Season 2017/18   Summary of key law changes

1. ‘Handled the Ball’ is no longer a Dismissal – but the actions are still relevant as a dismissal and are included in ‘Obstructing the Field’ (Law 37)

2. Boundary Catches – the last point of contact with the ground before the first contact with the ball must be inside the field of play (and now applies to all fieldsman involved in the act of the catch). (Law 33)

3. Substitute Fielders can now act as wicket keeper (with the consent of the umpires). No reference to the opposition Captain shall be made. And the aim is to have any injured wicket keeper substituted with a capable wicket keeper (if available) for the general safety of the players. (Law 24)

4. Batsman out of his ground (the ‘bouncing bat’) when the batsman, in attempting to complete a run, touches down first with the bat across the crease when running or diving and the bat bounces – now treated as the batsman ‘making his ground’ (applies to Run Out or Stumped appeals). (Law 30)

5. Ball bouncing more than once before the popping crease after being delivered by the bowler now equals a No Ball (and Free Hit if applicable in a limited overs game). (Law 21.7)

6. Penalty Time – Fielder off the ground for any time will incur ‘penalty time’ (other than if the time off the ground is the result of an external blow/injury – in which case there is ‘no penalty time’ to be served upon fielder’s return – but any other injury [e.g. a hamstring strain] is not considered to an ‘external blow/injury’); this is to a maximum of 90 minutes. Time to be served before batting or bowling will carry over between innings, and between playing days if the scheduled match time is > 1 day. (Law 24)

7. Fielder’s helmet (worn) – the ball remains ‘live’ after it has struck a helmet being worn by a fielder – therefore a batsman can be caught, stumped or run out after a ball may have struck a fielder’s helmet whilst it is being worn. This applies even if the ball becomes lodged in a fielder’s helmet whilst it is being worn. (Law 20, with references also to Law 33 (Caught), Law 38 (Run Out) and Law 39 (Stumped))
8. No Ball Law – runs that are scored off as No Ball will be scored separately – i.e. there will be one for the No Ball, and any runs scored from it will be recorded in the manner they were scored; so runs to the batsman, or Byes/Leg Byes, Penalty runs, etc. (Law 21.16)

9. Deliberate Front Foot No Ball – the Law addressing Fair and Unfair Play (41.8) includes reference to a deliberate Front Foot No Ball (cross reference to No Ball Law 21.11) so that any delivery considered by the Umpire to be a deliberate No Ball shall be (not “maybe”) called as a No Ball, and when the ball becomes ‘dead’ the Umpire shall direct the Captain to remove the bowler from the attack for the remainder of the innings and award 5 penalty runs to the batting team. This is an offence reportable to the Associations’ governing body, and may incur a report against the bowler’s captain as well. (Law 41.8)

10. Mock Fielding is now illegal and any attempt to deceive or obstruct a batsman attracts a 5 run penalty. Note: it is the attempt that is illegal, and it is irrelevant whether the fielder’s action actually did or did not deceive the batsman. (Law 41.4 and 41.5)

11. The non-striker leaving his ground early is subject to being Run Out by the Bowler up until the point where the Bowler would have normally released the ball. Previously, it was up until the point where the Bowler commenced his delivery stride. The onus is on the non-striker to remain within his ground, thus the Bowler has been given an increased opportunity to Run Out the non-striker who might be leaving his ground early. (Law 41.16)

12. 9th Wicket falls before a scheduled interval – the extension of play for 30 minutes beyond any scheduled Interval now applies if the 9th wicket of the Innings falls within 3 minutes of the Interval time. This was previously only applicable to the Tea break (but now all scheduled Intervals), and previously the timing was 2 minutes prior – extending this to 3 minutes means it matches the time allowed for the new Batsman to get to the wicket and take guard for the next delivery. (Laws 11 & 12)

13. Deliberate Short Run by either batsman is not allowed – if either umpire considers that it has occurred, he shall (when the ball is Dead) call and signal Short Run, inform the other umpire of what he has observed, and then the Bowler’s end umpire shall (a) disallow any runs, (b) return the batsmen to their original ends, (c) signal any other applicable extras, (d) award 5 penalty runs to the fielding side, (e) inform the scorers of the runs to be scored, and (f) inform both captains as soon as practical. This is an offence reportable to the Associations’ governing body, and may incur a report against the bowler’s captain as well. (Law 18.5)

14. Dead Ball call by umpire in the event of injury to any player or umpire – the word ‘possibly’ has been added such that an umpire shall immediately call and signal Dead Ball if a serious injury occurs to a player or umpire. This means the umpire should not delay the call of Dead Ball whilst trying to determine if an injury is serious. (Law 20.4)

The significant changes to the 42 Laws are as follows

1. A new Law – Law 42 Players’ conduct – specifies 4 defined levels of misconduct and provides an in-match consequence for poor on-field behaviour.

2. For full tosses (non-pitching deliveries) ALL deliveries above waist height will be a No ball.

3. Only a first and final warning will be given for each type of dangerous bowling (i.e.short-pitched deliveries and non-pitching deliveries) before the bowler is suspended from bowling.

4. Batsmen can be out Caught, Stumped and Run out when the ball strikes the helmet worn by a fielder.

5. “Mock” or deceptive fielding is now illegal and 5 Penalty runs will be awarded.

6. “Penalty time” – a fielder off the field for any time will incur Penalty time, (other than for an external blow), to a maximum of 90 minutes, to be served before being able to bowl or bat. Any Penalty time remaining will extend into the next day of play and if necessary into the next innings.

7. No ball Law – runs scored off a No ball will be scored as one run for the No ball and the other runs scored shall be scored as run(s) to the striker, Byes or Leg byes as applicable.

8. Ball bouncing more than once before the popping crease = a No ball.

9. Batsman out of his ground (e.g. the bat bouncing) – batsman is protected from dismissal after touching down with bat or person in the act of running or diving towards the crease and contact with the ground is inadvertently lost.

10. The Law regarding running out the non-striker leaving his ground early has been amended. The non-striker is now subject to being Run out up until the instant when the bowler would have normally released the ball.

11. Boundary catches – last point of contact with the ground before first contact with the ball now applies to ALL fieldsmen in the act of making the catch

12. Substitutes can now act as wicketkeeper (with consent of umpires).

13. Bowling of a deliberate front foot No ball will be treated as for deliberate full tosses – bowler suspended from bowling and 5 Penalty runs awarded.

14. “Handled the ball” dismissal now under the “Obstructing the field” Law

15. RE-NUMBERING OF LAWS: Use of numerics instead of (a) (b) (c) and (i) (ii) (iii) etc

See below for a complete list of offences where umpires may now award 5 Penalty Runs.
Law 18.5 (Deliberate short runs), Law 24.4 (Player returning without permission),
Law 26 (Practice on the field),
Law 28.2 (Fielding the ball),
Law 28.3 (Protective helmets belonging to the fielding side).
Law 41.3 (The match ball – changing its condition),
Law 41.4 (Deliberate attempt to distract striker),
Law 41.5 (Deliberate distraction, deception or obstruction of batsman),
Law 41.9 (Time wasting by the fielding side),
Law 41.10 (Batsman wasting time),
Law 41.12 (Fielder damaging the pitch),
Law 41.14 (Batsman damaging the pitch),
Law 41.15 (Striker in protected area),
Law 41.17 (Batsmen stealing a run).
Law 41.19 (Unfair actions),
Law 42.2 (Level 1 offences and action by umpires),
Law 42.3 (Level 1 offences and action by umpires),
Law 42.4 (Level 1 offences and action by umpires),
Law 42.5 (Level 1 offences and action by umpires)

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