Rules of the Hong Kong Cricket Association
1. Except as specified in the playing conditions, the Laws of Cricket (2000 Code 2nd Edition - 2003) shall apply.
2. The schedule of fixtures for League and Cup matches shall be published by the HKCA Office after League & Cup Committee (LCMC) approval. Any changes to such fixtures must be approved by the Match & Disciplinary Committee (MDC).
Postponement of Matches
3. Postponements of league/cup matches and changes of venue will not be permitted under normal circumstances. Requests for blank dates and other particular arrangements must be made before the season commences except as provided in the rules for knock-out competitions. Player(s) availability will not be considered good reason to postpone or change any fixture. In exceptional circumstances, requests may be made to the Match & Disciplinary Committee(MDC) whose decision shall be final.
4. a) If any League match is adversely affected by weather or ground conditions to the extent that a result cannot be achieved, the points for that game shall be shared equally between the teams.
b) In the event of any team being unable to raise a side, a walkover shall be awarded to the opposition with full points earned. A side shall be of no less than seven players.
Ground, Weather and Light
5. Before the Toss has taken place, the decision with regard to the fitness of the ground will rest with the authority responsible for the maintenance of the ground, or in the absence of the ground authority, umpires appointed by HKCA, or in their absence, the team captains. After the toss has taken place, the Umpires appointed by the HKCA or, in their absence, the Captains shall be the sole judges as to whether conditions are fit for play. If both Captains cannot agree, both teams shall remain at the ground for one hour after the scheduled start time at which time the home Captain shall decide whether or not play is to commence.
6. Law 3.9 – If the conditions during a rain stoppage improve and the rain reduced to drizzle, the umpires must consider if they would have suspended play in the first place under similar conditions. If both umpires agree that the current drizzle would not have caused a stoppage, then play shall resume immediately.
7. If a shadow from a fielder falls across the striker’s half of the pitch, the fielder must remain stationary from the time the bowler starts his run-up until the striker receives the ball. If the fielder moves before the striker receives the ball, the umpire shall call and signal Dead ball if he considers the striker has been disadvantaged by the action.
Substitutes & Runners (Law 2.5)
8. If a player is absent from the field for longer than 8 minutes: The player shall not be permitted to bowl in that innings after his return until he has been on the field for at least that length of time for which he was absent. The player shall not be permitted to bat unless or until, in the aggregate, he has returned to the field and/or his side’s innings has been in progress for at least that length of time for which he has been absent or, if earlier, when his side has lost five wickets.
Note: the above is not to apply to a player who has received an external blow (as opposed to an internal injury such as a pulled muscle) during the match and was forced to leave the field or if he was forced to leave the field for very exceptional and wholly acceptable reasons other than injury.
9.All disputes during a match shall be determined by the Umpires appointed by HKCA or in their absence, by the team captains. If they disagree the existing state of affairs shall continue. Rulings given by the MDC on any disputes brought before them shall be final.
Match & Disciplinary Committee
10. The HKCA Match & Disciplinary Committee (MDC) is elected annually by the HKCA League & Cup Management Committee (LCMC) and shall consist of four members. The MDC shall be the authority within the HKCA (subject to the authority of the Executive Committee) for all decisions regarding the playing of an HKCA league match, cup fixture, Summer 8’s or representative match or tour. The MDC is empowered to make retrospective decisions on any of the above and impose whatever sanctions it deems appropriate. (See: HKCA MDC Charter & Procedures)
Registration and Eligibility of Players
11. a) Individual membership of the HKCA is available in the following categories:
- Life Member
- Ordinary Member
- Junior Member
b) Prior to the start of the league season, each team is required to register a minimum of 11 players and pay the requisite individual and team fees. All players are to complete and submit the HKCA Registration Form before playing.
c) Should the required fees not be paid prior to the commencement of the season, consideration will be given to removing the team from competition. Any matches played prior to payment of the membership fee may be declared null and void. The MDC may award full points to the non-offending team(s).
d) Playing a non-registered player may result in the deduction of league points. However, an individual may play a maximum of two games in each HKCA League without being a HKCA member. All players must register as a HKCA member and pay the appropriate fee before playing a third game in any one League. Cup games will count as League games for this purpose.
e) Non-members of the HKCA shall not play for an Association/national side in representative games. It is the responsibility of the Chairman of Selectors to ensure that non-members are not selected.
