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Get Directions to TRIANGLE MIDDLE SCHOOL CONFERENCERaleigh Local Weather
Bret Bystricky
919-404-0444 x 1159
Fax: 919-404-2377
801 Buck Jones Rd.
Raleigh, North Carolina
  TMSC News: Triangle Middle School Conference Rules  

Triangle Middle School Conference Rules



 Revised February 3, 2014


The Triangle Middle School Conference shall promote moral character, administer sound athletic programs which benefit the overall educational and athletic goals for all students enrolled in member schools. The conference shall endeavor to insure a climate of wholesome competition, sportsmanship and fair play among its members. The success of the conference is based on the leadership and involvement of member schools.


1. The conference will be run by a governing committee made up of the athletic directors from the participating schools. If a school does not have an athletic director, it may send another staff member as its representative. At the last conference meeting of the school year, the members of the conference will elect a president and a secretary-treasurer nominated from the representatives of each school. The president will preside over all conference meetings for that year. Ties in voting will be decided by the president. The vote of schools with teams in two divisions will count as one vote not two.

2. The conference governing committee will meet prior to each school year in order to determine season dates and to set the amount for conference dues. Meeting dates occur on Fridays in August (2nd week), October (1st week), February (1st week), May (1st week). Special meetings may be called if needed.


SECTION 1 – Members

1. For 2012-2013, the divisions will be based on an enrollment based system.  There will be two divisions with 125 being the dividing line between division I and II.  Schools may appeal division placement in the August or October meeting of the school year preceding the requested change.  

2012-2013 Division Placement:                                                                                                                       

Division I:  Cary Academy ‘Blue’, Cary Christian School ‘Gold’, East Wake Academy, Franklin Academy, Endeavor Charter School, Grace Christian School of Raleigh, Kestrel Heights Charter School, Magellan Charter School, North Raleigh Christian Academy, St. David’s School, St. Timothy’s School, and Wake Christian Academy.       

Division II:  Bethesda Christian Academy, Cary Academy ‘Gold’, Cary Christian School ‘Blue’, Cresset Christian School, Crossroads Christian School, Grace Christian School of Raleigh, Grace Christian School of Sanford, Neuse Christian Academy, North Raleigh Christian Academy ‘B’, and Trinity of Raleigh.

2. Grouping for scheduling purposes:

Division I

Division II

Group A

Group A

1. Cary Academy

1. Cary Academy

2. Cary Christian School

2. Cary Christian School

3.  Endeavor Charter School

3. Cresset Christian Academy

4. Grace Christian School (Raleigh)

4. Grace Christian School (Sanford)

5. Kestrel Heights Charter School

5. St. David’s School

6. St. Timothy’s School


Group B

Group B

1. East Wake Academy

1. Bethesda Christian Academy

2. Franklin Academy

2. Crossroads Christian School

3. Magellan Charter School

3. Neuse Christian Academy

4. North Raleigh Christian School

4. North Raleigh Christian Academy

5. St. David’s School

5. Trinity Academy of Raleigh

6. Wake Christian Academy



First year – Group A will play everyone in group A twice (home and away).  Group A will play everyone in Group B once (home OR away). 

Second year – The home and away schedule will be reversed for the teams only playing each other one time.  The “one” game will rotate from year to year for home and away.

The will be one champion per division.  Each group leader is not a champion.  Champions will be decided by overall divisional record percentage.  Teams will be seeded 1-9 and 1-10 for tournament play in Division 1 and 2 respectively as follows: 

1.      Overall division winning percentage

2.      Head to head result

3.      Coin flip


3. TMSC member dues are $50 per year and are payable each year on or before the August meeting.

4. For scheduling purposes, the following deadlines will apply for schools to add new sports:

 January 1st – Fall & Winter sports

May 1st – Spring sports for the following year  

SECTION 2 – New Members

1. A school that petitions for conference membership must complete an application and file a letter with the conference president by January 31st of the year prior to the fall in which they intend to participate.
The letter should include the sports offered over the past two-year period. Also included should be the sports proposed for the upcoming year. The letter should include a description of the on-campus athletic facilities and off-site venues used, enrollment for grades 6-8, related information about the school and complete contact information.

