DORSET cricket clubs have discovered the new format for the 2024 season following a remodelling of the league pyramid.

All teams begin their league campaigns on Saturday, May 4 and finish on Saturday, August 31.

New for 2024, Dorset has adopted the ECB Premier League model, meaning the county’s top two tiers are split into Premier One and Premier Two divisions.

County Division One therefore becomes the third level and so on, with two regionalised tiers at the bottom of the ladder in Division Six East and West.

READ MORE: All the teams and divisions in 2024 Dorset League

Consequently, fixtures across the 18-week season in the two six-team Premier ranks are portioned into four segments.

Match weeks one to five and 14 to 18 are 50 overs per side featuring a pink ball and coloured clothing in Premier One only.

Premier Two teams will play in white attire before moving to a pink ball and coloured kit in future seasons.

A separate Saturday T20 league is also scheduled for weeks six to eight and is regionalised into three groups of four, placing the 12 Premier clubs into west, north or south-east brackets.

Teams play each other in a double-header, earning two points for a win and one for a tie or no result.

The top team in each group, plus the best of three runners-up, advances to a finals day on a Sunday yet to be announced.

Dorset will then be represented in the National T20 Cup by the winners.

Lastly, match weeks nine to 13 feature 100-over games, a new format for Dorset cricket, where sides batting first can use a maximum of 55 overs or choose to declare earlier.

Sides bowling second have the remaining 45 overs or more to either dismiss their opponents for victory, fail to defend their total and lose or settle for a draw.

Both divisions will revert to white clothing and red balls, with a maximum of 15 overs per bowler in Premier One and no maximum limit in Premier Two.

There are also no fielding restrictions in either Premier tier but the points system is yet to be finalised. Indications are that teams with a higher net run rate in drawn games will earn more points.

Point scoring in the normal 50-over format is identical to 2023, except for the return of average points.

This is due to home teams no longer being permitted to call games off in the event of rain.

At the end of the season, points in the 50-over and 100-over formats will be added together to determine league placings.

Teams in Divisions One to Six retain the 2023 model of playing each of their opponents home and away across the 18 weeks.

Crucially, there will be no promotion between Premier One, Two or Division One in 2024 or 2025. This allows all clubs more time to meet the strict criteria in ECB leagues.

However, relegation from Division One remains in place. Normal promotions and relegations stay for Divisions Two to Six.

Following the conclusion of the 2025 season the two Premier divisions may expand to eight teams, subject to criteria being met, with a view to reaching the maximum of 10 in future campaigns.