When Is A Full Toss A No Ball?

Scenario one. An erratic spinner steps up to the crease and delivers a slow, waist-high full toss, which the batsman pulls away effortlessly for six. The umpire then raises his arm and signals no ball. The fielding captain complains. Who is in the right?

Scenario two. A medium pace bowler bowls another waist-high full toss, which hits the top of the stumps. The umpire makes no signal. The dismissed batsman complains. Again, who is in the right?

This thorny old issue – of no balls for height – is on my mind again after a weekend when it provoked yet another argument during a village cricket fixture. There is, quite simply, no law of cricket which causes so much controversy, ill-feeling and rancour. I’ve witnessed (and sometimes instigated) rows, histrionics and tantrums so intense that the two sides never again play each other.

You’d think that LBW – with all its subtleties of interpretation – would be the chief source of contention on a village cricket field. But there’s something about height no balls that really causes bad blood between teams, even though most arguments could easily be avoided by a quick glance at a copy of the lawbook.

This issue never seems to cause trouble in any other form of cricket, because only village bowlers regularly deliver huge full tosses. At higher levels of the game, bowlers usually manage to master the notoriously tricky business of getting the ball to land on the pitch. And that’s part of the reason the relevant law causes so many problems. It’s never explained on TV or during coaching, because so rarely does it arise in ‘proper’ cricket – unlike LBW, which is endlessly analysed and illustrated by commentators.

No ball for height also triggers ill-feeling because it seems to punish incompetence. It rubs your nose in it. For example, let’s say the batsman is past his half-century and going great guns. On comes a terrible bowler, who fires one high and wide, and the ball disappears for six. The extra ball and run for the no ball seem so unfair, because the batsman prospered from the inaccuracy of the delivery. Even worse, if the batsman is caught on the boundary, a no ball signal will reprieve him.

But the real driver of controversy is the widespread ignorance of the actual wording of the law. If the bowler is slow, a waist high delivery is not a no ball. It must be much higher – over the shoulders – to be an illegal delivery, unless the pace is medium or fast.

The key to interpreting the law governing height is to understand that its purpose is to discourage and outlaw dangerous play – specifically, the beamer – on grounds of safety and fairness. It is categorically not about the batsman’s ability to reach the ball (which is covered by the wides law). And that’s why it comes within the scope of Law 42.6: ‘Fair and unfair play – dangerous and unfair bowling’.

It reads as follows.

6. Dangerous and unfair bowling

(b) Bowling of high full pitched balls

(i) Any delivery, other than a slow paced one, which passes or would have passed on the full above waist height of the striker standing upright at the popping crease is to be deemed dangerous and unfair, whether or not it is likely to inflict physical injury on the striker.

(ii) A slow delivery which passes or would have passed on the full above shoulder height of the striker standing upright at the popping crease is to be deemed dangerous and unfair, whether or not it is likely to inflict physical injury on the striker.

In both cases, the umpire should call no ball.

So why is such a simple law so commonly mis-applied? The village umpire only needs to ask himself three questions. 

1. Is the bowler slow?

2. Was the batsman standing either on or behind the popping crease?

3. Was the ball over waist/shoulder height?

Whether or not the bowler is slow is arguably a subjective question. But a good rule of thumb, I’d suggest, is the position of the keeper. If he’s standing up, the bowler is slow, and vice versa.

The original scenarios

In the first instance – the spinner hit for six – the grumbling captain is correct. The ball was perfectly legal. The second – bowled by a full toss – is more complex. In real life I’ve twice seen a high full toss hit the wicket; one was no balled, the other wasn’t. Because the bowler is medium pace, anything above the waist will indeed be a no ball. So the question is instead – can a cricket delivery’s trajectory take it over the batsman’s waist but still hit the stumps?

The maths are as follows. Cricket stumps are 28 inches high, and four feet from the popping crease. The average male waist is 42 inches above the ground. To be a no ball, but hit the wicket, the ball will need to fall 14 inches over four feet, or 3.5 inches per foot.