2.  A school being considered for membership is required to field at least one boys or one girls team in the TMSC primary sports in each of the three seasons each school year. Teams must meet the TMSC eligibility requirements for team composition, stated in Rule #2.

3. TMSC primary sports are as follows:
• Fall Season: Boys Soccer & Girls Volleyball or Girls Tennis, or Boys and Girls Cross Country
• Winter Season: Boys Basketball & Girls Basketball
• Spring Season: Boys Baseball or Boys Tennis & Girls Soccer or Softball

Other sports are offered by member schools and will be treated as legitimate conference sports, with TMSC tournaments, if four or more schools field teams in those sports. Other sports played by member schools include, but are not limited to:  Golf, Track and Lacrosse.

4. A school joining the conference must do the following:
a. pay a $50.00 membership fee,
b. complete and sign a TMSC and contract
c. agree to participate for at least one school year.
d. For membership, a school must be approved by a 3/4 vote of the athletic directors.

5. New member schools will be accepted on a provisional basis for the first year based upon meeting the TMSC Bylaws provisions criteria.

SECTION 3 – Maintaining Membership


1.  Members failing to meet the primary sports requirement a single time as described above in sections 2 and 3 will be placed on probation.  If there is a second offense in any sport during the same year, the school will be removed from TMSC membership. 


1. To participate, full-time students must be enrolled in grades 6-8. No ninth graders may participate in TMSC athletic competitions. Home-schooled students are not considered full-time students and would be considered ineligible players for TMSC contests.

2. The student shall not have reached his/her 15th birthday before August 31 of the current school year. Proof of the student’s age shall be available at the respective school.  Special situations will be considered by the Governing Committee, but any exceptions must be voted on and approved.

3. Member Schools shall formulate and implement academic policies for all athletes.

4. Participation by boys in a girl’s sport and by girls in a boy’s sport is prohibited.

5. Student-athlete’s are only eligible to participate on one school team in the same sport per season.  For example, schools with “A” and “B” teams are considered separate teams and players should only be listed on one roster.  Participation on both teams would be a violation of the rules.  Students could participate in different sports the same season. For example in the Spring, a student could run track and play soccer, but this is up to each school to decide.   The penalty for using an ineligible player will be the forfeiture of all games/matches the ineligible player actively participated in.


SECTION 1 – Rules of Play:


The conference will follow the rules set forth by the National Federation of High School Associations. Schools should particularly note field and court size regulations.

SECTION 2 – Game/Match Length & Rules Clarifications:

1. Basketball games will consist of four six-minute quarters, with ten-minute halftimes.                                                 

2. Baseball games will consist of seven innings with a two-hour time limit. No new inning will begin after two hours except in the event of a tie. The time limit will be waived during tournament play. TMSC teams can use  -5 and -3 bats and will follow these guidelines: non-BESR certified -5 differential bats are allowed in games between TMSC member schools. All -3 bats that are used in TMSC games must be BBCOR labeled. Base distance should be 80-feet or 90-feet. The pitchers mound shall have a minimum distance of 56 feet to a maximum of 60 feet-6 inches.   TMSC baseball games MUST begin with a minimum of 8 players in the field, and finish with a minimum of 7 players.  The game will be considered a forfeit by the team that doesn’t meet the minimal participation requirements. 

2b. Softball games will consist of seven innings with a one and one half hour time limit.   No new inning will begin after two hours except in the event of a tie. The time limit will be waived during tournament play. Teams may use ASA certified, official softball bats.   Base distance should be 60 feet.   The pitchers mound shall have a minimum distance of 43 feet from pitcher to catcher.  For safety, the official ball shall be a 12" optic yellow, restricted flight, red stitch softball. The 10-run rule should be employed after 5 innings. Other than these rules, National High School Federation rules will be followed including approved helmets.

3. Soccer games will consist of two 30-minute halves. If the game ends in a tie after regulation, two 5-minute overtimes will be played. If the game is tied after playing overtime, the game ends as a tie. There is no sudden death. If a conference tournament game ends in a tie, two 10-minute overtimes will be played. If the game is tied at the end of overtime, the winner will be decided by penalty kicks in accordance with National Federation rules. Two certified officials should be used for all conference games. Conference tournament games should be played using regulation size goals and on a field that meets at least the minimum regulations for size. Rule 1-Section 1-Article 1 from The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Rulebook states: "The field of play shall be rectangular, 100 to 120 yards long and 55 to 75 yards wide. The following minimum dimensions are recommended: a. High Schools - 110 by 65 yards; b. Junior High Schools - 95 by 50 yards".

