THE North Staffordshire and South Cheshire League will make its delayed start to the 2020 cricket season with new temporary rules in place tomorrow (Saturday, July 18).
There will be no promotion or relegation this summer after the campaign has been cut short by Covid-19.
Team will play each other once in the Premier Division down to Division Seven, while a reduced membership of Division Eight sees teams face each other more than once.
Matches are being played 40 overs per side on a win/lose basis, but a new points rule has been introduced to keep each division competitive.
A total of 15 points are being award to winning teams, but losing teams have a chance to collect points from a new bonus system.
A maximum of five batting points are available at 75, 100, 125, 150 and 175 runs.
Losing teams can secure points by virtue of their run rate: a rate of three runs per over harvests one, four secures two and five per over earns three bonus points.
If a side is bowled out their total is divided by the full 40 overs, regardless of how many overs they faced.
It means that a losing team could emerge from a game with 13 points.
If the scores are level at the end, a 'golden over' is played to determine the winner.
An abandoned game, where no play is possible, will see each team gain three points.
Where an abandoned match has not progressed to a minimum 10 overs, this will result in three points per side, plus bonus points.
The team with the most points from the Premier Division to Division Three will be declared winners of the Talbot Cup.
The team with the highest accrued total in Divisions Four to Eight will gain the Talbot Shield.
A series of 'powerplays' have also been introduced in the new-look format.
The first powerplay - operating for the opening eight overs - sees no more than two fielders outside the fielding circle.
From overs nine to 32 this extends to four, while overs 33 to 40 allow no more than five fielders outside the restriction area. There is also a limit of eight overs per bowler.
Overseas players are not being allowed to play in the league, and first-class contracted players are also not eligible, with one exception.
If a county contracted player has previously been registered as a Category One player in the league before their 18th birthday, they can play.
There will be no toss of the coin before the start of play. Instead the away sides have been given the choice whether they wish to bat or bowl first.
Matches in the top four division are being contested using pink balls, with each side having to provide two balls.
In Divisions Four to Eight, the home side has to provide either two new red balls, tow new pink balls of four good quality used red balls.
There's also an extensive list of health and safety guidelines to protect players and officials.
The ball, plus players' hands, must be sanitised at every break in play or every six overs.
Batsman also have to run in designated zones to social distance from other players.
All matches commence at 1pm.