Tri‑County Baseball League

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Constitution and By‑Laws

Revised: January, 2007



Article 1:  Mission Statement


            The name of this organization shall be the Tri‑County Baseball League, formed for the purpose of Athletics; to stimulate and participate in healthful games, sports and recreation; and to secure enjoyment of outdoor benefits and pleasures.  Its members shall be pledged to the highest standards of ethics of amateur and courteous contest.


Article 2:  Officers


Section 1:  Election of Officers


            The officers of this League shall be:  Commissioner, President, Vice‑President, Statistician, Secretary, Treasurer, Publicity Director, and a member of each organization.


            All officers are to be nominated by a nominating committee before the first annual meeting and those nominations are to be approved or voted on by the members at the first annual meeting with the option of a secret ballot if motioned.


Section 2:  President


            The President shall preside at all meetings of the League and shall enforce the Constitution and By‑Laws and in case of a tie vote, he shall cast the deciding vote.  He shall be compensated three hundred dollars ($300) for his services.  He shall direct the calling of all meetings of the League, conduct all the business of the League when not in session, make a report for consideration at the next meeting of the representatives, and appoint pro‑tem all committees not otherwise provided for.


            If, after a player's contract has been approved, the President is in doubt as to a violation of any By‑Laws, he shall have the privilege of suspending said player until an investigation has been made by him.  If, upon investigation, he feels the player has not violated the By‑Laws, he can reinstate the player at once.  The President shall at once notify the manager of the team involved as to the standing of the player.


            The League President will not be allowed to represent any team at a league meeting.  The League President cannot be the manager or a player of a Tri‑County League team. 


            On all non-bylaw issues that come up during the season, the President does have the authority to make decisions that are for the good of the league, preferably with consent from a majority of the teams’ representatives.


Section 3 ‑ Vice‑President


            The Vice‑President shall preside at all meetings and conduct all business in the absence of the President, and perform such other duties as the President may direct.  In the event of the resignation of the President, the Vice‑President shall succeed to the Presidency.  At times when the Vice‑President is acting in the President's absence, baseball‑related matter shall be handled through consultation with the Commissioner.  He shall be responsible for making the league schedule and shall receive the sum of two hundred and fifty ($250) dollars as compensation for his services.


            The Vice-President shall have authority as to the playing dates of all games postponed, unless the managers directly involved arrange to play the postponed game or at least schedule the postponed game within 5 days from the date of the postponement.  The Vice-President will enforce all make-up dates and stay on top of all make-up games.


Section 4 ‑ Statistician


            The Statistician will be responsible for providing statistics on the website on the first of every month and will be fined $20 a week for every week they are not updated (enforced by Treasurer). The Statistician should also try and have the most up-to-date stats available on game day for all teams participating in TV games for the telecast. All data included on the Statistics sheet shall be included in Statistics reports.  The Statistician will also keep the Vice-President and President apprised of postponed or cancelled games not rescheduled.  The Statistician will be paid a sum equal to that of the Umpire Assignor (see Section 8), plus any viable expenses incurred during the season.


            The Statistician will be responsible for providing the President with a list of outstanding make-up games at each League meeting.  The President will then verify if these games have been rescheduled.  If not, the representatives are responsible for scheduling the game at the meeting; otherwise, the Vice-President will schedule the game(s). After July 4th, any rainouts should me rescheduled on the first available open date for both teams. After July 14th, it will be mandatory that all rainouts WILL be rescheduled on the first open date for both teams, even if a neutral site needs to be used.


            The Statistician will be responsible for the website.  The Statistician shall be responsible for the Banquet Program and shall be compensated One hundred ($100) dollars for the program. The Statistician must update the Transactions Page on the website daily, barring verifiable special circumstances and will be fined $10 every time the Transactions Page is not updated two days in a row (enforced by the Treasurer).


Section 5 ‑ Secretary


            The Secretary shall keep a record of all meetings of the representatives, and perform such other duties as may develop upon him.  He shall receive the sum of two hundred ($200) dollars as compensation for his services, plus any expenses incurred. The Secretary is also in charge of all By-Laws updates starting in 2007 and must keep a record of all proposed changes at the By-Laws meeting and prepare a list for the January meeting for all members to vote on. Once all annual changes are made, the Secretary must get the updated By-Laws to the Webmaster to put on the website before the start of the season.


            The Secretary must maintain a Hall of Fame members contacts list with addresses and phone numbers for all living members (use Bob Ravier and other members of the Hall of Fame Committee to stay on top of this). The Secretary should email the league minutes to all team reps and Officers within 10 days of every meeting.


Section 6 ‑ Treasurer


            The Treasurer shall be the custodian of the funds of the League, and he shall give and take the receipts for all monies handled by him.  He shall keep all monies in the bank in a checking account.  He is responsible for providing financial reports on the All‑Star Game, League Banquet, and other special events.  He shall keep records of monies owed by team and keep the President apprised of outstanding balances.  He shall receive the sum of two hundred ($200) dollars as compensation for his services.


Section 7 ‑ Publicity Director


            The Publicity Director shall prepare a newspaper article preliminary to the season.  For this article, each team is required to supply the Publicity Director with preliminary information about the team ‑‑ site changes, new managers, new and returning players with relevant statistics, and other information of interest.  The Publicity Director may edit at his discretion.  He will keep the newspaper informed of All‑Star, Playoff and Banquet activities.  The Publicity Director needs to phone in all schedule changes that occur during the season to the Morning Call so their daily schedule listings for our league is completely accurate every day. He shall receive the sum of two hundred fifty ($200) dollars for his services, plus any expenses incurred.



Section 8 ‑ Umpire Assignor


            The Umpire Assignor shall be selected by vote of the team representatives and shall receive the sum  equal to one umpire’s game fee times the number of teams in the league, not including phone expenses.  We’ll use 2003 as an example: The umpire’s game fee is $43 and the there are 13 teams, so the Umpire Assignor’s fee is $559.  The Umpire Assignor shall present the League with a full roster of umpires (with phone numbers) and the tentative May umpires schedule before the start of each season.  He is responsible for assignment of umpires to scheduled and re‑scheduled games and for dealings with the Bethlehem Umpires Association.



