Bolton Cricket

  Umpires and Scorers Association.

Est. 1930. 

Sponsored By-----Bolton Lock Company Ltd.


Welcome to the game of- Cricket.

This page will explain to an absolute beginner some of the basic Laws of cricket.     Also the   MCC. Law Changes from 1st. OCT. 2013.

 The players, umpires/scorers in a game of cricket may be of either gender and the Laws apply equally to both.

Cricket is a game played between two teams made up of eleven players each. There is also a reserve player called a "twelfth man" who is used should a player be injured during play.

The twelfth man is not allowed to bowl, bat, keepwicket or captain the team. His sole duty is to act as a substitute fielder.

To apply the laws and make sure the laws of cricket are upheld throughout the game there are two umpires and two scorers in place during games.  Umpires are responsible for making decisions and notifying the scorers of these decisions.


Ways that Batsmen can be given out according to cricket laws.

There are a number of different ways a batsman can be given out in the game of cricket. When a bowler gets a batsman out it is said that the bowler gets a "wicket". The following examples are the different ways a batsman can be given out according to the laws of cricket:

  • Bowled - Cricket laws state that if the ball is bowled and hits the striking batsman's wickets the batsman is given out (as long as at least one bail is removed by the ball). It does not matter whether the ball has touched the batsman's bat, gloves, body or any other part of the batsman. However the ball is not allowed to have touched another player or umpire before hitting the wickets.
  • Caught - Cricket laws state that if a batsman hits the ball or touches the ball at all with his bat or hand/glove holding the bat then the batsman can be caught out. This is done by the fielders, wicket keeper or bowler catching the ball on the full (before it bounces). If this is done then cricket laws state the batsman is out.  

    Leg Before Wicket (LBW) - If  a ball is bowled and it hits the batsman first without touching the bat  then an LBW decision is possible. However for the umpire to give this out he must first  answer 5. Questions in order to give the Batsman out or not out.  

    (1.) Whether the bowler has bowled a legal delivery.?

    (2.) Was the first point of contact the batsman.?

    (3.) Did the ball pitch between wicket and wicket or on the off side?.

    (4.) Was the first point of interception the striker's person or equipment and not his bat.?

    (5.) The umpire must then decide would the ball have hit the wicket if the batsman was not there. If his answer to this is yes then the batsman should be given out. However if the ball hits the batsman outside the line of off stump while he was attempting to play a stroke then he is not out.

  • Any ball that pitches outside leg stump the umpire must give not out even if the ball would have hit the wicket.

  • Stumped - A batsman can be given out according to cricket laws when the wicketkeeper puts down his wicket while he is out of his crease and not attempting a run (if he is attempting a run it would be a runout).
  • Run Out - Cricket laws state that a batsman is out if no part of his bat in hand or body is grounded behind the popping crease while the ball is in play and the wicket is fairly put down by the fielding side.
  • Hit Wicket - Cricket laws specify that if a batsman hits his wicket down with his bat or body after the bowler has entered his delivery stried and the ball is in play then he is out. The striking batsman is also out if he hits his wicket down while setting off for his first run.
  • Handled The Ball - Cricket laws allow the batsman to be given out if he wilfully handles the ball with the hand that is not touching the bat without the consent of the opposition.
  • Timed Out - An incoming batsman must be ready to face a ball or be at the non strikers end with his partner within three minutes of the outgoing batsman being dismissed. If this is not done the incoming batsman can be given out.
  • Hit The Ball Twice - Cricket laws state that if a batsman hits a ball twice (intentionally) other than for the purpose of protecting his wicket.   He is out.
  • Obstructing The Field - A batsman is out if he wilfully obstructs the opposition by word or action.

There are many other cricket laws. However these are most of the basics and will get you well on your way to playing or umpiring the game. Many of the more advanced laws  can be learned along the way and are not vital to general play.


Ways to score runs.