Is that consistent with the trajectory along which the ball has already travelled? Let’s assume the bowler is about six foot tall, and is a few inches in the air at the moment of delivery, with his arm directly above the popping crease at the non-striker’s end. This would mean the ball is released from a height of nine feet, 58 feet away from the batsman. To pass above his waist, the ball must fall by no more than 65 inches over 58 feet, or 1.12 inches per foot.

In other words, it sounds unlikely that a no ball could hit the stumps, because the trajectory has to change too much in the last four feet of the ball’s journey. But that assumes the players are exactly the heights I’ve described – and that my methodology is sound. Real life experience suggests that a full toss could indeed pass over the waist but still bowl the batsman. The square leg umpire needs to be aware of this possibility – and take note of where the batsman has taken guard. If he’s batting two feet in front of his crease, all bets are off, no ball-wise.

The solution

Some people say – why does it matter? Who cares if the odd extra is wrongly awarded by the umpire, by innocent mistake? To which I’d argue, you either all try and play by the same laws of cricket, or you don’t. If it’s acceptable for one umpire to mis-apply law 42.6, why shouldn’t another umpire mis-apply the law about the size of the bat, or handling the ball, or the number of players in each team? And is it unreasonable to expect regular village players to – at least once in their career – take a quick flick through the laws, which are online here at the MCC website.*

One useful course of action is for the captains to discuss the issue before the match, along with format, rules of engagement – to achieve a consensus. Maybe they can agree to ignore the height law completely, or all for all high deliveries to be no balls, regardless of pace. On the village green it matters less that the laws are fully observed, than that both sides agree to the same playing conditions – hopefully minimising the scope for argument and recrimination.

What do you think?

We’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences on this. When have no balls for height triggered an almighty rumpus? As an umpire or captain, how do you balance applying the laws with keeping the peace, but still stick up for yourself? Should the MCC change the law to make it easier to apply?

Get in touch and give us your perspective.

Maxie Allen

(Maxie is a former co-editor of The Full Toss. He founded the blog with copywriter James Morgan in 2009).

* Since this article was written the law surrounding no balls has changed. The speed of the bowler is no longer mentioned; therefore it seems that every delivery above waist high should therefore be called no ball. Here’s the MCC wording:

‘41.7.1 Any delivery, which passes or would have passed, without pitching, above waist height of the striker standing upright at the popping crease, is unfair. Whenever such a delivery is bowled, the umpire shall call and signal No ball’.

71 comments

  • One issue that you don’t mention, Maxie, is that waist height can be difficult to determine. If the batsman plays forward – even if only marginally – his actual waist height can drop by six inches or more… which throws all of the maths out. If he is attempting to sweep then even his shoulders end up in the line of fire. It does make you wonder who would want to umpire at this level!

    One other point – even at village level I have seen wicket keepers – with more guts than sense – standing up to medium pacers. It really is all rather a grey area…

  • Difficulty in making a judgement is different from ignorance of the law. If the umpire knows the law, (s)he will be much better placed to interpret it and judge the batsman’s stance and pace of the ball. If there is too much doubt, don’t call a no ball – the rationale is the same as with a wide, no ball for overstepping, or LBW.

  • When did this crop up at the weekend Maxie? I felt I got a high one off the medium pacer, but wasn’t that worried that it wasn’t called.

    I do think the position of the keeper is a bit of a red herring as this varies massively in proportion to their ability, the bowlers accuracy, pitch conditions, and confidence.

    As you said in the article, this should be something that is covered by captains at the toss along with leg side wides and any local rules on items (eg: trees, over hanging vegetation) in the field of play.

    As for those who get wound up and feel aggrieved at a decision they don’t agree with – get over it. Its a game, its not life or death or anything even close to approaching that.

  • I could be over simplifying things here but I see this a little differently. Most of my involvement with cricket these days is at junior level, coaching and watching. I place a massive emphasis on the umpire being the only person who has the right to apply the laws of the game. Whether the umpires decision is right or wrong it’s his decision and we have to abide by it. Questioning an umpire is one of the worst sins in cricket in my opinion. Even if the decision is a howler, you grit your teeth and you move on.
    Surely if this was adhered to as it should be then there wouldn’t be any discussions, heated or otherwise!

