Outdoor Competition Rules

MIDDLESEX JUNIOR CRICKET ASSOCIATION COMPETITIONS

The rules on this page and (linked age group rules pages) are those currently in force.  Clubs proposing a rule change must send it to their area Chair. The area Chair will then seek agreement from the clubs in his/her area. If agreement is reached by majority, the Area chairman should bring this to the MJCA cricket committee in September or October for discussion. The recommendation of the MJCA cricket committee will then be passed to the MJCA executive committee for approval.

Boys’ leagues and cups are organised geographically in the five MJCA Areas at Under 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 and 17 age groups and nearly all conclude with a County wide Knock-out Championship. The age qualification is Under 9, 10 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 and 17 at midnight on 31st August prior to the season of the competition.

Girls League and Cup competitions are organised as a separate section with County wide Knockout Championships organised once the regular league programme has been concluded.

THE AGE QUALIFICATION RULE FOR WINTER 2022/23 AND SUMMER 2023

On occasions, clubs have contravened this rule. It is hoped that the table below will give added clarification as MJCA do not wish this practise to be repeated.

Players may play above their own age level but not below. This means, for example, that an Under-11 may play at Under-13, but not at Under-10.

UNDER 9 Born between 1st September 2013 and midnight on 31st August 2014. School Year 4 and younger.

UNDER 10 Born between 1st September 2012 and midnight on 31st August 2013. School Year 5 and younger.

UNDER 11 Born between 1st September 2011 and midnight on 31st August 2012. School Year 6 and younger.

UNDER 12 Born between 1st September 2010 and midnight on 31st August 2011. School Year 7 and younger.

UNDER 13 Born between 1st September 2009 and midnight on 31st August 2010. School Year 8 and younger.

UNDER 14 Born between 1st September 2008 and midnight on 31st August 2009. School Year 9 and younger.

UNDER 15 Born between 1st September 2007 and midnight on 31st August 2008. School year 10 and younger.

UNDER 16 Born between 1st September 2006 and midnight on 31st August 2007. School year 11 and younger.

UNDER 17 Born between 1st September 2005 and midnight on 31st August 2006. School year 12 and younger.

Girls, up to 17 years of age, may play in boys matches in a team 1 year below their own chronological age group.  This does not apply to the U/13 and U/15 boy’s cups, where girls can only play in their own age groups.

Age dispensation (inclusion): when requested by a club on behalf of a parent, MJCA may use its discretion to a) enable children with disabilities to participate in an age group other than the groups dictated by their birth date, including “playing down” a year; or b) enable children to participate in an age group other than the groups dictated by their birth date, including “playing down” a year. In either case, this dispensation is subject to in-season review if competition integrity is compromised, and expires on the child in question’s 18th birthday regardless.

Process: Applications for age dispensation (inclusion) must be submitted by the Junior Manager, together with a supporting email/letter from the parent/guardian of the child in question, to the Area Chair. Ideally this should be submitted prior to the season in question, however, applications may also be received up to the end of the Area Competition stage (i.e. Sunday 2nd July 2023); under no circumstances may the child ‘play-down’ until the club have received a confirmation email/letter from the Area Chair. MJCA encourage clubs to enable children covered by this ruling to play as much cricket as possible during the season by also promoting friendly and informal matches between clubs where such children can enjoy taking part in a non-competitive environment as well.

Membership

  1. Only Clubs which are members of The Middlesex Junior Cricket Association may enter teams.
  2. All Clubs’ membership application forms must request, as a minimum requirement, for each child:
      1. Full name
      2. Full address
      3. Telephone number
      4. Emergency Contact and Telephone Number
      5. Place and date of birth
      6. If born outside the UK, the date on which the child became a resident of the UK
      7. School and school year
      8. To wear a helmet as directed by current regulations
      9. Details of any current and/or previous memberships of other cricket clubs, whether affiliated to MJCA or not.
      10. Any relevant medical information.

