South East Sunday Cricket League Disciplinary Regulations 2021 

Contents

1      AIMS AND JURISDICTION

2.     CODE OF CONDUCT AND SPIRIT OF CRICKET

3.     BREACHES

4.     DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURE

5.     APPEALS

6.     GUIDELINES ON THE CODUCT OF APPEALS

7.     PENALTIES

8      NON-PAYMENT OF FINES

9.     APPENDIX  – BREACHES OF DISCIPLINE

 

1      AIMS AND JURISDICTION

  1. The England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is committed to maintaining the highest standards of behaviour and conduct.
     

  2. The South East Sunday Cricket League (SESCL) also take this view and to this end have adopted these discipline regulations, incorporating major parts of the ECB Model Code of Conduct, The Spirit of Cricket and Disciplinary Guidelines
     

  3. These regulations shall be complied with by all those who participate under the jurisdiction of the SESCL. The regulations shall apply to any player, official, member or supporter at any club, at any level, under the auspices of any of the SESCL competitions.
     

  4. The regulations are intended to provide assistance and uniformity to all clubs in dealing with any alleged breach of the Code of Conduct and The Spirit of Cricket.
     

  5. Any club which fails to take all reasonable steps to ensure the proper conduct of its players, officials, members or supporters in all matters for which the club or its committee is responsible, or acts in any way which is prejudicial or detrimental to the interests or reputation of the SESCL, breaches this Code of Conduct.
     

  6. There is nothing in this Code preventing or discouraging clubs from applying additional or stronger sanctions against offenders than those appearing within the Code, whether or not they are the subject of a discipline report. To this end, it is important that clubs have their own code of conduct and disciplinary procedures in place.
     

  7. For the purposes of these regulations, the expression ‘player’ shall throughout this document be deemed to mean and include not only any player, whether professional or otherwise, but also any member, supporter or official of any club in any incident of alleged misconduct occurring on any part of a cricket ground or building and not merely the field of play.

 

2.    CODE OF CONDUCT AND SPIRIT OF CRICKET

 

  1. Code of Conduct
     

    1. The SESCL is committed to maintaining the highest standards of behaviour and conduct at cricket matches both on and off the field. All clubs, players, officials, members and supporters by virtue of their registration with the SESCL or their association with an SESCL club, 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. The captains are responsible at all times for ensuring that play is conducted within the Spirit of Cricket as well as within the Laws.
       

    3. Players and club officials, must at all times accept the umpire’s decision. Players and club officials must not show dissent at the umpire’s decision or react in a provocative or disapproving manner towards another player or a spectator.
       

    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.
       

    5. Players and club officials shall not use crude and/or abusive language, nor make offensive gestures or hand signals, nor deliberately distract an opponent.
       

    6. Players and club officials shall not use language or gestures 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.
       

    7. Players and club officials shall not use or in any way be concerned in the use or distribution of illegal drugs.
       

    8. Players and club officials shall not make any public or media comment which is detrimental to the League, 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.
       

    9. Players and club officials shall not disclose or comment upon any alleged breach of this Code.
       

    10. Clubs must take adequate steps to ensure the good behaviour of their players, officials, members and supporters.

  1. Spirit of Cricket

Cricket owes much of its appeal and enjoyment to the fact that it should be played not only according to the Laws, but also within the Spirit of Cricket. The major responsibility for ensuring fair play rests with the captains, but extends to all players, umpires and, especially in junior cricket, teachers, coaches and parents.

Respect is central to the Spirit of Cricket.

  • Respect your captain, team-mates, opponents, and the authority of the umpires.

  • Play hard and play fair.

  • Accept the umpire’s decision.

  • Create a positive atmosphere by your own conduct and encourage others to do likewise.

  • Show self-discipline, even when things go against you.

  • Congratulate the opposition on their successes and enjoy those of your own team.

  • Thank the officials and your opposition at the end of the match, whatever the result.

Cricket is an exciting game that encourages leadership, friendship, and teamwork, which brings together people from different nationalities, cultures and religions, especially when played within the Spirit of Cricket.

 

3.    BREACHES

  1. A breach of the disciplinary regulations occurs when:

 

  • Any player in the course of, or in connection with a match, offends against the Code of Conduct or acts at any time to prejudice the good name or interests of the SESCL.

  • Any club fails to properly control or discipline its players or acts in a manner prejudicial to the good name or interests of the SESCL.

 

  1. Any player or club committing such a breach shall be liable to penalties in the manner prescribed in this document.
     

  2. A breach of the Code of Conduct will normally be categorised as Level 1, 2, 3 or 4, as set out in Appendix when on the field of play or in match related circumstances.
     

