A new look for the Tolchards Devon Cricket League will begin to take shape following a round of divisional meetings this week.

Clubs in the Premier, A and B Divisions meet at the Exeter Court Hotel at Kennford tonight (Wednesday) to discuss a raft of proposals put forward to update league rules and regulations.

Clubs in the East and West regional divisions will meet at the same place on Friday to discuss the same proposals.

Ed Leverton, the league secretary, said the meetings are part of the process needed to take workable proposals to next month’s annual meeting.

“The upcoming divisional meetings are going to focus on the drafts of the revisions to the constitution, playing rules and playing regulations,” said Leverton.  

“We need to know what can be taken forward to the annual meeting on November 24 when clubs will vote on the changes.”

Clubs have already had a look at draft proposals and more than half (53%) have responded.

Leverton said one of the clear messages was a desire for less regulation at lower levels of the game.

“Essentially, a simpler form of cricket, without power-plays and fielding circles, will be played in the lower divisions of the new structure,” said Leverton.

“At its lowest level games will be of 40 overs per side.

“Cup competitions, already re-aligned into two 20-over competitions, will be aired and we are looking for feedback from participating clubs.”

Fines and penalties, un-tinkered with for a number of years, are also up for discussion.

The league has a mixture of fines and points deductions to deal with most rule infactions. What they don’t have is a policy on what and why, or why not.

Leverton said another issue is some fines cost more to collect than they bring on.

“As a guiding principal the league would like to see infringements arising from a breach of playing regulations dealt with by a deduction of league points,” said Leverton.

“These would be on a sliding scale with repeated infringements of the same playing regulation an increasing tariff deduction.

“We strongly believe it is more effective to withdraw points for playing offences than issue a notice of fine.”

Looking down the proposals for fines and penalties, it is likely fees will rise for disciplinary appeals and non-payment of subscriptions.

Penalties for not answering correspondence within 21 days are set for the axe – and the penalty for not attending league meetings is under review.

“General and divisional meetings are important and attendance should be mandatory,” said Leverton.

“There will be exceptional reasons when clubs are unable to attend, however we cannot accept a situation where it is financially more attractive not go attend because the level of fine is too low.”

Leverton has reminded clubs they need to return all perpetual trophies – ideally engraved for 2016 – so they can be handed out to new recipients at the annual meeting.