Clubs must include a warning on their membership forms regarding Junior members being only allowed to play for one club in the season. This includes playing in other county’s competitions. This form MUST be signed and dated by the child’s parent or legal guardian. New forms to be taken each year but a shorter form (still to be signed and dated by a parent or legal guardian) may be used for renewals. Clubs may use a web-based system where this information may be input electronically, in which case there will be no requirement for a physical signature by parents or legal guardians. A register containing the above ten requirements is to be maintained by the Club. Such register shall be available for inspection by the Area, Cricket or Executive Committees of MJCA. It is strongly recommended that the full names of all players are recorded on the MJCA Play-Cricket website at the start of the season.

 

Competitions and Matches

  1. MJCA matches will be played in accordance with the current Laws of Cricket, except as follows:
  2. Length and timing of matches

    1. All league matches MUST be completed on the dates specified on the MJCA Play-Cricket website
    2. Matches shall be 20 overs per innings unless provided in the specific rules related to U9 Boys and any Girls Softball matches.
    3. Except where otherwise agreed by the Clubs when the fixture is arranged, the starting time for an evening match shall be 6pm and, for a weekend game, shall be no later than 10am.
    4. Provided both sides agree before play commences, a non pairs match of fewer than 20 overs per side, but always in multiples of five, may be played.
    5. Any team that is not ready to play 15 minutes after the appointed start time shall forfeit their right to toss. If the match starts at 18 30 or later it should be reduced to 15 overs per side with bowlers bowling a maximum of 3 overs each.
    6. Although sides can agree, as above, to reduce the number of overs per innings prior to the match commencing, there is no provision to reduce the number of overs in either innings of the match once the match has commenced, albeit, as per clause 11.3 below, there may still be a result if the innings of the team batting second cannot be completed.
    7. Each team shall provide an umpire and a scorer, who shall not be the same person. Each team shall also have a ‘responsible adult’ who will be responsible for the welfare of the players in their team during the match.
      Unless an umpire is ill or injured, umpires should not be changed during a match. If an umpire has to be changed during a match due to illness or injury, the replacement umpire shall be allowed to take full responsibility for umpiring at one end as normal.
  3. Pitch lengths, balls and wickets

    1. The table below summarises that the pitch lengths and ball sizes to be used at different age groups. The wicket heights and widths set out below are for guidance purposes and should be complied with where possible.
      Age Group Pitch Length Ball Size (hardball only) Wicket width/height
        Boys Girls Boys  Girls  
      U10 17 Yards 16 Yards 4.75 oz (135 g)   N/A 27” high/8” wide
      U11 17 Yards 17 Yards 4.75 oz (135 g) 4.75 oz (135 g) 27” high/8” wide
      U12 18 Yards 18 Yards 4.75 oz (135 g) 4.75 oz (135 g) 27” high/8” wide
      U13 19 Yards 19 Yards 4.75 oz (135 g) 4.75 oz (135 g) 27” high/8” wide
      U14 21 Yards 20 Yards 5.5 oz (156 g) 5.0 oz (142 g) 28” high/9” wide
      U15 22 Yards 21 Yards 5.5 oz (156 g) 5.0 oz (142 g) 28” high/9” wide
      U17 22 Yards n/a 5.5 oz (156 g) n/a 28” high/9” wide
    2. In hardball cricket matches, a new pink cricket ball should be used for each match.
    3. In Girls Softball matches, a Junior Readers Supaball or other form of Incrediball should be used.
  4. Clothing

    1. Club branded coloured clothing is permitted for clubs wishing to wear it but a pink ball must be used if one or both teams wear coloured clothing. However, pink or red clothing should be avoided. Ideally all players in a team wearing coloured clothing should wear the same kit.
    2. Where club branded coloured clothing is not being worn, players should wear cricket whites
    3. Umpires should wear white coats or, if white coats are not available, light coloured tops.
  5. No balls and wides