  3. Breaches outside of such circumstances as in 3.3 above will be dealt with under the same procedures and the level of seriousness of any breach categorised as deemed appropriate by the SESCL committee.

 

  1. Reporting of Breaches
     

    1. In all instances of any perceived Level 1, 2, 3 or 4 breach, the umpire(s) must submit a formal report to league Secretary. 
       

    2. The disciplinary procedure may also be initiated by:

 

  • A report by an officer of the SESCL

  • A report by any member club or by an individual of a member club.

In such cases the report of the alleged breach must be reported by the secretary of the member club or by the secretary of the member club of which the individual is themselves a member.

  1. The report must be made within 7 days of the alleged incident and must be accompanied by a deposit of £30. Deposit to be returned if the complaint is upheld.
     

  2. All such reports must be accompanied by:

  • A version of the alleged events

  • The nature of the offence

  • Evidence to sustain any potential charges

 

4.    DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURE
 

  1. Any such alleged breach of the Code of Conduct subject to a report (to be known as ‘a complaint’) will then be notified by email by the complainant to the SESCL secretary or his Vice-secretary within 1 week of the end of the match. The written report should be sent, preferably by email, to the league secretary or vice-secretary and be received within 1 week of the end of the match.
     

  2. Reports from these sources should be made to the league Secretary or vice Secretary in writing and signed by the official (in the case of a club it is to be the secretary of the club) lodging the report. The league Secretary will then notify other relevant parties as below.
     

  3. The League Secretary or vice-Secretary shall, as soon as reasonably practicable, inform the Secretary of the club against whom the complaint has been made.
     

  4. Within 4 weeks of receipt of the written complaint or response from the club as in 4.2 above the League Secretary or vice-Secretary shall present the complaint in the league’s committee meeting and the league committee conclude with either:

 

  1. To take no action except to record the complaint and notify the club; or

  2. Impose a penalty and inform the club. 

 

All such decisions above to be notified to all parties concerned within the 2 weeks’ time period.

 

  1. Where a charge against a player is referred, his captain and club may be charged separately under their responsibilities as set out in the Code of Conduct above.
     

  2. The complaint inquiry shall be conducted by the League Committee and shall consist of not less than five SESCL committee members. None of the panel should be connected with the player, the club or their opponents at the time of the alleged breach, or a club which might directly benefit from any disciplinary action. It may be conducted in person or electronically. 
     

  3. Decisions of the League committee (a finding that a complaint is proved or not proved or a decision on penalty) shall be by majority vote; where necessary the Chairman shall have a casting vote.
     

  4. The standard of proof shall be on the balance of probabilities rather than the criminal standard of beyond reasonable doubt.
     

  5. In the case of an incident involving a player under the age of 18 years old, the County Board Welfare Officer will immediately be informed. In such circumstances, the incident may be regarded as
     

    1. A welfare and child protection case or

    2. An outright disciplinary case. If the incident is being investigated by another organisation (e.g. the Police, ECB Welfare Department etc.) the League will await the outcome of that investigation.

Should any report concern an officer of the SESCL, League Secretary or whoever has received the complaint, will notify the President who will examine the matter and report his findings to the Chairman of the SESCL (within 7 days) and the President and Chairman will, together, determine if further action should be taken and what, if any, disciplinary action should be taken.

  1. The League shall report match bans in writing to the relevant clubs.

  2. Information about penalties imposed under these discipline regulations shall be shared with individuals at the club and County Board on a need to know basis, for example with individuals who need to be informed in order to give effect to the penalty.
     

  3. All bans issued to players or officials apply to all aspects of SESCL cricket in the relevant format (Sunday or Midweek). Conceded games shall not count as one of a ban. A game started and abandoned or cancelled due to bad weather shall count as one of a ban.

 

5.    APPEALS

 

  1. Any player or club will have a right to appeal against any penalty imposed under current byelaws by a member of the Executive in the pursuit of their duties or against any decision of the league committee subject to the restrictions below.
     

  2. Appeals shall only be allowed against a ban instigated for Level 1 or 2 offences on the grounds of mistaken identity, misrepresentation or failure of the umpires to follow the procedures in Paragraph 4.1 above.
     

  3. A notice of appeal setting out the grounds of the appeal must be given in writing to League Secretary within seven days of the decision, together with a deposit of £30.
     

  4. The notice of appeal should record the decision or part of the decision against which the appeal is made and the grounds and basis of the appeal.
     

  5. If a notice of appeal is given, the penalties imposed by the League committee shall not take effect pending the hearing of the Appeal, which shall take place no earlier than 14 days and no later than 28 days form the receipt of notice of the appeal.
     

