Law 19 (Boundaries)
1. The boundary of the field of play
(a) Before the toss, the umpires shall agree the boundary
of the field of play with both captains. The boundary shall
if possible be marked along its whole length.
(b) The boundary shall be agreed so that no part of any sight-screen
is within the field of play.
(c) An obstacle or person within the field of play shall
not be regarded as a boundary unless so decided by the umpires
before the toss. See Law 3.4(ii) (To inform captains and scorers).
2. Defining the boundary – boundary marking
(a) Wherever practicable the boundary shall be marked by means
of a white line or a rope laid along the ground.
(b) If the boundary is marked by a white line,
(i) the inside edge of the line shall be the boundary edge.
(ii) a flag, post or board used merely to highlight the position
of a line marked on the ground must be placed outside the
boundary edge and is not itself to be regarded as defining
or marking the boundary. Note, however, the provisions of
(c) If a solid object is used to mark the boundary, it must
have an edge or a line to constitute the boundary edge.
(i) For a rope, which includes any similar object of curved
cross section lying on the ground, the boundary edge will
be the line formed by the innermost points of the rope along
(ii) For a fence, which includes any similar object in contact
with the ground, but with a flat surface projecting above
the ground, the boundary edge will be the base line of the
(d) If the boundary edge is not defined as in (b) or (c)
above, the umpires and captains must agree, before the toss,
what line will be the boundary edge. Where there is no physical
marker for a section of boundary, the boundary edge shall
be the imaginary straight line joining the two nearest marked
points of the boundary edge.
(e) If a solid object used to mark the boundary is disturbed
for any reason during play, then if possible it shall be restored
to its original position as soon as the ball is dead. If this
is not possible, then
(i) if some part of the fence or other marker has come within
the field of play, that portion is to be removed from the
field of play as soon as the ball is dead.
(ii) the line where the base of the fence or marker originally
stood shall define the boundary edge.
3. Scoring a boundary
(a) A boundary shall be scored and signalled by the umpire
at the bowler's end whenever, while the ball is in play, in
(i) the ball touches the boundary, or is grounded beyond the
(ii) a fielder, with some part of his person in contact with
the ball, touches the boundary or has some part of his person
grounded beyond the boundary.
(b) The phrases 'touches the boundary' and 'touching the
boundary' shall mean contact with
either (i) the boundary edge as defined in 2 above
or (ii) any person or obstacle within the field of play which
has been designated a boundary by the umpires before the toss.
(c) The phrase 'grounded beyond the boundary' shall mean
either (i) any part of a line or a solid object marking the
boundary, except its boundary edge
or (ii) the ground outside the boundary edge
or (iii) any object in contact with the ground outside the
4. Runs allowed for boundaries
(a) Before the toss, the umpires shall agree with both captains
the runs to be allowed for boundaries. In deciding the allowances,
the umpires and captains shall be guided by the prevailing
custom of the ground.
(b) Unless agreed differently under (a) above, the allowances
for boundaries shall be 6 runs if the ball having been struck
by the bat pitches beyond the boundary, but otherwise 4 runs.
These allowances shall still apply even though the ball has
previously touched a fielder. See also (c) below.
(c) The ball shall be regarded as pitching beyond the boundary
and 6 runs shall be scored if a fielder
(i) has any part of his person touching the boundary or grounded
beyond the boundary when he catches the ball.
(ii) catches the ball and subsequently touches the boundary
or grounds some part of his person beyond the boundary while
carrying the ball but before completing the catch. See Law
5. Runs scored
When a boundary is scored,
(a) the penalty for a No ball or a Wide, if applicable, shall
stand, together with any penalties under either of Laws 18.5(b)
(Deliberate short runs) or 42 (Fair and unfair play) that
apply before the boundary is scored.
(b) the batting side, except in the circumstances of 6 below,
shall additionally be awarded whichever is the greater of
(i) the allowance for the boundary.
(ii) the runs completed by the batsmen, together with the
run in progress if they have crossed at the instant the boundary
(c) When the runs in (b)(ii) above exceed the boundary allowance,
they shall replace the boundary for the purposes of Law 18.12
(Batsman returning to wicket he has left).
6. Overthrow or wilful act of fielder
If the boundary results either from an overthrow or from the
wilful act of a fielder the runs scored shall be
(i) the penalty for a No ball or a Wide, if applicable, together
with any penalties under either of Laws 18.5(b) (Deliberate
short runs) or 42 (Fair and unfair play) that are applicable
before the boundary is scored
and (ii) the allowance for the boundary
and (iii) the runs completed by the batsmen, together with
the run in progress if they have crossed at the instant of
the throw or act.