Following the AGM this Wednesday, the results of the Rules Revisions can be announced with the most notable change for playing members coming in the form of a revamped Sykes Cup and Paddock Shield which means the return for the Oddfellows and Earnshaw Cups which were played for between 2010 and 2015.
It was a popular proposal from the Executive with some 35 clubs out of 41 (two clubs did not submit their votes) giving the notion their backing. The preliminary round has been removed with the top 32 clubs from the previous season (the 2019 rankings will make up the draw for the 2021 competition) contesting the first rounds of both trophies. The 1XI teams ranked 33 and below from the previous season’s 1X1 Competition are then joined by Associate Member club first teams plus the required number of lowest ranked teams eliminated from round one of the Sykes Cup, to form a group of 16 teams to contest the Oddfellows Cup on a knockout basis. The Paddock Shield will follow a similar format with the 2XI teams contesting the Earnshaw Cup later in the year. Following round one, the Sykes Cup and Paddock Shield will follow its usual format.
As a consequence of the revamped Sykes Cup and Paddock Shield, the competition has been redrawn at the December AGM which you can find here: Redrawn Sykes Cup and Paddock Shield First Round.
An intriguing club proposal for all divisions to contain 12 teams was rejected after 23 clubs voted against the idea. It was proposed that three teams would be relegated from each division (except Conference Three) to leave all divisions with 12 teams for season 2022 onwards. In another club proposal, five Associate Member teams; Edgerton and Dalton CC, Cartworth Moor CC, Flockton CC, Holmbridge CC and Nortonthorpe CC were unable to generate enough clubs to vote for them to become full members of the league. 28 clubs declined the proposal with 13 voting in favour.
One club proposal however was successful in getting a change to the rulebook after backing from the committee. From the 2021 season, it will be possible to call off 2XI matches if a ground is unfit for play due to inclement weather. It will require agreement from both captains and / or representatives but should see a good reduction of wasted journeys which has often proved to be a frustration to club players, members and umpires.
Elsewhere several Executive proposals got the green light from clubs with the most delicately balanced notion being a punishment for not submitting details for the handbook in time. 28 votes were required to pass and 29 votes pushing it through. Other rules changes are T20 Shield matches now featuring pink balls in synchronicity with its T20 Trophy cousin. A standardised dress code for club umpires of white coat, dark trousers and other elements should see a more uniform appearance amongst the growing army of club and pool umpires and finally tighter restrictions on clubs playing less players for the 1XI than their 2XI on a corresponding matchday.
Click here to download a report of the breakdown of voting for the Rules Revision.