  6. The Appeal Panel shall be appointed by the league committee and shall consist of not less than three persons and not more than five persons drawn from a list approved by the SESCL Committee. Panel member must consist of senior members of the league. None of the panel members should be connected with the individual or the club or their opponents, or a club which might directly benefit from any disciplinary action nor shall the League Committee member who made the original decision be on the Appeal Panel. 
     

  7. The player or club shall have the same entitlements as set out in Paragraph 5.4 above and in 8 below.

  8. 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.
     

  9. The Appeals Panel may confirm, vary or reverse the decision of the League committee and it shall have the power to increase the penalty.
     

  10. Decisions of the Appeal Panel shall be by majority vote; where necessary, the Chairman shall have a casting vote.
     

  11. The decision of the Appeal Panel and if appropriate the penalty should be communicated to the accused person/club in writing within 14 days.
     

  12. The decision of the Appeals Panel shall be final and will be binding on all parties and no further appeal will be allowed under either SESCL policies.

 

 

6.    GUIDELINES ON THE CODUCT OF APPEALS

These Guidelines do not replace or form part of the Discipline Regulations which should be read carefully by all those falling under their jurisdiction.

 

 

  1. Natural Justice

The rules of natural justice are the minimum standards of fair decision-making imposed on persons or bodies acting in a judicial capacity. The rules of natural justice consist of the following elements:

  • The right to a fair hearing

  • The rule against bias.
     

    1. The right to a fair hearing

The right to a fair hearing requires that an individual shall not be penalised by a decision affecting his rights or legitimate expectations unless he has been given prior notice of the case against him and a fair opportunity to answer the case against him and to produce his own case.

 

  1. Prior notice of the hearing

The accused person should be given adequate notice of the allegations against him and of the procedure to be followed so that he may be in an position to make representations on his own behalf, to appear at the hearing, to prepare his own case and to answer the case against him. The time and location of the hearing must also be properly notified to the reported person.

  1. Opportunity to be heard

The reported person has a right to attend the hearing and be allowed to present his case. If the League committee is satisfied that the reported person has been given adequate notice of the alleged breach and of the time and location of the hearing, they may allow the hearing to proceed if the reported person fails to attend. However, it may not be justifiable to proceed if the time or location fixed for the hearing is such that the person cannot reasonably be expected to attend.

Within the Discipline Regulations it states that “at least seven days’ notice in writing of the hearing and of the offence(s) alleged shall be given to the player, or in the case of a club, its Secretary”.

  1. The rule against bias

A person adjudicating on a dispute must have no pecuniary or proprietary interest in the outcome of the proceedings and must not reasonably be suspected, or show a real likelihood, of bias. The rule against bias also provides that a party should not normally be judged by his accuser.

  1. Conduct of the Appeal

Within these Guidelines words importing the singular shall include the plural and vice versa, and those importing the male shall include the female, and vice versa.

  1. The Appeal hearing is conducted by at least three persons (the Panel) appointed by the League Committee.

  2. No-one connected with the individual or the club, or their opponents, or a club which might directly benefit from any disciplinary action (e.g. by the deduction of points), should be a member of the Panel.

  3. Panel must consist of senior members of the league. 

 

  1. The accused person/club should be notified of the offence(s) alleged against him/them and the time and location of the hearing. The notification should be in writing, include all relevant documentation.

 

 

  1. The accused person is entitled to be supported by a colleague. There is no right to legal representation.
     

  2. If the complaint has been made by the umpires, they should be available to give evidence at the hearing.
     

  3. Witnesses should not be present in the room at the outset but should be called in individually to give their evidence at the appropriate time. (Ideally, a separate waiting area should be provided for each party).
     

  4. The Chairman should open the hearing and introduce all the parties. He should then briefly outline the procedure to be followed.
     

  5. The charges against the accused person/club should be specified.
     

  6. Witnesses should be called individually and asked to give their evidence. The Panel may question the witnesses. The accused person (or representative)/club may question the witnesses.
     

  7. The accused person/club should be asked to give his/their account and may call witnesses. The Panel may question the witnesses.
     

  8. The Panel may question the witnesses.
     

  9. Once the witnesses have given their evidence and answered any questions, they should either leave the room or, with the permission of the Chairman, they may remain but should take no further part in the hearing.
     

  10. The Panel may question the accused person/club.
     

  11. The Panel should deliberate in private. The Panel’s decision should be by majority vote; where necessary the Panel Chairman shall have a casting vote.
     

  12. The accused person/club should be called back in and the Panel should give their decision as to whether the case is proved or not proved. If proved, the accused person/club should be asked to give any mitigation which might affect the Panel’s decision as to sentence, if they have any discretion in this area.
     

