DOT ByLaws

Diocese Of Trenton- By-Laws





The name of this committee shall be the Diocesan Athletic Council for the county of Monmouth . It is constituted as a standing committee of the Diocesan Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministries.


This council is established for the purpose of developing and maintaining consistent regulations and standards of behavior for all sports activities within the Diocese.


The Council is accountable to the Athletic Commissioner, who acting as the Bishop’s representative for all sports related activities, must ratify all resolutions submitted by the Diocesan Athletic Council. Council regulations shall not conflict with Diocesan legislation or policy.


The Council shall consist of representatives from the schools and parishes in the county. Where possible the breakdown should be as follows: 2 Athletic Directors ; 2 Principals; 2 Coaches; 2 League Directors and 1 Priest. Each member shall serve for a term of 2 years with the exception of the first council where to provide a smooth transition half of the Council will be replaced after 2 years and the other half will serve a 3 year term.


1. Establish, review and modify where necessary the Bylaws and Guidelines for the County Athletic Council

2. Publish and distribute a copy of these guidelines to each Parish and School at the beginning of each year

3. Work with the Athletic Directors in their area to assure all rules and guidelines are being followed by all County sports teams

4. Work with Athletic Commissioner to insure all programs in the county are striving to promote and reinforce Catholic values in all aspects of these programs

5. Provide guidance and direction for new Coaches and Athletic Directors in their county


The membership shall elect a person to serve as Chair of the County Council who shall be responsible for convening and presiding at all meetings. The Chair of the Council shall rotate on a yearly basis.

A Vice Chair will also be elected who shall preside in the absence of the Chair and shall assume the Chair at the end of the term of the Chair. The Secretary shall be elected and shall be responsible for recording the minutes of all meetings.

No two officers shall be directly affiliated with the same school or parish.


The Council shall meet no less than once per quarter as determined by need. The Chair may call meetings when in his/her judgment such meetings are necessary.


For transacting business one/half of the voting membership shall constitute a quorum. Each member shall have one vote.


The establishment of Standing Committees may be made through consensus or vote of Council. The establishment of ad hoc committees shall be at the discretion of the Council Chair with the approval of the Diocesan Athletic Commissioner.


Regulations are passed according to the following process:

1. Council formulates and approves regulations in writing

2. The Athletic Commissioner enacts the regulation by signing written resolutions

3. Every effort shall be made to arrive at decisions through consensus. In those decisions where this is not possible, parliamentary rule shall be invoked—a majority of those present rules.


By/laws may be amended through a two/thirds majority vote of a quorum of 2/3’s of the membership.


In its fir st year of formation the Council will e st ablish the by/laws and rules governing all sports programs in the County. They will work with all the programs in the county to see that these guidelines can be implemented no later than September 1, 2004 .


All parish elementary athletic programs, athletic directors, coaches, and athletic associations or boards are under the direct supervision of either the principal or pa st or of each parish.

It is recommended that all parish/school athletic programs have an athletic director or a person designated who is responsible for coordinating the athletic program.

The athletic director is accountable to either the principal or pa st or and should work closely with them in all aspects of the Athletic Program

The athletic director and all coaches are to be approved by the principal/pa st or each year.

Parish athletic associations/committees/councils are accountable to the principal/pa st or. (The principal and /or athletic director will keep the parish Pa st or informed of the athletic committee’s activities.)

The athletic director should give a written evaluation of each coach to the principal/past or at the end of each season along with the recommendation on whether the coach should continue coaching or not. (Sample evaluations forms are attached).


It is recommended that students in grades 5 through 8 should have no more than 4 athletic/sport activities per week (practices and games). Sunday to Saturday shall constitute a week. Participation in two games on a given day shall be considered one activity. Make up games are not considered part of these 4 weekly athletic events.

With the exception of Cross Country and Track and Field athletes may compete in only one sport per season. In the case of cheerleading the season shall be designated as “Winter”, therefore a cheerleader would be eligible to participate in a Fall or Spring sport but not eligible to be a member of an additional Winter sport team.

With the exception of Cross Country and Track no regular season games or practices shall be scheduled prior to 12 Noon on Sundays, unless there is a conflict with field/park/Parish events (mandated only by the Pa st or or Principal

When school is canceled due to inclement weather, no practices, games or local tournaments are to be held.


Practice time for grades 1 through 4 should not exceed one hour and fifteen minutes

Practice time for grades 5-8 should not exceed two hours.

