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TCBL Operations Manual for 2019-2020


click here to download 


Eligibility Operations and Rules Manual

 for the 2019-2020 Season





Section 1


Season Schedule/Critical Dates


Section 2


Mission Statement/Code of Conduct


Section 3


Disciplinary Action


Section 4


Website/Communication/Try Out Notices


Section 5


Team and Player Eligibility


Section 6




Section 7


Scheduling Meeting


Section 8


Game Rules


Section 9


Cancellation and Forfeit Policy


Section 10


Scorebook Policy


Section 11


Referee Assignors and Protocol


Section 12


Playoff Eligibility and Playoff Seeding


Section 13


Playoff Venue


Section 14


Site Directions









Section I.  Season Schedule/Critical Dates


9/10-10/13 Team Registration Period. Please note that the registration form has changed and each program/coach must accept the registration requirements.

The 2019-2020 team registration fee is $450.00.


10/17/19    Mandatory Program Directors Meeting


10/25/19     Player Appeal Period Ends


11/1 /19    Final Day for Appeal Decisions



Regular Season, 12 to 14 Game Schedules


Scheduling Meeting Dates:


11/4/19                     8th grade Boys & Girls


11/5/19                     7th grade Boys & Girls


11/6/19                     6th Grade Boys & Girls


11/7/19                     4th & 5th Grade Boys & Girls


Coaches, team managers and Program Directors should come to the meeting with a calendar of gym availability. Team managers may attend but not in lieu of the head coach. No team will be allowed to schedule its season if the coach is not present.




Schedule and Roster Due Dates


11/15/19         All regular season game schedules must be submitted to John Redahan, MIS director for posting to the website.  

11/15/19         Rosters are to be sent to the Division Directors.  Uniform Numbers are required on the roster.

Teams must have a minimum of 10 and a maximum of 15 players on its roster. Note: Teams are allowed to file an appeal if they believe they can commit to the TCBL schedule with a roster less than the league minimum. Teams submitting rosters with less than the required league minimum that have not filed an appeal will not be accepted.

No rosters will be accepted if the roster is less than the league minimum of 10 players.  A team seeking to submit a roster with less than minimum required players has to file an appeal by 10/25/19.

Key Dates:

11/15/19         Regular Season begins for all divisions, boys and girls.

2/13/20           Regular Season Ends for all divisions, boys and girls.

2/19 – 2/21    Girls and Boys Playoff Seeding issued, Brackets emailed to all coaches and posted to website. 

2/24/20           Playoffs start for all divisions.

2/24/20-3/5/20          Quarter Final games must be completed by March 6, 2019.  Quarter Games hosted by the Higher Seed. Visiting team must be offered at a minimum 2 dates. TCBL pays for referees in the playoffs.  

3/6-3/8/20                  Championship Weekend



Friday, March 6, 2020


4th Grade Boys & Girls Championship games.


Girls and Boys Semi Finals and Championships (Semi's 3/7/20) and Championships, (3/8/20). There will be two sites for the semi's and championship games.



Championship Game Times


March 7th & 8th


  9:00 AM       7th Grade

10:30 AM       7th Grade

12:00 PM       5th Grade

  1:30 PM       5th Grade

  3:00 PM       6th Grade

  4:30 PM       6th Grade

  6:00 PM       8th Grade

  7:30 PM       8th Grade

**If your team qualifies for a championship game, your program director or a representative from your board must be in attendance for your game.  TCBL will reach out to obtain the name of the person who shall be in attendance prior to championship weekend. 


Section 2 (a) Mission Statement

The Tri-County Basketball League, Inc. (TCBL) was founded to promote competitive basketball for young people residing in Westchester, Fairfield and Putnam Counties. 

Encouraging fitness, leadership, team spirit and good sportsmanship has always been the primary purpose of the organization, which originated out of a fellowship and cooperation among coaches in various communities, Carmel, New Castle, North Salem, Pleasantville, Ridgefield, Scarsdale, Somers and Yorktown Heights.  

