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The County Championship

Timeline 1890-present

The Secretaries of the major cricket-playing counties met at Lord's on December 16, 1889 to agree the fixtures for the following season. A meeting attended by Gloucestershire, Kent, Lancashire, Middlesex, Nottinghamshire, Surrey, Sussex and Yorkshire took place on the same day. This latter meeting agreed upon a method of deciding the order of merit between these first-class counties for the 1890 season. This was the birth of the first official County Championship.

Prior to 1890, there were 'unofficial' county champions given the title by 'popular' or newspaper acclaim.

Conditions of play, points scored and Counties contesting the title

1890 - Gloucestershire, Kent, Lancashire, Middlesex, Nottinghamshire, Surrey, Sussex, Yorkshire compete in the Championship. Position decided by total points given by number of losses minus number of wins, draws are ignored. Each county played a maximum of 16 matches.

1891 - Somerset are included in the Championship.

1895 - Derbyshire, Essex, Hampshire, Leicestershire, Warwickshire are included in the Championship. Each county play a minimum of 16 matches.

1896 - Position decided by total points (as previously) as a percentage of completed matches (i.e. excluding drawn games).

1899 - Worcestershire are included in the Championship.

1905 - Northamptonshire are included in the Championship.

1910 - Position decided by wins as a percentage of all matches played.

1911 - Position decided by total points scored as a percentage of possible points with 5 points for a win, 3 points for first innings lead in a drawn match, 1 point for first innings deficit in a drawn match.

1912 - Matches in which both sides did not complete the first innings counted as no result (as are matches not started). No result matches are not counted towards the possible points total.

1919 - Worcestershire did not compete. Position decided by wins as a percentage of all matches played.

The Championship was played as two-day matches in this season, with extended hours of play on each day.

1920 - Worcestershire again compete in the Championship. Position decided by total points scored as a percentage of possible points with 5 points for a win, 2 points for first-innings lead in a drawn match.

1921 - Glamorgan are included in the Championship.

1922 - Each team to play at least 11 home and 11 away matches. In addition to the other scoring, 2.5 points are now awarded for a tie.

1924 - Each team to play at least 12 home and 12 away matches.

Position decided by total points scored as a percentage of possible points (matches in which not even a first innings result is obtained are ignored) with 5 points for a win, 3 points for first-innings lead in a drawn match, 2 points each for a tie on first innings in a drawn match and 1 point for first innings deficit in a drawn match.

1927 - Position decided by total points as a percentage of possible points (matches in which not even a first-innings result is obtained and under six hours' play are ignored) with 8 points for a win, 5 points for first-innings lead in a drawn match, 3 points for first-innings deficit in a drawn match, 4 points for a tie and for a match in which not even a first-innings result is obtained but in which more than six hours' play is possible.

1929 - Each team to play exactly 28 matches. Position decided by most points.

1931 - Position decided by most points with 15 points for a win, 7.5 points to each side in a match where the scores finish level, 5 points for first-innings lead in a drawn match, 3 points for first-innings deficit in a drawn match, 4 points to each side where the first-innings scores are level in a drawn match or where there is no result on first innings or where there is no play.

1932 - If no play is possible on the first two days, the match to be played under the one-day Laws with 10 points to the winner and 3 points to the loser.

1933 - Each team to play a minimum of 24 and a maximum of 32 matches.

Position decided on percentage of points gained to points possible.

1938 - Position decided by dividing total points by number of matches played, with 12 points for a win, 6 points to each side if scores finish level, 4 points for first-innings lead in a drawn or lost match, 2 points to each side in a drawn match if first-innings scores level, if no play on the first two days, the match to be played under the one-day Laws with 8 points for a win.

1946 - Each team to play exactly 26 matches. Position decided by most points.

1950 - Each team to play exactly 28 matches.

1953 - Six points are awared only to the side batting when the scores finish level in a drawn game.

1957 - Two points for first-innings lead in a drawn or lost match, 2 bonus points for the team leading on first innings if it also scores faster by runs per over, where there is no play on the first two thirds of a match which is not played beyond the first innings, 8 points for the side leading on first innings.

1958 - Position decided by total points, if equal then by number of wins, if still equal then by bonus points. 2 bonus points for the team leading on first innings if it also scores faster by runs per over at the time of passing the opponent's score.

1960 - Teams may play either 28 or 32 matches. Position decided by average points per match, if equal then by greater percentage of wins, if still equal then by greater average of bonus points per match.

1961 - Teams are free to forfeit their second innings. Follow-on not allowed. 6 points for the team batting last in a drawn match unless an innings had been forfeited in which case 2 points.

1963 - Each team plays 28 matches. Position decided with 10 points for a win, 5 points to each team for a tie, 5 points to the side batting when scores finish level in a drawn match, 2 points for first-innings lead, 1 point to each team when first innings tie, if there is no play in the first two-thirds of the match and the match is decided on first innings, 6 points to the team scoring most runs, 3 points to the side batting second in such a match if the scores finish level.