Practices should be scheduled with consideration for the family meal time and safety of children returning home.

A li st of all scheduled practices should be given to each parent at the beginning of each season.

Transporting team members should be the sole responsibility of the parents. Coaches or any other team representative should not make travel arrangements, nor, without the written consent of the parents provide transportation for any team member. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES SHOULD A COACH OR TEAM ASSISTANT UNDER THE AGE OF 21 YEARS BE PERMITTED TO TRANSPORT ATHLETES.



Try-outs*, practices, or competition should begin no sooner than September 1 st

All games and play-offs should be completed by November 15th

The maximum number of games that may be played (excluding Tournaments) is 16

Sports included:


Cross Country

"--try-outs may be held in the spring for purposes of selecting a team however, no practices can be conducted until September 1 st .


Try-outs, practices, or competition should begin no sooner than October 15th

All games and play-offs should be completed by February 28th

The maximum number of games that may be played (excluding Tournaments) is 25

Sports included: Basketball


Try-outs, practices, or competition should begin no sooner than March 1 st

All games and play-offs should be completed by June 1 st

The maximum number of games that may be played (excluding Tournaments) is 16

Sports included:





Track & Field

In the event due to scheduling or tournament play the end of one season overlaps the beginning of the next season, an athlete playing on one team will be permitted to try-out for the new season sport. However the athlete is obligated to attend the game or practice of the existing sport should both sports have a scheduled event on the same day and will not be penalized for his/her absence from the other sport.


Try outs for cheerleading may be held in June of the present school year but no practices may begin until the fir st day of the following school year. Those programs offering competitive cheering squads may begin practice no sooner than the fir st day of the school year. The total number of competitions that a squad can enter will be determined by the Principal and/or Pastor and the Athletic Director. All practices, and tournaments or competitions should be completed by April 1 st .


Athletes are permitted to take part in this type of recreational program but a coach of a specific sport activity in that Open-Gym Program is not permitted to be involved. Coaches may supervise Open-Gym Programs only when their Athletes are not involved in that specific phase of the program during the out-of-season period. Open-Gym Programs involving a single sport in which only Athletes are involved are interpreted as an attempt to circumvent the out-of-season rules and will not be permitted.

An Open-Gym Program is one in which a variety of recreational type activities are offered. Coaches at any level may not be present when their specific sport activity is part of the Open-Gym Program. Responsibility for monitoring Open-Gym Programs should be with the athletic director and principal/pa st or of the school or parish.


Each coach mu st be approved by the principal/pa st or/athletic director prior to each season. A copy of the coach’s application/profile and evaluation should be forwarded to the Athletic Commissioners Office at the end of each season.

All coaches mu st attend mandatory coaches’ meetings.

Each coach and athletic director must obtain Rutgers S.A.F.E.T.Y. Clinic certification by the end of the 2004 school year. Copies of this certification should be kept on file at the school/parish office. A list of coaches and the status of their certification should be placed on file in the Diocesan Office.

Each coach will be required to sign the below li st d code of conduct, copies of these are to be kept in the school/parish office. (Sample attached) A li st of all coaches signing the form is to be forwarded to the Diocesan Athletic Office.

Each coach must have in his/her possession at every practice and game a copy of the emergency contact form for each player. (Copy attached)

At least one coach for each team should be CPR certified


A. No abusive language or actions

B. Coaches shall make a concentrated effort to keep scores in any conte st such that the opposing teams will not be embarrassed

C. Coaches’ actions shall be such that they promote good sportsmanship among everyone present

D. Coaches shall always remember that their actions reflect on the reputation and good name of his/her school.

E. Coaches shall treat all officials with respect

F. Coaches shall treat their players with respect at all times

G. Coaches should st rive to see that each player dressed for a game have the opportunity to participate in that contest

H. The coach or designated adult team supervisor shall arrive at the game with the team and be present in the dressing room before and after a game


Each school/parish may make such additions as seem necessary to promote good sportsmanship. Each school/parish shall set a code of behavior for their fans which promotes good sportsmanship and takes into account the level of competition. The coach and athletic director shall be responsible for enforcing the code of behavior for fans.

Any official, coach, principal, parent etc. has the right and is encouraged to inform the County Council when anyone violates these codes. Such complaints should be in writing and signed by the individual making the complaint. The Council in conjunction with the Diocesan Office of Athletics shall rule on all such complaints.