  13. The Panel should consider the sentence in private.
     

  14. The accused person/club should be called back in and the Panel Chairman should announce the sentence.
     

  15. The decision of the Appeal Panel and if appropriate the penalty should be communicated to the accused person/club in writing within 14 days.

 

7.    PENALTIES

  1. As a guideline, the following penalties should be expected to be imposed for any complaint referred and, if appropriate, proved during disciplinary procedure. 

    • Level 1: 2 to 6 matches

    • Level 2: 3 to 8 matches

    • Level 3: 4 to 10 matches

    • Level 4: A minimum of 10 matches

played under the auspices of SESCL (in the relevant competition type, ie Sunday or Midweek)

League committee 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
     

  • Where applicable, penalties will be carried over to apply in the following season.

  • If at an Appeal a breach of the Code of Conduct is proved, the league committee shall have the power to impose one or more of the following penalties, together with such order as to costs as it deems appropriate:

In the case of a player:-

  • To record a reprimand and to give a warning as to future conduct

  • To suspend the player for one or more matches, or for a stated period of time

  • To deduct League points from the player’s team

  • To expel the player from the League

In the case of a club:-

  • To record a reprimand and to give a warning as to future conduct

  • To impose a fine

  • To deduct League points from the club’s team

  • To expel the club from any competition of the SESCL

  • To relegate to any lower division of the SESCL

    1. In addition, where an individual behaves inappropriately or fails to respect the formality at any stage during an Appeal hearing, the League Committee assumes the right to impose further corrective actions or penalties as it sees fit.

    2. The League committee 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.

 

8      NON-PAYMENT OF FINES

 

  1. Any fine levied under these procedures or imposed for the breach of any match rule must be paid to the Treasurer of the League within twenty-eight days of the Club being notified of such fine.
     

  2. Any fines still outstanding at the end of that period shall be increased by 100% of the original fine, when the Secretary or Captain of the offending Club shall be notified to the effect that the fine is outstanding. They will be given a reminder that if after a period of fourteen days from that reminder, the fine is still outstanding, a deduction of five points shall be made from the points gained by the side that received the fine.

 

 

9.    APPENDIX  – BREACHES OF DISCIPLINE

Certain conduct, whether on or off the field of play of play, amounting to a breach of the Laws of Cricket and/or the Spirit of Cricket has been categorised into 4 levels which are set out below:-

Level 1

  • Time wasting by either the fielding side or the batting side

  • Abuse of the cricket ground, equipment or fixtures

  • Showing dissent at an umpire's decision by word or action

  • Using language that is obscene, offensive or insulting and/or the making of an obscene gesture

  • Excessive appealing

Level 2

  • Showing serious dissent at an umpire's decision by word or action

  • Inappropriate and deliberate physical contact between players in the course of play

  • Charging or advancing towards an umpire in an aggressive manner when appealing

  • Deliberate and malicious distraction or obstruction on the field of play, regardless as to whether such conduct is deemed to be fair under Law 42.5

  • Throwing the ball at or near a player, umpire or official in an inappropriate and dangerous manner

  • Using language or gesture that is obscene or of a serious insulting nature to another player, umpire, team official or spectator

  • Changing the condition of the ball other than as permitted by Law 42.3

  • The bowling of fast short pitched balls that result in the bowler being disallowed from bowling further in that innings

  • Causing avoidable damage to the pitch contrary to Laws 42.13 and/or Law 42.14 that results in a five run penalty being awarded

Level 3

  • Intimidating an umpire or referee

  • Threatening to assault another player, team official or spectator

  • 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

  • The deliberate bowling of any high full-pitched ball contrary to Law 42.8

Level 4

  • Threatening an umpire or referee

  • Physical assault of another player, umpire, referee, official or spectator

  • Any act of violence on the field of play

  • Using language or gestures that seriously offend, insult, humiliate, intimidate, threaten, disparage or vilify another person on the basis of that person's religion, sexual orientation, colour, descent or national or ethnic origin.

Penalties

The following is a guide to the penalties recommended for each level of breaches:-

  • Level 1 - Suspension for 2 to 6 matches 

  • Level 2 - Suspension for 2 to 8 matches 

  • Level 3 - Suspension for 4 to10 matches 

  • Level 4 - Suspension for a minimum of 10 matches

 

The League Committee will take the following into account when considering the suspension to impose:-

  • If the player has pleaded guilty

  • The players previous discipline 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

Captains who fail to control their players after being requested to do so by the umpires or after cautions/warnings have been given to one or more of their players may be given a warning and/or a suspension by the League Committee. The League Committee may also deduct points from clubs and fine clubs whose player(s) have been guilty of breaches of discipline. Players may also be fined.

The conduct listed in Level 1 to Level 4 above cannot considered to be exhaustive.