  • Sadly in the village cricket level that I play in the laws are ignored because it would cause too much hassle and I have found that if a young quick bowler is hit for two successive boundaries you are likely to get a beamer followed by an apology saying sorry it slipped. The two beamers and off Law is quite easily avoided when your own team-mates are umpiring.

  • Excellent piece Maxie. I would say that the real hub of the issue is this:

    “Whether or not the bowler is slow is arguably a subjective question. But a good rule of thumb, I’d suggest, is the position of the keeper. If he’s standing up, the bowler is slow, and vice versa.”

    I’m not sure I agree with you on that…our team recently got a good keeper who can stand up to pretty much all our bowlers where once there used to be a keeper 20 yards back and still giving up byes left right and centre.

    • OUr 1st XI keeper, Doug Terry, stood up to Bob Menlove (78 mph), but Bob was metronomically accurate.

  • Thanks for all your comments – interesting range of views. This one will run and run! I concede that the position of the keeper is not an infallible yardstick, but nevertheless, you don’t need much experience to discern whether, at village level, a bowler is slow or not. The spirit behind the law is danger and unfairness, so if the batsman has hammered a full toss for six, it’s hard to argue the ball was dangerous or unfair.

    On Mark’s point about the sanctity of the umpire – a lovely idea, but impossible in village cricket when the umpire is one of the batting side and quite often doesn’t really know the basics. As fielding captain, the reality is you have to stick up for yourself if the umpire is unfairly damaging your position through ignorance of the laws. The worst example, which happens occasionally, is calling wide after the batsman has hit it. LBW mistakes are tolerable, by contrast, as you never expect to get a batsman out that way – if you ever do, it’s a bonus.

    • I have seen a few not good Umpire decisions this season , including signalling a wide and then a bye signal or letting the fielder clearly encroach on the wicket when the bowler bowls and a no ball is not given . However i would not mind so much is after in the bar when you try to politely say that was not the correct way to do it they would chat about it , on both occasions i was wrong according to the opposition.
      The same also when i umpired ( as a player ) for my team and the bowler bowled a no ball the batsman did not hit the ball nor did the ball hit his person and the ball went for 4 runs .
      I had called no balled then when the ball became dead i signalled no ball , then the bye signal then 4 runs in that order . i was told by a member of the opposition that was incorrect and you never signal byes after any no ball …….
      Having said that i have made mistakes myself and always go home revise or learn so that i do not make the same mistake again. . it really is not easy

      • Any decent umpire would be only too pleased to explain his or her decisions and go through the relevant laws after a match. I have done so on many occasions and regard this as part of the service.

      • I played In a game when batting and enquired to the umpire that one of the fielders was encroaching ? The umpired replied he is allowed to stand where he wants!!! Really , think about it!

  • A difficult one for everyone. It wasn’t that long ago that the law was waist height for all bowlers! The regular changing of the laws doesn’t help.
    Anyone remember Jack Russell standing up to Gladstone Small (and completing a legside stumping) who wasn’t exactl slow!

  • Excellent piece Maxie – I seem to recall being on the wrong end of this rule both as a batsman and bowler …

  • Given that a waist-high full toss from a spinner in the recent tests between england and sri lanka was called a no ball by the standing umpire, has this rule changed again to mean ALL deliveries above the waist are deemed illegal? And it IS indeed possible to be bowled by a full toss passing the batsman above waist height. It’s simply a matter of horizontal speed thru the air vs vertical acceleration due to gravity (9.9m/s/s). If the delivery is bowled high enough with lots of loop, and slowly enough it is perfectly possible for the ball to drop onto the stumps having passed the batsman above waist height. Of course, that kind of delivery is quite hard to bowl deliberately, and the delivery speed would have to be somewhere in the 30mph bracket. Not many batsmen would fail to smash that kind of ball out over cow corner.

