OFFICIALS – both of the Dales Council Umpires’ Association and the league itself – have been wrestling all year with how to get clubs to provide umpires for matches.

They realised that the solution is not to punish clubs but to provide them with an incentive.

The outcome at the league’s rules revision meeting at Pudsey Congs is to put forward a proposed new rule to the annual meeting on November 11, also at Congs, one of that gives a club two additional bonus points per match if their umpires stand.

That could have meant an extra 40 points per club over the course of the season – equivalent to two victories with maximum points – but if a club has only one umpire and two teams then the points will go to which team the club chooses.

However, it was subsequently decided that that umpires’ bonus points haul will not include the last four weeks of the season.

Umpires’ fees could go up, if the annual meeting agrees, to £40 per match (from £35) if there are two umpires or £60 (from £50) if there is only one umpire.

If a club umpire stands at square leg for the whole game, they will be entitled to £20 (£10 from each club).

The league also want ID photos (conforming to UK Passport Agency standards) to be brought in from next July – to be put on the Play Cricket site – in order to minimise the chances of illegal players taking part.

Other proposed rule changes include to allow player registrations to be made retrospectively up until 72 hours after the scheduled start time (to allow for late team changes).

Two more are to allow junior players to play twice on a weekend without special dispensation (thereby encouraging youngsters to play cricket) and to allow them to play Dales Council cup matches even though they may have already played in a senior league’s cup competition.