Canterbury & District Bat & Trap League

Established Since 1922

League Rules


The Canterbury & District Bat & Trap League hereby declares itself exempt from liability for any injury or damage, howsoever caused, to any persons or property, which may arise during travelling to or from matches or playing the game of Bat & Trap.


The Canterbury & District Bat & Trap League has responsibility for the administration of a League consisting of a variable number of divisions according to the total number of teams in the League. It is also responsible for the administration of various tournaments, the Singles and Doubles Tournaments and fours Cup competitions, the Charles Skam Cup, Charles Skam Plate, Henry Court Cup, Henry Court Plate, the Fours Cup and the Festival Cup. In addition there will also be a Mixed Doubles and a Mixed Fours Competition. The eligibility for entry to the various competitions is as follows.

Competition and Team Eligibility

League = All Teams
Singles Tournament = Any registered players
Doubles Tournament = Any registered pair of players *
Fours Trophy = Any registered quartet of players *
Charles Skam Cup = All teams
Charles Skam Plate = All teams
Henry Court Cup = All teams
Henry Court Plate = All teams
Mixed Doubles Tournement = Any registered pair of players *
Mixed Fours Cup = Any quartet from a Pub*
(comprising 2 men & 2 women)
Festival Cup = Previous season divisional and cup/plate winners + League invitees

* Note: This is an open competition and players do not have to be from the same team

League Administration

1. There is an Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the League, held before the start of each season. The Season runs from approximately the beginning of May to September. The date and venue of the AGM will be notified to each team Captain by email. Please note that this information will be sent to the current email contact address that we have. Teams are strongly advised to keep this information up to date. The Captain will have been provided in the notification with the administrative forms required by the league in order to enter a team in the new Season. The AGM will be used to elect League officers, present accounts, set a rate for League membership, and otherwise conduct League business. Unless the League is in receipt of confirmation to the contrary, any team not represented at the AGM will be deemed to have excluded itself from the forthcoming Season, and if it rejoins the League at a later date, it will do so in the lowest existing division.

2. The AGM will be the venue for discussion of any proposed rule changes. If it has been decided to put a possible rule change to a vote, then the change will be effected by a simple majority of eligible voters present at the meeting. Eligible voters are those players at the meeting who were registered players in the previous season. Having regard to Rule 1 above, about the self – exclusion of teams, and taking into account any rule changes made at the AGM, the League will then be in a position to construct fixture lists for the forthcoming Season. If teams are already sure of their intentions for the coming Season, then, once the AGM has finished, they will be able to present their forms and pay their subscriptions at this meeting.

3. Subsequent to the AGM, a Captains Meeting will be held, shortly before the start of each season. Here, any unpaid League membership fees and administrative documents will be collected, and fixture lists distributed to the Captains who are not able to obtain them electronically. Captains must check these lists for errors, which are difficult to rectify once a season has started. Any item that may have been referred to this meeting will also be dealt with.

4. It is a requirement that all players be registered with the League, and registration lists form part of the administration documentation made available to Captains. If they were not submitted at the Captains Meeting, these lists must be received by the Secretary before the first match.

5. The minimum age for a player is 16 years. No more than two players under the age of 18 are allowed to play for a team in any one match. The away team captain shall notify the home team captain of any under 18 year olds playing. The landlord shall be notified by the home team captain and the league hereby declares itself absolved of any subsequent issues to this matter.

6. Although a player may play for different teams in a season, he may only play for, or otherwise represent the team with which he is currently registered. If it is subsequently discovered that this rule has been contravened then the points gained (and legs won or lost) shall be deducted from the team contravening this rule and a 2-0 win and 3 points shall be awarded to the opposing team. In unusual circumstances (such as repeated breaking of this rule), the League may impose such other penalty as it deems appropriate, at its sole discretion. To change teams a player must submit a ‘player transfer form’, which is available from the League or the League website. This way, both Captains and the League will know what is happening. Only when approval has been given by the league can a player start playing for his new team.

7. New players may be registered at any time during the Season; this registration must be received at least 24 hours before a player is required to play.

8. No registered player or team is to play competitive matches for financial gain.

9. Any team which changes home venue voluntarily will be relegated to the lowest existing division. If the change is involuntary then the team will retain its current League standing. In either case the team will, if necessary, be renamed with the approval of the League. In extenuating circumstances the league may arbitrate a solution.

