WESTMORLAND CRICKET LEAGUE DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURE
For Clubs and Players
Updated March 2017
2. CODE OF CONDUCT AND SPIRIT OF CRICKET
3. REPORTING AND MANAGEMENT PROCEDURES
4. DISCIPLINARY HEARINGS
APPENDIX – LIST OF DISCIPLINARY OFFENCES AND SUSPENSION TARIFFS
1.1 The Westmorland Cricket league (WCL) is committed to maintaining the highest standards of behaviour and conduct. The WCL, operating within the jurisdiction of the ECB, takes this commitment very seriously.
1.2 The expression ‘player’ in this document shall be deemed to include all players, any member or official of any member club or any other person involved in any incident of alleged misconduct within the curtilage of the club premises.
1.3 The code places the emphasis on clubs and team captains who have the prime responsibility to deal with their own misconduct once an incident has been reported in a fair and speedy manner. The WCL Management Committee will monitor the actions taken via the Disciplinary Committee within these rules, which are based on the ECB model.
1.4 It is considered a disciplinary offence for a club to act in a manner which could prejudice the standing or interests of the WCL or to fail to act promptly to control and/or discipline a player.
1.5 For incidents on the Field of Play, Umpires will be the instigators of any disciplinary report. For any incident that occurs off the Field of Play, in addition to any umpires’ report, a written report may be submitted by a club official acting with the authority of the club, or by an official of the league, for consideration by the WCL Management Committee. All reports will be dealt with by the Disciplinary Sub-committee and clubs will be expected to deal with the matter within the timescales laid down within the Procedure.
1.6 In circumstances where there is no person whose sole role is to act as an umpire in the match, a club official acting on behalf of the player(s) and with the authority of the club, or an official of the league, may submit a report relating to incidents that occur on or off the Field of Play
1.7 CWOs may report any incident that relates to a child welfare issue independently of any other party reporting, and should follow the guidance given in the ECB Safeguarding Policy. All such incidents must first be referred to the County Child Safeguarding Team (details in the handbook) for guidance on the incident under consideration. If the incident is then deemed to be such that it can be determined by the WCL Disciplinary Sub-committee, the CWO may subsequently refer the incident to them and it will then be dealt with under the WCL Disciplinary Procedure as appropriate.
2. CODE OF CONDUCT AND SPIRIT OF CRICKET
The following preamble is taken from the introduction to the Laws of Cricket; it informs clubs of the way in which the WCL will approach all aspects relating to disciplinary matters.
2.2 Code of Conduct
2.2.1 The ECB and the WCL are committed to maintaining the highest standards of behaviour and conduct both on and off the field. All clubs and players, by virtue of their registration with WCL, explicitly agree to abide by this Code of Conduct, which incorporates the Spirit of Cricket, and are bound by the provisions in these Regulations.
2.2.2 The captains are responsible at all times for ensuring that play is conducted within the Spirit of Cricket as well as within the Laws.
2.2.3 Players and club officials must at all times accept the umpire’s decision. Players must not show dissent at the umpire’s decision or react in a provocative or disapproving manner towards another player or a spectator.
2.2.4 Players and club officials shall not intimidate assault or attempt to intimidate or assault an umpire, another player, a club official or a spectator.
2.2.5 Players and club officials shall not use crude and/or abusive language (known as ‘sledging’) nor make offensive gestures or hand signals nor deliberately distract an opponent.
2.2.6 Players and club officials shall not make racially abusive comments nor indulge in racially abusive actions against fellow players, officials, members and supporters. Clubs must operate an active open door membership policy whilst respecting player qualification regulations and welcome players/members irrespective of ethnic origin.
2.2.7 Players and club officials shall not use or in any way be concerned in the use or distribution of illegal drugs.
2.2.8 Players and club officials shall not make any public or media comment which is detrimental to the WCL, clubs, umpires or the game in general. In this instance, media shall include press, radio, television, external websites, club websites, social networking sites and club match programmes.
Spirit of Cricket
Cricket is a game that owes much of its unique appeal to the fact that it should be played not only within its Laws, but also within the Spirit of the Game. Any action which is seen to abuse this spirit causes injury to the game itself. The major responsibility for ensuring the spirit of fair play rests with the captains.