  • Given that a waist-high full toss from a spinner in the recent tests between england and sri lanka was called a no ball by the standing umpire, has this rule changed again to mean ALL deliveries above the waist are deemed illegal? And it IS indeed possible to be bowled by a full toss passing the batsman above waist height. It’s simply a matter of horizontal speed thru the air vs vertical acceleration due to gravity (9.9m/s/s). If the delivery is bowled high enough with lots of loop, and slowly enough it is perfectly possible for the ball to drop onto the stumps having passed the batsman above waist height. Of course, that kind of delivery is quite hard to bowl deliberately, and the delivery speed would have to be somewhere in the 20-30mph bracket. Not many batsmen would fail to smash that kind of ball out over cow corner.

  • The other point to consider, of course, is the height of the batsman. If his waist is rather nearer the ground than the average (leaving aside the possibility that this might be related to over-indulgence during tea) then surely the bowler has less room for error (and a full toss is also more likely to result in bowling the batsman out).
    I would say the same should apply to calling wides – if the batsman is on the small side (or a six year-old child, as some of my best wickets have been) he is therefore less able to hit a wide one “by means of a normal cricket stroke”.
    I’ve still had bowlers claiming to me while I’m umpiring that the wide rule relates to “average height” and cannot be adjusted for smaller players.
    What do you think TFT? Did I wrong the bolshy bowler by calling him for another wide (and a no-ball and then later stealing his cake)?
    Love the blog, by the way. Hope your season’s going well.

  • You’ve opened up a whole can of worms there, Tim! I love the notion of a wide being dependent on the girth of the batsman’s waist…

    And many thanks for your kind comments…

  • well imust admit this is a very intresting and debatable discussion .beleive me that i am regularly doing week end umpiring in the USA for the past three years.none of the grounds roll the wicket in between innings.leave alone that there is not even sweeping of the pitch! so the point that in lower level of cricket it is better to set the ground rule as players come without any knowledge of the laws of cricket but still want to enjoy a day out with some good cricket.a waist high full toss from a medium pacer is different from that bowled by a spinner.while it is safe to assume that the former qulifies for a no ball the later one does not.at the same time if a spinner bowls a fater one it should be called a no ball.wicket keepers positon should have no bearing.

    • Wrong. If a bowler is considered to be a slow bowler because the normal and majority of his or her deliveries are slow deliveries then all of the deliveries must be considered to be slow deliveries. You cannot change the law because of an isolated change of pace. However, if the bowler bowls 3 slow, 3 fast in an over then it would be prudent to talk to the captain at the end of the over and told that if the bowler persists with that number of fast balls in an over then in the interests of player safety he will be considered to be a fast bowler for the rest of the innings for the purposes of this law. As with a great deal of umpiring, communication and understanding between umpire and captain are vital. In the end, the umpire at the non-striker’s end is the sole arbiter of what is and what is not an illegal full toss. The square leg umpire may be consulted but the decision is with the umpire at the non-striker’s end.

      • Peter Clatworthy, as you are an umpire in the Middlesex County League, I am very confused by your answer to a previous comment,
        where you state that ” If a bowler is considered to be a slow bowler
        because the normal and majority of his or her deliveries are slow deliveries then all of the deliveries must be considered to be slow
        deliveries.”
        Law 42.6 Dangerous and Unfair deliveries
        b. Bowling of Full Pitched Balls
        STATES :
        (i) A no ball is to be called when
        Any delivery other than a slow paced ball is bowled above
        waist height.
        The critical word is ANY DELIVERY(other than a slow paced ball)
        and does not say from a SLOW bowler (or a fast bowler).
        Therefore, if the umpire deems ANY fast paced ball to be full pitched and above waist height, it has to be called a NO BALL
        regardless of being bowled by a slow or fast bowler.

  • my question : if a fast bowler bowls a loopy slower ball which passes the batsman above the waist line but hits the wickets. Is it a no ball or not?
    A simple yes or no will suffice.
    thanks

    • No ball. If the bowler is considered to be a fast bowler because the majority of balls bowled by him (or her) are fast then all of the balls bowled by that bowler are considered to be fast and therefore if it is above waist height it is a no ball. Not out. Warn the bowler. Be careful what you consider “above waist height”. The waist is the area between the hip bone and the bottom rib therefore the whole of the ball must be above the bottom rib of the batsman when he is standing in an upright position at the crease. It is higher than you think.