10. Those teams winning Cups during the season will be responsible for their safe keeping and return when they are required for presentation again the following year. If a Cup is lost or damaged in any way during this time, the League will make every effort commensurate with the scale of the loss to be compensated appropriately. If winners fail to appear for the Presentation Evening, without having given reasonable prior excuse to the league, then any cup, shield or trophy, and any individual trophies they have won may be retained by the League and the individual trophies may be recycled for use the following year.

Match Administration

League Matches

League matches are played on a divisional basis, fixture lists for which are issued electronically or at the Captains Meeting before the start of each Season. The fees for these matches are included in the League membership. By default they are normally played on Wednesdays, although for historical reasons there are a diminishing number of teams who play their home matches on Thursdays. These matches are played throughout the Season. Normally, the top two teams can expect promotion to the next division, and the bottom two teams can expect demotion. However, this may be varied by the League, at its sole discretion, in order to maintain a balance of teams across divisions.

Charles Skam Cup and Henry Court Cup

These are two identical Cup competitions, the rounds for which alternate during the Season.

If there are more than 64 or 32 teams at the start, then randomly picked teams will be required to play preliminary matches. If there are less than 64 or 32 teams, then randomly picked teams will have byes to the next round. The teams for each succeeding round are also paired randomly. Once the quarter-finals are reached in each Cup, the matches are thenceforward played on neutral pitches. The same shall apply to the Plate competitions.

Charles Skam Plate and Henry Court Plate

These again are two identical plate competitions featuring those teams knocked out of the cup competitions either at the preliminary or first round stage. The teams will be randomly drawn and again as from the quarter-final stage matches will be played on neutral pitches.

Fours Trophy

This a cup played between teams of four players no substitutes on the night and again once a player has played for 1 team they cannot then play for another team. It is open to any registered player from a pub/venue (players from different teams at the venue can form a team).

Mixed Fours

This is a similar competition to the Fours Trophy but teams will be comprised of two men and two ladies. One substitution shall be permitted in the competition.

Festival Cup

This Cup competition is open to the divisional winners from the previous year, cup and plate winners from the previous year, and such other teams as may be invited by the league, at its sole discretion, to enter. It is a mandatory competition and therefore the fee is included in the League membership. The dates for these fixtures will depend on the existing Cup commitments of the teams involved, and may, therefore, be subject to revision by the league, possibly at short notice. The teams shall be randomly paired, and all matches to be played on a neutral pitch (usually of the teams that make up draw) .The final to be played on a pitch which shall be nominated by the league. These matches are normally, but not exclusively, played on Mondays.

Singles, Doubles and Mixed Doubles Tournaments

These Tournaments are identical in execution and open to all registered players. Currently, the maximum number of players is 64 (Singles) and 32 pairs (Doubles). A fee is payable on the day. However, entry declared on the annual form of two singles, one pair and one mixed pair is included in the annual fee.

All teams are invited to nominate up to 2 Singles players and 2 Doubles pairs in the first instance. In the event of an oversubscription at this point, Singles or Pairs will be randomly removed as needed. In the event of an under subscription, teams that have already nominated players will be invited to submit one more Single or Pair by a given date, whence random selections will be made as required.

A single venue will be used for each Tournament. The venue will be notified by the League in good time. The Singles and Doubles Tournaments shall be played on separate dates also to be notified by the League. Tournaments shall be played on a knockout basis on a pre-drawn grid over the best of three legs. The Grand Final of both the Singles and Doubles shall be played as the best of five legs.


A trophy is awarded to the Winners and Runners up in each of the Cup/Plate competitions, as well as the winners and Runners up of each division. This also applies to  or the Singles/Doubles and Player of the year competitions.

They are at liberty to display these for one year. Also, the first eight members of the winning and runner – up teams in all the above are awarded personal trophies to keep.

These are paid for out of League funds and are normally presented at the annual Presentation Evening, which is held after the end of the Season. The date and venue for this is usually notified near to the time. The Evening is open to all players and their spouses. If any teams require more than eight personal trophies, they may inform the Secretary of their requirements, and these will be supplied to the teams at cost price.

Game Overview

All terms in use here are described more fully later.

The game takes place between two teams of eight players. Once it has been decided which teams are to bat and bowl (by coin toss), they will repair to their separate ends of the pitch. The first batsman will go into play and will attempt to score runs as outlined later. After each time he bats, it will be the turn of a bowler to attempt to strike the trap.