TCBL is a non-profit organization dedicated to the development of student athletes, recognizing that individuals can combine good academics while playing competitive sports.  

When we started, there were less than 100 players. Today, there are over 1,500 student athletes and over 15,000 young men and women who have played in TCBL.

To our players, thank your parents for their support, to our parents, enjoy your child’s triumphs and bumps: treasure the moments; to our coaches, thank you for your participation and making a difference, to our fans, cheer all the student athletes in an environment of mutual respect and civility.

Section 2 (b) TCBL Code of Conduct. TCBL expects coaches, players and parents to follow these rules to stay in good standing.

TCBL Code of Conduct for players

1. Respect the game, play fairly and follow its rules and regulations.

2. Show respect for authority to the officials of the game and of the league.

3. Demonstrate good sportsmanship before, during and after games.

4. be courteous to opposing teams and treat all players and coaches with respect.

5. be modest when successful and gracious in defeat.

6. Respect the privilege of the use of facilities used in the Tri-County Basketball League.

7. Refrain from the use of drugs, tobacco, alcohol and abusive language.


TCBL Code of Conduct for parent/guardian

1. Encourage good sportsmanship by demonstrating positive support for all players, coaches, fans and officials at games, practices and other sporting events.

2. Advocate a sports environment for all children that is free of drugs, tobacco, alcohol and abusive language, and refrain from their use during youth sporting events.

3. Encourage all children to play by the rules and respect the rights of other players, coaches, fans and officials.

4. Support all the student athletes in an environment of mutual respect and civility.

5. No offensive in inappropriate content will be permitted in email exchanges. Anyone who receives an email that is not appropriate should contact leadership immediately, i.e. the division commissioners, division directors or TCBL Operations Director.



TCBL Code of Conduct for Coaches


1. Recognize that coaches are role models for their team members and all participants involved in the activity, and that basketball helps to develop a sense of teamwork, self-worth and sportsmanship.

2. Place the emotional and physical well-being of players ahead of a personal desire or external pressure to win.

3. Do your best to provide a safe playing environment for all participants.

4. Lead by example by demonstrating fair play and sportsmanship to all involved.

5. Provide an environment for your team that is free of drugs, tobacco, alcohol and abusive language and refrain from their use at all sporting events.

6. Respect the game, TCBL league officials’ referees, be knowledgeable of league rules and communicate with them in an appropriate manner.

7. No offensive in inappropriate content will be permitted in email exchanges. Anyone who receives an email that is not appropriate should contact leadership immediately, i.e. the division commissioners, division directors or TCBL Operations Director.



Section 3.  Disciplinary Action

  1. TCBL reserves the right to enforce disciplinary action it deems. Each offense will be ruled upon and reviewed on a case by case basis. The violations include in general conduct detrimental to the league, its players, leadership, coaches and referees. Some examples include but are not limited to violation of TCBL’s eligibility rules, its Code of Conduct, circulating defamatory emails to other programs and coaches, unsafe and/or abusive behavior or language and so on. Any disqualification or suspension for the current season may also, at the sole decision of the TCBL Board of Directors, be carried over into subsequent seasons.
  2. TCBL also reserves the right to enforce disciplinary actions, including multi-year suspensions or a permanent ban, for a recurring pattern of misconduct by players, coaches, parents and/or spectators. For example, repeated technical fouls, pattern of violation of TCBL rules and code of conduct, profanity, threats of any kind toward the referees or scorekeeper.
  3.  Any person, coach or team that is expelled and wishes to be re-admitted must submit an appeal, no earlier than two years following the completion of the season that the expulsion took place and at least 10 days before the due date for applications for that upcoming season.
  4. There is Zero Tolerance for physical abuse and verbal abuse. Physical abuse will result in expulsion from the League for the entire season, and possibly a permanent ban from TCBL.
  5. Verbal abuse will result in disciplinary action as determined by the TCBL Board.
  6. Players, coaches, or spectators who have been suspended may not return until the completion of their suspension. Suspensions can carry over from season to season.
  7. An official has the authority to remove a player, coach, or spectator from a game and/or forfeit the game due to unsportsmanlike conduct. Unsportsmanlike conduct shall include, but is not limited to profanity, threats of any kind toward the referees or scorekeeper, fighting (before, during, or after the game), excessive obscene behavior, or any flagrant foul as determined by the referees.