2.3.1 There are two Laws which place the responsibility for the team’s conduct firmly on the captain.
18.104.22.168 Responsibility of Captains
The captains are responsible at all times for ensuring that play is conducted within the Spirit of the Game as well as within the Laws.
22.214.171.124 Players’ Conduct
In the event of any player failing to comply with the instructions of an umpire, criticising his decision by word or action, showing dissent, or generally behaving in a manner which might bring the game into disrepute, the umpire concerned shall in the first place report the matter to the other umpire and to the player’s captain, requesting the latter to take action.
2.3.2 Setting the Tone
Captains and umpires together set the tone for the conduct of a cricket match. Every player is expected to make an important contribution to this.
2.3.3 Fair and Unfair Play
According to the Laws the umpires are the sole judges of fair and unfair play. The umpires may intervene at any time and it is the responsibility of the captain to take action where required.
2.3.4 The Umpires are authorised to intervene in cases of:
Damaging the pitch
Dangerous or unfair bowling
Tampering with the ball
Any other action that they consider to be unfair
2.3.5 The Spirit of the Game involves RESPECT for:
Your own captain and team
The role of the umpires
The game’s traditional values
2.3.6 It is against the Spirit of the Game:
To dispute an umpire’s decision by word, action or gesture
To direct abusive language towards an opponent or umpire
To indulge in cheating or any sharp practice, for instance
Appeal knowing the batsman is not out
Advance towards an umpire in an aggressive manner when appealing
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.
There is no place for any act of violence on the field of play.
3. REPORTING AND MANAGEMENT PROCEDURES
3.1 Disciplinary Committee Structure
3.1.1 The Disciplinary Committee is a sub-committee of the WCL Management Committee.
3.1.2 The Disciplinary Committee will consist of a Chairman (who will be elected at the AGM of the WCL) with such additional disciplinary panel representatives nominated by the Disciplinary Chairman as required to determine the hearings and any appeals.
3.1.3 The Disciplinary Committee will manage the disciplinary processes as described in these rules, keep records and will report regularly to the WCL Management Committee.
3.2 Level 1 Disciplinary Offence (L1 DO) penalties
3.2.1 Umpires will advise the captain(s) and /or the clubs officials at the end of the match of their intention to submit a report. The captain(s)/ club officials must inform their Captain and player(s) concerned of the award of a L1 DO penalty where appropriate.
3.2.2 A L1 DO penalty will be recorded on an Umpires’ Match Report Card which will be forwarded to the WCL Disciplinary Chairman. He will subsequently confirm to the relevant club officials that a L1 DO penalty has been issued.
3.2.3 The specific details of the L1 DO will not be publicised (other than to the WCL Management Committee if appropriate) unless a suspension is incurred under 6.1.1 or 6.1.2 below. It will be the responsibility of member clubs to maintain their own records of any L1 DO penalties issued to them and to their players.
3.2.4 Note: L1 DO reporting is applicable to
league matches in WCL Divisions 1 and 2, the only exception being where there is no WCL panel umpire officiating
WCL Division 3, 4 and 5 league matches where there is a WCL panel umpire(s) officiating and
all WCL cup competitions where a WCL panel umpire (s) is officiating
3.3.1 For disciplinary reports, one umpire will take responsibility to inform the WCL Disciplinary Chairman as soon as possible and in any case within 72 hours of the close of play, by means of a written report
3.3.2 The WCL Disciplinary Chairman will forward a copy of the disciplinary report together with any additional information to the Cricket Chairman/Secretary of the club(s) concerned.
3.3.3 The WCL Disciplinary Chairman will contact the club(s) concerned as a matter of urgency to establish what action has been taken. Clubs are expected to convene an internal enquiry, and inform the WCL Disciplinary Chairman of any action taken, within 4 days of receipt of the disciplinary report, having taken into account any previous misconduct attaching to the player(s) concerned and using these rules to gauge the penalty appropriate to the offence. Clubs may recommend that part of any non-mandatory suspension be deferred dependant on the player’s future behaviour which may or may not be accepted by the Disciplinary Committee Chairman.