The bowlers will continue in turn until such time as the batsman is deemed Out. This will continue until the entire batting team is Out. At this point the batting teams’ runs will be added up, including any Extras they may have. The teams will then swap ends and the former batting team will now bowl, and vice versa. Normally, the match is the best of 3 such legs, and a match can be won, lost or drawn. However, time restrictions may come into play such that a draw may be recorded, or a match decided by who was ahead at enforced end of play. See ‘Time Restrictions’ later for details.

Match Play

1. For the purposes of League and Cup matches (except Singles and Doubles Tournaments and the Fours Cup), teams are to consist of eight players. Note: Substitutes are allowed. The process for this works in the following way. A maximum of 2 substitutes are allowed. Their names must be given to the opposing Captain before the start of the match by entering them on the scoresheet. A substitute can only join a match at the start of a leg, and the person he replaces can rejoin the game at start of another leg.

2. In the event of a fixture clash, Cup matches are to take priority over League matches. If a league match has to be postponed to incorporate a Cup fixture, both captain’s will be advised by the Fixture Secretary as soon as possible.

3. League and Cup matches are to start by 8.00pm. If play in a League or Cup match has not commenced by 8.15 p.m. then the first leg may be claimed by the team not causing the delay to the start time. Should play not have commenced by 8.30 p.m. then the team not causing the delay may claim the match. Please note that this is an entitlement. It is not mandatory where common sense would dictate a different course of action.

4. All League and Cup fixtures must be adhered to as laid down in the fixture lists. The only exception to this is inclement weather, in which case the Secretary must be advised beforehand. In the event that a team does not appear to play a match, a 2 – 0 win will be awarded to the injured party.

5. The match information and team scores are to be recorded on a suitable score sheet, which is usually of the teams’ own devising. It is requested that teams retain these score sheets until the end of the Season, so that in the case of any disputes they may be referred to.

6. A Result Card will be supplied to the teams electronically and is to be completed at the end of match by the winning side. As well as the scores, the names of all the players (including substitutes) are to be recorded and both captains will nominate a Player of the Match from the opposing side to count towards the Player of the Year award. It shall be submitted electronically by the winning side. In the case of a drawn match the home captain will complete and submit the Result Card. The results card should be sent to . If the electronic Result Card, has not been received by the league by midnight on the saturday following the match then the result shall be VOID and no points will be awarded and no legs won or lost will be recorded.

7. The proper conduct of the matches will be the responsibility of both Captains, except where an Umpire has been appointed, and this will end only when the Result Card has been signed by both Captains at the end of the match.

8. During the season, teams are automatically ranked in the League Tables according to the number of points they have. In the event that teams that are in contention for promotion or relegation are have identical points at the end of the season then the ranking will be decided as follows:
(i)     Highest leg difference
(ii)    Most legs won
(iii)   Least legs lost
(iv)   The ‘Head to Head’ record of the teams tied
(v)    If however the teams still cannot be split a Play-off shall take place at a neutral venue to be decided by the league

8a. The last round of League fixtures will all be played on the same day.

9. If a dispute arises between the Captains which cannot be resolved on the spot, then, if there is no League – appointed Umpire, details of the dispute are to be forwarded to the League, who will, after consideration, take the most appropriate course of action.

10. Floodlights should be used, these to be switched on either before the start of play or before a new leg starts. The lights should adequately light the pitch to allow the match to be played safely.

11. If a team has less than 8 players at the start of a match, and the missing player or players arrive late, they must not join in play until the start of a new leg.

12. A team that has less than eight players when bowling will be penalised in the following way: in each round of bowling, when every player who is present has bowled, there will then be given one run per absent bowler to the batting team. These runs are to be added to the score of the batting teams as Extras. They are not added to the score of the batsman currently in play.

Time Restrictions

All games should be played to best of three legs, however in order to ensure matches finish at a reasonable time, time restrictions can come into operation under certain conditions. These time restrictions take the form of bowl outs, which are substituted for the playing of a leg. There is a ‘Normal’ bowl out for League matches, and an extra ‘Sudden Death’ bowl out for use in Cup matches only, since these must end in a win. Restrictions happen in the following circumstances:

If a third leg is required in any match (league or cup) this should commence no later than 10:30 p.m., otherwise it can be decided by a ‘Normal’ bowl out (this should be agreed between the captains before play starts). If the captains can not agree beforehand, the Home captain decision takes preference.

