Proposed Under 10 Competition Rules for Season 1997-98

Guiding Principles

The Under 10 structure introduces youngsters and parents to some of the basics of regular inter-club cricket. It provides fixtured matches which are scored and the results of which are published each week, but without team and individual performances over the season being used as the basis for competitive awards.

Match conditions are designed to meet the needs of average to beginning cricketers in this age group. While these conditions are derived from the traditions of cricket and our experience in pioneering Under 10, these rules are now self-contained and do not depend on the Laws of Cricket. More advanced youngsters should gain more benefit from playing in Under 12.

It is central to cricket that the results of matches are largely determined by the total runs scored by team members batting during their individual innings. This objective is furthered by the batting and bowling beginning and silver player concessions, by the reduced number of players per team, and now by a new system of discounting wides, byes and overthrows.

Given these constraints, matches should look as much as possible like proper cricket matches. This plus considerations of fairness and safety make it essential that batters and wicketkeepers wear appropriate protective gear. Public relations considerations make it important to play Under 10 matches at clubs' main home grounds.

In the final analysis, the Association relies entirely on our clubs and teams applying these principles and the rules that follow in the interests of Under 10 cricket. If the two teams participating in a match agree to vary these rules in accordance with what they see as their own obligations and priorities, that will be respected. However, these rules are intended to define the normal way Under 10 cricket will be conducted in matches fixtured by the Association, and to provide a definitive answer if two teams find they cannot agree on something.

Player Eligibility and Registration

Players must not have turned ten prior to the first day of October in the current season, and must be attending school at the start of the season. For each player who does not turn eight before the first day of October in the current season and who wishes to play in Under 10, a Higher Age Group Registration Form must be completed prior to playing in such a match. Players may not play with more than one club in Under 10s during a season, except where they fill in for an opposing side which is short, or unless they comply with provisions of the Association's Registration and Clearance Rules. Those rules also specify the records that clubs are required to keep of sighting proof of age documents and of Higher Age Group Registration Forms, as well as procedures for obtaining special exemptions.

In the space provided at the front of the scorebook, each team is responsible for keeping an up to date record of the family name, given names, date of birth, street address, suburb, postcode and telephone number of each player playing in that team during the season. At the conclusion of the first match for the season, a copy of those details is to be made on the adjacent team registration form, together with contact information for team officials, and that form is to be delivered to the Association with the club's match reports for that round. Whenever a player who was not listed on any team registration form plays their first match for the season, they are to be listed with all details in the space provided on the back of the Match Details form for that match.

Match Details Report

An Under 10 Match Details form in the home teamıs score book is to be filled in with the names of all players who participate in the game, and a condensed results section including the scores for each innings and the best individual performances. The completed form is to be delivered to the specified Association collection point at the specified times. Failure to deliver will incur a $20 fine per missing sheet. Failure to properly complete will incur a $10 fine per affected sheet.

Wickets and Grounds

Matches may be played on grass pitches which are cut and rolled on the outfield of a clubıs main ground, on stuck down synthetic, or on bare concrete. All bowling is to be from one end. Batters change ends at the end of every over. Umpires change ends at the end of the twelfth over of each innings.

On concrete (including synthetic covered) wickets, the batting end stumps are to be located in the normal position.

On all wickets, the bowling end stumps are to be located 17.6 metres away fromthe batting end stumps. Stand up stumps are preferred.

Creases are to be marked 1.2 metres in front of the stumps at each end, indicating the distance for running between wickets. The crease nearest the bowling end stumps serves as the front foot line for gold level bowlers. Additional creases are to be marked 1.5 metres and three metres in front of the bowling end crease as front foot lines for silver level and beginner bowlers respectively.

A safety circle of radius 10 metres, centred at the batting wicket, is to be clearly marked by a mown or painted line. No fielder excepting the wicketkeeper may enter the safety circle until after the batter has hit the ball or the ball has passed or struck the batter.

A boundary circle of radius 35 metres, centred at the batting wicket, is to be clearly marked by flags or other markers which are not liable to cause injury to players. The markers must be conspicuous and not more than 10 metres apart. If the boundary is not also marked by a mown or painted circle, the boundary will be defined by a straight line between adjacent markers.