Section 9 ‑ Officer Enforcement of By‑Laws


            The President, Vice‑President, Statistician, Secretary, Treasurer, and Publicity Director shall have the power to enforce any violation of the By‑Laws and can take the necessary action immediately upon violation.  Officers missing more than two meetings per year will be fined $20 for each meeting missed (except in the event of unusual circumstances as verified by the President).



Section 10 ‑ Commissioner


            A Commissioner shall be appointed by the Representatives.  His appointment will run indefinitely, and a new Commissioner will be appointed when needed.  His powers, duties and responsibilities shall be to settle all baseball‑related matters submitted to him by the President and according to these By‑Laws. 



Section 11 ‑ Additional Responsibilities and Compensation


            A number of additional responsibilities shall be given to individuals appointed by the President and shall receive compensation as follows:

*                      Banquet Manager:  The individual who manages the banquet, to include head count, contact with banquet site, table arrangements, and determination of monies owed by team (in consultation with the Treasurer) shall receive $100.

*                      Complimentary Banquet Tickets:  Shall be awarded to all officers, to include the Commissioner and the Chair/Chairs of the Hall of Fame Committee.




Section 12 – Manager’s Checklist of responsibilities


            A number of responsibilities are listed here for all Managers in the Tri-County League:


            1) Must have a representative at every league meeting unless there are unforeseen circumstances verified by the President or there will be a $50 fine.

            2) Every team must have an email representative.

            3) Every Manager should have a copy of the bylaws and American League rule book at every game.

            4) Call the Morning Call (610-820-6558) and the website (see Contacts List) after every game by 10:00 or ASAP after a night game or there will be a $10 fine.

            5) Reschedule your rainouts within 5 days of the rainout (you can put the rainout on a date several weeks after the rainout, but SCHEDULE the make-up date within 5 days of the rainout.

            6) Remember roster deadlines (drop deadline June 19 and add deadline June 21).

            7) You must email all roster moves to the Statistician and Secretary even if you called them in to the Statistician already (a checks and balances “system”) and if you make a roster move within 60 minutes of the start of the game, then you must notify the opposing manager before the game starts, too.

            8) Please get all stat sheets in within 72 hours of the completion of the games ($20 late fee).

          9) Know your ground rules for your home field and the teams sharing the Scherersville fields should have the same ground rules.

            10) Remember you have bought 5 Banquet tickets (included in your league fees), so you should try and get at least 5 people to go to the banquet.

            11) Make sure EVERY player on your team signs a league waiver. Do NOT sign it for them. Make sure they fill out the info on the waiver for the website profile.

            12) If any umpires show up late or if you have ONE umpire, please email the umpire Assignor and the president with that information.

            13) You should keep your umpire’s phone list with your By-Laws and American League rule book.



Article 3:  Franchise


Section 1 ‑ Franchise Fees


            A new franchise deposit of two hundred ($200) dollars shall be deposited with the League Treasurer at the first League meeting of the year (January).  The franchise deposit is a non‑returnable fee payable after the team is accepted by the League.


            If a manager of a team (one who has already paid the franchise fee and fielded a team for at least one full season) is unable to field a team during one regular season, but returns to the League during the following season, his team will be exempted from paying the franchise fee.  This exemption applies to one year of absence from the League only; after that year, franchise fee must be paid.




Section 2 ‑ Transfer of Franchise


            A transfer of franchise from one manager to another must meet at least two of the following conditions to be considered a transfer, rather than a new team:

1)         Team must play at same field as in prior season

2)         Team must retain at least 5 players from the prior season

3)         Team must use same uniforms and team name as in prior season

            If at least 2 of the conditions are not met, the team will be considered a new team and is subject to franchise fees and approval by League representatives.


Section 3 ‑ Team forfeits twice in one season


            If a team has forfeited 2 games during the current season, then that team must be voted in as a new franchise to remain in the league the following season. The franchise fee would not apply in this situation.



Article 4:  Representatives



Section 1 ‑ Representatives, Roll Taking, and Fines


            The Representatives shall consist of a member of each team, which board shall control all matters of interest to the League.  It shall have the power to decide questions appealed to it from the different Clubs, act upon complaints and charges brought and shall settle such business as may be brought before it by such Officers of the individual Clubs.


            A quorum shall consist as follows:  If a six‑team League, shall have four members; if an eight‑team League, shall have five members; if a ten‑team League, shall have six members; if a twelve‑team League, shall have seven members; if a fourteen‑team League, shall have eight members; and if a sixteen‑team League, shall have twelve members.  When the roll is called at any meeting of the League, the representative must answer by giving his name instead of the usual yes.  This signifies who shall do the voting for that Team or Club.


            A twenty ($50) dollar fine shall be imposed upon a Club for not having a Representative at a meeting and shall be paid at the next meeting.  According to Article 13, section 2, fines will be doubled if not paid at the next meeting; this doubling will be rigidly enforced.  Any team failing to have a representative at two consecutive meetings, or missing more than three meetings per year (except in the event of a game or unusual extenuating circumstances as verified by the President), will result in a fine of $100.  Failure to pay said fine shall result in suspension of further League play by that team until fine is paid, and all suspended games will be forfeited.  Any team forfeiting two league games during the season shall lose its membership.


            Late arrival at league meetings (excluding teams with games):  Representatives arriving over fifteen minutes late (except in the event of unusual circumstances verified by the President) will receive a warning on the first occasion and a $5 fine on each occasion thereafter.


            League fees will be determined by the Treasurer before the start of the season.  League Fees are due and payable in May.  All teams must pay their league debts by no later than the start of the season or they will be unable to play until the fees are paid.  Each game missed due to failure to pay will count as a forfeit.  If a team folds while owing money to the League, the team's manager will be placed on the monies‑owed list until the balance is paid to the league.


            Every team must name a representative that is financially responsible for all bills before the start of the season.



Article 5:  Players


Section 1 ‑ Roster Eligibility


            Each team shall have the privilege of having 25 players, plus 3 designated legion players.  The Manager is automatically eligible for the Playoffs and counts as one of the 25 players.  Legion players only need to meet half of the requirements needed to be eligible for the playoffs.


