League Rules and Points
Updated for 2023 season.
Wicket result to stay the same as previous
Run result has changed
0 bonus pts|
5 bonus pts|
0 bonus pts |
5 bonus pts|
61 or more|
No Result (rain)|
THE WILLOW LEAGUE RULES
(reviewed and revised 2020 - changes or additions have been
highlighted in red - or where
clarity was requried)
The Willow League was formed to provide recreational cricket
for adults, with the emphasis firmly on the social, fun and
friendly aspects of the game. It is played mid-week in and
The Willow League is governed by a committee comprising of
one voting member for each full member of the League. The
committee will seek to ensure that member clubs operate within
the boundaries of the “spirit of cricket” as enshrined
by the MCC.
“The Spirit of the Game involves RESPECT for: your
opponents; your own captain and team; the role of the umpires;
the game and its traditional values.
It is against the Spirit of the Game:
To dispute an umpire’s decision by word, action or
To direct abusive language towards an opponent or umpire
To indulge in cheating or any sharp practice, for instance:
(a) To appeal knowing that the batsman is not out
(b) To advance towards an umpire in an aggressive manner when
(c) To 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
There is no player registration process in operation as it
is hoped that member clubs would operate within the spirit
of the league. If clubs act in contravention of the spirit
of the Willow League regarding team selection this may be
raised with and debated by the committee.
The Willow League will elect officers annually to fulfil
the posts of Chair, Vice Chair, Fixtures Secretary, Webmaster
and Treasurer. The officers are not voting members as of right
but may be chosen by their respective clubs to be voting representatives
of their club.
GENERAL RULES - updated for 2020 season
The rules of cricket as approved by the MCC shall apply unless
otherwise amended or adapted locally for the league. The following
local rules apply:
Teams may rearrange games if the date they have been allocated
in the original fixtures is not convenient due to widespread
unavailability of players, unavailability of designated pitch
etc. providing that both teams can reach agreement on an alternative
date. However, this does not apply to those games lost to
bad weather as such games are not to be rearranged (except
in the Cup).
If the weather is particularly bad during the day of the
game and there is realistically very little chance of the
game being played, representatives from both sides may agree,
by telephone, to cancel the game beforehand to avoid players
from both sides unnecessarily making the journey to the ground.
The toss for each game should take place no later the 5.55pm
irrespective of whether the captains are present or not and
each team should be ready to commence the match as soon as
the toss has been completed. If the captain of a team is not
present by the appointed time to toss up and no other member
of the team is prepared to do so, the other team shall be
deemed to have won the toss and shall decide whether to bat
or bowl. The game then commences without further delay.
If local factors such as traffic hold-ups affect both teams
and there is mutual agreement by both captains (or another
representative of a team if the captain is absent) to delay
the start time then a game comprising a reduced number of
overs shall be played.
Where only 1 team, either through their actions or stated
wish, causes a delay to the game starting promptly as 6pm
then this team shall have the number of overs in their batting
innings reduced using the following format: 1 over less in
their batting innings after 5 minutes, and then 1 further
over less for each subsequent 5 minutes (or part thereof)
delay in the start, up to a maximum of 5 overs deduction.
If the game has not commenced after a delay of 25 minutes
then the team causing the delay shall forfeit the fixture
and it is awarded to the other team.
The home team (as designated on the fixture list) must supply
the wickets and the match ball in each game. Teams are allowed
to use a non-standard colour ball for matches providing that
both teams agree beforehand.
The pitch costs are shared on the night between the two teams.
The minimum number of payers in a team to take part in a
match should be no less than 7 otherwise the team forfeits
the game unless the opposition agree to play it.
Children/youths: may only play where they
have a familial or other long standing connection to an existing
or recent Willow player and/or team. It is the responsibility
of each team to ensure that they are fully aware of –
and comply with – the regulations, safeguards and requirements
of having children/youth players (defined as under 18 years
of age) in their team. A web link to the appropriate area
provided by the ECB will be uploaded to the League website.
All teams agree to play the game in the spirit intended and
resolve to accept that the umpire’s decisions are final
and should not be questioned under any circumstances. In line
with this all teams should ensure that, wherever possible,
they provide individuals to umpire of sufficient competence
and familiar with the rules.
Wides – As in all forms of limited
overs cricket any ball bowled down the leg side is deemed
a wide. In the interests of fairness and to avoid contention
captains are to remind their team of this at the start of
No balls – All full tosses over waist
height, at whatever speed, are
no balls irrespective of whether the ball is hit or not. Bouncers
over shoulder height, when the batsman takes a normal
stance should also be called as no balls. Either umpire may
call and signal no ball. If the ball
bounces more than once or rolls along the ground before it
reaches the popping crease (or pitches off the pitch entirely)
then the umpire will call and signal no ball. (For the purposes
of clarity, if the ball bounces twice before it reaches the
popping crease it is a no ball, If it bounces twice on or
after the popping crease it is a fair delivery).