    1. For all Division 1 leagues for Boys U13 age groups and above and for U15 Girls matches, wides and no balls must be recorded as 1 run plus whatever is run with balls re-bowled throughout the innings.
    2. For all U12 and below Boys age groups and Division 2 or 3 leagues in all Boys age groups, and for all U11 and U13 Girls age groups, wides and no balls will count 2 runs plus whatever is run with no extra balls, except in the final over when the same extras apply but additional balls are bowled. This rule will also apply to any Cup matches between a Division 1 side and a side in Division 2 or below.
    3. For all Division 1 leagues for U13 Boys age groups and above and for U13 and U15 Girls Hardball matches, a free hit will be awarded following a front foot no ball. Where there is a free hit, the field should not change from the previous delivery.
    4. For all matches in U13 age groups and below (both Boys and Girls), a ball bouncing more than twice or rolling along the ground before it reaches the popping crease should be called a no ball, i.e. the ball can bounce more than once before reaching the popping crease (amendment to Law 21.7).
    5. For all U13 age groups and below (both Boys and Girls)
      1. a bowler bowling dangerous short pitched deliveries or non-deliberate dangerous beamers should be warned twice and only removed from the attack after the third such delivery, i.e. they receive an additional warning (amendment to Laws 41.6 and 41.7).  A short pitched delivery or a beamer should be regarded as dangerous if, in the opinion of the umpire, there is a genuine risk of injury to the batter, taking into account the speed, height and direction of the delivery and the skill of the batter.
      2. If a bowler bowls a deliberate beamer, they should be removed from the attack immediately without a warning.
      3. Please note that warnings for bowling beamers only apply in hardball cricket.
      4. In all cases, beamers should be called no ball.  A beamer is defined as a ball that passes the batter (or would have passed the batter), without bouncing, at waist height or above standing upright at the popping crease.
  6. Retirement of batters in matches

    1. In U13 Boys Cup matches, when a batter reaches a score of 30 runs, he or she must retire, unless this would cause a premature end to the innings. Batters retired under this rule should be recorded as “retired out”; this retirement shall not be counted as wicket taken in calculating the result – see clause 11.2 below.
    2. In U15 Boys Cup matches, when a batter reaches a score of 50 runs, he or she must retire, unless this would cause a premature end to the innings. Batters retired under this rule should be recorded as “retired out”; this retirement shall not be counted as wicket taken in calculating the result – see clause 11.2 below.
    3. In all other Boys Cup matches and in any Boys League matches, players may only retire not out if ill or injured during the match. Any player who retires who is not ill or injured will be retired out.
    4. In Girls Hardball League and Cup matches, batters must retire when they reach 50, unless this would cause a premature end to the innings. Batters retired under this rule should be recorded as “retired out” and may not return to the crease; this retirement shall not be counted as a wicket taken in calculating the result – see clause 11.2 below. In other circumstances in any Girls Hardball League and Cup matches, any player who retires, who is not ill or injured, will be retired out and may not return to the crease.
  7. Players

    1. Unless stated in the specific rules applicable to Girls Cricket, in all hardball non pairs matches for the U11 to U17 age groups, teams shall comprise 11 players, each of whom shall only be a bona fide member of the Club he or she represents.
    2. No player may bowl more than one fifth of the overs in any innings.
    3. In matches involving the U13 age group and below, no fielder, except the wicketkeeper and those behind the wicket on the off side shall field nearer than 11 yards measured from the middle stump of the striker’s wicket. For the U14 age group and above, the distance shall be 8 yards.
    4. Girls playing in MJCA Boys leagues will be allowed to play one year down from their age group.
    5. Clubs entering more than one team at the same age level in any Boys League competition shall nominate separate squads of players from which each team shall be selected. Players from their ‘B’ or ‘C’ teams may play for a higher team (i.e. ‘A’ or ‘B’) from the same club, in the same age group. However, under the previous sentence, no player may play for a lower ranked team. “A” squads shall have a minimum of 15 players in their squad unless the B team is in the third division, in which case the minimum number of players in the A squad shall be 8.  Lists of the nominated squads shall be lodged with the appropriate Area Chairman before the commencement of the season. Players joining a club during a season shall be put into a squad by their club and the Area Chairman notified accordingly.
    6. A wicketkeeper may be changed if ill or injured. In other circumstances, wicketkeepers may be changed, but there should be no stoppage in play and any wicketkeeper may not bowl in the match, either before or after acting as wicketkeeper. If a wicketkeeper is to be changed, other than where there is an injury or illness, this needs to be agreed prior to the match and the umpires and scorers must be informed.
  8. Eligibility of players