(CUP ONLY) If the match remains level after three legs (won or tied) have been played, the match shall be decided by means of a ‘Normal’ bowl out.

(CUP ONLY) If a match is still level after a ‘Normal’ bowl out, then it will be decided by a ‘Sudden Death’ bowl out.

(LEAGUE ONLY) If a match reaches a time curfew that may have been imposed on a venue by Environmental Health officers, then the leg in play shall be ignored, and the final result shall be the score before the leg started.

‘Normal’ Bowl Out Description

The team to bowl first shall be decided by the toss of a coin, the team winning the toss choosing whether to bowl first or second.

1. The team bowling first shall start from player No 1 and continue bowling until all bowlers have had 1 bowl, it will then be the turn of the other team to complete their turn.

2. Once it becomes impossible for one team to win the leg, the bowl out ends immediately.

3. If the total number of traps hit by each team is equal then in a league match the third leg shall be declared tied. In the case of a cup match a sudden death bowl out will be played.

Sudden Death Bowl Out Description

The team to bowl first shall be the team that won the toss of a coin for the ‘Normal’ bowl out.

1. The first bowler in each team shall bowl a delivery at the trap.

2. If the number of traps hit is still equal then the second bowler in each team shall bowl a delivery at the trap and so on until the leg is decided by the first person to miss the trap losing the match for his team.

Note: in the event that one team is short of bowlers through absence this shall not affect the ‘Normal’ Bowl Out or ‘Sudden Death’ Bowl Out. Each bowler present shall be entitled to bowl at the trap. The team that is short of bowlers will effectively suffer the same penalty as they would bowling in a normal leg.

Bowling Rules

1. The bowling team shall remain in its entirety at the bowling end until the leg in play is completed. If a bowler is not present and ready to bowl when it is his turn, he will miss this turn and 1 run will be given to the opposing team, and is added as an Extra run.

2. Each bowler in the team shall bowl only once in each round, and the ball shall be bowled underarm. If the bowler has bowled a legal ball, and the ball strikes the flap of the trap and knocks it over then the batsman is deemed to be out, and it is the turn of the next batsman.

3. A bowler must have at least one foot on the ground behind the bowling line at the moment he releases the ball. If not it is deemed a no ball.

Batting Rules

1. If a batsman is not present and ready to bat when his turn comes he will be deemed to have knocked out and will miss the turn. Each batsman who does play shall bat until he is out by one of the methods outlined in [3] below.

2. Before he hits each ball, the batsman is allowed to hit the trap striker twice, as long as he does not attempt to hit the ball. He must attempt to strike the ball the third time.

3. A batsman will be deemed out in the following circumstances:

(i)   If he strikes at the ball and misses it.

(ii)  If he does not hit the ball between the posts at the bowling end

(iii) If he hits the ball between, but higher than, the posts at the bowling end

(iv) If the ball is caught at the bowling end, without having touched the ground, by any bowler with one or both feet behind the bowling line

4. Once a batsman has struck the ball he must stand still, and to one side of the trap, not behind it.

5. If the batsman has struck a legal ball, and the next bowler then misses the trap, the batsman will have scored a run.

Pitch & Equipment

1. The game shall be played on a grass pitch, 21 yards long and 13 feet 6 inches wide, which has been suitably marked with lines along each side. Across the width, the line at one end is the bowling line, and at the other, the batting line.

2. A pair of triangles of suitable construction is required, dimensioned 1 foot 6 inches on a side, and 5 inches deep. They will have a hole in the centre, into which a pole is inserted, such that it is 7 feet high, measured from ground level. The triangles are set at the bowling end, on each side of the pitch, with the base on the bowling line, and the apex pointing along the sideline.

3. The trap: The only rules about trap construction are that there is to be a hinged flap at the front of the trap, and that this is to be 5 inches square. It is to be painted white, with a 21/4 inch black circle in the centre. It is set centrally at the batting end, with the flap on the batting line.

4. A legal bat will have a striking surface oval in shape, not exceeding 8 inches long by 5 and 1/2 inches wide.

5. The ball shall be made of solid rubber. It will be 2 and 1/2 inches in diameter and 7 and 1/2 ounces in weight.


In all matters not covered by a specific rule within the rules or constitution, the League Management Committee shall deliberate at its sole discretion.


2017 Canterbury & District Bat and Trap League