The Yorkshire South Premier League was created as part of the restructuring of Premier League cricket in Yorkshire for the 2016 season.
Its predecessor, the ECB Yorkshire County Premier League, came into existence in 1936 when the bigger clubs on the old Yorkshire Council, which in those days operated with over 100 clubs that organised their own fixture lists, broke away to form their league in which they could play each other home and away each season.
The clubs in membership of the Yorkshire South Premier League in 2020 are:
Appleby Frodingham, Barnsley Woolley Miners, Cawthorne, Doncaster Town, Elsecar, Hallam, Sheffield Collegiate, Tickhill, Treeton, Wakefield Thornes, Whitley Hall and
Wickersley Old Village
The formation of the Yorkshire South Premier League
The origins of the Yorkshire South Premier League (YSPL) lie in the former ECB Yorkshire County Premier League. The League was accorded Premier League status in 1999 and as such was the top league in the county and boasted most of its best grounds.
The membership of the Yorkshire League changed over the years, with well-known clubs like Halifax, Leeds and Wakefield falling by the waysuide, but most of the founder menbers remained to the end in 2015.
Hull dominated the Yorkshire League in its early years; Scarborough won 13 titles between 1957 and 1983; and York were champions in all but two of the League’s last 12 years. At various stages, Sheffield United, Harrogate, and Sheffield Collegiate also had periods of dominance.
In the Yorkshire League’s final season, the member clubs were Appleby Frodingham, Barnsley, Castleford, Cleethorpes, Doncaster Town, Driffield Town, Harrogate, Hull, Rotherham Town, Sheffield Collegiate, Sheffield United, York and Yorkshire Academy. The two Lincolnshire clubs were admitted during the period when Yorkshire & Humberside was the administrative county for the area.
The seven most southerly of these clubs formed the new Yorkshire South Premier League along with the top four clubs in the South Yorkshire Senior Cricket League (SYSCL) in 2015, and Wakefield Thornes from thr former Central Yorkshure League.
The inaugural members of the YSPL in 2016, therefore, were Appleby Frodingham, Aston Hall, Barnsley, Cleethorpes, Doncaster Town, Rotherham, Sheffield Collegiate, Sheffield United, Treeton, Wakefield Thornes, Whitley Hall and Wickersley Old Village.
The YSPL and the SYSCL work closely together under a Memorandum of Understanding to align playing conditions in the two leagues and there is promotion and relegation between the two leagues on a ‘two up/two down’ basis. The first two clubs to be promoted to the YSPL, in 2017, were Hallam and Tickhill, whilst Doncaster Town and Rotherham Town were the first clubs to be relegated.
Our main sponsors
After three years of sponsorship by All Rounder cricket, the YSPL entered into partnership with new law firm 4 Probate & Wills, who were the League’s main sponsors in 2019.
We are currently in talks about a new sponsorship deal for 2020 onwards.
The Yorkshire Premier League structure
During 2014 and 2015, planning was ongoing in earnest to reorganise Premier League cricket and provide a pyramid structure to enable club progression in Yorkshire.
As part of this reorganisation, the old Yorkshire League was effectively split in two, with the seven most northerly clubs and five clubs from the York & District Senior League making up Yorkshire Premier League North (YPLN), whilst the seven remaining Yorkshire League clubs, along with four clubs from the South Yorkshire Senior Cricket League (SYSCL) and Wakefield Thornes from the Central Yorkshire League made up the Yorkshire South Premier League (YSPL).
At the same time, the Bradford League applied for Premier League status to cover the west of the county, and the North Yorkshire & South Durham Premier League formed Yorkshire’s fourth ‘pyramid’.
All four leagues are independent and autonomous, under the overall direction of the Yorkshire Premier Leagues Management Board.
The White Rose Yorkshire Champions Trophy was introduced as the prize for the winners of an end-of-season play-off between the winners of the four Premier Leagues. Wakefield Thornes, the first champions of the YSPL, beat Bradford League Champions Pudsey St Lawrence in the first final in Abu Dhabi to become the first Premier League champions of Yorkshire in 2016.
YSPL champions in each of its first three years, Wakefield Thornes reached the White Rose Championship Final three times in succession. Following their famous win over Pudsey St Lawrence, they lost to Hanging Heaton in 2017 before regaining their Yorkshire Champions title with a comfortable win over Great Ayton in the 2018 final at Headingley.
The main competition in the YSPL is the 50-over per side League championship. After being won by Wakefield Thornes in its' first three seasons, the championship competition was won by Doncaster Town in 2019.
In addition to the championship, a highlight of the YSPL calendar is the t20 competition. In the first four seasons, clubs were drawn into three groups, the winners of each of which went forward to the League Finals Day where they played off with the SYSCL t20 winners for the YSPL t20 championship. The winners then went forward to the regional stages of the ECB t20 competition. Sheffield Collegiate won the t20 title in our first two seasons; Hallam became a new name on the trophy in 2018; and Sheffield Collegiate regained their title in 2019.
In 2020, a new format is being tried, with three group matchdays in which teams are split into four groups of three that all play against each other, giving each team six games for which points are awarded in a single league table. The top team after the group stage will go forward to the ECB National t20 competition, and the top four teams will play off for the YSPL t20 championship.
YSPL clubs also compete in the Yorkshire Leagues Knock-Out Cup (now sponsored by Viking Cricket as the Viking Cricket Cup). This competition originated as the Yorkshire League Knock-Out Cup, which was first competed in 1972, when its first winners were Doncaster Town.
The competition, now played on a 40-over basis with coloured clothing, is open to all current members of YPLN and YSPL. In its first three seasons, the trophy was won by YPLN teams, but Wakefield Thornes beat Whitley Hall to win it in the first all-YSPL final in 2019.