            If the player is a professional baseball player returning from organized baseball, he cannot play until 2 days after the President has a release or a copy of a release in his possession (i.e. the president receives the release on Monday, verifies the release on either Monday or Tuesday, then the player is eligible to play on Wednesday). Also, the same rules apply to a player placed on the voluntary retired list, written evidence must be provided to the President.


            A professional player may be placed on any roster and does NOT have to be released before June 19th to be eligible to play, as long as the above requirements in the above paragraph are met (i.e. Ken Griffey is placed on a roster on June 20th, gets released on July 9th, provides proof of his release, he is eligible to play on July 11 and if he meets the qualifications for the playoffs, he is then eligible).



Section 2 – Protocol for Adding Players to the Roster


            You must call or email the Statistician with all roster moves. You can call, text message or email a roster move even 1 minute before game time if need be. When you make a roster move, even if you call it in to the Statistician, you must at some point also email those roster moves to the Statistician and Secretary (a checks and balances “system”) and if you make a roster move within 60 minutes of the start of any game, then you must notify the opposing manager before the game starts, too.



Section 3 ‑ Roster Date


            Each respective team shall have the option to add and drop players and the deadline for dropping players is June 19th. Once a player is dropped, they cannot be re-added to their roster the rest of the season. All final drops made on June 19th must be posted on the website by the Statistician on June 20th. All teams then have until June 21st at midnight to finalize their rosters with any additions (no more drops can be made, though). The Statistician will immediately post the Final rosters on the website on June 22nd..



Section 4 ‑ Players with Multiple Contracts and Outstanding Debts


            Every player must sign a Trico waiver/contract before playing in any games. No exceptions. Should any player sign contracts for 2 teams in the Tri‑County League, he shall be barred from further participation in League games during the current season until he receives a release from one team.


            If a player is dropped or quits, he cannot sign with another team until he is released from the original team and returns all uniforms, equipment, and monies owed.  After a player has returned uniforms, equipment, and monies owed, his release cannot be held up by the original team and becomes automatic.  If his status is in dispute, the President or his representative will determine his playing eligibility.  There will be a three‑day interim period after the date of the release during which the player cannot play for a new team.


            Outstanding debts not paid to team:  Each team will turn in at the January meeting a list of players who owe teams money, uniforms or equipment from the previous year.  These players are not eligible to play for any team until the debt to the original team is settled.  This will give the player time to settle the debt before the season starts; if the debt is not settled, he cannot be placed onto a roster.  If the player's original team decides to take him back, they must determine whether or not to remove him from the list.  If the player disputes whether he has settled with the previous team, the managers will vote on his status.  The list of players owing uniforms and/or equipment (not money) will be exchanged with the Blue Mountain League (BML), and players owing uniforms and/or equipment to one League will not be allowed to play in the other. Managers cannot add anyone to the blacklist for monies owed after May. However, equipment and uniforms owed will be enforced year-round.  After the season is over, players are not responsible for monies owed for the previous year.


                There will be a 3-day interim period starting the next calendar day after the release during which the player cannot play for another team. The release does not take effect until the statistician has been notified via voicemail, email or direct contact. So if a player is released ANY time on Monday, then that player is NOT eligible to play until Friday.


Section 5 ‑ Suspension of Players


            For any offense which merits player suspension, the penalty for such offense shall be decided by the President.  The President will notify the team's manager of such a decision.  The player may appeal his case, but his Manager must make the appeal for him to the League.



Section 6 ‑ Ejection from Game


            Any player being ejected from a game must leave the ballpark and remain outside hearing distance of the ballpark.  Use of profanity or excessive throwing of bats and/or helmets is a condition for being ejected from a game.  Ejections and distance from the ballpark will be at the umpire's discretion.


            On the first offense, an ejected player will receive a one-game suspension.  On the second offense, he will be suspended for two games.  On the third and subsequent offenses, he will be suspended for the next three games.  Umpires are responsible for notifying the Umpire Assignor of ejected players, and it is the responsibility of the Umpire Assignor to keep records of ejected players and number of offenses.  The Umpire Assignor will keep the President and Secretary apprised of these ejected players and their status.




Section 7 ‑ Bodily Contact with Umpire


            Should any player, coach or manager strike, bump or shove an umpire, he is to be immediately suspended for at least 3 games (with any additional penalty to be determined by the President).  If a second offense occurs, the player will be suspended 5 games and a third offense will mean the player is suspended for balance of the season.


Section 8 ‑ Uniform Regulations


            A batter must wear a protected headpiece when batting.  Coaches, to coach on the bases, must be in full uniform, unless both managers agree.  Uniforms must all be team uniforms; it is preferred ‑‑ but not critical ‑‑ that they all match.  Games cannot be held up or protested due to uniforms that don’t match.



Section 9 ‑ Appearances for Playoff Eligibility


            In order to be eligible for the playoffs, a player must have a number of plate appearances equal to 2/3 of the total number of games scheduled (rounded to the next whole number if applicable) to be played for their team for the season. If an opponent forfeits a game to your team during the season, then 1 plate appearance is subtracted from the total needed to qualify for all players on your team and the same goes for subsequent forfeits.


            A player can also be eligible for playoffs as a pitcher if they have a total number of innings pitched equal to the total number of games scheduled for your team at the start of the season divided by 2 + 1. If an opponent forfeits a game to your team during the season, then 1 inning pitched is subtracted from the total needed to qualify for all players on your team and the same goes for subsequent forfeits.


            Example:  In a 32‑game schedule, a player must have at least 22 plate appearances or have pitched at least 17 innings.


            Designated Legion players only need to meet half of the requirements listed to be eligible for the playoffs (rounded to the next whole number if applicable).


            If a player switches teams during the season, the first team’s stats do NOT count toward the player’s playoff eligibility for his new team.


            The team’s manager is automatically eligible for the playoffs, if approved by the other managers, is automatically eligible for the playoffs, even if he doesn’t make a single regular-season appearance.


Section 10 ‑ Teams Using Ineligible Players within a playoff series


            Each playoff team should receive a list of eligible players for each playoff team from the Statistician prior to the playoffs.  Score books will be made available at the meeting prior to the playoffs.  If the list cannot be provided due to games not received at the time of the meeting before the playoffs, final verbal confirmation of eligibility should be made at the meeting and lists should be sent to each playoff team as soon as they are available.


