New Code of Laws – October 2017

There is one fewer way for a batsman to be dismissed since the 2017 Code of the Laws of Cricket came into effect on Sunday 1st October.

Click here to register for the new state-of-the-art eLearning programme, which provides a guide to all 42 Laws, with tips from the ICC’s Elite Umpires and footage from club, first-class and international cricket to illustrate the more complex points.  The programme includes Basic and Intermediate exams enabling participants to test their knowledge.

Click here to access the 2017 Code of Laws.

Summary of the Key Changes

There are still 42 Laws, although two previous Laws have been deleted, with two additions.  The significant changes are:

• The new Code of Laws is written in language applying to all persons, regardless
of gender.  The new Code includes an increased use of generic nouns like ‘fielder’
and ‘bowler’ and uses ‘he/she’ when required, together with a broadened
disclaimer covering all genders.  The term ‘batsman’ remains, however.

• A change has been made so that the ball can be caught after it strikes a helmet which is
being worn by a fielder or the wicket-keeper.  With the wearing of helmets by wicket keepers
and close fielders now compulsory at many levels of the game, it has been decided
that a helmet will be deemed as being part of the fielder’s person, meaning that a catch
(or stumping) can be taken after the ball has struck the helmet, or become lodged in it.

• The Handled the ball Law has been deleted, with its contents merged into
Obstructing the field, reducing the list of dismissals from ten to nine.  This
will have no effect on whether a batsman is dismissed; rather, it is just the
method of dismissal that might be changed.

• The Lost ball Law has been deleted and is now covered under Dead ball.

• The old Law 2 has been divided into two separate Laws, relating to the
batsmen (Law 25) and the fielders (Law 24).  These Laws have changed the
concept of Penalty time, which starts to accrue immediately when a player
leaves the field and which will also now affect when the player may bat.

• Law 5 (The Bat) places limits on the thickness of the edges and the overall
depth of the bat.  The maximum dimensions will be 108mm in width
(unchanged), 67mm in depth with 40mm edges.

• Law 8.4 has been changed, to help prevent injuries, to allow specially designed
mechanisms which tether the bails to the stumps, thereby restricting the distance
that they can fly off the stumps but without limiting their ability to be dislodged.

• Law 24 (Fielders’ absence; substitutes) now allows a substitute to keep
wicket, with the consent of the umpires.

• Law 30 (Batsman out of his/her ground) has been amended to give protection
to a running or diving batsman whose bat bounces up after having been
grounded beyond the popping crease.

• Law 41.8 now covers the bowling of deliberate front foot No balls, which
will result in the bowler being suspended from bowling.

• Law 41.15 now prevents the batsman from taking stance in a position where
(s)he will inevitably encroach on the protected area.

• Law 41.16 has changed so that the non-striker risks being Run out if he/she leaves
his/her ground before the bowler would normally be expected to release the ball.

• Law 42 (Player Conduct) is a new Law which gives an in-match consequence
for poor on-field behaviour including, for the most serious offences,
temporary or permanent removal from the field of play.