3.3.4 Any action taken will be either:
126.96.36.199 deemed appropriate by the WCL Disciplinary Committee Chairman and notified to the WCL Secretary who will inform both umpires involved in the match, the club(s) concerned and the WCL Management Committee.
188.8.131.52 `deemed inappropriate by the WCL Disciplinary Committee Chairman, in which case a disciplinary hearing `` shall be held.
3.3.5 Whenever possible (and the process shall not unreasonably be delayed) any suspension/penalty will be in force prior to the next scheduled league fixture. In the event of the club(s) taking no action, the WCL Disciplinary Chairman may impose a one week suspension, pending a hearing, in circumstances where it is clear that such suspension will be a minimum imposition.
3.3.6 Should a player commit a further offence whilst in receipt of a suspended sentence, the suspended sentence will apply immediately and the further offence should be considered by the Club (and, if then appropriate, by the Disciplinary Committee Chairman) as a separate matter.
4. DISCIPLINARY HEARINGS
4.1 The WCL Disciplinary Chairman will notify, within a ten day period, the player(s), and his/their club’s(s’) Secretary(ies) of the time, date and venue of the disciplinary hearing and a panel will be appointed. The notification shall specify details of the alleged disciplinary offence and give player(s) and clubs at least seven days notice of the hearing.
4.2 The accused player or club shall attend the hearing and be entitled:
to submit written statements ahead of the hearing
to state his case (in the case of a club, by its Secretary or other official) and
to be supported by a colleague and to call witnesses.
4.3 The Disciplinary Panel will consist of the Disciplinary Committee Chairman plus two members drawn from a list approved by the WCL Management Committee and, if required, a minute taker who will have no involvement in or vote on the proceedings, with all costs being the responsibility of the club concerned. None of the Panel should be connected with the player, the club or their opponents at the time of the alleged offence, or a club which might directly benefit from any disciplinary action. The hearing minutes will be made available to an Appeal Panel if such action should subsequently take place.
4.4 The Disciplinary Panel will call on umpires, players, independent witnesses and any other person(s) whom they may consider to be of assistance in their enquiries. The WCL encourages umpires to include details of independent witnesses within their report wherever possible.
4.5 Umpire(s) requested to attend a disciplinary hearing (or an Appeal) will receive expenses of a similar amount to the current travelling expenses payable under WCL Rule 23(h).
4.6 A club or player involved in disciplinary proceedings will be solely responsible for meeting such costs or expenses as it or they may incur.
4.7 In the event of more than one club being involved in the hearing, the cost will be equally shared.
4.8 The standard of proof shall be on the balance of probabilities rather than the criminal standard of beyond reasonable doubt.
4.9 The Disciplinary Panel shall decide what, if any, penalties are to be imposed at the time of the Hearing and shall advise the player, club and the WCL Disciplinary Representative. The penalties shall be generally in line with the guidelines laid down in the appendix below.
5.1 There are no appeals allowed against an automatic ban imposed for Level 1 Disciplinary Offences.
5.2 Where a disciplinary offence has been proved at a Disciplinary Hearing, a player or club shall have the right of appeal. Where a player and his club are appealing in relation to the same incident, they must do so separately. The outcome of a Disciplinary Hearing can be appealed by a player, a club, an umpire or umpires association. Where a player and his club are appealing in relation to the same incident, they must do so separately.
NOTE: If more than one party appeals against the outcome of a Disciplinary Hearing, the Appeal Panel will hear arguments from all appellants and determine all issues raised at the same time.
5.3 An appeal should be made in writing to the WCL Secretary within five days of the date of the original decision, accompanied by a cheque for £25.00 payable to the Westmorland Cricket League; this will be refunded in the event of such appeal being successful. The club is responsible for the cost of the appeal hearing. In the event of the appeal not being correctly received within the five day period, the decision of the Disciplinary Hearing Panel will stand.
5.4 If a notice of appeal is given, the penalty shall not take effect pending the hearing of the Appeal, which shall take place as soon as is practicable and in any event within 21 days of receipt of the notice of the appeal.