Clothing and Equipment

Players are expected to wear a white short or long sleeved shirt and white short or long trousers. They are to be encouraged to dress as close as possible to traditional full white cricket gear. Clubs may choose to vary the dress code provided that all team members wear the same design and that the colours are appropriate. Batters have the right to have removed any distractingly coloured clothing worn by bowlers or fielders.

All players are required to wear pads, gloves and a protector when batting or wicketkeeping. Clubs must have protective helmets available for batters and wicketkeepers to wear if they wish.

Each team is to supply a soft plastic-coated 110 gram ball of a type approved by the Association. Each team should also have on hand at least one sound used ball.

Each team is to provide a person or persons to score for them using the scorebook provided by the Association. At the end of each innings the scorebooks are to be balanced and fully totalled.

Playing Times

Play is to start at 5:15 pm Friday (10:00 am Sunday outside daylight saving).

In the event of play being interrupted by bad light or weather, no attempt is to be made to resume play after 8:00 pm (1:00 pm outside daylight saving).

End of Team Innings

A team will be "all out" when eight batters either lose their wicket or are compulsorily retired. If a team has less than nine players, its lowest scoring batters may return in order and bat until they are out or they reach a total of 20 runs including those made in their first innings. If a team is all out early and circumstances permit, the other side may keep bowling, so as to give some of the less advanced players a second chance to bat, but scoring should be discontinued.

Guiding Principles

Compulsory Closures

For Friday night matches before November 16th and during February, for every five minutes late start the number of overs for the compulsory closure is to be reduced by one.

Subject to the above reduction, the first innings is to be compulsorily closed after 24 overs.

If the first innings was compulsorily closed, then the second innings is to be compulsorily closed after the team batting second has received the same number of playable balls as it bowled.

However, if the first innings was all out (eight wickets lost or compulsorily retired), then the second innings is to be compulsorily closed after 24 overs, provided that the team batting second has received at least the same number of playable balls as it bowled. Failing that, the innings is to continue until the team batting second has received the same number of playable balls.

Nine a Side

Any number of eligible players are allowed to participate in games, although clubs are reminded that the rules are designed for nine-a-side and they are likely to find it difficult to cater for more than eleven. A higher number of players is never an acceptable excuse for slowing down play.

In the event of a serious discrepancy between the number of players in the opposing sides at a match, it is permissible for one team to 'loan' players to the other team which is then required to give those players an equal chance to participate in the match alongside its own players.

A maximum of nine members of the fielding team (including the bowler and wicketkeeper) are to be on the field at any time. For the purpose of determining match scores, a team will be considered "all out" when eight players have been dismissed or compulsorily retired.

Wide and Playable Balls

Any ball which is wide, high or which is deflected by the edge of a hard wicket so that the batter does not have a reasonable chance to try to hit it, together with any ball over waist high causing the batter to take evasive action, is to be called wide by the umpire at the bowling end; except that any ball the batter hits or which hits the stumps without contacting the batter is not to be called wide. No scoring and no wickets are allowed off a wide. No extra ball is bowled.

A wide is signalled by the umpire extending both arms horizontally. Any ball which is not called wide or dead ball (see below) is deemed to be a playable ball. The Under 10 scorebook has space for keeping a progressive tally of the playable balls bowled alongside the progressive score. Unless it is dismissed earlier, the team batting second is to receive at least the same number of playable balls as it bowled.

In the event that a competent bowler blatantly bowls what would be a no ball under the Laws of Cricket (overstepping, delivering from too wide, deliberately throwing) the ball may be called a "dead ball" by either umpire and the umpire from the bowler's team is to provide guidance. If that is not effective, the bowler is to be sent from the field and not allowed to return to the field in any capacity until prepared to act within the spirit of the game. A dead ball is signalled by the umpire crossing both arms in front of his waist, and is to be rebowled.

Bowler Participation

All players, with the possible exception of a wicketkeeper, should be given a minimum of two overs bowling. As required, some bowlers can then be given a third over. In the event that a bowler cannot complete an over a member of the fielding team who would also have been eligible to bowl that over is to bowl the remaining balls.

