However, these laws were not universally followed, with different games played under different guidance. On 30 May 1788, the Marylebone Cricket Club, which had been formed by the leading noblemen and gentlemen playing the game just one year before, produced its first Code of Laws. Whilst the MCC's version of the Laws were not accepted fully immediately, or applied consistently, it is the successor of these Laws that governs the game today. The next major change in 1809 saw further standardisation of the weight of the ball from between 5 and 6 ounces (142 to 170 g) to between 5.5 and 5.75 ounces (156 to 163 g), and the width of the cricket bat was standardised for the first time. The law to score runs of a ball hitting the non-striker stumps was made redundant and the length of stumps was increased from 22 to 24 inches and bails from 6 to 7 inches to help the bowlers, and the importance of umpires was further enhanced. Finally, a new method of dismissing a batsman was introduced. Previously, as cricket uses a hard ball and leg-pads were not used, players would naturally play with their legs away from the wicket. As batsmen started to wear pads, they became willing to cover their stumps with their legs to prevent the ball hitting the stumps and bowling them. Therefore a "leg before wicket" rule was introduced so that a batsman preventing the ball hitting his stumps with his legs would be out.
In 1829 the Length of stumps increased from 24 to 27 inches (610 to 690 mm) and the length of the bails was increased from 7 to 8 inches (180 to 200 mm), again to help the bowlers. For the first time, the thickness of stumps was mentioned. A new Code of Laws was approved by the MCC Committee on 19 May 1835, and another on 21 April 1884. In the 1884 laws the number of players was formalised for the first time (at eleven-a-side), and the size of the ball was formalised for the first time too. The follow-on rule was introduced. This was in response to the problem that to win a game a side needed to dismiss their opposition twice. A side that batted first and was fully on top of a match and scoring lots of runs would have to wait until it was dismissed a second time before it could attempt to dismiss the opposition a second time. As cricket is a time-limited game, it meant that sides that dominated the opposition could be forced to draw rather than win games. The initial follow-on rule was faulty, though, as it required a side to follow-on when it was behind. A side could deliberately concede its last wickets in the first innings in return for being able to bowl last on a deteriorating pitch. Later the follow-on rule was changed so that a team sufficiently ahead of its opposition has the option on whether to enforce it or not.
In 1947 a new Code was approved by the MCC on 7 May. In 1979 after a number of minor revisions of the 1947 Code, a new Code was approved at an MCC Special General Meeting on 21 November. This is known as the 1980 code. Amongst other changes, imperial units are now followed by metric units in the specifications.
In 1992 a second edition of the 1980 Code was produced. In 2000 a new Code, which for the first time included a Preamble defining the Spirit of Cricket was approved on 3 May. The code was rewritten into plain English and is more discursive than previous Codes. The length of an over was officially standardised at six balls for all matches, although in practice this had been the case for 20 or so years before that. In 2003 a second version of the 2000 Code was produced incorporating necessary amendments arising from the application of the 2000 Code.
Throwing was first regulated in laws produced in 1829. In 1864 overarm bowling was permitted for the first time.
In 1889, the length of an over increased from four balls to five balls. In 1900, the length of an over was increased to six balls. In 1922, variation was allowed in the length of the over (Australian overs to be eight balls). The 1947 Code stipulated that the length of an over was to be six or eight balls according to "prior agreement" between the captains