The aim of the batsmen is to score runs. One of the main cricket laws is that for batsmen to score runs they must run to each other's end of the pitch (from one end to the other). In doing this one run is scored. Cricket laws state they may run multiple runs per shot. As well as running they can also score runs by hitting boundaries. A boundary scores the batsmen either 4 or 6 runs. A four is scored by hitting the ball past the boundary after hitting the groud while a six is scored by hitting the ball past the boundary on the full (before it hits the ground). Cricket laws also state that once a 4 or 6 has been scored any runs physically ran by the batsman are null & void. They will only obtain the 4 or 6 runs.

Runs can also be scored according to the cricket laws in the following manner. No balls, wide balls, byes & leg byes. Cricket laws state that all runs scored by these methods are awarded to the batting team but not the individual batters.

  • A "No Ball" can be declared for many reasons: If the bowler bowls the ball from the wrong place, the ball is declared dangerous (often happens when bowled at the batsmen's body on the full), bounces more than twice or rolls before reaching the batsman or if fielders are standing in illegal positions. The batsman can hit a no ball and score runs off it but cannot be out from a no ball except if they are run out, hit the ball twice, handle the ball or obstruct the field. The batsman gains any runs scored off the no ball for his shot while the team also gains one run for the no ball itself.
  • A "Wide Ball" will be declared if the umpire thinks the batsman did not have a reasonable opportunity to score off the delivery. However if the delivery is bowled over the batsmen's head it will not be declared a wide but a no ball. Umpires are much stricter on wide deliveries in the shorter format of the game while being much more relaxed in test cricket. A wide delivery will add one run to the batting team and any runs scored by the batsman. The batsman is not able to get out off a wide delivery except if they are stumped, run out, handle the ball, hit their wicket or obstruct the field.
  • A "Bye" is where a ball that isn't a no ball or wide passes the striking batsman and runs are scored without the batsman hitting the ball.
  • A "Leg Bye" is where runs are scored by hitting the batsman, but not the bat and the ball is not a no ball or wide. However no runs can be scored if the striking batsman didn't attempt to play a shot or if he was avoiding the ball.


MCC. LAW CHANGES (Oct.2013).

The following 10 questions and answers were designed by the MCC. to provide umpires, scorers, players and cricket fans with some practical examples of how the law changes will effect the outcome in certain situations. These are all based on areas of law changes that have been altered in October 2013, and the 5th. Edition of the  2000 Code of cricket laws.


1.  The bowler, during his delivery stride, accidentally breaks the wicket with his knee. The delivery hits the striker's wicket. What should you do as the bowler's end umpire?.

 2.    The striker hits a ball, which is not a No Ball and it lobs in the air and it seems it might land on his stumps. The wicket keeper was standing next to the stumps but, before he could take what would be a simple catch, the striker knocks the ball away with his hand NOT holding the bat. There is an appeal. Should the striker be out and if so HOW?.

  3.  During a delay while the sight screen is being moved, the bowler bowls a practice ball to a fielder, using the match ball. It is only a slow ball and it bounces once before the fielder catches it. Is this practice allowed.?

  4.  The bowler delivers the ball from a position close to the return crease but it is not a No Ball. You are sure the bowler has not touched the stumps at any time during the delivery. The batsman hits the ball in the air and is caught at mid-off. As he is about to walk off, he notices a bail on the ground at the bowlers end. He suggests to you that it should be a No Ball. What is your Decision?.

  5.  The striker makes a lawful second strike, using his bat, in defence of his wicket. The ball goes towards gully where a fielder picks it up and attempts to run out the striker who is standing just out of his ground. The throw misses the stumps and the ball rolls towards the boundary, but doesn't reach it, the batsmen complete one run and turn for a second. WHAT should you do.?

  6.  A spin bowler accidentally breaks the wicket at his own end during his delivery stride. You are the bowler's end umpire and you call and signal NO BALL. However, the bowler who realises what he has done does not release the ball. WHAT SHOULD YOU DO.?