1966 - The first innings of some matches (102 out of the 238 played, the first 12 matches played by each county on a home and away basis) are restricted to 65 overs, normal play in the return matches and in any matches where teams meet each other only once in the season. Two points for first innings lead, 1 point each for scores level on first innings, these first innings points awarded whatever the result of the match.

1967 - 65 over restrictions abolished. Position is decided by most points, if equal by most wins with 8 points for a win, 4 points each for a tie, 4 points for the side batting if the scores finish level in a drawn match, 4 points for first innings lead, 2 points each if scores level in first innings, 2 points go only to the side batting if the scores on first innings finish level in a drawn match and the two first innings are not completed, 2 points each for a draw.

1968 - Points changed to 10 points for win, 5 points each for a tie, 5 points for the side batting second in a drawn match if scores finish level. Bonus points for first 85 overs of each first innings: batting: 1 point for each 25 runs above 150 scored, bowling: 1 point for each 2 wickets taken.

1969 - Each team plays 24 matches.

1972 - Each team plays 20 matches.

1973 - Bonus points: batting: 75 runs in first 25 overs, 1 point, 150 runs in first 50 overs, 2 points, for each 25 runs over 150 in first 85 overs 1 point, bowling: unchanged.

1974 - The first two innings restricted to 200 overs with the team batting first being restricted to 100 overs and any overs unused by the team batting first being added to the allocation for the team batting second. Bonus points: batting: 150 runs, 1 point, 200 runs, 2 points, 250 runs, 3 points, 300 runs, 4 points, bowling: 3 wickets, 1 point, 5 wickets, 2 points, 7 wickets, 3 points, 9 wickets, 4 points.

1975 - Bonus point: batting: unchanged, bowling: 3-4 wickets, 1 point, 5-6 wickets, 2 points, 7-8 wickets, 3 points, 9-10 wickets, 4 points.

1977 - Each team plays 22 matches. 12 points awarded for a win. Sponsored by Schweppes.

1979 - Six points each awarded for a tie, 8 points to the side batting in a drawn match where the scores finish level.

1981 - The 200 overs limit on the first innings is abolished. 16 points awarded for a win, 8 points each for a tie, 8 points to the side batting in a drawn match where the scores finish level.

1983 - Each side plays 24 matches.

1984 - Sponsored by Britannic Assurance.

1988 - Each side plays 22 matches, including 6 four-day matches.

1989 - Provision to impose a 25-point penalty for a sub-standard pitch.

1992 - Durham are included in the Championship.

1993 - Bonus points awarded for achievements only in the first 120 overs of the first innings. Batting: 200 runs, 1 point, 250 runs, 2 points, 300 runs, 3 points, 350 runs, 4 points. Each side plays 17 matches, all four-day.

1995 - In addition to the 25-point penalty for a pitch unsuitable for first-class cricket, a penalty of 10 or 15 points may be deducted for a poor pitch.

In a one-innings match, a tie gives 6 points each and the side batting second in a drawn match scores 6 points.

1997 - A match abandoned without a ball being bowled now scores 3 points to each side.

1999 - 12 points for a win, four points for a draw. Now sponsored by ppp Healthcare.

2000 Div 1 2000 Div 2 Bonus points awarded for the first 130 overs: Batting 200 runs, 1 point, 250 runs, 2 points, 300 runs, 3 points, 350 runs, 4 points, 400 runs, 5 points. Bowling 3 wickets, 1 point, six wickets, 2 points, nine wickets, 3 points.

Penalty for poor pitches reduced to 8 points, with the provision that this penalty be increased to 12 points if the county has prepared a poor or unfit pitch in the previous 12 months.

The Championship splits into two divisions of nine teams each team playing 16 matches. the first promotions - relegations take place at the end of the season.

2001 Div 1 2001 Div 2 - CricInfo sponsors the competition, henceforth known as the CricInfo Championship. Bonus points awarded for the first 130 overs: Batting 200 runs, 1 point, 250 runs, 2 points, 300 runs, 3 points, 350 runs, 4 points, 400 runs, 5 points. Bowling 3 wickets, 1 point, six wickets, 2 points, nine wickets, 3 points. If penalty runs are awarded to a team which at that time had faced less than 130 overs in their first innings, or completed their first innings before they had faced 130 overs, those penalty runs will be considered as counting towards the total as far as the award of bonus points is concerned. If penalty runs are awarded to a team which had already faced 130 overs or more in their first innings, or had previously completed their first innings after they had faced 130 overs, those penalty runs will be not be considered as counting towards the total as far as the award of bonus points is concerned.

2002 - Frizzell County Championship.



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