THE Dales Council League are to introduce fielding circles into their cup competitions next season.

In a rule change that was passed at the league’s annual meeting at Pudsey Congs, at least four fielders must be within the 30-yard circle for the whole of the innings at the time of the ball being bowled.

However, the vote to include fielding circles for the Pool Paper Mills Cup and Cawthorne Cup, which was proposed by Cookridge and seconded by Pudsey Congs, was only passed 8-6.

More popular was the executive committee proposal, again backed by Congs, that monetary fines could be converted into a deduction of league points (passed 9-3) as long as the request was made within seven days of the penalty being notified.

For example, a £10 fine could be converted to the loss of one league point, fines of £25 or £30 could result in a loss of three league points, and a £50 fine could convert to a five-point deduction.

Any club that benefits from a defaulted fixture will now be awarded 20 points (up from 18), with the offending team still being docked 10 points, while sides that face a team that fields an ineligible player will also receive 20 points rather than 18.

Umpires will now receive £35 for officiating in cup finals (the money to be paid by the league), as well as getting their commemorative trophies, but umpires’ fees for matches will remain at £35 as the Umpires’ Association’s proposal that fees be increased to £40 (if there are two umpires) and £60 (if there is one umpire) was defeated 10-4.

Other proposals that failed to gain a majority were that two teams from the same club can play in the same division (lost 7-2), that fines for non-fulfilment of fixtures go up from £30 to £50, with £25 going to the non-offending host club to offset losses for teas etc (lost 9-5) and that start times should be brought forward 30 minutes to 1pm (12.30pm for the last four weekends, lost 11-3).

Meanwhile, clubs will be allowed to use Lord’s or Raje balls (passed 8-4), which meant that Readers, Dukes or Kookaburras will not be added to the list of permissible balls.

Another proposal to be passed was that regular Dales Council League players be allowed to play in cup matches, even though they may have played in knockout matches to help out a senior league team (in the Priestley Shield for example), as long as the Dales Council League’s emergency committee agree upon each individual case (11 for, one against).

Finally, a proposal to trial the Duckworth Lewis system for rain-affected matches, with a view to bringing it in fully in 2020, was defeated 13-2.

Former Dales Council Umpires’ Association secretary Colin White was elected as league chairman, while David Wilson replaced Mohammed Amin as a club representative on the general committee.