4. Tennis matches shall consist of 6 singles and 3 doubles matches. An 8-game pro-set shall be used for each of the nine matches with regular “add” scoring. A tiebreaker will be played at (8-8) using first to 7 points, win by 2 format. The conference tournament shall be “Dual Team” format with higher seeds hosting.  Only the head coach is allowed to coach the players at a TMSC match.  Coaches are only allowed to coach during the odd-game changeovers, and not while play is going on.  No players, coaches or parents should be on the court coaching, watching, or making line calls.   Both coaches could be on a particular court if they are there helping players figure out the correct score or attending an injury. If BOTH agree, a coach could be allowed to sit at a particular court to help a novice player learn where to stand and how to keep score.  The players on the court make their own line calls and keep their own score.   Coaches should not “stack their line-up”, but should arrange their singles and doubles playing order to honestly represent the strongest to weakest players from top to bottom, out of those players the coach intends to play.  In other words, the best player should be #1, the next best #2, etc.  The same should be true for doubles, the best team should be #1, the next best #2, etc.  A coach should not attempt to play the best team at #3 in order to have a better chance to win the point.  Matches that are suspended during play will be resumed from the exact point the match was interrupted, (exact set and game score). All other USTA rules will be followed.


5. Volleyball matches, within the same division, will be the best 2 out of 3 games. First two games will be played to 25. If a third game is required, it should be played to 15. Even if the same team wins the first two games, a third game will be played in all cases to 15. (Non-mandatory third game does not apply to tournament games.) Rally scoring will be used. Warm-up before the match will be a minimum of at least five minutes, five minutes, shared three minutes. Net height is 7-feet 4 1/8”. Each team will supply a line judge for the match. Unless specified, National High School Federation rules will be followed. Officials shall be certified in volleyball by the National Federation.

6. Cross Country race distances should be between 1.5 to 2.2 miles. Distance will be 1.6 miles for the championship meet. A walk-through of the course will precede each meet. The top-5 finishers for each team will count towards the team score for the meet. For the TMSC Championship Meet, there will be 4 races run in the following order: Girls B, Boys B, Girls A, Boys A. To enter the “A” race, a school must have at least 5 runners, but no more than 7. If a team has fewer than 5 runners, they must run in the “B” race. Ties will be broken using the times of tied-team’s 6th-place runners. A team with only 5 runners would lose the tie. The TMSC will award two team trophies in each of the "A" races only: 1st-place Boys, 2nd-place Boys, 1st-place Girls, 2nd-place Girls.

7.Track & Field – Coed: There is no minimum number of participants to compete.  There are separate events for Boys and Girls. Events for Middle School are as follows: Shot Put, Long Jump, Discus, High Jump, 100 meter hurdles, 100 meter dash, 50 meter dash, 1600 meter run, 4X100 meter relay, 400 meter dash, 800 meter run,

200 meter dash, 600 meter dash, 4X200 relay.

8. Conference games are considered games within a division, if there are divisions in the sport OR games against TMSC teams if there is only one division for a particular sport.

9. Forfeiting Games: Every effort should be made NOT to forfeit games/matches in the TMSC.  In the event it becomes necessary to forfeit, members should give the opposing school as much notice as possible, due to facilities and officials arrangements, team transportation issues, and parental communication.  If money has been spent and lost, forfeiting school should make efforts to compensate the school forfeited to.

SECTION 3 – Sportsmanship & Game Conduct  

1. Technical Fouls and Red Cards
a. A coach or player ejected by an official from the game will be suspended automatically from participation in and in attending the next conference game. The removal/ejection of a player or coach must be reported (phone or e-mail) to the conference president by the athletic directors of both participating schools within 24 hours of the incident.
b. A coach or player will be automatically suspended for the season if removed/ejected a second time and his/her school will be placed on probation for one year. The probation ends in the season in which the violation occurred.
c. Exceptions will be considered based on the nature of the infraction. Emphasis is on behavior and attitude of the coach/player, rather than judgment calls by officials.                                                                                              

2.  Game Protests
The protest of a game must be submitted to the conference president within 24 hours after completion of the game. Within 72 hours, an Appeals Committee consisting of the athletic directors uninvolved in the protest will meet to resolve the dispute by vote.  

