Clubs gave a proposal of a significant restructure of the league the thumbs up to finally reduce the number of Premiership Clubs to twelve in one of 13 rules revisions up for submission. Reducing the amount of Sunday fixtures for Premiership cricketers has been a priority for the league in recent months and after a deeply considered proposal was presented to clubs, it squeezed through the required number by a slender margin of one gaining 27 from a total of 38 votes. The current threshold for a submission to pass is by a two thirds majority, or 26 votes. Three clubs failed to record their votes by the deadline.
This of course means that in the 2022 season there will be three relegation spots in most divisions apart from the Conference. The winners of Premiership Two will gain promotion to the Conference and from season 2023 it will revert to a “two up two down” promotion and relegation system between all seven divisions. Any 2XI team cannot play higher than the Conference and no 1XI team will play at a level lower than Premiership Two.
The league restructure was one of seven proposals presented by the Executive committee and all of them were rubber stamped; some by an overwhelming majority. All Associate Member clubs who joined following the dissolvement of the Huddersfield Central League in 2016 have been upgraded to full members of the league by a massive majority (only one club voted against), which sees the fruits of the hard work and dedication of those at Holmbridge, Edgerton & Dalton, Cartworth Moor and Flockton. Sadly, Nortonthorpe are not one of those after recently being forced to fold following a turbulent two years.
Other proposals from the committee to see reality next season are a permanent addition of two rules that were considered a success after being installed temporarily during the months under Covid-19 restrictions. One allowed an early abandonment of 1XI matches on the morning of a match and another was a reduction of match overs in anticipation of bad weather. Both were enthusiastically welcomed carrying with majorities of 92%. Teams taking advantage of a full six point allocation in the event of their opponents conceding will now only get that chance should at least another match in the same division be completed. In the event of a full washout, both teams will be given two points each under this new rule which saw nearly 90% of clubs in favour.
Other, more minor administrational tweaks were given the nod from clubs. The Johnny Hunter Trophy (Matchwinning Performance Of The Season) is to be nominated by clubs rather than the Executive committee and clubs Public Liability Insurance policies increase to £5m instead of the current level of 3m in light of increased volume and cost of claims.
Club proposals didn’t fare too well with only one of six motions winning over fellow clubs. The only successful one was an archaic rule of re-applying for membership of the league when finishing bottom of the Conference received 37 ‘yes’ votes with only one club voting against it. However 12pm start times all season, a change of points system to one similar to the Bradford League and a singular proposal to upgrade the membership of Edgerton & Dalton CC were all emphatically dismissed. The latter became somewhat academic since they were upgraded along with all other of their fellow Associate Members through another proposal. One club’s submission to make cricket teas non-obligatory was received reasonably well but not enough to solidify itself in next season’s rule book with 22 clubs in favour, but 16 clubs against.
Finally, a ‘fair play’ rule submitted by one club hit the buffers with only 12 clubs getting behind the proposed scheme. No club was to spend more than 40% of their annual revenue on players and would have been required to send account statements and player contracts to the league which received short shrift by the majority of clubs.
You can see a copy of all rule proposals along with their results here.