      • disregard this “umpires” response. refer instead to the laws.

        “Any delivery, other than a slow paced one…”

        If you regard a slower ball to be slow enough to consider it “slow paced”, then its not a no ball. I think the majority of quick bowlers slower balls are still faster than a normal spinner though (if that is your measure), so in reality its likely it would still be a no ball.

  • Last night, batsman walks 3 yards down the pitch to our quicky.The ball comes to him waist high and he lobs it to covers and is out for nowt, The batsman suggests to the official umpire that the ball was above waist hieght. Belatedly the umpire at the bowlers end signals NO BALL. Our captain suggests to him it is the square leg umpires job to signal if it was a no ball not his. He then consults square leg official umpire and they both agree NO BALL. An absolute COCK UP, they did not know that the batsman had to be in his popping crease not 3 yards down the track. Ironically the batsman went on top hit 80 odd in this 20- 20 and woan the match

  • MHA here – it’s obvious that the batsman must be in his crease for it to be a no-ball. Otherwise, he could take guard two feet from the bowling crease, and every delivery would be a no-ball!

    • That would be great – so every time a batsman advances down the track to me, I just have to bowl it over his head and I’ve got a dot ball.

  • If there is doubt, should the umpire give the benefit to the bowler or the batsman? If the bowler and the batsman is out caught or bowled, is that fair on the batting team? Alternatively, if to the batsman and he goes on to score a lot of runs, is that fair on the bowling team? What if a bowler is already on two warnings?

  • I was bowling at small 13 year old (probably no more than 5 ft tall). I am a spinner. we needed two wickets to win in two balls and they were playing for a draw. I bowled a quicker ball (not quick by any means – I am village standard). The ball didn’t come out as intended and it hit the off stump on the full probably 2-3 inches from the top. The batsman lost sight of the ball and didn’t really play a shot. I was no-balled.

    I would say that the ball did pass him at or just above waste height. I could flatter myself that the ball was not slow (marginal)….but surely the law is not designed to protect small people from being bowled by full-tosses?

  • A full toss for a slow bowler is above shoulder height when the batsman is in a standing position at the crease and so no umpire worth his salt should get this one wrong. A full toss for a pace bowler is: above waist height … waist height being gauged by the umpire deciding the height of ball relative to a striker’s waist if he were to be in a normal standing position whilst at the crease.

    Problems arise mainly for two reasons:

    Firstly, the whole of the cricket ball must be above waist height when the striker would have been in a standing position.

    Secondly, the words “waist height” can be problematic. In order to understand the law properly, an umpire must know what a “waist” is. The waist is the area between the hip bone and the bottom rib. Therefore, to interpret the law correctly, the whole ball must be above the bottom rib when the striker is in a normal standing position at the crease.

    This is a matter of judgement by the umpire, and he/she is really the only one on the field of play in exactly the right position, behind the stumps, to make such a crucial judgement. Premier League, County, and ICC umpires are taught to make these judgements and practice them. In my experience problems arise because most players and some umpires do not know what a waist is and/or do not take account of the fact that the whole ball must be “above waist height”.

    A whole cricket ball above waist height whilst in a normal standing position is higher than you might think, but it is consistent with a law that was conceived in order to avoid a batsman being injured by a ball hitting him or her in the head/face/neck area.

    Peter Clatworthy
    Umpire
    Middlesex County Cricket League

  • Hi Peter – thank you for very much for finally providing an expert opinion! Interesting stuff. I think that in village cricket the problem is not so much the definition of waist or parameters of the ball, but the widespread ignorance of the distinction in law between slow and fast bowling in this context.

    You get to the essence of the problem when you say “consistent with a law that was conceived in order to avoid a batsman being injured”. The law was indeed conceived to deter dangerous play – not to award the batting side an extra run and ball for a very slow, high, full toss.

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  • Say I was balling medium..I saw the batter charge.. apparently he misses the ball due to the charge and the point at which he misses the ball is where the ball was above waist high..it hits the stumps..is it out or not out ???

    • Almost certainly “out bowled” but depending on the stature of the batsman.

