THE Spenser Wilson Halifax League are toughening up on rules regarding ineligible players.

Previously the offending club have merely forfeited the points gained in any matches in which they have fielded an ineligible player, with the opposition being awarded maximum points.

However, the league's annual meeting at Pellon Social Club decided to impose an additional punishment of being docked 12 league points, while a second offence would mean the club being hauled before the league's management board.

Improper, threatening, abusive, indecent or insulting comments on social media platforms can also bring a club or individual into the dock, with punishments ranging from a £100 fine, while bans can range from a minimum of two weeks to life.

A rule was passed stating: "Club officials, players or members shall not knowingly or recklessly do, write or say anything which is likely to bring his/her club or the league into disrepute.

"Additionally comments posted on social networking sites will be considered public comment, and if they are improper, threatening, abusive, indecent, insulting or brings the game into disrepute then this may lead to disciplinary action.

"Furthermore, any postings which may be viewed in this way could also lead to civil proceedings being brought against the perpetrator by those affected.

"A breach of this rule by any club or person is liable to a fine of a maximum £100 or, in the case of a player or official, a suspension from cricket for a minimum of two weeks to a maximum of a life ban."

Matches in all divisions for first and second teams will be 45 overs per innings, but no overs will be carried forward after the tea interval, while a team batting second must have a minimum of 25 overs available.

Power Plays have been introduced to the league's T20 finals day, where no more than two fielders will be allowed outside the circle, with the bowling captain being able to decide when it will be taken (overs 1-5, 6-10, 11-15 or 16-20).

Abandoned matches with no play will now be worth three league points rather than two, and that also applies to matches that are abandoned after play has started.

Meanwhile, punishments for clubs that forfeit matches have been doubled to four league points, but that falls to three if there is no play in other matches in the division.

Qualification for averages will now be decided at the league's August executive meeting, rather than at the April Council meeting, giving more flexibility in case of a rain-hit summer.