Transfer of Players
12. A player shall not, without the prior permission of the MDC, play for more than one team in the same competition. In exceptional circumstances, applications for transfer may be submitted in writing to the HKCA (Attn: Chairman, MDC) at least 72 hours before the transfer is to take effect. This must be accompanied by the written approval of the Captain of the player’s previous team and a full explanation of the reason for the transfer by the applicant Captain. Breaches of this rule will be referred to the MDC who may impose appropriate sanctions including the deduction of league points or removal of the offending team from the competition.
Junior Pool Players
13. The HKCA Office shall maintain a ‘Junior Players Pool’ list with contact details on the website. These players are permitted to represent any team who may be short of players at short notice, subject to availability. These players are exempt from Rule 12, above. However, any junior player who plays four times for the same side in one season shall be considered a permanent member of that team for the purposes of that Rule. A player will cease to be considered ‘junior’ upon reaching the age of 19.
14.Home teams are to supply two new HKCA-approved match balls for each game plus at least 6 spare used balls for changing during the match. One new ball shall be used for each innings and the fielding captain has the choice of which new ball to use at the start of play. The LCMC will decide which balls are to be used for HKCA competitions. Non-approved balls are not to be used. Breaches of this rule shall be dealt with by the MDC who may impose penalties, including the deduction of points.
Overs and Fielding
15. a) Should a bowler become incapacitated, another bowler may complete the over. A part of an over counts as a completed over for the purpose of calculating how many overs a bowler has bowled in matches where restrictions on the number of overs per bowler apply. A part of an over does not count as a completed over for any other purposes (e.g. total number of overs bowled by the team, statistical purposes, etc.).
b) It shall be the responsibility of the Captain of the fielding side to ensure that no bowler exceeds the permitted number of overs.
c) All teams are required to bowl at an average minimum rate of 17 overs per hour. In the event of a slower over rate without good cause, the umpires and/or Captains are to report this to the MDC for appropriate action. Deliberately slow over rates may result in the deduction of points.
d) At no time are more than 5 fielders permitted to field on the leg side during a match.
Match Result Sheets – Team Captains’ Responsibilities
16. a) A Result Sheet for each match shall be submitted to the HKCA office by the winning team captain and, in the event of a tie or No Result, the home team captain. These Result Sheets are to be faxed to the HKCA office (2577 8486) no later than noon on the first working day after the match.
b) The full names of all players taking part in a match must be entered on the match result card. This includes any match abandoned as No Result. Matches started count as a game for registration purposes. In matches where a team plays less than 11 men, the word “ABSENT” is to be written in the ‘batsman’ column of the sheet.
c) In a match started but abandoned as No Result, players’ individual batting, bowling and fielding figures count towards their overall averages, and should be shown on the Match Result Sheet.
d) Captains must sign the scoresheet upon the completion of the match. If the result is in dispute the disputing captain should sign the sheet but in the notes section of the scoresheet include the comment to the effect of “Result under protest by XX team’.
e) Failure to follow these procedures, including submission of illegible or incomplete Result Sheets, will be referred to the MDC for appropriate action. Late submission of Result Sheets will result in the deduction of points.
Dangerous & Unfair Bowling (ICC ODI Interpretation)
17. The Bowling of Fast, Short Pitched Balls (Law 42.6a is replaced)
a) A bowler shall be limited to one fast, short-pitched delivery per over.
b) A fast, short-pitched delivery is defined as a ball that passes, or would have passed, above the shoulder height of the striker standing upright at the crease.
c) The umpire at the bowler’s end shall advise the bowler and the batsman on strike when each fast, short-pitched delivery has been bowled.
d) In addition, and subject to (f) below, a ball that passes above head height of the batsman and prevents him from being able to hit it with his bat by means of a normal cricket stroke shall be called Wide.
e) To avoid doubt, any fast, short-pitched delivery that is called Wide under this playing condition shall also count as the allowable short-pitched delivery in that over.
f) In the event of a bowler bowling more than one fast, short-pitched delivery in an over as defined above, the umpire at the bowler’s end shall call and signal No ball on each occasion. A different signal shall be used to signify a fast,short-pitched delivery. The umpire shall call and signal No ball then tap his head with the other hand.
g) If a bowler delivers a second fast, short-pitched ball in an over, the umpire, after the call of No ball, shall caution the bowler, inform the other umpire, the captain of the fielding side and the batsmen at the wicket of what has occurred. This caution shall apply throughout the innings.
h) If there is a second instance of the bowler being No balled in the innings for bowling more than one fast, short-pitched delivery in an over, the umpire shall caution the bowler and advise him that this is his final warning for the innings.
i) Should there be any further instance by the same bowler in that innings, the umpire shall call and signal No ball and, when the ball is dead, direct the fielding captain to take the bowler off forthwith. If necessary, the over shall be completed by another bowler who shall neither have bowled the previous over, or part thereof, nor be allowed to bowl the next over, or part thereof.
j) The bowler thus taken off shall not be allowed to bowl again in that innings.
k) The umpire will report the occurrence to the other umpire, the batsmen at the wicket and, as soon as possible, to the captain of the batting side. The matter is to be reported to the MDC.
l) The above is not a substitute for Law 42.7, which the umpires may apply at any time.