Non-striker leaving his ground early
If the non-striker is out of his ground
from the moment the ball comes into play to the instant when
the bowler would normally have been expected to release the
ball, the bowler is permitted to attempt to run him out. Whether
the attempt is successful or not, the ball shall not count
as one in the over. In order to reflect the friendly spirit
of the Willow League it is agreed that the bowler must firstly
provide a polite warning to the batsman if he considers that
he is leaving his ground early, before there is any attempted
In the event of a side starting the game with less than eleven
players, any player turning up late will not be allowed to
bowl if 10 overs have already been bowled in the match.
Team scores and results (including overs bowled and wickets
lost) should be e-mailed or text to the Webmaster by the winning
team as soon as possible after the game but by no later than
one week after the date the game was played. Any scores and
results not submitted in this timescale will be classed as
not having been played and shall not count for points or in
the season’s calculation of relative positions in the
competition to which the game applied.
If the games are not played due to bad weather please inform
the Webmaster by e-mail or text so that the League table can
be updated accordingly.
Scores and results* should be emailed firstname.lastname@example.org
or texted 07725086385 to the Webmaster (Dan Lewis) by the
winning team as soon as possible after the game but by no
later than one week after the date game was played,
together with the scoresheet for the match (optional [Willow
Scoresheet Template]). Any scores and result not submitted
within this timescale will be classed as not having been played
and shall not count for points or in the season’s calculation
of relative positions in the competition to which the game
If games are not played due to bad weather please inform
the Webmaster by email so that the League table can be updated
*Within the email/text please give the result - all
that is required is a one liner saying Team A XXX-X beat Team
B XXX-X by XX runs or X wickets and who batted 1st.
The format will comprise three competitions: the League,
the Cup and the Shield/Plate.
1. LEAGUE COMPETITION
Teams play each other once in the first half of the season,
either home or away.
Games comprise 20 overs with a maximum of 4 overs per bowler
and a requirement for a batsman to retire
as soon as he has scored 50. The batsman may resume his innings
if all the other wickets have fallen. In the event of 2 or
more batsmen being retired and needing to return, the return
is carried out in the order of retirement.
Matches may comprise a reduced number of overs; in the event
of rain, bad light or other conditions on the day affecting
the number of overs that can be bowled, but this must be by
mutual consent between the captains and both teams must have
the same number of overs available to them.
In the event of a tie for the League title, it will be decided
in favour of the team that won the game(s) played between
the two teams. If this fixture was not played due to rain,
then the team with the most number of wins is awarded the
title. If both teams have the same number of wins, net run
rate shall be used to determine the winner.
Points system. 15 points are available per game; 10 for winning
and 5 bonus points allocated between the two teams according
to the relative closeness of the result (as shown in the table
below). If a game is tied, the points are shared equally (7.5
0 bonus pts|
5 bonus pts|
Run result - changed 2023
0 bonus pts |
5 bonus pts|
61 or more|
* where the side batting 2nd wins but has fewer than 11 batsman
available, the wickets result shall be adjusted so that the
margin of victory represents the actual number of wickets
remaining in the match (eg. a team winning with 3 wickets
lost but only 9 batsman available shall have won the game
by 5 wickets only)
Positions will be decided on an average points system with
win and bonus points divided by the number of games played
to give a mean average rounded up to 2 decimal points.
Matches cancelled due to bad weather will not be rearranged
– no points will be awarded as the averaging system
is used to determine positions.
If a team fails to fulfil a match due to lack of players
the opposing team shall be awarded 15 points. The defaulting
team receives no points but the game will count in averaging
points over the course of the competition.
2. CUP COMPETITION (optional)
The Cup competition is optional and is played on a knock
Unlike league games, if Cup matches are cancelled due to
bad weather they will need to be rearranged unless one team
forfeits the game.
Cup games comprise 18 overs with a maximum of 2 overs per
bowler and a requirement for a batsman to retire as soon as
he has scored 25 runs. The batsman
may resume his innings if all the other wickets have fallen.
In the event of 2 batsmen being retired and needing to return,
the return is carried out in the order of retirement.