5.5 The Appeal shall be by way of a hearing or a re-hearing before a different Appeal Panel. The composition of the Panel shall be at the discretion of the Chairman of the WCL Disciplinary Committee and shall consist of not less than three persons, none of whom shall be connected with the player, the Club or their opponents at the time of the alleged offence or have been a member of the original Disciplinary Panel.
5.6 One member of the Panel will act as Chairman. The Secretary of the WCL will take the minutes of the hearing.
5.7 The club shall have the same rights of attendance and representation at any hearing or re-hearing and to call witnesses.
5.8 The Appeal Panel may call on umpires, players, independent witnesses and any other person(s) whom they may consider to be of assistance in their enquiries. The WCL encourages the league umpires to include details of independent witnesses within their report wherever possible. Umpires will receive expenses as described above (Clause 4.5).
5.9 The travelling expenses of the three members of the Appeal Panel plus those of any others called to give evidence will be the responsibility of the player’s club. The WCL will pay these expenses if the appeal finds in favour of the player.
5.10 In the event of more than one club being involved in the hearing, the cost will be equally shared.
5.11 The standard of proof shall be on the balance of probabilities rather than the criminal standard of beyond reasonable doubt.
5.12 Non-attendance at a hearing of the Appeals Panel by the club or person that submitted the appeal without good and valid reason for such non-attendance will automatically result in forfeiture of their right of appeal.
5.13 The Appeals Panel may confirm, vary or reverse the decision of the Disciplinary Panel and it shall have the power to increase the penalty and award costs of the Appeal hearing and forfeit the whole or part of the deposit. Decisions of the Appeal Panel shall be by majority vote; where necessary, the Chairman shall have a casting vote. The decision of the Appeals Panel shall be made at the time of the Hearing and the Chairman shall advise the player, club and the WCL Disciplinary Representative.
5.14 The decision of the Appeals Panel or, if no appeal, of the Disciplinary Panel, shall be final and binding.
6.1 Level 1 Disciplinary Offences
6.1.1 Any player receiving two L1 DO penalties in any 12 month period will receive an immediate and automatic one week ban.
6.1.2 Any player receiving a further two L1 DO penalties in the same 12 month period will receive an immediate and automatic two week ban.
6.1.3 Any subsequent L1 DO penalties in the same 12 month period will be referred to a formal disciplinary hearing.
6.1.4 The remainder of this Section of the rules relates to the penalties applicable to reportable offences.
6.2.1 As a minimum, automatic suspension by the club for the minimum mandatory period applicable to the offence’
6.2.2 If the Chairman of the Disciplinary Committee of the League is satisfied with the action taken by the club, the case will be closed.
184.108.40.206 Should the WCL Disciplinary Committee Chairman decide the offence is sufficiently serious, he will refer the complaint for a full disciplinary hearing.
220.127.116.11 When issuing the penalty, the Disciplinary Committee may take account of instances of poor discipline, particularly where the on-field captain is the same and any suspension of any individual charged, in both cases where the instances/suspension occurred in the current season or the two seasons prior to the current season
6.3 Panels will take the following factors into account when determining the penalties to be imposed:
If the accused player/club has pleaded guilty
The player’s previous disciplinary record
If the player is also the captain
The conduct of the player subsequent to him being warned and told that he will be reported
If an appeal is considered to be spurious
6.4.1 Suspensions will be imposed for offences which occur in any league or cup competition fixture and will apply to all matches under the auspices of the ECB. In addition suspensions imposed for a period which continues beyond the end of a season will be carried forward into the following season.
6.4.2 A player charged with more than one offence will receive (if guilty) separate penalties which are cumulative and NOT concurrent.
6.4.3 Suspensions will be imposed in weeks (as multiples of seven days) commencing midnight Friday to midnight Friday.
6.4.4 Suspensions of four weeks duration or more will be reported by the WCL Disciplinary Chairman to the Cumbria Cricket Board for national circulation. Such suspensions will normally apply to all cricket played under the auspices of the ECB
6.5 The severity of the offence will influence the appropriateness of the length of sentence to be imposed in all cases.
6.6 The Disciplinary Panel shall have the power to suspend the operation of any part, or all, of the penalty it imposes for such period and subject to such terms and conditions it deems appropriate.
