Laws of Cricket - 1809 Code

This edition of the Laws was revised by the "Club at St Marylebone" in 1809. This particular version was published on May 25 1809, by John Wallis, 13. Warwick Squ. Newgate Street.

  • The ball must weigh not less than Five Ounces and a Half, nor more than Five Ounces and Three Quarters. At the beginning of each Innings either party may call for a New Ball.
  • The BAT must not exceed Four Inches and One Quarter, in the widest part.
  • The STUMPS must be Twenty-four inches out of the ground, the BAILS Seven Inches in length.
  • The BOWLING CREASE must be in a line with the Stumps, three Feet in length, with a RETURN CREASE.
  • The POPPING CREASE must be Three Feet Ten Inches from the Wicket, and parallel to it.
  • The WICKETS must be opposite to each other, at the distance of Twenty-two yards.
  • The Party which goes from home shall have the choice of the Innings, and the pitching of the Wickets, which shall be pitched within Thirty Yards of a center fixed by the Adversaries.
  • When the Parties meet at a Third Place, the Bowlers shall toss up for the pitching of the Wickets, and the choice for going in.
  • It shall not be lawful for either party during a Match, without the consent of the other, to alter the Ground, by rolling, watering, covering, mowing, or beating. This rule is not meant to prevent the Striker from beating the ground with his Bat near where he stands during the Innings, or to prevent the Bowler from filling up holes, watering his ground, or using sawdust, &c. when the ground is wet.
  • The Bowler shall deliver the Ball with one foot behind the Bowling Crease, and within the Return Crease, and shall bowl four Balls before he changes Wickets, which he shall do but once in the same Innings.
  • He may order the Striker at his Wicket, to stand on which side of it he pleases.
  • The STRIKER is out if the Bail is bowled off, or the Stump bowled out of the ground.
  • Or, if the Ball, from a stroke over or under the Bat, or upon his hand, (but not wrists) is held before it touches the ground, although it be hugged to the body of the Catcher.
  • Or, if in striking, or at any other time while the Ball is in play, both his feet are over the Popping Crease and his Wicket put down, except his Bat is grounded within it.
  • Or, if in striking at the ball he hits down his Wicket.
  • Or, if under pretence of running a Notch, or otherwise, either of the Strikers prevent a Ball from being caught, the Striker of the Ball is out.
  • Or, if the Ball is struck up, and he wilfully strikes it again.
  • Or, if in running a Notch the Wicket is struck down by a throw, or with the Ball in Hand, before his Foot Hand or Bat is grounded over the Popping Crease. But if the Bail is off, the Stump must be struck out of the ground.
  • Or, if the Striker touches or takes up the Ball while in play, unless at the request of the other Party.
  • If with his foot or leg he stops the Ball, which the Bowler in the opinion of the Umpire at the Bowler's Wicket shall have pitched in a straight line to the Wicket, and would have hit it.
  • If the Players have crossed each other, he that runs for the Wicket which is put down, is out; if they are not crossed, he that has left the Wicket which is put down, is out.
  • When a Ball is caught, no Notch to be reckoned.
  • When the Striker is run out, the Notch they were running for is not to be reckoned.
  • If lost Ball is call'd, the Striker shall be allowed four, but if more than four are run before lost Ball is call'd, then the Striker to have all they have run.
  • When the Ball has been in the Bowler's or Wicket-keeper's hands, it is considered as no longer in play; and the Strikers need not keep within their ground, till the Umpire has called PLAY, but if the player goes out of his ground with an intent to run before the ball is delivered, the Bowler may put him out.
  • If the Striker is hurt, he may retire from his Wicket, and have his Innings at any time in that Innings.
  • If a Striker is hurt, some other Person may be allowed to stand out for him, but not go in.
  • If any Person stops the Ball with his Hat, the Ball is to be considered as dead, and the opposite Party to add Five Notches to their Score; if any are run, they are to have five in all.
  • If the Ball is struck up, the Striker may guard his Wicket either with his Bat or his Body.
  • In single Wicket Matches, if the Striker moves out of his ground to strike at the Ball, he shall be allowed no Notch for such stroke.
  • The WICKET-KEEPERS shall stand at a reasonable distance behind the Wicket, and shall not move till the Ball is out of the Bowler's hand, and shall not by any noise incommode the Striker; and if his hands, knees, feet, or head, be over, or before the Wicket, though the Ball hit it, it shall not be out.
  • The UMPIRES are the sole judges of fair and unfair play, and all disputes shall be determined by them; each at his own Wicket: but in case of a Catch, which the Umpire at the Wicket cannot see sufficiently to decide upon, he may apply to the other Umpire, whose opinion is conclusive.
  • They shall allow Two Minutes for each man to come in, and Fifteen Minutes between each Innings; when the Umpire shall call Play, the party refusing to Play shall lose the Match.
  • They are not to order a player out, unless appealed to by the Adversaries.
  • But if the Bowler's foot is not behind the Bowling Crease, and within the return Crease, when he delivers the Ball, they must, unasked call No Ball.
  • If the Striker runs a short Notch, the Umpire must call No Notch.
  • The Umpire of the Bowler's Wicket, shall be first applied to decide on all Catches.
  • The Umpires are not to be changed during the Match, but by the consent of both Parties.


  • If the Notches of one Player are laid against another, the Bets depend on the First Inning, unless otherwise specified.
  • If the Bets are made upon both Innings, and one Party beats the other in one inning, the Notches in the First Inning shall determine the Bet.
  • But if the other Party goes in a second time, then the Bet must be determined by the number on the Score.

Reproduction of the Laws of Cricket is by kind permission of Marylebone Cricket Club

Back to Laws index