            If a team is determined to have used ineligible players, the team will be fined forfeit fees for all games involving said ineligible players.  The manager will be suspended both as a player and as a manager for a length of time determined by the President. 



Article 6:  Umpires




Section 1:  Selection and Payment of Umpires


            The League will rely on the Umpire Assignor to chose Umpires for the League.  If only one official umpire is present at a game, the game must be played with one official umpire, and the umpire shall receive 1½ times his usual compensation if he acts alone.  If the home team pays the ONE umpire $98, then that team shall be reimbursed $23 by the Umpire Assignor within seven days if only one umpire is present. See Section 2 for protocol of who to contact if only one umpire shows up.


            Umpires will be paid by the end of the fifth inning and preferably before the game begins.  In the event of an incomplete game, umpires are paid for 1/2 fee from start of game until the completion of the fifth inning.  After the fifth inning is complete, they are paid the full amount.  If a team fails to pay after the fifth inning, the team will be warned on its first occurrence, fined $10 on its second occurrence, doubling on each successive occurrence.  The umpire must inform the Umpire Assignor, who will keep a record and inform the President after every occurrence, who must inform the team rep responsible for each infraction.


            A spectator can be picked to umpire bases, if both managers agree, and he shall be compensated.  However, if a spectator acts as a co‑umpire, the official umpire shall receive his usual compensation.


            Any umpire who plays on a League team is prohibited from umpiring in the League, unless both teams agree to his use as an umpire.  The Umpire Assignor must notify both teams in this event prior to the game.




Section 2 ‑ Umpire Regulations


            The Umpires shall make it their business to arrive on the playing field and be dressed and prepared to begin the game 5 minutes before starting time of the game and see that the infield, foul lines and batter's box are properly marked.  He is not to start the game until any defects are corrected.  It is recommended that both managers confirm that the umpires at the game match up with the umpires listed for the game on the website.


            A ten ($10) dollar deduction from the umpire fee is imposed if an umpire is not at home plate, ready to go at the scheduled start for the game.  If an Umpire arrives at a game before the start of a game that is rained out, he is to be compensated eight ($8) dollars.  


            If both Umpires fail to show up for a game, it will be up to the Managers to decide whether or not to play the game with fans officiating.  The Umpire Assignor and the President should be notified within seven days if either or both umpires fail to show up for a game.  If an Umpire does not show up for two games without a satisfactory reason, the Umpire Assignor will remove him from the list of eligible umpires.  For any other situations involving the actions of umpires where the manager has a concern or grievance, the Umpire Assignor should be contacted within seven days.


            In any games where only ONE umpire shows up or either or both umpires are late, the protocol for reporting this is the Home Team needs to email the President, and then the President will forward the email the Treasurer and the Umpire Assignor.



Section 3 ‑ Assignment of Umpires


            The Umpire Assignor shall present the League with a full roster of umpires before the start of the season.  Teams may, at this time, indicate umpires to be placed upon their individual team black‑list and not to be used for any game involving their team, except in the case of emergency.  Teams will take the Umpire Assignor's word as to what constitutes an emergency.  At the meeting prior to the start of the season, the Umpire Assignor will present a draft of the assigned umpires for each game, with copies available for each representative.  Teams will have an opportunity to state any umpire difficulties and request reassignment at this time.  Umpires on a team's blacklist cannot be assigned to umpire a playoff game without approval from the President.  The team can protest in the event a black‑listed umpire is used.


                Teams may blacklist 2 umpires for the regular season, home and away games.  The Umpire Assignor shall adhere to these lists, unless there is an emergency and he is short on umpires, in which case, he may assign an umpire to the bases ONLY if he calls the manager and gets his permission for that game. If problems arise during the season and a manager wants to permanently blacklist an umpire from all games, then the manager can do so if the Umpire Assignor agrees that this is the best course of action.  If the Umpire Assignor does not agree, then the manager can appeal to the President for a decision.  Managers, do not abuse this privilege.



Article 7:  Scorekeepers




Section 1 ‑ Forwarding to Statistician


            The Home Team shall forward the official score sheet to the Statistician to be received not later than 4 days following the playing of the game.  At the end of the season, all teams must submit statistics on remaining games not later than two days after the team's final game.  All statistics sheets must be received by the Statistician prior to the meeting before the playoffs.  A fine of ten ($10) dollars for failure to comply with this rule must be paid at the next meeting.


Section 2 ‑ Official Scorekeeper


            The Home Team Scorekeeper will be the official scorekeeper.  In case of a disagreement between scorekeepers on a call, the Home Team and Visiting Team Managers will confer on the situation and decide accordingly.  At the conclusion of a ball game, both Scorekeepers can check the Scorebooks to make sure all statistics are the same (hits, runs, errors, etc.) if necessary.  First initial (or preferably full name) and Last Name are required on both Lineup Card and Statistics Sheet.  Lineup card should also include name of manager and record of team.


            In the event of a significant problem in scoring, email the Statistician.  All differences of opinion will try to be resolved by the Statistician, but in any instance where the difference of opinion cannot be resolved, the home team’s scorekeeper or manager has final say.


Section 3 ‑ Notification of Newspaper


            It will be the responsibility of the Home Team to call all game results into the Morning Call before 10 p.m. the day of the game.  (Phone # 610-820‑6558).  In the event of a night game, the results will be called in on the following day.  A fine of ten ($10) dollars for failure to comply with this rule must be paid at the next meeting.  In the event of the newspaper's error in failing to report a game, the League will accept the word of the home team's manager as to whether the game was called in or not.  It will be the Statistician’s responsibility to monitor games being reported.  Optional ‑ Call the Easton Express/Times for games involving teams in the Easton or Bethlehem areas. Please try and call all games in before 10:00 p.m. to the papers and webmaster whenever possible. A fine of $10 will assessed for not calling in a game to the website by 10:30.


            Please note that the starting pitcher must pitch 5 innings to record a win, unless it is a 6-inning game, then 4 innings is enough for the win.  Beginning in 1993, Walks and Strikeouts are to be included in the Scorebooks, Score Sheets mailed to Statistician, the League Statistics as printed regularly and included in the Banquet Program.  Beginning in 1994, Saves are also to be included.


