Code of Conduct for Players and Supporters
The Club’s Code of Conduct has evolved to preserve both the ‘Spirit of Cricket’ as enunciated in the preamble of the MCC’s laws of the game (see below), and the ‘Spirit of Graces’ which strives to build a community where each and every member, player or supporter of whatever age, sexuality or ethnic background should feel at home and appreciated in their common pursuit of a sport they cherish.
The laws of cricket and the ethos of Graces, embody the shared principles of respect for all participants, fairness, honesty and integrity on and off the immediate field of play. Each and every member of the Club has a duty to uphold the values and reputation of both the game of cricket and the family of Graces; abuse of either diminishes us all.
Spirit of Cricket
- The Role of the Captains
- The major responsibility for ensuring the spirit of fair play rests with the captains.
- The captains are responsible at all times for ensuring that play is conducted within the Spirit of the Game as well as within the Laws.
- In the event of a player failing to comply with instructions by an umpire, or criticising by word or action the decision of an umpire, or 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, and instruct the latter to take action.
- Fair and unfair play
- According to the Laws the umpires are the sole judges of fair and unfair play. The umpires may intervene at any time and it is the responsibility of the captain to take action where required.
- The umpires are authorised to intervene in cases of:
- Time wasting
- Damaging the pitch
- Dangerous or unfair bowling
- Tampering with the ball
- Any other action that they consider to be unfair
- The Spirit of the Game involves RESPECT for:
- Your opponents
- Your own captain
- The roles of the umpires
- The game’s traditional values
- It is against the Spirit of the Game:
- To dispute an umpire’s decision by word, action or gesture
- To direct abusive language towards an opponent or umpire
- To indulge in cheating or any sharp practice, for instance:
- to appeal knowing that the batsman is not out
- to advance towards an umpire in an aggressive manner when appealing
- to seek to distract an opponent either verbally or by harassment with persistent clapping or unnecessary noise under the guise of enthusiasm and motivation of one’s own side.
- There is no place for any act of violence on the field of play.
- Captains and umpires together set the tone for the conduct of a cricket match. Every player is expected to make an important contribution towards this.
The Spirit of Graces
Members of Graces are united by a shared enthusiasm and love of cricket and its wish to pursue this interest within a Club where all are welcome and encouraged whatever their previous experience of the sport. Graces strength lies in the breadth of the age and background of its membership and its commitment to ensure that regardless of ability everyone enjoys the game. There is a duty of the more experienced to encourage and help build-up the self-esteem of the less confident; anything less, on or off the field of play, is divisive and destructive of the ethos of the Club.
Therefore, it is essential that:
- No player should attempt to usurp or undermine the authority of the Captain.
- Players should recognise that field placements are the prerogative of the Captain in liaison with the Bowler and, if he chooses, after consulting with his Vice-Captain(s).
- Players and supporters should recognise that praise and encouragement are far more effective in building confidence and improving performance than harsh criticism and ridicule.
- No player or supporter should openly and loudly direct abuse or criticism at a player who has made an error or convey their displeasure in a manner intended to be seen and/or heard.
- Players should never, in response to their own mistakes, seek ‘scapegoats’ by placing the blame on another player or an umpire.
- Players and supporters should demonstrate a high level of sportsmanship at all times even in the face of intimidation.
- No player or supporter should endanger the reputation of the Club by the excessive consumption of alcohol or use of illicit drugs before or during a game or a post-match social.
Complaints about the behaviour of a Club member must be addressed to the Chairman or, in his absence, the Vice-Chairman, who will deal with it informally or, if he feels it necessary, refer the matter to the Committee. The Committee may then decide to speak to the member, write to him/her or, in extreme cases, expel the member from the club without reimbursement of fees. The Committee’s decision is final. [Please refer to the Constitution for information on disciplinary matters]
General disciplinary problems are rare and every member of Graces should be reassured that the Chairman and Committee do their utmost to solve any dispute, in as timely, discreet, fair and constructive manner as possible.