With the season starting five weeks this weekend, it's time to let you know of the Open Competition Committee's plans for the 2011 season.
Firstly an introduction. The OCC was formed last autumn as an amalgamation of the old Senior Competitions Committee and the Junior Branch. The committee will be administering all forms of the "Open" game in Leinster, i.e. those competitions open to be be played by men, youth and women, or Divisions 1-14 of the league, the mid-week 20 over competitions and the cups, from LHW Senior through to the Minor. It is to this committee (myself, Kevin Gallagher (Sec), Greg Molins, David Streek, Michael Sharp, Paul O'Neill, Nigel Parnell, Martin Russell & Robbie Stanton) that all the administering, all the queries, questions and suggestions will come through for this and future seasons.
The OCC, has responsiblity for all areas of the Open Competitions, these being broken down roughly into Regulations, Competitions and Eligibiity. Important changes in each area are detailed below.
It has been the aim to re-organise the regulations of all competitions in the standard format used by the ICC, namely broken down according to the Law of cricket to which it relates. It was hoped that we would be able to publish a single document for all competitions. This became unworkable though, so there are separate documents for the LHW Senior Cup, Cups from Senior 2 - Minor, Leagues 1-4, League 5-14, 20 over competitions and final the General Administrative Regulations. All will be viewable on the website. I've attached most of the regulations in draft form here, the Senior Cup and 20 Over regulations will be available shortly. The main changes are as follows
All four of the top Divisions will be played under the same regulations. This means that there will be major changes in the way Division 3 and 4 cricket is played this year, namely the introduction of Duckworth Lewis, a Permitted Time Allocation and of Power Plays.
One of the major complaints in recent years for Divisions 3 and 4 has been the impossibility of reducing the length of matches once they are affected by rain. Several possibilites were looked at, but it was felt that Duckworth Lewis presented the best option. This will however entail that all Division 3-4 clubs now have an official scorer, and access to a computer and printer at the ground.
The other frequent complaint, and the one major change to the top two Divisions (as well as 3 and 4) is the change to the bouncer regulation, bringing us in line with international cricket. One bouncer per over will now be allowed (not to be over head height).
Apart from the way the regulations are displayed, there are no real changes this year apart from to the regulation regarding having to provide an official umpire. It was felt that whilst the regulation has worked well, it was too much of a task for many of the teams at the bottom end of the ladder, and as such only teams in Divisions 5-9 will have to provide a twelfth person to act as an umpire for the 2011 season
In addition to changes such as the bouncer regulation, Duckworth Lewis will also be introduced to the LHW Senior Cup this year (as agreed at last night's General meeting), in an attempt to stop players, umpires and spectators alike having to repeatedly return to grounds to finish off matches. It is proposed that matches can be reduced to a minimum of 20 overs per side. Full details will be published in the next couple of weeks.
Storm Cricket are the new sponsors of the old Senior 2 Cup. The competition will now include Duckworth Lewis and a Permitted Time Allocation as per the league (but not Power Plays)
No major changes
No changes from last year, but thanks to our sponsorship from Storm Cricket, the Storm Lightening Ball will be the official ball for this competition and will be provided free of charge to all clubs with teams in the Alan Murray. Clubs should contact David Drane on 01 443 4195 / 086 629 6056 (email@example.com) or David Russell on 01 443 4196 / 083 333 7739 (firstname.lastname@example.org) to arrange delivery of their balls.
No major changes
The new website means that there will be major changes in how information concerning players, matches and other information is submmitted. The following is an outline of what will be expected from ALL clubs and teams
In previous years, clubs were requested to submit an alphabetical list of all players who were expected to play for that club in the forthcoming season. This was not adhered to, but will now be a formal requirement. Before April 13th, clubs will have to enter all their players into the LCU website. Only these players can be entered into a club's starring, and only these players will be able to play in LCU matches. Any players that arrive in a club after this date can of course be added to the system. They will not though be able to play in any match, or be included in any starring until they are registered
Starrings will also be entered on the LCU website. They will be available for all to see, and will be stringently monitored. Players who have not played in the previous month will have to be removed from the following month's starrings. As in previous years, there will be separate league and cup starrings.
Results and scorecards from all matches (Division 1-14, all cups and all 20 over comps), will have to be submitted through the site, in a standard format. Each club will have login credentials for the website - how they submit the details (one central person or many people) is up to them. However, we would like there to be one easily contactable person in each club who we could contact in the case of problems. Unless we hear otherwise, we will assume this person is the person who did this year's fixtures.
To ease the burden on clubs, only the home team will need to submit match details (this will of course mean that the away team should consult with the home team to make sure they agree). The home team's submission can be done in a variety of ways.
Traditional - If using a traditional paper scorebook, clubs need to download a piece of software - Cricketstatz. The demo version of this (which is free) will allow clubs to submit the scorecard to the LCU. The database that this uses can be downloaded from the LCU website, meaning that all clubs, teams, grounds and registered players will be available to be selected. The one problem with this is that it is only for Windows (although users have been able to use it on Macs using a Windows emulator). Clubs using this method will therefore have to find members who can download software on to a Windows running machine.
Alternative - We will be encouraging teams to use modern technologies to submit scorecards. As it stands Inningz (iPhone/iPad - free), PitchPad (for Palmpilot - free) and Total Cricket Scorer (Android - cost tbc) will all export the scorecard in the required .mxp format. Where the home team is using such a system, a traditional book must also be kept, in case of a problem with the phone/computer
As with the scorecards, all umpires grading reports for matches that have official umpires must be submitted by the Wednesday after the match (or Thursday for any match that finishes on a Tuesday). This will be vigorously enforced this year!!
As long as clubs adhere to the Wednesday deadlines, tables and cup draws will be constantly updated
The list of fixtures on the website, will be THE definitive version of fixtures. If a fixture is listed in the site as being for a particular date, this is the official date. If you as a club feel that it is wrong, I should be contacted immediately
There has only been very minor change in the rules concerning eligibility for 2011. Players in Divisions 5-14 who are eligible to play, need not neccessarily provide the relevant documentation to prove their eligibility. However. the responsibility is on the club to ensure that they are in fact eligible to play. Full eligibility requirements are attached.
Many thanks for taking the time to read this, and apologies for it's length. The OCC want to hear from players, umpires, spectators and other interested parties, particularly in relation to the regualtions for 2012, so please don't hesitate to get in touch with me or Kevin Gallagher. Please also distribute this to anyone in your club who may want to see it, especially captains and those who are involved in the running of cricket in your club.
Best of luck for the 2011 season.
Chair, Open Competitions Committee