            All “local” teams in the Express-Times coverage area must call that paper with their results. Call in all home games, plus any away games when the home team is not in the Express-Times coverage area…Be aware that they take more information than the Morning Call. They take doubles, triples, home runs, RBIs, double plays and pitcher’s walks & strikeouts. A fine of $10 will be paid for failure to call the website with game results (only need runs, hits, errors and “stars-of-the game”). An Express-Times “local” team will be determined by the President in conjunction with the Sports Department of the Express-Times. The statistician will call the Express-Times with all scores/results from “out-of-area” games.


Section 4 ‑ Deliberate Misreporting of a Game


            If, in the opinion of the President, a deliberate misreporting of a game in the newspaper has occurred, the situation will be discussed at the next League meeting.  Representatives from each team involved will be allowed to state their case.   All representatives will vote on whether the misreporting was deliberate.  If it is so determined by a 2/3 vote, the guilty team will be fined $100 for the first occurrence, $200 for the second occurrence, and suspended from the League on the third occurrence.


            Any deliberate and/or egregious misreporting of  statistics turned into the Statistician will be dealt with according to the severity of the offense(s). The Statistician will recommend to the President what punishment fits the crime and the President will decide what is fair. The punishment can be a monetary fine ($25 a game), or if there are multiple offenses by one team during the year, the president can place that team on probation for at least one year. A condition of that probation will be that the team will have all of their home games monitored or “double-checked” by the Statistician (i.e. once the Statistician receives a home game from the team on probation, he will call the visiting team’s scorekeeper and verify ALL stats for that game).


Article 8:  Playing Rules



Section 1 ‑ American League Rules


            The official rules of the American League shall govern all games except when in contradiction to the By‑Laws or ground rules.  Each team must have a copy of the American League rules and the Tri‑County League By‑Laws available at each game.


Section 2 ‑ Courtesy Runner


            An optional courtesy runner is permitted for the catcher when there are two outs unless there are no extra players. The courtesy runner cannot be a player already removed from the game or currently in the game.



Section 3 ‑ Number of Players


            A game must start with 9 players.  Game can continue if team loses players due to injury and the team still has 7 or more players. Game will NOT continue if an ejection causes a team to have less than 9 players available to play and will become a forfeit at this point.



Section 4 ‑ Catch and Carry Rule


            There will be NO catch and carry rule in League play.  As long as the defensive player has two feet in play when he makes the catch, the catch is good, and any baserunners may advance at their own risk.  If the defensive player should step over the out‑of‑bounds line after making the catch, the ball is still in play (the ball is not dead), and the defensive player is free to make a play.


Section 5 ‑ Helmets


            Helmets with at least one ear-flap must be worn by every player on offense. Running the bases without a helmet is no longer allowed.


Section 6 – Home Plate Collision Rule


            Contact is allowed. However, no head-hunting, leading with the elbows or leading with the helmet is allowed, as all 3 of those situations will be considered “malicious intent” and is not allowed. If the home plate umpire deems that “malicious intent” took place by the runner, then the umpire is encouraged to eject the runner from the game. 


Section 7 – Ties count in the standings


            Starting in 2006, ties count in the standings and the game will NOT be replayed. We will be using the NHL Standings rules for team records. For instance, if Team A has a 20-10-2 record and Team B has a 21-11 record and these are the 2 best records in the division or the league, then Team B will have the top seed because they have more wins than Team A, despite the fact that Team A has a slightly higher winning percentage.  


Article 9:  Official Ball and Bat



Section 1 ‑ Approved Baseball


            The Baseball to be used in the Tri‑County League any season shall be the approved ball (usually Diamond baseballs) as decided at the last League meeting of the season.


Section 2 ‑ Game Balls


            All games must be started with at least 3 new balls, and the other balls must be acceptable to the Umpire‑in‑Chief before being used.


Section 3 ‑ Game Bats


            The Tri-County League is a wooden bat league as of 2006, but no composite or bamboo bats are allowed. If a player is caught using an illegal bat, they will be ejected from the game. There must be at least one pitch made to a batter with an illegal bat before there can be an ejection. If a player comes to home plate and asks the umpire if his bat is legal, he is allowed to get another bat once notified that his bat is illegal.



Article 10:  Games



Section 1 ‑ Schedule


            At the first League meeting, a determination will be made of how many teams will play in the League during the season and how many games will be played and how many teams will qualify for the playoffs. 


            One open date may be saved each month for League meetings, bearing in mind the dates of the All‑Star Game and the playoffs.  Playoff and All‑Star games shall be included in the schedule.  Final League schedule must be adopted by no later than the March meeting.  On the Monday and Tuesday preceding the playoffs, no games should be scheduled other than rainouts for the last two weeks only.


            Lineups must be given to opposing manager and umpires prior to the start of the game.  Acting manager must be indicated on the lineup card.  Umpire names should also be indicated.  Names on lineup card should include first and last name and be clearly spelled for newspaper and statistics. All teams should file their field’s ground rules with the league President prior to the beginning of the regular season and these ground rules should be uniform for Scherersville #1 and #5.



Section 2 ‑ Game Conditions


            All games shall be 7 innings and if conditions are unfavorable, the matter shall be left to the discretion of the Umpire‑in‑Chief after the first pitch is thrown.


            All Managers are expected to have a copy of the Tri-County League By-Laws and an American League rule book at all games.


            There is a mandatory 12-run rule after 4 ½ innings.


            A team will not be able to finish a game if an ejection is the result of them having less than 9 players and the game will become a forfeit at that point.



Section 3 ‑ Game Times


            All weekday games shall start at 6:00 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday at 5:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted on schedule.  The starting time of each game has a 15‑minute grace period.  If two games are scheduled on the same date, the first game is to start at 2:00 p.m. unless otherwise agreed upon by the two managers.  The visiting team will be allowed to have the field for infield practice for a period of fifteen minutes before a scheduled game.  This practice period will start 15 minutes before a scheduled game. All teams must be off the field 5 minutes before scheduled starting time to go over ground rules.


            Playoff weekday games at unlighted fields should begin at 5:45 p.m. (no exceptions) to allow for complete games when the evenings are shorter.  Playoff weekend games should start no later than 5:00 (at unlighted fields) and preferably at 4:30 and the Home team may opt to start their playoff weekend game many hours earlier if they choose to, but all start times must be in accordance with the start times they used during the regular season unless special circumstances that can be validated dictate otherwise and is approved by the President or both managers mutually agree to the earlier start time.