      1) He or she would have to have been very short indeed if the ball was to be above waist height when it missed, but then proceeded onwards to hit the stumps.

      2) However, if in the opinion of the umpire, due to the lack of height of the batsman the ball would have passed the batsman above waist height whilst standing AT THE CREASE . . . “no ball”.

      The only scenarios that I can envisage for a “no ball” are:

      a) Where the batsman was suffering from a medical condition known as “dwarfism”
      b) or where you were bowling at a small child.

  • Can Anyone one tell be official rule about the following scenario.

    If a batsmen is already standing outside popping crease say 2 inches consitantly and the bowler ball a full toss above waste high that would be a no ball or not.

  • What if player is outside crease.. As per ur rule it will not b a no ball but if he throw on his face then ?

  • It is probably a slightly different law, but I always get confused about the warnings for bowling no balls. The umpires in our (County) league give out a warning even when a medium pacer bowls a ball just above waist height and gets tonked for 6. Surely this is not dangerous and being called for a no ball and getting hit for a maximum is punishment enough!

  • The law requires the umpire to call and signal “no ball” and to give a warning to the bowler. The law does not allow for discretion. It is not a question of punishment, but a question of discouraging dangerous bowling. Each bowler is given 3 warnings before being taken off. If you do not call a no ball or give a warning because it is hit for big runs, the bowler is, in effect, being given 4 chances before being taken off rather than 3. That would be inconsistent and unfair to other bowlers.

    • The bowler would receive a first warning, a second and final warning, and on the third occasion would be replaced by another bowler who would complete the over. The bowler would not be allowed to bowl again for the remainder of the innings. It is calculated per innings.

  • Sadly, the idiots running our local county cricket board have decided that the original no-ball rule was “too complicated”, and that for all cricket matches within the county, all deliveries over waist height are to be called a no-ball and the bowler warned, whether the bowler is fast, slow, or a 13 year old playing his first game of adult cricket in division 10.

    I look forward to next year’s AGM, where they will no doubt vote to abolish the lbw law as being “too confusing for umpires”.

  • Does hitting a six qualifies the ball to be not dangerous? I think Baz can tonk even if the ball is bowled at 9 ft height. Batsman hitting a six or top edging or getting hit should not influence whether the ball is no ball or not.

  • guys i have 2 doubts
    1. is bowled out on an above hip full toss ball??
    2. is it out on an above hip full toss ball if the batsman plays the ball in to stumps??
    Please give me answer in Yes or No
    Dhanish

  • In full toss no-ball, how much steps does batsman can go ahead of popping crease? Or he should be in the popping crease?

  • Does the no ball applies if the ball is above the waist and the batsman is in front foot leaving the crease…

  • My question.. if a batsman leaves the crease and comes to the good area of the pitch to hit the ball a the bowler balls a waist-abive ball,will it b called a no ball? What are the laws and criterias for calling no ball I’m situations like this??

  • I dont mind that yesterday a medium paced ball passed me above waist height and was’t called a No Ball, however the umpire telling me that it’s only a No Ball if it passes above my second rib, not my waist was comical and frustrating to say the least!! He deemed my laughter to be disrespectful, especially when he pointed to his hip to determine where my second rib is located! Maybe an anatomy training session would be a useful addition to the Umpire Training Programme.

    • An interesting comment. I have never heard reference to the second rib but umpires are advised to use the bottom rib as the reference point for determining height. A lot of players believe the waist is the waste band of their trousers, which it is not.

    • I believe under the laws the bowlers end umpire has control I guess over that call . However to me as an umpire I am happy for any help I can get From the square leg umpire. It’s always difficult to get it 100 % correct , you’ve got to be consistent in my opinion.

