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  Monday, 18 June, 2001, 20:21 GMT 21:21 UK
Sport's space invaders
New barriers erected at Trent Bridge
Plastic fences start the new drive against pitch invasions
As the England and Wales Cricket Board pushes for new powers to deal with pitch invasions, BBC Sport Online's Mark Ashenden looks at legislation and measures in other sports.

Most sports have vague rules about not entering the playing arena.

Not football.

Under the Football (offences and disorder) Act 1999 an arrest can be made for entering the "playing area or adjacent area to which spectators are not generally admitted without lawful authority or excuse."

The offender faces being banned from the stadium and the ban can also be extended through to other grounds.

Fences had been a common feature at Britain's football stadiums to help keep in check the raging hooligan problems in the 1980s.

Nottingham Forest fans invade the pitch in 1995
Football fans break the law by invading the pitch

However, the Taylor report in 1990 recommended the fences be taken down in the interests of safety.

The occasional over-zealous celebration at the end of a season aside, it would seem the laws in place have restricted invasions at football matches to a minimum.

These are the problems currently facing cricket.

As it stands, it is not a criminal offence to enter the cricket playing arena.

Safety the key in Formula One

And following the farcical conclusions in the one-day matches between Pakistan and England at Edgbaston and more recently at Headingley, the cricket authorities are desperate for changes.

The ECB revealed on Monday they are seeking emergency measures to make a pitch invasion a finable offence.

The new powers are unlikely to be in place for Tuesday's Pakistan and Australia clash, but the ECB's new intentions have been made clear.

To prevent further trouble, it is imperative the stewards and police have the extra powers to ensure sufficient control.

British fans cheer at the Davis Cup
Restrictions exist on behaviour in the Davis Cup

Spectators can be ejected for unruly behaviour at tennis, but there is no legislation in place, although there are specific regulations for some tournaments to deal with crowd problems.

The 'Partisan Crowd' rule exists for the Davis Cup which allows points to be deducted if the home spectators are deemed to be putting off the opposition.

For Formula One, a number of measures have been introduced, such as higher fences, but have been more to do with spectator, driver and race official safety.

Fences have also been introduced, with success, at some rugby matches.

Two minutes before the end of England matches at Twickenham, stewards surround the pitch with fencing, and on the whistle the fence is raised.

Measures clearly vary hugely across different sports.

But as the chaotic scenes at recent one-day internationals continue, it is perhaps a good time for new laws to give cricket the real support it badly needs.

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