3. Appeals Committee                                                                                                                                         
An Appeals Committee shall be comprised of member AD’s (one per division) nominated and voted on by the Governing Committee and will serve one school year. The committee shall hear appeals lodged concerning player/coach ejections or eligibility, game protests, and other situations that need the conference’s attention to settle the dispute.  The conference president will be a non-voting member of the committee, if not involved in the protest.  If an appeal involves the school of a committee member, the TMSC president will vote.  If an appeal involves the school of the TMSC president and another committee member school, a substitute representative will be appointed by the president from the same division.  

SECTION 4 – Inclement Weather Policy     

Coaches and athletic directors will follow the National Federation guidelines on lightning disturbances (page 8) on game days in conjunction with game officials. General rule is “hear it – clear it”, “see it – flee it”. If you hear thunder, clear the field and get to safe shelters or vehicles. If you see lightning, flee the field as quickly as possible. Add 30-minutes of play stoppage every time you hear thunder or see lightning. Maximum play stoppage will be one hour, then game will be canceled, postponed or a winner declared if minimum amount of play has been completed to be considered a complete game.                                                                                                            

1. Soccer – a game is considered complete if one half or more has been completed.      

2. Baseball / Softball – the game is suspended and must be completed at a later date if called before the completion of 5 innings.                                                                                                                                                

3. Tennis – 5 matches, singles or doubles, must be won and finished to be considered complete. All games canceled or postponed because of inclement weather shall be rescheduled at the earliest and most convenient date for both schools. Divisional conference games shall take precedent over non-conference games.


SECTION 1 – Regular-Season Play    


1. Member of the governing committee will volunteer to formulate a centralized schedule for all ‘official’ conference sports for the fall, winter and spring seasons. The centralized schedules are just guidelines. Member schools can reschedule games as desired prior to TMSC Tournament dates. Scheduling games in any sport remains the responsibility of each school in the conference when a centralized schedule isn’t available.

2. Two games (home and away) must be scheduled with each conference team within the division. Only divisional games will count in the conference standings. Only divisional games will count in the conference standings.

3. The home team is responsible for booking and paying for officials.

4. Sports without the minimum number of four teams are not considered ‘official’ conference sports and must be scheduled by the individual member schools.

5. If there are not at least 4 teams playing a particular sport in one division, the two or three divisions are allowed to combine and play as one league for that sport, pending the approval of the governing committee.

6. In fairness to all of the TMSC members, schools should make every effort to complete their TMSC schedule of games in each sport. TMSC games should take priority over non-conference games.

SECTION 2 – Post-Season Play & Tiebreaker Policy


1. Tournaments may be scheduled in a sport in which four schools field a team.

2. First round tournament games, if necessary, will be played at the higher seed on Monday and/or Tuesday of tournament week. TMSC Tournament formats will be agreed on by the governing committee.

3. Tournament seeding format will depend on the number of participating schools and will be determined at the scheduled conference meetings. Seeding will be determined by won-loss record. In situations where there is an uneven number of conference games played, due to weather cancellations or other unavoidable circumstances, final standings for tournament seeding will be based on the winning percentage for TMSC games. In sports where there are ties, a tie would count as half a win when figuring the winning percentage. If there is an unusual circumstance, the governing committee, by a 3/4 majority vote, could make special accommodations to justify the final standings.

4. TMSC Tiebreaker Policy - The following will determine seeding in the event of a tie:
a. Head to head competition
b. Record against conference teams, beginning with the top seed, until tie is broken.
c. Coin toss.


5. TMSC Tournament Basketball Admission prices for Semi-final and Final games will be:

Adults - $5

Students - $2

Family - $12 maximum

Children 6 and under - Free


1. A regular season champion trophy will be awarded to the first place team. In the case of co-champions, each of the teams tied would receive a trophy.
2. 1st and 2nd place team trophies will be presented at the Triangle Middle School Conference end of season tournaments.
3. Trophies will not be awarded in any sport that does not field the minimum number of teams.



1. Amendments or changes of Triangle Middle School Conference rules must be approved by a three-fourths majority vote of the athletic directors (governing committee).  

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