    1. To be eligible to play in any MJCA competition, a male player may only play junior cricket for one Middlesex club and may not represent any other club in another county in their junior competitions. In exceptional circumstances, the regulation in the preceding sentence may be waived but only following written clearance from the current Chairman of the MJCA Cricket Committee. Having played for one club in any particular league or cup competition, no male player may play for another club in that or any other league or cup competition during the same season.
    2. Girls may play in MJCA Girls competitions for one Middlesex Club and play in MJCA Boys competitions for a different Middlesex Club, providing their Girls Club do not have a team in the same league as the Boys Club that they play for.
    3. Overseas players (i.e. players who are not resident in the British Isles) must complete a 3 month residency before they can play in any MJCA match. Cases where the position is not clear shall be referred well in advance of their first game by the member club to the Chairman of County Cricket Committee for consideration.
    4. If any club fields an ineligible player in any match, the opposing team shall be awarded that match.  In the case of a league fixture, the offending team will have any points earned in the game deducted.
  9. The result

    1. The result of Non Pairs League matches shall be determined as follows:
      1. League matches:The result shall be decided on a single innings basis with the team scoring most runs being the winner. If the scores are equal on the completion of each innings the result shall be a tie
      2. Knock-out matches:In the event of the scores being level on the completion of each innings the team having taken the greater number of wickets shall be the winner. Other than in the circumstances set out in clause 8.1 and 8.2, retired out shall count as a wicket taken, but retired not out shall not count as a wicket taken.
        If still equal: The team with the higher score at the end of 19, 18 overs etc. until a winner is established.
      3. In the event that a match is not able to be completed with less than the full number of overs having been bowled in the innings of the team batting second and provided that at least 10 overs have been bowled in the innings of the team batting second, the winner of the match will be the team with the higher average run rate, being the number of runs scored divided by the number of overs, or part overs, bowled, In the event that the team batting first is bowled out in less than its full allocation of overs, the calculation of the average run rate for the team batting first shall be the runs scored divided by the total number of overs allocated to the team batting first at the start of the match. If a match is not completed with at least 10 overs having been bowled in the second innings, the result will be an abandoned match.
    2. In Pairs League matches, the team scoring the most runs after deductions for wickets lost shall be the winner. If scores are equal the winner will be:
      1. The side that has taken most wickets.
      2. If still equal: the side with the higher score at the end of 20 overs, 19, 18 etc. until a winner is established.
      3. If still equal, the result will be a tie.

      In the event that the full allocation of overs for both teams cannot be completed due to weather or other disruption, the result of the match will be abandoned.

  10. Points

    1. Other than as noted below, in all Non Pairs League matches, points shall be awarded as follows:
      1. 20 for a win
      2. 10 for a tie
      3. 8 for matches abandoned (with or without any play)
      4. Losing teams shall not receive any points for playing the match but may accrue bonus points as follows:
        1. Batting – 1 point for reaching 60 runs, 1 for 80 runs, I for 100 runs and 1 for 120 runs
        2. Bowling – I point for every two wickets taken, up to a maximum of 4 bonus points
    2. In Girls matches, where there are only 8 players per side, the losing teams shall, in addition to the losing bonus points above, receive two additional bonus points for playing the match.
    3. Other than in Girls matches where there are only 8 players per side, the maximum number of bonus points awarded to a losing team is therefore 8 points. There will no adjustment to bonus points awarded in the event that the number of overs in one or both innings is reduced.
    4. In Pairs League matches, including league matches in the Boys U10 Age Groups and in Girls Softball matches, the points awarded will be as above, but there will be no losing bonus points and the losing team will be awarded 4 points if the match is played.
  11. Failure to play fixtures

    Should a club fail to honour a fixture for any reason at all:

