The outcome is that bowlers up to under-15 level are now able to bowl longer spells and more overs in a day.
Under the new directives, which come into effect at the start of the 2010 season, bowlers at under-16 and under-17 level are now permitted to bowl an extra over per spell, but those in the under-18 and under-19 category have had the total number of overs they can deliver per day reduced from 21 to 18.
The fast bowling directives are designed to raise awareness of the need to nurture and protect young fast bowlers through their formative years. Research has shown that fast bowlers are by far the most likely players to be missing playing and training time due to injury.

BOWLER’S AGE Up to 13 U14, U15 U16, U17 U18, U19

Previous guidelines

Age Match Guide-Line Practice Guide-Line
U13 2 spells of 5 overs 2 per week 30 balls per session
U15 2 spells of 6 overs 2 per week 36 balls per session
U17 3 spells of 7 overs 3 per week 36 balls per session
U19 3 spells of 7 overs 3 per week 42 balls per session

Suggested rules for indoor or ASTRO games; where weather forces such a game in order to meet the competition
deadlines. A minimum of 15 overs, each side, should be played.

All of these are suggested amendments, to the normal laws of cricket, and are made from experience of 20 or so years of playing indoor cricket. Team managers are at liberty to follow any, all or none of the suggestions, by mutual agreement before the game; or to adopt any other rules they mutually agree upon, before the game.

For a 4 badminton court sized sports hall. (A larger sports hall will allow closer to 11-a-side).
Play 8-a-side, with a windball, “incrediball” or tennis ball; on an 18 yard pitch. Pads may be dispensed with in these circumstances, at the team managers’ joint discretion; but helmets and boxes should still be worn by batters and wicketkeepers. The close fielding rule for the age group still applies. Marked sports hall lines or masking tape can be used to mark front and rear creases.
Bowl from one end only, with batters changing ends, at the end of an over.
The bowlers’ share of overs is as per the competition that the game is in; with proportionate reduction if less than the “correct number” of overs are agreed. Any one bowler cannot bowl consecutive overs.


Any ball hitting the sidewall or end wall, behind the wicketkeeper, scores 1 run in addition to any other runs or extras scored; this includes overthrows.
Any ball struck by a batter that hits the end wall behind the bowler first, scores 4 or 6, dependent on bouncing or not. A ball that is struck and hits the sidewall before hitting the end wall counts one extra run, not 4 or 6.
Any overthrows from run out attempts that hit the end wall, behind the bowlers end first, score 4 runs in addition to any other runs or extras scored.
Score two runs for each run the batters actually run.
Batters can be caught off the sidewall or end wall behind the wicketkeeper, provided the ball has not touched the floor, since being struck by the batter.
If a fielder leans against the end wall, behind the bowler, in the act of catching the ball then the batter shall be not out and six runs scored.
Batters can be retired once they reach 25 and can return if the rest of their team are out before the team’s allotted overs are used up.

For an ASTRO the size of one hockey pitch or larger.

Play an 11-a-side game.
If play is with a hard cricket ball then the usual safety considerations apply.
If play is with a “windball, tennis ball or “incrediball” then I recommend an 18 yard pitch with the safety considerations as for an indoor game (in blue above)
I recommend bowling from just one end with batters changing ends at the end of each over.
Scoring as in a normal game of cricket.