18. The Bowling of High Full Pitched Balls (Law 42.6b is replaced)
a) Any delivery, other than a slow paced one, which passes or would have passed on the full above waist height of the striker standing upright at the crease is to be deemed dangerous and unfair, whether or not it is likely to inflict physical injury on the striker.
b) A slow delivery, which passes or would have passed on the full above shoulder height of the striker standing upright at the crease is deemed dangerous and unfair, whether or not it is likely to inflict physical injury on the striker.
c) In the event of a bowler bowling a high, full-pitched ball as defined above, the umpire at the bowler’s end shall call and signal No ball and, when the ball is dead, caution the bowler, inform the other umpire, the captain of the fielding side and the batsmen at the wicket of what has occurred. This caution shall apply throughout the innings.
d) Should there be any further instance by the same bowler in that innings, the umpire shall call and signal No ball and, when the ball is dead, direct the captain to take the bowler off forthwith. If necessary, the over shall be completed by another bowler who shall neither have bowled the previous over, or part thereof, nor be allowed to bowl the next over, or part thereof.
e) The bowler thus taken off shall not be allowed to bowl again in that innings.
f) The umpire will report the occurrence to the other umpire, the batsmen at the wicket and, as soon as possible, the captain of the batting side. The matter is to be reported to the MDC.
g) If the umpire considers that a high, full-pitch delivery that is deemed unfair as defined above was deliberately bowled, then Law 42.8 shall apply, i.e. the caution and warning process shall be dispensed with and the bowler taken off forthwith.
Time Wasting by the Fielding Side
19. Law 42.9(b) is replaced with: If there is any further waste of time in that innings by any member of the fielding side, the umpire shall:
a) Call and signal Dead ball, if necessary.
b) Award 5 penalty runs to the batting side
c) Inform the other umpire, the batsmen at the wicket, the fielding captain and, as soon as possible, the captain of the batting side of what has occurred.
d) Report the occurrence to the MDC after the match.
20. a) Whenever possible, the HKCA will appoint match officials. At all other times the appointment of umpires is the responsibility of the batting side. Captains are to be circumspect in their choice of player umpires. Any unofficial, non-playing umpire(s) may only stand with prior approval of both captains.
b) All teams are to ensure that they have at least two representatives ‘qualified’ as umpires and one qualified scorer. These representatives are to be registered with the HKCA before the start of the season. Failure to meet these requirements may result in action by the MDC. Any changes to these nominations during the season must be notified in writing.
c) The MDC, in consultation with the HKACUS, shall issue guidelines on umpire qualification. The MDC is the sole arbiter in matters of umpiring ‘qualification’.
21. In all HKCA league and cup matches, Law 25 (Wide Ball) shall apply with the following addition to Law 25.1:
Any off side or leg delivery which, in the opinion of the umpire, does not give the batsman a reasonable opportunity to score shall be called wide.
In the Saturday League only, in the absence of existing lines, captains are responsible for marking a chalk line 30” from the middle stump to act as a guideline for off side wides only. Another line should be marked at the same distance from middle stump on the leg side to be used for left handed batsmen (note not for leg side wides). The interpretation of leg side wides is to be in accordance with ODI interpretation. Note that the lines are to be only a guideline for umpires and the position of the batsman is also to be taken into account in determining whether a wide is to be called or not. In the absence of lines the traditional interpretation of Saturday wides is to be exercised by umpires.
22. All players under the age of 18 shall wear a helmet with grille when batting and close fielding. Close fielding is defined as any static position within 10 metres of the striker including keeping wicket but excluding slip and gully.
Saturday League Rules
Hours of Play
1. Matches will commence at 1315 hrs, or earlier if both Captains agree (except as in Rules 3 and 8 below). Matches will be of one innings per team. Each team shall receive a maximum of 35 overs.
