Drakes Huddersfield Cricket League clubs have given a glowing green light to a package of rule changes for next season.
The 38 clubs voted 34-4 in favour of changes for the 2015 campaign, which include a new performance-points system, earlier start times and a restriction of overs for bowlers.
League officials are delighted their modernisation package has been given the nod to run for a season, with the hope any necessary modifications can be made for a full implementation in future.
“We are very pleased the clubs have reacted so positively to the proposals,” said general secretary Norman Clee.
“It reflects that people are keen to try and improve things moving forward and we’re delighted the players have had a big input in this.
“We would obviously welcome any feedback as next season starts to unfold, because that would give us the information and backdrop we need should any further changes be necessary.
“But we’re very pleased the package of proposals has been so strongly backed and we look forward to working with it next summer.”
In addition to the new points system, the package includes fielding circles, leg-side wides and a maximum of five fielders on the leg side at all times.
To work around the leg-side wides rule, teams will be allowed three hours and 10 minutes of playing time to bowl 50 overs.
Bowlers will be restricted to 15 overs in Drakes League matches, with 10 overs per bowler remaining for the arrowselfdrive Sykes Cup and Oddfellows Cup, plus the Paddock Shield knockout for second XIs.
In Premiership Two – the top division of the second XIs – it will be a maximum of 10 per bowler and nine in the lower divisions.
Matches will start half an hour earlier at 1pm from April to August and the usual 12.30 in September.
Performance points (bonus points) will be available to the losing team, to be earned in the second innings of a match only.
Teams will get six points for a win and zero for a loss, with three points each for a tie and two points each for an abandoned game.
But in the second innings, the losing team will get one point if they scored 75% of the first innings total and a further point for getting 90%.
Should they be bowling, they will get one point for taking six wickets and one further point for taking eight wickets.
This is a simpler version of a system which didn’t get much support when captains and club officials met at Elland earlier in the season to discuss changes put forward by the Drakes Executive Modernisation Sub-committee.
A new rain rule has also been adopted, based on a run-rate calculation which can be adjusted as interruptions occur, with matches being a minimum of 20 overs in each innings.
Umpires will get pre-calculated sheets to know exactly how to adjust the scoring rate, depending on how much time has been lost due to bad weather.