Section 4: Website/Communication/Try out notices this contains new information.

The data base (divisions) of teams and team contacts is not to be distributed or sold to any other party for commercial purposes and any person who wishes not to be part of any group mail out will be removed from all distribution lists.


Section 5. Team and Player Eligibility.


Team Eligibility

Program/Team Definition (UPDATE 2019-2020 Season):  All programs participating on a Tri-County Basketball League (TCBL) team must field a team with eligible players from either of the allowable team definitions as stated below:
All programs participating on a TCBL team will field a team with eligible rostered players. An approved TCBL team is defined by -

Public High School District Teams – The team must encompass players on their roster to which he or she is assigned by the local board of education based on the legal residence of the parent or legal custodian.

If the player attends private school – that player is eligible to participate in the program to which he/she resides within, based on the geographical boundaries of their public-school district.    

Any team/roster appeals based on the above definition will be reviewed by the TCBL Board.  Please note the deadline to file an appeal is 10/25/19

TCBL will accept a team registration as long as it is part of a youth basketball program, which consists of 4 or more teams, any combination of boys or girls’ teams and complies with the TCBL team definition eligibility requirements. Individual teams and AAU sponsored teams are not eligible to play in TCBL.

Program eligibility criteria are:

  • The youth program must provide a venue for town or school district youth basketball players to develop their skills and participate in a higher level of competition for boys and girls in grades 4-8, in the respective town or school district.  
  • The program must sponsor at a minimum 4 teams and the four or more teams should all belong to the same town or school district program. Any combination or boys or girls’ team will be allowed but no less than 4 minimums in grade levels 4 through 8.
  • The Program Director or his/her designated representative, will register the teams in TCBL.
  • The Program Director will be the main point of contact between TCBL leadership, its Referee Assignors and the respective program.


Player Eligibility.

Age:  There are essentially four rules for player eligibility.

  • All players participating on a Tri-County Basketball League (TCBL) team must be an eligible player within the team definitions as stated above.
  • Individual player eligibility is determined by his or her grade in school.
  • One Team:  Players can play for only one TCBL team during the same season.
  • All eligible, rostered players may participate in the playoffs.

Players are allowed to “play-up” – meaning that players can move to a higher age group but players are not allowed to “move down” to a younger age group. For example, 3rd graders are eligible to play in the 4th grade division. Either way, eligible players can only be rostered on one TCBL.

Proof of age (copy of either an original or certified Birth Certificate, Passport, and/or Proof of Address), must be available if requested by TCBL, for every player on the team roster. 

High School team players:  

  1. All High School team players are eligible to play in TCBL in both the Boys and Girls Division.
  2. Coaches must report the name and High School team level (Varsity, JV or freshman) of all players who are members of a High School team to their Program Director and Division Director as soon as the player makes the HS team. If TCBL is not notified, the teams is subject to appropriate disciplinary action as determined by the TCBL Board.


Section 6.   Appeals

Appeals Procedure for Exceptions to Eligibility Rules
It is the intent of the League that all teams willingly participate in the League according to the Eligibility Rules and the Code of Conduct.   Exceptions to the above eligibility rules will be reviewed by the following appeals procedure:

  1. The Program Director submits an appeal to the Appeals Chair.
  2. The Appeals Committee will review each case, requesting additional information as required.  A simple majority is required to grant the appeal.
  3. The Appeals Committee Chairman will communicate the result of the review to the Board and appropriate Commissioner and Program Director. Exceptions to Eligibility Rules are granted only for the current season.
  4. When an appeal is granted, the TCBL Board retains the right to reconsider a decision when warranted by significant and material events that occur during the course of the season.
  5.  Player and team eligibility appeals must be filed by October 24, 2019.
  6. Appeals are granted for the current season only and not grandfathered.
  7. Roster Appeals.