APPENDIX - LIST OF DISCIPLINARY OFFENCES & SUSPENSION TARIFFS
Level 1 Disciplinary Offences
Where it is deemed by the umpire(s) that the level of general behaviour and misconduct does not warrant a formal disciplinary report, then the umpire(s) should report the incident as a Level 1 Disciplinary Offence (L1 DO) on a match report card. The reporting of such offences is recommended where appropriate. Examples of L1DOs are listed below
(a) Shouting of foul or abusive language whether in self-frustration or at or to an umpire or player, at such a level as to be heard at or beyond the boundary thus bringing the game and WCL into disrepute.
(b) Excessive or orchestrated appealing including ‘ridiculous’ lbw appeals from a position where the fielder could not possibly make a considered appeal.
(c) Premature ‘celebrations’ prior to an umpire’s decision.
(d) Advancing towards the umpire in an aggressive manner when appealing.
(e) Gesturing/pointing towards the pavilion upon dismissal of the batsman or any other form of aggressive ‘send-off’.
(f) Persistent questioning of an umpire’s decisions and comment thereon – where this falls short of Abuse of an Umpire (Item 4 in the table of Reported Disciplinary Offences below)
(g) A captain’s failure to take appropriate action to control a player’s behaviour/ actions following a request.
Mandatory reporting (to the WCL Disciplinary Chairman and respective club) under the Laws of Cricket
The umpires, after consultation, are instructed to report transgressions under the following headings:
A Law 18.5 - deliberate short runs
B Law 24.2(c) - fair delivery – the arm
C Law 42.3 - changing the condition of the match ball **
D Law 42.4 - deliberate attempt to distract striker **
E Law 42.5 - deliberate distraction or obstruction of batsman **
F Law 42.6, 7 and 8 - dangerous and unfair bowling **
G Law 42.9 - time wasting by the fielding side
H Law 42.10 - batsman wasting time
I Law 42.11, 12, 13 and 14 - bowler, fielder or batsman avoidably damaging the pitch **
J Law 42.16 - batsmen stealing a run
K Law 42.18 - players’ conduct
** These offences are likely to incur a minimum TWO WEEKS suspension
Other Reportable Disciplinary Offences
Reported Disciplinary Offence Tariff
1 Abuse of cricket equipment, clothing, ground equipment or fixtures and fittings
The knocking of stumps, or the throwing or kicking of a bat, ball, helmet, boundary flag, rope or any equipment on the field of play or within the curtilage of the club premises or ground. 1 to 4 WEEKS
2 Aggressive behaviour
2.1 Repeated charging or advancing towards an umpire in an aggressive manner when appealing. The Captain may also be disciplined.
2.2 Throwing the ball at or near a player, umpire or official in an inappropriate and dangerous manner.
2.3 The bowling of fast short pitched balls that result in the bowler being disallowed from bowling further in that innings.
2.4 Inappropriate and deliberate physical contact between players in the course of play.
3 Abuse of a player
Using language or gesture that is obscene or of a serious insulting nature to another player, umpire, team official or spectator. The player’s Captain is liable to be suspended similarly if reasonable steps were not taken to avoid the abuse 2 to 6 WEEKS
4 Abuse directed at or towards an umpire or umpires, by action, gesture and to include verbal or written abuse. Inclusive of (but not necessarily limited to) the use of inappropriate language that is (or interpreted as) obscene, offensive, insulting, disapproving and provocative.
5 Threatening and violent behaviour
5.1 Threatening to assault another player, team official or spectator 6 to 8 WEEKS
5.2 Threatening an umpire 6 to 12 WEEKS
5.3 Physical assault of another player, umpire, official or spectator
5.4 Any act of violence on the field of play
6 Racial Abuse of any person
Using language or gesture that offend, insult, humiliate, intimidate, threaten, disparage or vilify another person on the basis of that person’s race, religion, sexual orientation, colour, descent or national or ethnic origin 6 to 12 WEEKS
The WCL Disciplinary panel may, at its discretion, increase the above tariffs, impose a fine or deduct points in circumstances where it is deemed appropriate and the reported offence is deemed to be of a sufficiently serious nature (eg persistent offending, indiscipline or incidences of multiple/group offences)