2. In the absence of HKCA appointed umpires, the batting side Captain is to nominate the umpires during his side’s innings. It is the responsibility of the Captains to ensure that his nominees are familiar with the Laws of Cricket and the HKCA Rules. Both Captain and player umpire will be held responsible in any case of unfair conduct or negligence. No person under the age of eighteen shall umpire in a Saturday League match unless agreed by both captains before the toss. When only one umpire is appointed to stand by the HKCA/HKACUS in a Saturday match, the umpire at his/her absolute discretion may stand at both ends during the match, following consultation with both captains.
3. Periods of Play & Intervals
- 1315 - 1530 First Innings
- 1530 - 1540 Interval
- 1540 - 1755 Second Innings
4. a) Declarations are not permitted.
b) The first innings shall consist of 35 overs unless otherwise agreed before the toss as per Para. 5(a), below. If, without good cause, the bowling side fails to complete 35 overs within the scheduled time, the innings shall be extended until 35 overs are completed and the second innings restricted to the number of overs completed at the scheduled time. The over in progress at the scheduled time shall count as a completed over.
c) There will be a ten-minute interval between innings.
d) The second innings shall consist of the same number of overs as the first (except as provided under Rule 5).
e) If the team fielding second fails to bowl the required number of overs, without good cause, by 1755hrs, the game will conclude and the result decided by net run rate, as per Rule 6(b). The facts are to be reported to the MDC.
f) Before the match, Captains shall agree on the clock or watch to be followed during the match.
g) No bowler may bowl more than 10 overs in an innings.
h) To constitute a match, a minimum of 10 overs must be completed in the second innings.
5. In order to achieve a result in a match delayed or interrupted by adverse conditions of weather, ground, light or other good cause beyond the teams’ control, the following procedures apply:
a) If the first innings is delayed or interrupted on one or more occasions, two overs shall be deducted from the original 70 for every six minutes (or part thereof) lost, i.e. one over deducted from each innings.
b) The second innings shall consist of the same number of overs as the first. If the second innings is not completed for any reason other than that of a result already being achieved, the game will be decided on run rate (as per Rule 6(b)) provided that the minimum 10 overs have been completed.
6. a) A result is achieved after both teams have completed their innings under Rule 4 and/or Rule 5. The team scoring the higher number of runs shall win.
b) In the event of bad weather, light or ground conditions, time or any other reason preventing the completion of the second innings and the minimum of 10 overs have been completed, the team with the higher run rate shall be the winner. Bonus points shall be awarded as per Rule 7.
RUN RATE is to be calculated by total runs scored (inc. extras) divided by total balls bowled (inc. Wides & No balls). This is used in innings where there is good cause e.g. bad/inclement weather, lost balls.
NET RUN RATE is to be calculated by total runs scored (inc. extras) divided by total legitimate balls bowled (not inc. Wides & No balls). This is used in cases where there is no good cause, e.g. inclement weather, lost balls. In both cases, if the side batting first is all out in less than its full quota of overs, calculations are to be based on the full quota of overs allowed and not on the number in which the side was dismissed.
c) In the event of a Tie, wickets down are not to be taken into account except for bonus points purposes.
7. Points for matches will be awarded as follows:
a) WIN=12 points (no bonus points)
b) TIE= 4 points each (plus bonus points)
c) LOSS= 0 points (plus bonus points)
d) No Result= 6 points each (no bonus points)
e) Walkover=12 points to opposition.
Note: Matches not started because the ground is unavailable will be rescheduled, if at all possible.
8. Bonus points will be awarded to the losing team, or both teams in a tied match, as follows:
a) one batting point each for 125, 150 and 175 runs (maximum 3 points).
b) one bowling point each for 3 and 6 wickets taken plus one bowling point for “all out” (maximum 3 points).
9. At the conclusion of the season, if the top teams have the same number of points, the following will be the order of preference for deciding the League Champions:
a) Team with most wins
b) Team with fewest lost matches
c) Team with most bonus points
10. Should all the above remain identical, the Championship will be awarded to the winners of the most recent League match between the relevant teams. If still undecided, a play-off game will be arranged, if possible. Otherwise, the Championship will be shared.
Saturday Morning Matches
11. Under normal circumstances the League & Cup Committee will not allow League matches to be played on Saturday mornings. However, the MDC may, for special reasons and / or under exceptional circumstances, allow / direct matches to be played on Saturday mornings. If authorised, such matches will be played under the Saturday League Rules with the following exceptions:
a) Matches are to commence at 0830 hrs.
b) The team fielding first shall bowl 35 overs or complete the over which is in progress at 1045 hrs if that arises first.
c) The team fielding second shall bowl 35 overs or be limited to the same numberof overs as the team bowling first, except that the last over of the match will be the over in progress at 1305 hrs.
d) Teams will be allowed 35 overs each for batting, if required, and will be penalised for a slow over rate in the same manner as Saturday afternoon matches under Rule 4.