  • I once umpired a Hampshire Regional Div 2 match. Whilst at square leg, a batsman ‘ducked’ a full toss, with his posterior nearly touching the ground.
    He was bowled, the ball hitting the stumps 2/3rds of the way up middle stump.
    The umpire at the bowlers end gave the batsman out.
    The umpire was a player on the batting side.
    The batsman complained it was a no ball.
    The captain complained it was a no ball.
    At tea, the captain and batsman berrated the umpire for some 50 yards whilst walking in.
    The ball passed the crease at ‘thigh’ height. It was nowhere near above first rib height.
    I contacted the MCC and received a reply from an officer a retired maths teacher.
    There are some sad things to note:-
    The batsman completely lacked any self awareness.
    The captain (a mate of the batsman, they holiday together) also put blind loyalty to a ‘mate’ above the laws and spirit of cricket.
    The umpire, the team’s no3 batsman was not selected for 6 games following the incident, in the 7th game he was batted at 7. The umpire has left the club, one of 5 of that seasons top 6 batsmen to do so in two years.
    The captain is still playing and picking himself to open the batting every week and open the bowling most weeks, even though he has never reached the top 11 in the team’s averages and has never been ranked higher than 7th best bowler
    The deluded batsman is still playing, and is still useless, he once threatened to leave the club if a 13 year old was picked ahead of him. The 13 year old scored more runs in 6 innings that season than the batsman has in 5 seasons. He has one score over 25 in 28 innings. Yet he still plays, whilst another batsman who scored over 25 5 times in 10 innings was told he was too old and not ‘good enough’ to be selected.
    The MCC officer noted that above waist height is above the 1st rib.
    He also noted that the square leg umpire cannot give a decision but can inform the non striker umpire if asked.
    He also noted that it was virtually mathematically impossible for a delivery to hit the stumps and be a no ball above waist height. (My calculations indicate a ball would need to be bowled up from the bowlers hand at 9 feet and reach a peak height of 45 feet to have a chance of passing above first rib height at the popping crease and then hit the stumps 2/3rds up).

    Sadly the club is constantly having disciplinary problems with many fines and suspensions. That captain and the batsman are everything cricket should not be.

  • Great article. I’ve been wicket keeper once up to the stumps when the batsmen was bowled by a slow/spin bowler and it was called no ball. I was shocked as I’ve never experienced that before in all the years that I’ve played. The umpire was a former 1st grade player so I assumed that he should know better! It was a social game, in fact church based game so I didn’t want to cause a ruckus!! I was left gob-smacked that this umpire who was the pastor of the church did not agree with my understanding of the law! Despite the delivery being at or slightly above waist height it was that slow and had top spin on it that it dipped and ultimately bowled the batsmen who went for the big windy woofer and missed! I think you clarified it for me. It is out if the ball hits the stumps regardless of the trajectory of the flight of the ball as it can’t be that fast to dip and miss surely?!
    The other issue is when a batsmen advances the bowler and hits the ball from above waist height. The umpire called a no ball last week in fact when I was the batsmen. The captain pleaded his case with the umpire then and after the over. It didn’t feel like a no ball as it wasn’t unsafe. It was a slow bowler and the keeper was up to the stumps.
    The law does need to be redefined!

  • seems the law has changed to make anything above waist height a no-ball

    41.7 Bowling of dangerous and unfair non-pitching deliveries

    41.7.1 Any delivery, which passes or would have passed, without pitching, above waist height of the striker standing upright at the popping crease, is unfair. Whenever such a delivery is bowled, the umpire shall call and signal No ball.

  • Why are full tosses banned for fast bowers and not bouncers that are of the same height when they get too the batsman; especially those above shoulder height. My 11 year old son suffered a broken thumb from a bouncer when defending his neck;( as gloves give no protection when hands are doing that .

    • Graham , There is criteria for banning short pitched deliverys and bouncers, However there is some criteria which I believe in other cases may not intitialy protect the batsman from injury when facing a bouncer .

      I am not saying that it’s right or wrong that a bouncer that injures a batsman is good , All I am saying is that I believe a bowler can be warned and subsequently taken out of the bowling line up if they continue to bowl short pitched deliverys to a batsman that is unable to play them safely.

      I hope this makes sense amd I am sure more experience players or Officials may be able to answer more clear , I believe these laws are found on the MCC website under fair and unfair play .

      Sorry I can’t answer more clear as i am not able to look through these laws right now.

  • The rule can be made even more unambiguous- call out no ball if ball speed is over xyz speed and above some height. Same for shoulder ball.

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