Minimum roster:  Teams must have a minimum of 10 and a maximum of 15 players on its roster. Note: Teams are allowed to file an appeal if they believe they can commit to the TCBL schedule with a roster less than the league minimum. Teams submitting rosters with less than the required league minimum that have not filed an appeal will not be accepted.

Section 7 Program Directors Meeting, coaches’ welcome and Scheduling Meeting.

Program Directors meeting. This is a mandatory meeting for all program directors or a strong representative from the program.  This is a significant meeting and all TCBL programs should send a representative. There are operational issues, including league structure, playoff changes, rule changes, policy changes and so on that will be addressed, followed by a Q&A.

Scheduling Meeting: Coaches, team managers and Program Directors should come to the meeting with a calendar of gym availability. Team managers may attend but not in lieu of the head coach. No team will be allowed to schedule its season if the coach is not present.


Section 8 Game Rules.

The game rules are attached and need to be posted at the home team’s scorer’s table and in each team’s scorebook. The New York High School Federal Rules apply to all TCBL games except where noted in the game rules attached.

Section 9 Cancellation.

There are common sense reasons for rescheduling games: weather, facilities issues, and other extenuating circumstances that would be considered. Regardless, any reason requires notice: The division director, visiting teams and referees should be notified 48 hours if a game needs to be rescheduled. Any cancelled game should be rescheduled within a two-week period, even sooner as we approach the end of the regular season. In the case of inclimate weather, notice should be communicated as soon as possible but preferably by 3:00 PM on the day the game is to be played. That said, you should have the expectation that--other than for a clear weather issue or facility conflict--you are expected to play as scheduled. Home teams are expected to try and work out a rescheduled date that both teams agree to -- but cancelling teams should expect a forfeit if it can't be rescheduled by the hosts for valid reasons. Football, other hoops games, concerts, etc. are not valid reasons and you should be coming to the scheduling meetings fully prepared with black-out and conflict dates. 


Section 10. Tri-County Basketball League Scorebook Policy.

Accurate scorekeeping helps the game run smoothly and avoids unnecessary delays and confusion. The head referee is ultimately responsible for resolving any scorekeeping disputes. The following is TCBL’s policy regarding the Scorebook. Both the scorer and time clock operator must adhere to the TCBL Code of Conduct.

I.         Responsibility of Scorekeeper

The scorekeeper is responsible for recording the names and numbers of all players for each team, as well as, if possible, noting which players will start the game. This information is given to the scorekeeper by the head coach of each team. Scorekeepers also must keep track of the number of fouls committed by each player as well as the number of team fouls committed per team per half. The scorer must notify the official when a player has been disqualified based on personal fouls as well as when a team is eligible to shoot bonus free throws based on the number of team fouls by the opposing team. The scorekeeper is also responsible for notifying the referee when a team is out of timeouts. The referee must then notify the coach.

II.       Responsibility of Players, Coaches and Officials

The coach should supply the official scorer with the names and numbers of all rostered players on the team, 10 minutes before the start of the game. Players wanting to enter the game must also report to the official scorekeeper to become an official substitute. Referees report official delay-of-game warnings and violations to the scorekeeper, who keeps track of them in the official score book.

The Home Team is the official scorebook and is the final authority on the score of the game. For example, if the official scorebook and the game scoreboard or visiting team’s scorebook show different scores and the official does not know which one is correct, he/she must accept the score in the official scorebook kept by the Home Team.

Section 11. Referee Protocol and Assignors.

All TCBL teams will be assigned a TCBL Referee Assignor who will assign its TCBL games. Only TCBL assigned referees are allowed to referee a TCBL Game.

