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Trust League Groups for 2018 Announced

Given our expected age demographic of the core of the side for 2018 and the general decline in senior ‘league player’ participation in Trust League cricket in the last couple of years, (this is a widespread trend and not something just at Stoke), we have taken the decision to play in a lower tier, (Tier 3), of Surrey Trust League cricket in 2018.

The fixtures will be arranged on the evening of Thursday 30th November 2017, with the groups, (teams playing each other home and away), already arranged geographically as follows:

Group 1
Old Rutlishians
Trinity Mid-Whitgiftians

Group 2
Horsley & Send

The immediate change is that we now have eight fixtures to play rather than the traditional six or seven, but we are guaranteed four home games and the four away matches are geographically friendlier. Games played before the 1st August 2017 will also start at 2pm to allow players involved in age-group matches more time to play in the afternoon Trust League match.

There are other proposed changes to the Playing Conditions, the ones directly affecting us and needing helpers & volunteers to come forward are as follows:

Tier 2 and 3 Eligibility
It remains very much the hope that clubs will police themselves with regard to who might be eligible for a Tier 3 fixture. This is both with regard to player selection and the manner in which a match is played. Under the rules “Tiers 2 and 3 will be played to win but clubs will be sanctioned for playing inappropriate players or for not playing the game in an appropriate manner based on the difference in standard of the two teams on the pitch on a given day.”

Fielding Restrictions
At the AGM, clubs will have the opportunity to vote on whether there should be no more than 5 fielders on the leg side.

Power Plays
Following feedback from clubs, power plays will NOT be introduced in 2018.

Free Hits
At the AGM, clubs will have the opportunity to vote on whether a free hit should be introduced for foot fault no balls.

Rain affected matches
Following feedback from clubs, an amended version of the proposals for rain affected matches will be voted on at the AGM:
a. The “golden half hour” – no change in overs for each side.
b. Using the current Surrey Championship run rate formula.
c. The target run rate for the second innings being set at the start of the second innings.

For additional clarity, the wording for some sections of the rule will be amended:
– 10 points for a win, conceded win or for playing against an “ineligible” team. (From last season, clubs who could not fulfil the fixture with the right spread of ages could play an “ineligible team” to avoid a fine and points deduction, the ethos to get a game on to help youngsters who were available rather than simply scratch.)
– 3 points for fielding an “ineligible team” regardless of the result.

Bonus Points
There has been strong support for the concept of bonus points for providing umpires so this will remain unchanged at 3 points.

Whilst support is strong for bonus points for scorers, many felt that this didn’t have the same importance as an umpire and in response to what the majority said, the League will reduce the bonus points for providing a scorer to 2.

Clubs are also to note the rule which states, “…if a team cannot provide a scorer, they will be expected to assist the other team’s scorer as much as possible including having someone scoring when their side is batting.”

We need to be better at this at all levels of the Club next year so please offer to help before we start ordering you to!

The above will be discussed at the League AGM, so if you have any comments before Thursday, please e-mail as soon as possible.