If a team fields less than 11 players in a Cup match the
opposing captain is entitled to choose which bowler(s) must
bowl the extra overs if they have less than 9 people to bowl
2 overs each. For example, if a team has 8 players, once they
have all bowled 2 overs each the opposing captain can choose
the one who has conceded the most runs to bowl the extra 2
A team may change its wicket-keeper once during the course
of a match, except due to injury, and the original wicket-keeper
may then bowl a maximum of 2 overs.
If a team cannot raise a side for a scheduled Cup match the
tie is awarded to the other team.
In the event of a tie in a Cup match the game will be decided
by a bowl out (the number of wickets lost is not used to decide
the winners). The bowl out is by over arm bowling and is administered
• A wicket is set at each end and the match ball is
used for bowling.
• Normal no ball rules concerning feet and number of
bounces before reaching the wicket shall apply.
• Six players from each team bowl one delivery each
• The team that batted first starts the bowl out, and
then alternates between the two teams
• The team with the most number of wickets hit (i.e.
the bails are removed from the stumps wins
• If the bowl out is undecided after these 12 deliveries,
the bowl out switches to a sudden death basis, with the remaining
players from each side alternating. If required, the original
6 players who started the bowl out shall again until one team
has one more hit than the other once both teams have bowled
the same number of times.
POLICY FOR ENSURING CUP GAMES ARE
PLAYED ON TIME
If a cup match cannot be played on its scheduled date it
should be rearranged as soon as possible thereafter to ensure
that the game is played by the date of the next round. If
a cup match is cancelled on two separate occasions due to
bad weather and it cannot be played by the date of the next
round then the tie should be decided on the toss of a coin.
This is by no means ideal but otherwise games will not be
played by the date of the next round. If the Final (Cup or
Bowl) is unable to be played due to bad weather then, after
two further attempts have been made to play the game, the
two teams shall agree a mutually acceptable way of settling
or sharing the competition. In the event that agreement cannot
be reached, the matter shall be referred to the League Fixtures
Secretary, the League Chairman if there is a conflict of interest
or another League officer is there continues to be a conflict
of interest. In the event of the finalist disagreeing over
whether a game should proceed on a previously agreed date
due to the weather, then one or both of the independent umpires
may be called upon to decide whether the game is to be played.
Any disputes relating to the rearranging of Cup matches should
be referred to the Chairman as soon as possible for a decision.
If the dispute involves the Chairman’s club, then it
is referred to either the Vice Chairman or the Treasurer.
If the dispute also involves the club of one of these individuals
then it shall be referred to one of the others.
Where a League or WiSP fixture between two clubs is used
to play a rescheduled Cup game then the teams either need
to agree that the League or WiSP fixture shall be recorded
as “no result” or to arrange a new date to play
it – a rearranged date shall not be after the week of
the final fixtures in each respective competition.
3. WiSP (Willow Shield/Plate) COMPETITION (optional)
• Teams play each other once in the second half of
the season, with the home or away being inverse to the respective
fixture in the League earlier in the season
• Games comprise 18 overs with a maximum of 3 overs
per bowler and a requirement for the batsman to retire as
soon as he has scored 25 runs.
The batsman may resume his innings if all the other wickets
have fallen. In the event of 2 or more batsmen being retired
and needing to return, the return is carried out in the order
• Matches may comprise a reduced number of overs; in
the event of rain, bad light or other conditions on the day
affecting the number of overs that can be bowled, but this
must be by mutual consent between the captains and both teams
must have the same number of overs available to them.
• In the event of a tie for the WiSP title, it will
be decided in favour of the team that won the game(s) played
between the two teams. If this fixture was not played due
to rain, then the team with the most number of wins is awarded
the title. If both teams have the same number of wins, net
run rate shall be used to determine the winner.
• Points system. A simple win/loss/tie/cancelled format
shall operate. Win = 2 points. Loss = 0 points. Tied = 1 point.
Table positions will be decided on an absolute points system.
• Matches cancelled due to bad weather will not be rearranged
and no points are awarded. If a game is tied then 1 point
is awarded to each team.
• If a team fails to fulfil the match due to lack of
players the opposing team shall be awarded the win and the
defaulting team received no points.
SUMMARY TABLE OF RULES FOR COMPETITIONS
No. of Max. overs
Max overs per bowler
Game off due to weather
Game off due to forfeit
Win, bonus and Average|
0 points each|
30 runs (new 2017)|
Win 2, Tie 1, Loss 0 |
1 point each|
25 runs (new 2017)|
SUMMARY TABLE FOR BOWLER ALLOCATIONS IN REDUCED OVER GAMES
League – minimum of 5 bowlers
to be used
No of overs
WiSP – minimum of 6 bowlers to
No of overs