LOST balls was a topic of conversation at the Dales Council League’s mid-season meeting at Pudsey Congs.

Is it the misty-eyed reflection of a pensioner to say that more players looked for lost balls in the long grass or in copses 50 years or so ago?

Did six or seven players used to go and look for the missing Kookaburras or Readers when now only two or three go and look for them because the rest are on their mobile phones?

Is it not a common courtesy for the batting side to look for lost balls in order to keep the game moving?

Of course, as fixtures secretary Ken Firth pointed out, some grounds are worse than others for losing balls, but the time lost searching for them should be taken into account by the umpire or umpires if an innings runs beyond the maximum time allowed.

Firth said that the fielding side should not be looking for them for long periods, but should, if possible, try and mark where the ball had disappeared to in order to help the batting side locate it.

He also reminded clubs to hand the team cards to umpires at the start of the match, including first names, and that they should be signed and dated on the back by the respective skippers.

If scorers wanted the team cards as an aid they could always take a picture of them.

He added: “In one match we had six S Patels, four R Patels and four B Patels (initials only). How is anyone supposed to know which is which on the scorecards?

“Teams should also remember to squad their players as they might appear as an unregistered player if they don’t.”

He also reminded clubs in games where there are no panel umpires that teams need to remember to give marks on the umpires (or umpire) and the quality of the teas.

Firth also talked about the weather, saying: “We lost the first two weekends of the season and also June 15, so we have lost 30 per cent of our fixtures already.

“Let’s hope for better weather in the second half of the season.”

League secretary Ron Mackenzie reminded clubs to check the regulations regarding overseas players, which are explained on the Bradford Premier League website.

League chairman Colin White reminded clubs that if they did not provide umpires for their Dales Council League Umpires’ Association then they had no right to have panel umpires officiating at their matches, regardless of what division they were in.

He also told club representatives that the answers to a lot of the questions that they were bombarding the league secretary, the fixture secretary, himself and umpires’ appointments’ secretary Maria Vasudev with are in the league handbook anyway.

White also threw out a challenge to clubs: Can we be the most knowledgeable league in Yorkshire when it comes to knowing our rules and regulations?

He also reminded clubs that in some cases Dales Council League rules override MCC laws.