The days of bowlers toiling away for 25 overs in the Aire-Wharfe League are over.

The league’s annual meeting at Otley Rugby Union Club voted to restrict bowlers to a maximum of 15 overs, meaning that clubs will have to use a minimum of four bowlers per innings.

The proposal by Ilkley, which was seconded by Rawdon, was carried 22-14.

For proposals to be passed, a simple majority is now the benchmark, so the days of the two-thirds majority have also gone.

This change, proposed by the management committee and seconded by Knaresborough, was carried 31-5 and, as it was the first rule change to be voted upon, came into effect for the rest of the meeting The closest vote of the night concerned starting times being put back from 1pm to 1.30pm – a management committee proposal that Steeton seconded.

This is rather going against the flow of most other leagues, who, mindful of slow over rates and the possibility of bad light, are tending to go for earlier starts.

The vote was tied 18-18 but 19 was needed for it to be passed. However, a move to start third-team matches at 2pm instead of 2.30pm failed 14-5.

Their cup final will start at 1.30pm, however, and be decided by a bowl-out if necessary (carried 17-0).

Another tight one was New Rover’s proposal that Adel seconded concerning the visiting team ordering and paying for a minimum of eight teas. That was lost 18-17.

Tong Park Esholt’s annual bid to bring in a bonus-point system only failed 19-16 but they won’t be able to try and get it through again until 2013 as a rule change now cannot be re-proposed for two years – unless it is administrative and with the permission of the management committee.

One proposal passed unanimously (36-0) came from the management committee, seconded by Adel, that in the event of a delayed start the remaining overs will be shared equally between the teams.

Umpires will now be the sole arbiters of bad light (carried 32-4) but leg-side wides won’t be brought into the Waddilove Cup (failed 25-11).

The same 25-11 margin, this time in favour, means that umpire will be getting a rise in fees from £27.50 to £32.50 for league matches that start and £16.25 from £13.75 for matches that don’t start. Travelling expenses have been capped at £25 in the league and Waddilove and Birtwhistle cups.