7.  The striker plays the ball and it drops in front of him. He immediately picks it up and throws the ball to a close fielder No fielder has communicated with the batsman. HOW DOES THE UMPIRE ANSWER AN APPEAL.?

  8.  A batsman hits the ball, the last one of the over and the ball rolls towards his wicket. He is concerned that he might be bowled so he kicks the ball away to guard his wicket. The batsmen then start to run before a fielder picks up the ball and throws it at the bowler's end wicket. The ball misses the wicket. The batsmen had crossed on their first run before the fielder threw the ball.  What should the umpire at the bowler's end do.?

  9.  The striker hits the ball a second time in safeguarding his wicket and it goes towards square leg. The batsmen run. A fielder picks up and throws the ball which hits a fielder’s helmet on the ground behind the wicket-keeper, it hits the helmet before the batsmen have completed the first run.  WHAT should you as bowler's end umpire do.?

 10.  A straight drive played along the ground by the striker is wilfully stopped by the non-striker with his hand not holding the bat (not in self-defence). There is an appeal. You are the bowler's end umpire. WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?. Would your decision be different if the handling prevented the bowler from taking a catch?.


 1  You should call and signal  NO BALL. 
          The striker is NOT OUT    Bowled.    (LAW 24.6).


 2.  The striker is out Obstructing the field. Although the circumstances of law 33 (Handled the Ball) are met, the fact that a catch was obstructed means he should be out obstructing the field. (See law 33-37).

 3.  Yes this practice is allowed.  It is not wasting time and is unlikely to cause any damage to the ball.(Law 17.3}

4.  The striker is out caught. You are sure the bowler did not break Law 24.6 and so the ball is not a No Ball. No Ball should only be called if you are sure the Bowler broke the wicket.  You may consult your colleague for verification if needed.


 5.  RUNS ARE NO LONGER PERMITTED AFTER A LAWFUL SECOND STRIKE.  Even after an overthrow.  You should call and signal  DEAD BALL  once the batsmen have completed the first run and return them to their original ends.             (See Law 34.)

 6.  THE BALL IS NOT A NO BALL if it is not delivered by the bowler. You should call and signal DEAD BALL and then turn to the scores and signal only a Dead Ball signal.  You may need to clarify your decision later with the scorers.


7.  THE BATSMAN IS OUT. Obstructing the field.
                                     (LAW 37)

 8.  You should wait either until the batsmen have completed their first run or until the ball becomes dead for any other reason. Runs are NOT allowed after a lawful second strike but the fielding side should be given the chance for a run out to occur during the first attempted run. If the batsmen have completed one run you should call and signal dead ball and return them to their original ends. If a run out or Obstruction of the field occurs before the first run is completed, the relevant batsman will be out. (Law 34.)


 9.  You should call and signal DEAD BALL AS SOON AS THE BALL HITS THE HELMET. You return the batsmen to their original ends, informing them that the runs cannot be scored after a lawful second strike. You should repeat the dead ball signal to the scorers and if necessary, clarify that no penalty runs are scored for the ball striking the helmet. (See law 34).

 10.  In the first scenario, the non - striker is out obstructing the field, under the new law, only the striker can be out handled the ball and only during a limited period while he is receiving the ball. In the second scenario where a catch is obstructed the striker would be out obstructing the field, even though it was the non-striker who caused the obstruction. (Law 33 & 37).


 Follow the above laws and enjoy the game of cricket.


Anyone interested after reading this page in becoming an "UMPIRE" why not enroll on the next "UMPIRES COURSE" and the more complicated laws will be explained in full.

For details of future courses please contact,

KAREN KNOTT (01204535842)  OR  DAVID HEAP (LCB. TRAINING OFFICER, 01204846926).

Bolton Cricket

      Umpires and Scorers Association.

Est. 1930.
  Sponsored By----- Bolton Lock Company Ltd.

     Phone - 01942 811186.


©. 2010-2017- Bolton Cricket  Umpires & Scorers Association.