            If, on any lighted field where a game is scheduled, other teams or leagues are still in possession of the field at game starting time, teams will wait one‑half hour to attempt to start their game (unless both managers agree to reschedule it immediately).    If, after one‑half hour, the previous game is still ongoing, the visiting team has the option to force rescheduling the game.  The home team will be responsible for umpire or any other fees.


            If possible, night games should start no later than 7:30 unless there is a conflict with the facility on that particular evening.  Lights must be turned on no later than 8:15, prior to the start of an inning.  All games at lighted fields will play 7 or more innings, related to darkness rather than playing conditions. 


Section 4 – Postponement or Cancellation of Games


            The home team manager should call off a game in case of rain or bad field conditions at least one hour before game time and even sooner if the visiting team has a long drive to your field (unless a storm hits within 60 minutes of the scheduled game time).  The manager of the home team is to communicate with the manager of the visiting team and the umpires.  The home team manager must notify the Vice-President with a make-up date within 5 days of the postponed game, or a fine of $10 will be levied.  No scheduled game can be called off unless weather does not permit, or unless previously agreed upon by both managers and the League President.   


            All rescheduled games must be played before the end of the regular season, or the home team shall be fined fifty ($50) dollars per game and a forfeit of each game.  All games must be rescheduled within five (5) days and played within 14 days of a rainout (if possible). The Vice-President will reschedule any games not rescheduled within this timeframe or by July 14 on next open date for both teams. All games should be completed by the last Tuesday in July (unless circumstances approved by the President make this impossible).



Section 5 ‑ Playoffs


            The Playoff format shall be voted on before the start of every season. Playoffs will be scheduled to start three days after regular season is completed (if possible) or on a date the Vice-President has scheduled before the season has started.  The Vice-President (schedule-maker) is responsible for setting all playoff dates.  Any changes to the playoff dates will have to be reported to the Vice-President and may need approval by the President.  Failure to do so will result in a forfeit for the home team with all forfeit penalties applied. If both Managers agree, a portion or the entire Finals can be played at Limeport to take away the possibility of tie games and to better promote the league.


First Round:  Six teams make the playoffs:


In One‑Division League, top six teams by record make the playoff.  Best record gets bye.


In Two‑Division League, Two division winners automatically qualify for top 2 seeds and get byes.  Four wild‑card teams (best remaining records from any division) also qualify.


In Three‑Division League, Three division winners automatically qualify for top 3 seeds.  The two best records get a bye.  Three wild‑card teams (best remaining records from any division) also qualify. 


First Round:      #3 vs. #6 and #4 vs. #5 (best 2 of 3).


Second Round:   #1 vs. lowest seed; other two winners ‑ highest seed is home (best 3 of 5).


Final Round:      Highest seed is home team (best 3 of 5).


Tie‑Breaker Rules:

When 2 teams are tied for the #6 seed, a one‑game playoff will be played with home team to be determined by tie‑breaker format.


In one‑division league, if teams are tied for seeds #1 through #5, higher seed will be determined by tie‑breaker format.


In two‑ or three‑division league, division winners must be determined first.  If three or more teams are tied for any seed, then:  All tied teams must be seeded using tie‑breaker format.  2) Use one‑game playoff format, if applicable.  If two division winners have the same regular season record, then the teams must be seeded using tie‑breaker format. When 2 teams are tied for any seed other than #6, there is no need for a one‑game playoff.  Higher seed will be determined by tie‑breaker format.


Tie‑Breaker Format:


1)         Best head‑to‑head record between all teams tied.                                If a tie remains:

2)         Least number of runs allowed head-to-head.                                         If a tie remains:

3)         Team with best winning percentage against playoff teams.                      If a tie remains:

4)         Best run‑differential in head‑to‑head games between all teams tied.      If a tie remains:

5)         Best division record (between intra-divisional teams only).                     If a tie remains:

6)         Team in division with best overall record.                                              If a tie remains:

7)         Coin toss.


One‑Game Playoff Format:

*          If three teams are tied:  First round:  #1 seed has bye.  #2 (home) vs. #3.  Second round:  #1 (home) vs. winner of first round (#2 vs. #3).

*          If four teams are tied:  First round:  #1 (home) vs. #4; #2 (home) vs. #3.  Second round:  Winners play with highest remaining seed home team.

*          If five teams are tied:  First round: #1, #2, and #2 have byes.  #4 (home) vs. #5.  Second round:  #1 (home) vs. winner of first round (#4 vs. #5); #2 (home) vs. #3.  Third round:  Winners play with highest remaining seed home team.


Overall Playoff Rules and Regulations: 


            The winner of the final round will be the League Champion for the year and will represent the League in any series to be played against other Leagues.


            In each round, playoff games postponed because of rain or darkness shall be considered a complete game if more than 4 1/2 or 5 innings, or if tied played over at original site.  There will be one day off between each playoff series. If both semifinal series end up being sweeps, there will be a two-game break before starting the Finals.


            The Publicity Director must be kept informed of all playoff game dates, times, sites and any changes and reschedulings.  He will be responsible for having the playoff schedule submitted to the newspaper(s) and keeping media apprised of any changes.


            All playoff games must be played with two official Umpires, unless agreed upon by both managers.  An additional third umpire may be supplied free of charge by the Bethlehem Umpires Association.  Playoff teams can supply Umpire Assignor with a list of 5 non‑preferred umpires for their playoff games.  Assignment will be made by Umpire Assignor ‑‑ teams cannot protest if another umpire is chosen.  The team has the option to have an additional umpire for a playoff game if they are willing to pay; the decision is entirely up to the home team.


Section 6 ‑ Regular Season Dates


            The Tri‑County League shall open the season on Mother's Day Weekend and close the regulation season by the last Tuesday in July.