Parents must attend a mandatory parent meeting at the beginning of the sports season. No child will be permitted to participate in the sports program unless one or both parents attend the pre-season meeting.

Parents of the school/parish athletic team shall treat all officials with respect and refrain from criticizing officials before, during and after games

Parents and fans are reminded that their actions reflect on the reputation and good name of the school

Each parent will be required to sign a Parent’s Code of Conduct Form prior to their child being permitted to play in scheduled games. (Sample attached)

Any parent or fan disregarding these guidelines shall be asked to leave the gym or playing field. If the parent or fan disregards the request to vacate the area, the game shall not continue until the person (s) leaves and could result in forfeiture of the game. The coaches of both teams shall see that these regulations are enforced.


Failure to exhibit good sportsmanship in keeping with the aforementioned behavior will result in ejection from the game and the requirement to leave the immediate area of the athletic contest .

Any coach, player, parent or spectator ejected from a game will receive a one game suspension, and may not attend the next contest . This suspension includes any game for the re st of that day and the next scheduled game.

Two ejections of a coach, player, parent, or spectator will result in an automatic suspension for the remainder of the school year for ALL athletic activities.

The Referee/Official will contact the League Director of the ejection of a coach, player, parent, or spectator immediately following the incident. The League Director will be required to submit an Incident Report (copy attached) to the School/Parish involved, the County Council and Diocesan Athletic Office. This report should be filed within 48 hours of the incident. A copy of the report will be sent to the principal/pa st or of the offending school.


Parishes may determine the size and composition of each team. When team rosters exceed the recommended parish roster limit the parish (with prior agreement from the County Council) shall add additional teams.

Where ever possible school teams and parish teams should not compete in the same division

If a player attends school in one parish and is a member of another and both parishes field a team in that sport—the athlete mu st decide which program they are playing for and remain with that program for the balance of the school year. Only in those cases where the selected parish does not field a team may the player play for one parish in one season and a different parish in another season. The County Council will rule on any disputes arising out of this rule.


Grades K---4

Instructional—main emphasis on skills development, little if any competitive emphasis

Grades 5 & 6

Freshman—continuation of skills development, allowing for limited competitive action

Grades 6 & 7

Junior Varsity—normal competitive schedule but either through the in st itution of the 5th quarter or other mutually agreeable arrangements all players who have followed the coach’s rules or guidelines concerning practices and other policies should be assured playing time at each game or meet And/or not having reached their 14th birthday prior to October 1 st of that school year

Grades 7 & 8

Varsity—full competitive schedule with the discretion of the coach to playing time awarded each participant And not having reached their 15th birthday prior to October 1 st of that school year. Regardless of age upon reaching the 7th Grade an athlete will have two (2) years of playing eligibility.


Any athlete not in compliance with their school/parish program guidelines will not be eligible to participate in any scheduled contests. It is up to the principal/past or and coach to enforce this policy.

All individuals participating in the athletics program must have a physical exam each year and proof of this exam must be on file in the athletics office of the school/parish (sample form attached)

A permission form must be on file with the principal/athletic director for each student participating in the athletic program; it must be signed by a parent or guardian. An emergency form for each child must also be on file.

A student that is absent from school on the day of a game or practice will not be permitted to participate in that event.

No school/parish team will participate in any league that has not registered with the Diocese of Trenton and whose by-laws and rules are not on file in the Diocesan Office. Those programs wishing to participate in leagues not under the direct control of the Diocese should see that a copy of that leagues by-laws, list of officers, and schedules are forwarded to the Athletic Commissioner prior to the first game of the season.

Sanctions for Violations of the Guidelines:

All reports of violations of the Monmouth County Athletic Guidelines shall be made in writing to the Athletic Commissioner for the Diocese of Trenton. Upon receipt, a preliminary review of the alleged violation will be conducted. If it is determined a violation has occurred a special meeting of the County Athletic Council will be called and the issue addressed at that time. If the individual/program is found to be in violation disciplinary action will be taken. This action can range from counseling, probation, suspension, forfeiting all games played from the time of the violation, denial of entrance into a post season play-off and loss of insurance depending on the circum stances and severity of the offense. The Principal; Past or and Athletic Director for each program have the shared responsibility to see that their programs are operating in compliance with these guidelines.

Issued: August 2003

Revised: November 2003

Revised: February 2004

Revised: April 7, 2004