    1. League match: 20 points shall be awarded to their opponents with no points for a team who concedes the match. Any team failing to honour one half of its scheduled league fixtures shall have its record erased from the league.
    2. Knock-out match: The tie shall be awarded to the team who did not concede.
  12. Results reporting

    1. Results must be recorded on the MJCA Play-Cricket website within three days of the match date
    2. Clubs are encouraged to input full scorecards on the MJCA Play-Cricket website as soon as possible after the match has been completed. Full scorecards for all Division 1 matches must be input on the MJCA Play-Cricket website within one week of the match date. Players’ full names must be included. The names of the umpires and scorers should also be included.
    3. Points forfeit may be applied if results are not reported or if full scorecards are not input, as required by clauses 14.1 and 14.2 above.
    4. Results of all County League Knockout matches and County Cup Quarter Finals, Semi Finals and Finals should also be notified to John Ventham at johnvent2@icloud.com or 07769 657 032 as soon as possible, and in any event within 24 hours, after the match has been played. Failure to do so may mean elimination from the competition.
    5. Results of all Area Cup and League Play-off matches must also be notified to your Area Chair as soon as possible, and in any event within 24 hours, after the match has been played. Failure to do so may mean elimination from the competition.
  13. Arranging Cup and League Knockout matches

    1. All league fixtures and first game Cup ties will be struck at Area fixture meetings.
    2. Subsequent MJCA Cup or knock-out matches will be advised to the competing teams as soon as possible.
      1. Within 48 hours of the fixture being advised, the Home team shall offer the Away team 2 midweek dates, which must be in different weeks where time allows. The dates must be within the published timescale but must not include dates where the Away team has an arranged game in that age group shown on the MJCA Play-Cricket website. Dates offered must not be within 36 hours of the offer. A weekend date can be arranged only if BOTH teams agree.
      2. If the Home team fails to offer dates within the above criteria then the venue may switch and, subject to the approval of the competition organiser, the previously Away team may then have the option to offer the location and dates.
      3. The Away team should advise the Home team of the date being accepted within 24 hours of the offer. 
      4. The competition organiser should be advised of dates offered, accepted and agreed and the result of the match promptly once it has been played.
      5. The enforcement of these rules is subject to the discretion of the competition organiser, who may decide that the offending club should forfeit the match for non-compliance.
    3. For matches in the League Knockout competition, up to and including the semi-final stage, the MJCA Cricket Committee recommends that a grass pitch is used. However, if an artificial pitch is to be used, the home team official must stipulate this when the match is arranged, otherwise the away team may claim the game. In all County Finals, a grass wicket shall be used, unless both teams agree otherwise.
    4. If a Cup or Knockout fixture is unable to be completed due to bad weather or ground conditions, both teams shall try to arrange a new date, switching venues if necessary. The Competition organiser may, at their discretion and if time allows, agree a short extension of time to the play-by date to facilitate completion of the fixture. If a match cannot be completed then a bowl-out may take place to decide the match.
      Bowl-out: Five players from each team are nominated to bowl alternatively at a set of stumps in two rounds of five —the team scoring most hits is the winner—in the event of a tie the same players shall bowl again in the same order on a sudden death basis until a winner is established.
    5. Any Knockout match not completed by either playing or a bowl-out, shall be decided by the toss of a coin.
  14. Area League Play-offs

    1. At the end of the Boys Area league season on 2 July 2023, there will be Play-off matches at each age group in each Area between the winners of Division 2, who will be away to the second placed team in Division 1
    2. If there is a tie for any place in any Division, the higher placed team for that division will be decided by
      1. The winner of most points in head to head matches
      2. The highest average runs per wicket (runs scored / wickets lost) in the head to head matches.
    3. The winners of each Boys Area Division One and each Boys Area Play-off, at each age group, qualify for the Boys County League Play-Offs. If there is no Boys Area Play-off, i.e. where there is no Division 2, the top 2 teams in Division One will qualify for the Boys County League Play-offs. The draws for the Boys County League Play-offs are shown on the relevant page on the MJCA Play-Cricket website with the qualifying teams referred to as “East 1” or “West 1” or “South 1” etc., as appropriate.
    4. Boys Area League Play-offs should be completed by the following dates:-
      • Under 11 – Sunday 9 July 2022
      • Under 12 – Sunday 9 July 2022
      • Under 13 – Sunday 9 July 2022
      • Under 14 – Sunday 9 July 2022
      • Under 15 – Sunday 9 July 2022
      • Under 17 – Sunday 9 July 2022
  15. County League Knockout and County Cup Finals