Section 7 ‑ All‑Star Game


            Each representative shall select the two or more best players from his team to represent the League in the All‑Star Game.  Prior to nominating any player from his team, the manager MUST verify that the player has given his commitment to play in the All‑Star Game (and for the Tri‑County League ONLY) if selected.  A player may be nominated to the All‑Star team at only one position.  The League Statistician shall bring updated stats to the meeting at this time.  Managers will be responsible for evaluating nominations with regard to statistics and being prepared to vote for the All‑Star Team at the next League meeting.  No games will be scheduled on the two nights before the All‑Star Game (scheduled or rainouts).


            At the League meeting prior to the All‑Star Game, managers or their representatives will vote, position by position, for players to represent the League in the All‑Star Game.  Prior to voting, any representative who wishes to make a statement concerning a player may do so.  Two players shall be voted per position, with the player receiving the higher vote total being selected as starter at the manager's discretion.  Two designated hitters and all pitchers will be chosen at the manager's discretion.


            If a team is not represented, its manager may select one player who will represent the team and be introduced.  Alternates will also be selected, one per position with two alternates for pitcher.  Alternates will be contacted at least two days before the All‑Star Game if they are needed to fill in for a player.


            The manager of the All‑Star Game will be the manager of the year selected by the League the preceding year.  He will pick his own assistants.  In the event that the manager of the year from the preceding year is no longer participating as a manager in the League, the representatives will elect a manager for the All‑Star Game; this will be indicated on the ballots when mailed.  Three dozen balls will be purchased by the League and kept as practice balls for the All‑Star Game.


            Any person picked to be on the All‑Star Team or as a manager thereof is obligated to participate in the All‑Star Game and must be available on both the scheduled date and the rain date.  If a conflict arises, notice must be given to the all‑star team manager at least two days before the scheduled date of the All‑Star Game so that an alternate can be notified.  If a person selected to the All‑Star Team or as its manager does not attend and does not give 48 hours notice, the President will verify his reasons for not attending.  If his reasons do not constitute an extreme emergency, he will be considered ineligible for selection to the All‑Star Team for two years and will additionally be suspended for the next three games of the regular season.


            At the league meeting after the All‑Star Game, any managers of absent players should be polled as to why their players did not attend.  Players will be penalized if appropriate.




Article 11:  Protest


Section 1   Protest Notification


            In case of disputes resulting between teams on the playing field, the President must be notified via email, phone or in writing within 48 hours (postmarked).  The decision will be made by the President and the Commissioner if the President cannot make the decision.  There will be no appeal.


            Please keep in mind that if you are protesting a play during the game, that protest must be made before the next pitch or the protest then becomes invalid. The point of protest must be marked in the scorebook at the game and the umpires need to sign the scorebook.


Section 2 ‑ Protest Fees


            Protest must be accompanied by fifty ($50) dollars.  If protest is not allowed, the money shall become the property of the League.  A protest can be withdrawn by notifying the League President within 48 hours.  Games can be protested only for rule infractions or By‑Law considerations, not for umpire judgment calls.


Section 3 – Appeal process


            Once a decision is handed down by the league President, it can be appealed by a team representative within 48 hours. A $50 fee must be paid for the appeal. All appeals must be made in writing. 1-game suspensions cannot be appealed. The Commissioner will handle all appeals. If you win your appeal, your $50 is reimbursed.



Article 12:  Contracts



Section 1 ‑ Official Form


            The Tri‑County League waiver/contract must be signed by every player and managers must get these contracts to the Statistician in a timely manner. Managers, do NOT sign the waiver/contract for the player. Every player must sign the waiver/contract before playing in any league games. Personal information will NOT be posted on the website, but player bios with general player info can be posted on the website. The player’s waiver/contract shall be the official contract for this League.  All player waiver/contracts are binding for all league events for that calendar year. A league waiver/contract can be downloaded and’or printed from the league website.


Section 2 ‑ Turning In of Contracts


            Waiver/contracts must be turned in to the League Statistician in a timely manner after the player fills it out and signs it. Players cannot play in games without signing a waiver/contract.



 Section 3 ‑ Roster Additions or Deletions


            Teams releasing any players or signing new players shall present individually signed waiver/contracts to the Statistician in a timely manner.  The expiration date for signing players shall be June 21.  Waiver/Contracts are valid for one season. Under no circumstances can any player be added to any roster after June 21.


Section 4 ‑ Legion Player Eligibility


            According to Legion rules, a player is ineligible for a Tri‑County League game at the time of a scheduled Legion game. If a Legion player under the age of 19 gets a release from his legion coach, then he will be allowed to play in all Tri-County League games, even games scheduled on the same night. If a legion player is 19 years old, then he does not need a release from his legion coach to play any Tri-County League game on any given night.


Section 5 ‑ Player Releases


            A player seeking release from a team must ask for a verbal release from the manager.  A signed and dated release form must be given by the manager to the player, and the statistician must be notified.  A manager cannot hold up a release if the player seeking release has returned all equipment and uniforms. There will be a three‑day interim period after the date of the release during which the player cannot play for a new team (see Article 5, Section 3).



Article 13:  Fines and Penalties


Section 1 ‑ Failure to Mail Scoresheets or Call In Games


            For failure of score sheets being received by the Statistician within 72 hours after a game, the Club shall be fined ten ($20) dollars for each offense.  In the event of a team having more than 5 statistics sheets outstanding, the Statistician will notify the President.  Any team forfeiting two (2) League games during the season shall lose its membership.  When a team loses its membership, all remaining scheduled games will count as a loss.  All statistics recorded will still stand.


            All League games must be called in to the Morning Call and the Statistician by 10:00 p.m. on the day of the game, with the exception of night games, which should be called in ASAP upon completion of the game. Failure to call in games will result in a fine of ten ($10) dollars.  In the event of an error by the newspaper in failure to report a game, the League will accept the word of the home team's manager as to whether the game was called in, although the Statistician does monitor teams that do not phone the Morning Call. All games should be called in to the website by 10:00 p.m., and please see Article 7, Section 3 for calling the Express-Times. Failure to call the website by 10:30 (unless it is a night game) will be a $10 fine. Fines are to go into the League Treasury and are payable at the next meeting.


Section 2 ‑ Forfeit Fees


            For the non‑appearance of nine eligible players, a team shall be fined an amount equal to $30 plus the fees for two umpires (payable to the League) plus a forfeit to the other team.  Thirty ($30) dollars of this money and a forfeit of the game will go to the league.  The remainder of this money will go to the Umpire Assignor.  After the second offense, it shall be the responsibility of the League President to notify this team about their obligations concerning the second forfeited game. 