Saturday Cup Rules
Entrants & Eligibility
1. a) The Saturday Cup Competition is open to all Saturday League teams. In addition, the LCMC may invite non-league sides to enter and may amend the Cup format at its discretion.
b) The format of the Saturday Cup and Plate Competitions shall be decided by the LCMC.
c) All players must have played at least one Saturday League match for the team they represent in the Cup during the current season. This rule may be waived for non-league sides. However, the MDC shall be the sole judge of the eligibility and/or appropriateness of any players entering the competition under the ‘non-league’ category.
2. The draw for each separate round of matches will be made by the LCMC Chairman (or his representative) and a minimum of three HKCA members appointed by him.
3. a) The Saturday Cup and Plate competitions will be on a straight knockout basis.
b) All matches are to commence at 1315 hrs or earlier if both Captains agree and will be of one, 35-over innings for each team.
c) Teams losing first round matches will enter the Plate Competition.
d) A team that concedes a walkover for any reason shall not enter the Plate competition and will be drawn as ‘bye’ for the Plate first round.
e) Teams losing qualifying round matches will not enter the Plate Competition.
f) Where possible, the MDC will reschedule a match abandoned as No Result due to inclement weather. Where this is not possible the match will be decided by the toss of a coin.
g) Teams giving a walkover in either the Cup, Plate or League games may be subject to action by the MDC.
Playing Conditions & Intervals
4. Playing conditions and intervals will be the same as those for the Saturday League, except that:
A fielding circle, marked or notional, is to be observed 27.5 metres (30 yds) in diameter from the base of each centre stump. A minimum of four fielders, in addition to the bowler and wicket keeper, must be within the circle at the moment of delivery throughout the game. Either umpire, upon seeing a breach of this condition, shall call and signal No ball.
5. a) The team scoring the higher number of runs in the allocated number of overs shall be the winner.
b) In the event of tied scores, the team losing fewer wickets shall win.
c) If both teams have scored the same number of runs and are all out, but the number of overs bowled is unequal, the winner will be the team with the better run rate as per Saturday League Rule 6(b).
d) Where both teams have scored the same number of runs, lost the same number of wickets and bowled the same number of overs, the winner will be the team with the better run rate at the end of 20 overs and, if still identical, at the end of 10 overs.
e) If the team batting second has not received ten overs, the match will be abandoned as No Result, provided the team batting second is not all out in fewer than ten overs. If the match is abandoned, Rule 3(f) will apply.
6. The attention of Captains is drawn to Competition General Rule 14.
7. In all rounds, match expenses (the provision of match balls and refreshments) are to be shared equally between teams.
Players' Code of Conduct
All HKCA members, players and officials agree to take positive steps to maintain the high reputation of cricket and of the Hong Kong Cricket Association. Players must approach the game with a determined, winning attitude, i.e. play hard but maintain control.
1. Everyone on the field shall ensure that the match is conducted within the Laws of Cricket and the Spirit of the Game.
2. No player shall fail to comply with the instructions of an umpire, criticise his decision by word or action, show dissent or generally behave in a manner, on or off the field, which may cause embarrassment to an umpire or to the HKCA.
3. Every player selected to represent Hong Kong or the HKCA shall follow the instructions of the Team Manager and Coach and, while at a tournament, the directions of the tournament controller.
4. If a player is in serious breach of this Code or is deemed to have indulged in alcohol or drug abuse, he may be suspended and/or expelled from the tournament by the Team Manager (if overseas) or MDC.
5. Any player guilty of unacceptable behaviour is to be reported to the Match & Disciplinary Committee.
6. Examples of unacceptable behaviour:
- A player assaulting or attempting to assault an umpire, another player, spectator or official.
- Abusing an umpire or disputing (as distinct from questioning) an umpire's decision or reacting in an obviously provocative or disapproving manner by word or action either towards an umpire, his decision or generally following an umpire's decision. This includes a batsman lingering at the wicket after being dismissed.
- Use of crude or abusive language or engaging in conduct detrimental to the Spirit of the Game.
- Excessive appealing or any actions or words that may be construed as an attempt to influence an umpire’s decision.
- Abusing players on the field or making derogatory remarks about the opposition. 'Sledging' is not condoned by the HKCA and shall be interpreted as contrary to this Code and the Spirit of the Game.