All umpires will now have to pass and ECB ACO Level One examination to be eligible to stand in a first team game.
Members of the JCT600 Bradford League Umpires Association voted in favour of the new rule at their annual general meeting.
A number of the association’s members hold the ECB ACO Level Two grading and four have just passed the Level 1A examination – Michael Apparicio, Rashad Iqbal, Neil Johnson and Mark Wisbey.
The proposal was put forward by Philip Radcliffe who is chairman of the YCB and chairman of the Bradford branch of the ECB ACO
Glyn Pearson, addressing members before standing down as chairman, said: “The Bradford League is a top league and it is important that work is done to improve the standard of umpiring.
“The ECB ACO Level Two qualification is the standard that is required in ECB County Premier Leagues and as a designated professional league we should aspire to get our umpires to achieve that level.”
He added: “Just by going on a course doesn’t make you automatically a better umpire, but it does improve your understanding and knowledge which in turn can help you to develop.”
The rule change was put forward by long-serving umpire Philip Radcliffe who is chairman of the Yorkshire Cricket Board.
He said: “In my view the current six-week training course doesn’t prepare members fully for the demands of officiating in the Bradford League.
“I believe this will be a beneficial step for both the league and our members. We all want to see the standard of umpiring improve and the ECB qualifications are a nationally recognised standard.”
Radcliffe reported after the meeting that there was strong demand from members to attend the ECB ACO Level One course at Pudsey Congs in January.