Referee Game Schedules:  A schedule of referees assigned to referee the teams’ home games are due November 15, 2019 to Bernard Bowen.   If you have games in November please contact Mr. Bowen earlier than 11/15 with those game dates and times.

Talking to the referee before, during or after a game: If you wish to address the referee during the game, do so at a dead ball only. Be neutral and courteous. Do not stand on the court. Foul language will not be tolerated. Halftime is an appropriate time to approach the referee with any questions or concerns. Ask the referee for permission to talk privately. If, after speaking with the referee at halftime, there are still issues or concerns, the procedure is for either the coach or program director to contact the programs TCBL Assignor and Bernard Bowen. Parents or Managers are not to approach the referee before, during or after the game. Parents and Managers are to express their concerns to the coach, who will notify the program director. If appropriate, the program director will contact Bernard Bowen who will advise the appropriate Division Director, Commissioner and TCBL leadership. The Program Director will express the programs concerns.  Regarding disrespectful coach(s) and sideline, coaches are to conduct themselves according to the TCBL Code of Conduct. The referees are allowed to stop the game, issue a warning and if necessary, ask the coach to leave.

Coaches can manage to get their point across without radiating little, if any sense of anger and outrage. Subtle gestures such as works, get a conscientious referee to be alert for potential hints of unfairness for the way the game is being called.  The RESPECT approach has one limitation, it requires the referee to be the kind of person who is conscientious and considerate. All TCBL referee are PATCH officials.

The referee’s decision on matters of fact are not subject to an appeal. If the referee says it was or wasn’t a foul, then it wasn’t.  Game outcomes cannot be appealed.


Section 12 A. Play-off Eligibility
Historically, all teams have made the playoffs. For the upcoming season, that remains the objective.

TCBL reserves the right to move any team into a higher playoff bracket or alter the playoff seeding position of any team.

Playoff eligibility will be based on: Team ranking as determined by the point system. When possible, the playoffs will have two divisions for all divisions, A&B but this policy will be reviewed annually. There may be seasons when available facilities and the divisional seeding allows for 3 champions per division. During the season, there will be an AA, A & B regardless. If enough teams are registered, this will be the initial season that an AA league has been added for the 5th grade boy’s division.

  1. The point system is based on strength of schedule and points as follows:


  1. AA teams receive 14 points to start with.
  2. A teams receive 7 points
  3. B teams receive 0 points 
  4. 3 points for win vs. AA team
  5. 2 points for win vs. A team
  6. 1 point for win vs. B team
  7. 1 point for game played
  1. Completion of your 12 - 14 regular season games.
  2. Two forfeits and the team is suspended for the season.
  3. The home team/higher seed is to provide 3 options on at least 2 dates, i.e. Monday at 7pm, Wednesday at 7pm or 8:15pm, etc...and even then, try to find something that works if you can. If the two teams can’t agree, TCBL leadership will insist that the visiting team must accept 1 of the 3 choices given, or forfeit if a compromise can't be reached. We hope it never comes to a win via forfeit in the playoffs.




Section 12 B. Playoff Seeding and Tie-Breakers

  1.  A team’s playoff seeding is based on the following criteria:
    1. Point System
    2. Head to Head Competition
    3. Strength of Schedule. If you played a double AA schedule and tied with lower ranking team, A or B, the double AA team will be the higher seed.
    4. If a team had a forfeit during the regular season and you are tied for a play-off spot (same amount of points) – you will drop to the lower seed. 
    5. Coin Toss or pick out of a hat if more than two teams are tied- If still tied after A, B or C.




Section 13. Playoff Venue

TCBL will do their best to continue to host the semifinals and championship games for the boys and girl’s division at a central site. TCBL will assign the scorekeeper and time clock operator for all championship games.  TCBL pays for referees in the playoffs.   A representative from TCBL leadership, i.e. Directors, Commissioner, and the Playoff Director will be in attendance for championship games.

The Quarter Final Games will be hosted by the Higher Seed.