    1. Details of the dates and venues of the Boys League Knockout Finals are as follows:
      Age Group Date Venue
      U10 TBC TBC
      U11 Sunday 13 August 2023 TBC
      U12 Sunday 10 September 2023 TBC
      U13 Sunday 13 August 2023 TBC
      U14 Monday 28 August 2023 TBC
      U15 Sunday 10 September 2023 TBC
      U17 Monday 28 August 2023 TBC
    2. Details of the dates and venues of the Boys County Cup Finals are as follows:
      Age Group Date Venue
      U11 Sunday 20 July 2023 TBC
      U13 by Wednesday 21 June 2023 Home side as per draw
      U15 by Wednesday 21 June 2023 Home side as per draw
      U17 Sunday 20 July 2022 TBC
    3. Details of the dates and venues of the Girls League Knockout Finals are as follows:
      Age Group Date Venue
      U11 Softball TBC TBC
      U11 Hardball TBC TBC
      U13 Softball TBC TBC
      U13 Hardball TBC TBC
      U15 Hardball TBC TBC
    4. Details of the dates and venues of the Girls County Cup Finals are as follows:
      Age Group Date Venue
      U11 Hardball TBC TBC
      U13 Hardball TBC TBC
      U15 Hardball TBC TBC
    5. There are no Cup competitions for the Boys U12 and U14 age groups.  MJCA will provide independent umpires for the County League Play-off and County Cup Finals
  16. Coaching during matches

    1. In matches involving age groups U12 – U17, umpires, match managers or other spectators shall not give advice or instruction to any player who is on the field of play.
    2. In matches involving age groups U11 and below, umpires and/or match managers may give advice or instruction to any player who is on the field of play.
  17. Mankading


    MJCA do not want the act of Mankading becoming prevalent in our cricket matches. Therefore the following rules will be adopted for MJCA matches:

    1. Should a bowler attempt to run out a batter in this manner, then a warning to the batter concerned must be given before a run out can take place. Should a run out be requested before a warning, the umpire should call dead ball.
    2. It is also suggested that umpires keep an eye on batters who leave their ground early and warn them that they may be liable to be run out should it continue. Such a warning by an umpire would constitute a warning for the purposes of 19.1 above.
  18. Other

    1. Where there is only one Division in an Age group, that division will be regarded as Division 1.
    2. Clubs are encouraged to report any instances of non-compliance with MJCA rules, in particular in relation to a lack of umpires, scorers or responsible adults, or behaviour not consistent with the Laws of Cricket and/or the Spirit of Cricket to their Area Chairman or the Chairman of the MJCA Cricket Committee.
    3. The MJCA Cricket Committee reserves the right to impose such sanctions on Clubs as it sees as appropriate for any breaches of the MJCA rules.
    4. The Laws of Cricket related to bat sizes (Law 5), deliberately distracting, deceiving or obstructing batters (Law 41.5) and the yellow and red card provisions related to player conduct (Law 42) shall not apply to MJCA competitions.
    5. The Victor Ludorum Trophy is awarded annually by the Rotary Club of St. Marylebone to the overall most successful club entering MJCA League and Cup competitions.
      1. The winner is decided by a points system for progression in each competition.
      2. Results will be considered in the U11, U12, U13, U14, U15 and U17 Cup and League competitions.
      3. “B” and “C” team results shall not count.
      4. The Chairman of the Cricket Committee will adjudicate. League and cup organisers should ensure he receives league tables and results of knock-out matches in the County League Championship and all Cup matches.

U9 Rules

U10 Rules

Girls Rules