RULE 1. - FIELDING A TEAM
RULE 2. - THE GAME
RULE 3. - UNIFORMS
RULE 4. - THE TOSS
RULE 5. - PLAYING EQUIPMENT
RULE 6. - THE UMPIRE
RULE 7. - ARRIVAL/LATE PLAYER(S)
RULE 8. - PLAYER SHORT / SUBSTITUTES / INJURED PLAYERS
RULE 9. - FIELD PLACEMENT.
RULE 10. - PLAY BALL/LIVE BALL/DEAD BALL.
RULE 11. - SCORING.
RULE 12. - NO BALL.
RULE 13. - WIDE AND LEG SIDE WIDE BALLS.
RULE 14. - BOWLER CHANGING DIRECTION/STYLE.
RULE 15. - BALL LEAVING THE PLAYING AREA.
RULE 16. - APPEALS FOR DISMISSALS.
RULE 17. - DISMISSALS.
RULE 18. - INTERFERENCE.
RULE 19. - MISCONDUCT.
RULE 20. - ORDER OFF.
RULE 21. - ILLEGAL COURT ENTRY/EXIT.
RULE 22. - RUNNERS.
RULE 23. - END OF GAME.
RULE 24. - MIXED GAMES.
SECTION 2 - AICF STANDARDS
SECTION 3 - MANAGEMENT PROCEDURES
2. LATE STARTS.
3. PREMIERSHIP AND BONUS POINTS.
4. LADDER POSITION.
5. FINALS QUALIFICATIONS.
6. DRAWN FINAL.
SECTION 4 - VARIATIONS.
SECTION 5 - UMPIRE SIGNALS.
What constitutes a team? The rules determining the basic structure of the game, even a little bit on uniforms and the toss of the coin. Read on . . .
RULE 1. FIELDING A TEAM
A. A game is played with two teams, each with a maximum of 8 players or, in some rare cases, 6 (though 6-a-side centres are uncommon, they do exist - usually where the playing area isn't big enough to construct a full-sized court).
B. Each team must have a nominated captain. The captain must be one of the players.
C. The minimum number of players in an 8-a-side game is 6. Consult individual centre rules for 6-a-side centres, but I would suggest 4 would be the minimum in that case.
D. A game must proceed when scheduled, if a minimum of 6 players for each team is present (again, consult individual centre rules for 6-a-side centres). E. To Play, a player must be able to both bat and bowl, except as in Rule 8 (Substitutes).
RULE 2. THE GAME
A. The game consists of 1 batting and 1 bowling innings per team.
B. Each innings consists of 16 overs, except for 6-a-side centres - they play 12 overs. Most centres, in their normal domestic competitions, play 6-ball overs. In Australia, most National Championships play 8-ball overs.
C. Each dismissal will result in the batting side losing 5 runs, and other penalties (ie misconduct, uniform penalties etc) will be 5 runs or multiples of 5 runs, or as specified in individual centre rules. In 6-a-side games, it is usual for only 3 runs to be deducted for a wicket. NOTE: In South Africa, the standard is 3 runs deducted for a wicket, not 5. I think this is far too advantageous to the batsmen, and gives scant reward for bowlers, but that is apparently how the South Africans prefer it.
D. Every player must bowl 2 overs except in the case of Rule 8 (Player Short/Substitutes/Injured Players) . The umpire is to be informed of the bowler's name before the commencement of each over.
E. A bowler must not bowl 2 consecutive overs. The fielding side will be penalised 5 runs for each over offended. This means that captains must ensure that with only 2 overs remaining, they DON'T have a bowler who has not yet bowled an over - I have seen it happen only once.
F. A delivery commences at the moment a bowler (with the ball in their hand) starts their run up, and ends at the moment the next delivery of the over commences. This means that a wicket which occurs before the commencement of the next delivery (as per this definition) counts against the delivery in which it occurs. Sometimes runs have been scored, but while the batsmen are preparing for the next delivery, and before the bowler commences the next delivery, a wicket occurs (for example, while waiting for the bowler to commence the next delivery, the non-striker wanders out of his/her crease and the bails are broken at the non-striker's end. Regardless of how many runs were already scored on that delivery, the score for that delivery becomes minus 5) This rule also has implications for judging how many fielders are in each half of the court - there must be no more than four in either half of the court at the moment the delivery commences, as per this rule. But be warned, most players are not aware of this one.
G. Each innings is divided into 4 sections of 4 overs each, referred to by players as "partnerships". Except for 6-a-side centres - their innings are divided into 3 sections.
H. Teams bat in pairs, with each pair batting for 4 overs. Before the commencement of their 4 overs, each pair of batsmen must inform the umpire of their respective names.
I. Batsmen continue batting for the entire 4 overs, whether they are dismissed or not. When a player is dismissed, 5 runs are deducted from their team's score. .. unless it's a 6-a-side centre (see above) or a South African centre (see above again).
J. At the completion of each over, batsmen must swap ends.
K. No batsman may bat more than once, except in the case of Rule 8 (Player Short).
L. A team may not declare an innings closed.
M. The team compiling the higher number of runs is the winner of the game.
RULE 3. UNIFORMS
A. Teams must be dressed in matching coloured shirts/tops. Pants: Males can wear long or short sports pants. I'm a strong advocate of all players wearing long track-suit pants. Carpet-burns on the knees are not funny. Females can wear long or short sports pants, or sports skirts. Jeans are not permitted in any centre I've ever visited. Footwear: Rubber soled sports shoes that will not mark the court surface. No player can play if he/she has no suitable footwear - leather-soled shoes are also not allowed (they are too slippery).
B. A 5 run penalty will be deducted from a team's score for every unacceptable item of apparel. The team batting first will have any uniform penalties deducted at the start of the offending player's partnership. The team batting second may have uniform penalties deducted at the commencement of the second innings. Umpires are not to allow the uniform penalties of one team to "cancel" the uniform penalties of the other. In other words, if both teams have a player in incorrect uniform, you can't just call it equal and deduct no runs from either team. Total runs scored can figure in determining where a team stands on a league ladder, and if they have to lose runs, they lose runs.
C. The maximum team penalty for incorrect uniforms in any match will be 20 runs.
D. In some centres, Captains must appeal for uniform penalties to be applied to their opponents. Other centres, to avoid trouble between teams, make it a condition that team Captains cannot appeal against incorrect uniforms. They make the umpire the sole arbiter, and compel the umpires to deduct any penalties automatically. In my experience, this is a common-sense approach.
E. The umpire should be the sole judge of the correctness of a uniform. However, in the event of a dispute, particularly with regard to colour, centre management is often involved. A well-run centre will not allow any dispute, placing their faith in well-trained umpires. In official championships, disputes are often allowed, to be artbitrated by the tournament management.
RULE 4. THE TOSS
A. The umpire will toss a coin or similar to determine the order of the innings. B. Teams may however negotiate the order of innings prior to the toss, and inform the umpire.