Discipline: Sentencing Guidelines

The following are guidelines to sentencing policy which may be used by disciplinary panels in determining the appropriate sentence in any individual case.  The guidelines provide a method of considering individual cases but are not a tariff and should not be considered as such.  Only a disciplinary panel can decide on the penalty appropriate to any individual case.

Players Behaviour

In the event of any player failing to comply with the instructions of an umpire, criticising his decision by word or action, showing dissent, or generally behaving in a manner which might bring the game into disrepute, the umpire concerned shall in the first place report the matter to the other umpire and to the player’s captain, requesting the latter take action.

Breaches of the Spirit of the Game should automatically be reported as soon as reasonably practicable by the umpires to the executive of the club concerned and to the Hon. Secretary or Hon. Chairman of the SEDCB.  Such breaches will be treated seriously and are likely to result in suspension.

Accumulated Bad Behaviour

Repeated infringements by an individual of the Spirit of the Game (where it is decided that each infringement in itself does not merit any immediate disciplinary action), should always result in a disciplinary hearing.  Taking into account captains’ responsibilities as set in Law 1.4 – Responsibilities of Captains, repeated infringements by a team are likely to result in the captain being held responsible for the conduct of his team (whether or not individual players are also identified for disciplinary action) and being called before a disciplinary hearing.  The penalties available include suspension.

When issuing the penalty, the disciplinary panel may take account of instances of poor team discipline in previous years, particularly where the on-field captain is the same.  The SEDCB should ensure that captains, or team managers in respect of a youth match, understand their responsibility for the “on the field” behaviour of themselves and their team members.

If suspension is the penalty, this will normally take effect immediately.


There is no place for any act of violence on the field of play.  Proven cases of violent conduct against an official will inevitably result in a lengthy term of suspension.  Violence against a spectator or another player will also normally result in suspension, the length depending upon the circumstances.  If suspension is the penalty, this should take effect immediately.

Racial Abuse

Players and team officials must not make racially abusive comments nor indulge in racially abusive actions against fellow players, officials, members and supporters.  Racially abusive comments or actions will normally result in suspension, the length depending upon the circumstances.


It is our policy that there should be no distinction drawn between ‘performance enhancing’ and ‘recreational’ drugs.  Use or distribution of these illegal drugs by players or team officials is a breach of our code of conduct.

Appropriateness of Penalties

In all cases and for all offences, an admission of guilt will almost certainly result in a lesser sentence being imposed than if the matter is contested – credit being given for the admission.  Plainly, the extent of the credit to be given will depend upon all the circumstances of the case, including how early the admission of guilt is made, but, save possibly in the most trivial of cases, it will not normally be such as to change the nature of the penalty or to bring about total suspension of the penalty.

Whatever penalties are applied should be applied with consistency.  Fines are normally more appropriate for individual breaches of regulations or the code of conduct.  Points penalties are normally more appropriate in the case of a club or where a significant number of the team have contributed to the breach.

It is likely that cases of accumulated bad behaviour and cases of violent conduct will result in a suspension of at least four weeks.  Suspensions of four weeks’ duration or more should be reported by the SEDCB to its County Board for national circulation.  Such notification should be sent after the seven day appeal period has expired, or, in the case of an appeal, immediately upon conclusion of the appeal hearing.  Players should understand that suspensions of this length will normally apply to all cricket played under the auspices of the England and Wales Cricket Board.

Approved by Management Committee of the South Essex District Cricket Board
21st November 2011