The franchise membership is the gold standard of membership, conferring to owners the maximum participation, territorial and player rights. Territory in the club's primary franchise area, defined below, is permanent and depending on the size of the school district, may be exclusive but even in the case of AA school districts, the number of franchise members is limited to a maximum of three. The franchise member also enjoys certain benefits in regards to restricted free agents. These benefits include one additional base RFA credit given annually to all returning teams as well as up to three franchise player exemptions (FPE) for each of its teams. An RFA can switch from his prior club to a franchise club in his home area w/o costing that club's team an RFA credit.

Section 11.1 Qualifications

To qualify as a franchise member, an applicant must;

(1) Apply for a franchise area consisting exclusively of OPEN and/or non-discretionary area, consistent with the definitions in section 11.2 and 11.3.

(2) Register at least three different teams in the League for two consecutive years.

(3) Maintain registration in at least one age division in two consecutive years (replacement participation).

(4) All of club’s teams, once started in ENYTB, must be “continued” in ENYTB i.e., ENYTB can not be used as a feeder program to another league.

(5) Club must have permanent, guaranteed access to a home field located in its franchise area.

When all five requirements are met, the member is granted permanent franchise member status and all the rights thereto.

Rights enjoyed exclusively by franchise members include:

· Franchise members have permanent territorial or “franchise area” rights. In some cases, depending on the size of the primary area e.g., less than A, A, or AA, the territorial rights are exclusive. When they are not, the member is classified as a co-franchise (see Section 11.3 herein).

· Franchises have the right to continue in the league as members during periods of inactivity (see Section 11.8 herein).

A franchise area is defined in terms of school district boundaries. Each member, franchise or non-franchise, is assigned one school district as his primary or core area.

The primary core area of a franchise can be any class (high school rating). AA - is allowed up to three franchise members A - is allowed up to two franchise members B or lower - is allowed one franchise member Unless an exception is granted by the League.

Non-franchise members have no territorial assignments. Thus, there is no limit on the number of non-franchise members located in any area. The granting of new memberships, franchise or non-franchise, should be consistent with the availability of players in a given area.

RULE 23 Any member’s non-core area may be claimed by an applicant as its primary core area.

Discretionary Franchise Area

RULE 25 Any school district that has been designated as the primary core area of an existing member’s franchise area.

A franchise member’s primary core area is permanent and forever exempt from “surrender” to, new or existing members.

Section 11.5 General Participation Rights

RULE 30 Full franchise members and non-franchise members have the permanent right to participate in the League in any number of teams and at any age level, provided the club remains active or, as provided in section 11.8, is inactive.

RULE 31 Should any member abandon his membership, all teams owned by the member, once started in the League, shall be entitled to continue in the League from one year to the next, provided they remain in good standing with the League.

See section 11.11 for provisions regarding the dispersal of an abandoned franchise area.

Section 11.6 General Player Rights

See Article XVI for a comprehensive discussion of member’s rights to players.

RULE 32 Every member has the exclusive rights to its roster (“protected”) players in their natural age divisions from one year to the next (see Section 16.6), except as provided in Section 16.7 i.e., players may move to new teams subject to the league's RFA cap limits.

RULE 33 No member shall have any player rights in age divisions it is not active in. A player’s natural age shall be used to determine his league status in all matters related to player rights except as provided in Article XVI.

Section 11.7 Player Release Rights

RULE 38 The League shall confer to all club members, or their designated representatives, the exclusive power to change the league status of any player on the roster of any of its teams.

Section 11.8 Franchise Inactivation

RULE 41 Any franchise member, upon determining it will not be registering a team for league play in the current season, may request that its franchise be continued and held inactive for an annual fee of $50.

Such requests must be made no later than the April meeting of the new season. Failure to make such a request in a timely manner may result in the Executive Board declaring the franchise abandoned and reassigning the franchise area to new or existing members.

RULE 42 Franchise members may remain inactive for an indefinite time period but requests to remain inactive must be renewed each year for a fee of $50 and are subject to approval by the Executive Board.

RULE 43 Throughout the period of franchise inactivity, the member’s franchise area shall be preserved.

RULE 44 An inactive franchise shall have no player rights during its period of inactivity.

Section 11.9 Rights To Inactive Franchise Area

RULE 45 Rights to inactive franchise area shall temporarily revert back to the last currently active franchise to have held that territory as part of its core area for the duration of the period of inactivity.

If the franchise first in succession does not want the area back (prefers to keep its current core area as is) it reverts back to the next owner of record. This process continues until the area is reclaimed or all qualified franchise members are exhausted. If the territory goes unclaimed as a temporary core area it shall become the temporary non-core area of all adjoining League members. If the unclaimed territory does not adjoin a core area within the league, it shall become a temporary open area within the League.

RULE 46 To the extent any portion of an inactive franchise area is non-discretionary, as defined in section 11.3, this territory shall be eligible to be claimed as a core area or non-core area by new or existing members in accordance with the League’s mandatory surrender rules, as provided in section 11.3.

Section 11.10 Reactivation Of Franchise Area

Inactive franchises may be reactivated in the current season by a franchise representative simply informing the League of the franchise’s intention to reactivate no later than the April meeting.

RULE 47 All territory held by the inactive franchise at the time of its inactivation shall be restored, except as provided in section 11.3 regarding non-discretionary area reassigned as core area to new or existing franchises during the period of inactivity.

The above rules for restoring franchise area to reactivated franchises applies equally and individually at all age levels.

Section 11.11 Franchise Abandonment

RULE 49 Failure to either register a team or pay a required inactivation fee for the current season by the League’s April meeting, will result in a de-facto determination of franchise abandonment by the Executive Board.

Abandoned franchises lose claim to any and all rights to their previous franchise area but are eligible to reapply for new membership provided no outstanding indebtedness is owed to the League. Any such indebtedness must be paid in full prior to the League’s consideration of an applicant for re-entry.

Abandoned territories are available to existing and new members in accordance with the rules of this Constitution and By-Laws for any open area except that a succession procedure similar to that provided in Section 11.9 shall be applied first.