UMPIRES in the Dales Council League have mixed feelings about earlier starts to matches.

At the Dales Council Umpires’ Association’s rules revision meeting at Pudsey Congs, it was proposed by Keith Dibb and seconded by Alan Kaunz that matches should start at 1pm.

That is half-an-hour earlier than for most of the season, although matches on the last three weekends of the season do start at 1pm.

Six voted in favour of the proposal and six against, meaning that Umpires’ Association chairman Trevor Heylings had the casting vote as to whether the motion would go forward to the league’s annual meeting, also at Pudsey Congs, on Thursday, November 14.

He voted against, with the feeling of the anti-brigade being that it would be a problem for players who work on Saturday mornings and that it would also give groundspeople less time to prepare pitches.

However, a proposal that all matches should be 40 overs per side (instead of 45) will go to the league’s annual meeting as it was passed 7-5.

Also going forward (by a vote of 8-4) will be a proposal that the umpire’s fee should be £70 if he or she is standing alone – a significant increase from the current payment of £50.

“We might encourage more people to umpire if there is more money,” said Dibb.

However, a proposal to increase an umpire’s fee to £37.50 (from £35) if two are standing in a match of 40 overs per side was voted down 6-5.

But if the overs remain at 45 per side, a proposal to increase that fee to £40 per umpire was passed 8-4 and will therefore go in front of the league’s annual meeting.

A wish that all club cricketers who stand at square leg (if there is only one listed umpire) should be DBS checked was seen as impractical.

ECB umpires’ manager Chris Kelly said: “If anyone was doing it (square-leg umpiring) regularly then they would need to be DBS checked but not otherwise.

”For example, if parents went into a school assembly you would not expect them all to be DBS checked.”

Heylings also indicated that he was willing to stand as the Umpires’ Association treasurer when Mick Edwards stands down.

Meanwhile, former Dales Council League secretary Alan Wardle has died at the age of 67.

Wardle, who replaced Steve Raistrick in that post, was also a league vice-president and a life member of the Dales Council League Umpires’ Association.

An umpire himself, Wardle was also a referee in the Leeds & District Football League.

His funeral service was at Rawdon Crematorium and was followed by a function at Pudsey Congs.