More than 130 teams have signed-up for the slimmed down version of the Tolchards Devon Cricket League, which will swing into action this Saturday.

Groupings and fixtures were published over the weekend ahead of the first round of matches. Most of the divisions contain four teams who will play each other home and away from July 25 to August 29 over the course of six games.

One of the exceptions to the four-team format is Division Two North in tier seven, which has six teams in it playing each other only once.

League officials have endeavoured to group teams together by ability and proximity to avoid mismatches and keep travelling to a minimum.

Nick Rogers, the league chairman, said teams were graded based on their performance in the 2019 season and grouped with nearby clubs of a similar status whenever possible.

“We seeded teams based on last season’s final positions and used those as a guide to where they should play this season.

“As well as ability there was also an element of geographical proximity in the make up of the divisions.

“Due to the shape of Devon and where clubs are located, they may be some small anomalies.

“And we were able to take into consideration requests from teams who wanted to play lower than their seeding because of issues getting a side out.

“We have complied where we felt it necessary, but have warned clubs not to stick half a dozen first teamers into a second team and artificially strengthening it.

“Although there is no registration this season we don’t want players turning out for more than one club either.”

There are eight tiers of cricket sub-divided into four regional divisions, all of which will produce a champion to go forward to the semi-finals.

North Devon and Hatherleigh’s first team are in the Premier North section of Tier One along with Heathcoat and Sandford.

North One – a tier three division – comprises North Devon II, Barnstaple and Pilton, Bideford and Braunton.

The six teams in North Two only playing each other once are North Devon III, Hatherleigh III, Braunton II, Bideford II, Filleigh and Newton Tracey.

On the first Saturday in September 16 semi-finals will be played – two for each of the eight tiers – producing two finalists for each level.

Game lengths are 45 overs in tiers one and two, 40 overs in tiers three, four and five and 35 overs from level six down.

To accommodate the shorter duration of matches, normally 50, 45 and 40 overs at corresponding levels, the bench marks for batting bonus points of have been changed.

“To get all five batting points the target is 225 in the top two divisions, 200 in the middle three and 175 in the bottom three,” said Rogers.

Bowling bonus points remain unaltered, however the formula for cancelled matches has been amended.

“In a five or six game season if you have one game called off that is quite slice of your possible points and the usual six for a cancellation is not representative,” said Rogers.

“Instead we will use tables based on average points per game.”

Fixtures – Saturday

Premier North: Heathcoat v North Devon, Sandford v Hatherleigh.

North One: North Devon II v Barnstaple & Pilton, Bideford v Braunton.

West Three: Lewdown v Bridestowe, Hatherleigh II v Tavistock.

North Two: N Devon III v Hatherleigh III, Braunton II v Bideford II, Filleigh v Newton Tracey.

Sunday: Newton Tracey v Victoria Park