Three Ways to get "Out"

The batter will be out "bowled" by a ball which hits the stumps, whether directly or after contacting the batter or the bat, provided that the ball has not bounced more than twice nor rolled before passing the batting crease, nor being over waist high caused the batter to take evasive action.

The batter will be out "caught" when a ball hit in the air is caught on the full inside the boundary by a member of the fielding team, including the bowler and wicketkeeper. An edge to the wicketkeeper will only be out caught in Under 10 if it is a clear top edge causing the ball to balloon into the air.

The batter will be out "run out" when attempting a run off the bat, or for a bye or an overthrow, the batter has not reached the crease when the ball, or a fielder's hand containing the ball, hits the stumps at that end.

In the event that a competent batter shows blatant disregard for other means of dismissal provided in the Laws of Cricket (stumped, interference, handling the ball, LBW, etc.) the umpire from the batter's team is to provide guidance. If that is not effective, the batter is to be voluntarily retired and not allowed to return to the field in any capacity until prepared to act within the spirit of the game.

All wickets are to be counted to the bowler, irrespective of whether the batter is allowed to continue under the Batter Development rule below or not. However, when the batter is allowed to continue, the wicket will not be counted as lost by the batting team, and the batter will go to the non-striker's end. Incoming batters are always to go to the non-striker's end.

Runs "Off The Bat", Byes, Overthrows

When a ball struck by the bat clears the boundary on the full, six runs are awarded to the striker. A six is signalled by the bowling end umpire raising both hands in the air.

When a ball struck by the bat reaches the boundary but not on the full, four runs are awarded to the striker. A four is signalled by the bowling end umpire waving one arm from side to side.

When the ball is struck by the bat into the field, the batters may attempt to run and however many runs they complete will be counted to the striker, unless the ball reaches the boundary.

When the ball is completely missed by the batter, the batters may attempt to run. If they complete a run or the ball reaches the boundary, one "bye" will be added to the extras. A bye is to be signalled by the bowling end umpire raising one hand in the air.

When the ball is struck by the bat into the field but not to the boundary, and irrespective of any runs completed or in progress at the time, if the ball is thrown past the wicket area by a fielder and the batters are able to complete another run or the ball subsequently reaches the boundary, the runs completed or in progress will be counted to the striker and one "overthrow" will be added to the extras. An overthrow is to be signalled by the bowling end umpire with a bowling motion.

After sixes and fours, the batter who struck the ball is to return to the batting end. For other runs to the batter, byes and overthrows, the batters are to continue at whichever end they finished running.

Batting Retirement

In order to give other players a bat, a batter may be voluntarily retired at any time prior to reaching 20. Any batter will be compulsorily retired on reaching 20 runs, before another ball is bowled, and will not be eligible to return. Voluntary retirement is to be managed so as to give each player the opportunity to bat for at least two overs. This is particularly important when a team has more than nine players. Once all of a team's players have batted, its lowest scoring batters who were voluntarily retired may return in order and bat on until they are either out or reach 20 runs.

Silver and Gold Level Players

To recognise the development of each player, the player's club will make "Silver Level" and "Gold Level" achievement awards separately for batting and for bowling, using the certificates provided in the scorebook. Once a player has achieved a particular standard they will relinquish some of the concessions given to beginners, as provided below.

Prior to achieving Silver Level, a batter will continue batting if dismissed before scoring. (This may happen more than once in an innings, but, in an extreme case, a batter may be voluntarily retired without scoring.)

Having achieved Silver Level and prior to achieving Gold Level, a batter will continue batting if dismissed first ball. (A Silver Level player can make a "Silver Duck"‹a Gold Level player can make a "Golden Duck".)

Prior to achieving Silver Level, a bowler will be allowed to bowl from up to three metres in front of the popping crease.

Having achieved Silver Level and prior to achieving Gold Level, a bowler will be allowed to bowl from up to 1.5 metres in front of the popping crease.

A key objective of this rule is to increase the number of playable balls which are bowled, so clubs are to take the accuracy of a bowler into account when awarding the Silver and Gold Levels.