            Any team forfeiting a game after July 14th is not eligible for the playoffs unless there are special circumstances for this forfeit that can be verified by the President.


Section 3 ‑ Use of Ineligible Players


            Any team knowingly using a player or players whose contract has not been approved shall forfeit the game to the opposing team.  Any previous game that the player has participated in shall be forfeited.




Article 14:  Finances



All fines or other money collected by the League shall be used for League expenses unless otherwise provided for.


            An audit of the books will be conducted between the first and second meetings of the year, if necessary.  An audit committee of three persons will be appointed.



Article 15:  Rule Stipulations



The Tri‑County League Teams will be allowed to use a designated hitter following the American League Rule Book.


            All games on the schedule will be played unless there are special circumstances approved by the President. 


            There are no suspended games, unless there are special circumstances approved by the President. 

If a game is beyond the fifth inning, and then is called by the umpires in the top half of an inning, the score automatically reverts back to whatever it was at the end of the last completed inning.  If a game beyond the fifth inning, and is called by the umpires in the bottom half of an inning, then the final score stands at the point the game is called.



Article 16:  Order of Business



Section 1:  Order of Business


            The League hereby adopts the following as the order of business to govern all meetings:


*          Roll Call

*          Reading of Minutes of the Preceding Meeting

*          Collection of Fines and Monies Owed

*          Treasurer's Report

*          Bills and Communications

*          Committee Report

*          Unfinished Business

*          New Business

*          Remarks for Good of League and Adjournment



Section 2:  Final Decision on Matters of Business


            Any matter of business before the meeting shall be considered closed when the President announces his declaration, or when the Secretary announces the result of a vote.  All remarks on any matter must be addressed to the Chair.


            Officers (except for the President) get a vote in all league matters.



Section 3:  Secret Ballot


            EVERY issue to be voted on will be done so by secret ballot unless EVERY manager verbally agrees that it is ok to vote by a show of hands.



Section 4:  Meeting Dates


            Regular scheduled meetings will be held from January through and including the League Banquet.  The By‑Laws meeting will be held no later than November.




Article 17:  Awards



Section 1:  Champions


            The teams ending up in first place of each division at the end of the season will be called divisional champions.  The team winning the post‑season playoffs will be declared the Tri‑County League Champion.




Section 2 ‑ Seasonal Awards


**Should be voted on before the Playoffs**


Trophies to be voted upon each year are as follows:

*          Most Valuable Player

*          Most Valuable Pitcher (see Section 4 for Eligibility Criteria)

*          Manager of the Year                 (voted on before playoffs begin)

*          Rookie of the Year                   (player is considered a rookie the first year he meets standards for         playoffs, whether he is on a playoff team or not)

*          MVP of the Playoffs                 (to be voted on at first meeting after the end of the playoffs)      


Other trophies to be awarded are as follows:

*          Divisional Champions    (team with best League record should also be noted on divisional           trophy and receive a bigger trophy)

*          League Champion

*          MVP of All‑Star Game (manager and coaches select after game) -*This is an optional award.

*          Leading Player, Runs Batted In

*          Home Run Leader

*          E.R.A. Leader                          (see Section 4 for Eligibility Criteria)

*          Strikeout Leader

*          Save Leader                           (optional)

*          No‑Hitter, 7 innings                  (one award to pitcher per occurrence, if any)

*          Leading Batter

*          20 Years Service to League   (includes time as player, umpire, and/or league official)

*          Optional Special Awards          (to be chosen by President:  examples:  Most Improved Team,

                                                            Most Courageous Athlete, Facilities Use Award, Comeback Player

                                                            of the Year)






Section 3 ‑ Batting Champion Eligibility


            To be eligible for the League batting trophy, a player shall have at least 70 plate appearances during the season and this number can be voted on in January every season if necessary.



Section 4 ‑ Most Valuable Pitcher or E.R.A. Leader Eligibility


            To be eligible for the League Most Valuable Pitcher or E.R.A. Leader award, a player shall meet at least one of the following criteria:


1)         Involved in at least six (6) pitching decisions

2)         Must have pitched a number of innings equal to the total number of games played by the team    during the season

3)         Must have pitched in at least half of the team's games

4)         The most valuable pitcher must also have a winning record during the season. 



Section 5 ‑ Awards Voting


            At the League meeting held immediately prior to the banquet, each representative will vote by secret ballot for first, second and third place for each voted award:

*          Most Valuable Player

*          Most Valuable Pitcher

*          Manager of the Year

*          Rookie of the Year


            Complete seasonal statistics will be made available at the meeting by the Statistician.  A representative will not be able to vote for anyone on his own team.


Section 6 ‑ Hall of Fame


            The Hall of Fame was developed to honor league participants for outstanding contributions to the League, whether as a player or in other capacities.  Eligible for induction into the Hall of Fame are:

*          Players

*          Managers, Coaches or other Team Personnel

*          Umpires

*          League Officials


            Criteria for eligibility:

*          At least 7 years participation in the League

*          Evidence of outstanding performance as a player, or superior commitment to League if nominated in another capacity

*          For players, must have not played at least 3 years and must agree they will not return to the League

            as a player


            League Eras:

*          Original Era, up to 1963 (prior to statistics being available)

*          Modern Era, 1964‑present


            The Hall of Fame Committee will meet in Winter and nominate candidates to the Hall of Fame.  League Representatives and Officials may make recommendations to members of the Hall of Fame committee if they so choose.  Voting on nominees is done by the Committee and members of the Hall of Fame.  Up to a maximum of 8 inductees, 4 from each Era, is preferable for induction into the Hall of Fame at the League Banquet.  Those selected for induction will be notified of their selection by early Summer.


Section 7 ‑ Banquet


            Every team must buy tickets for at least 5 players/people for attendance purposes.


Article 18:  Amendments During Year


            These By‑Laws will be in effect, after initial review, for the entire season.  They cannot be amended until the By‑Laws meeting following the season, unless the President or Commissioner decides that an amendment is required.  Any such amendment must be approved by a 2/3 vote of the Representatives.  Anyone proposing such an amendment must attend that year's By‑Law meeting.