Keeper rule dispute. Help!

I’m commissioner of a keeper league that’s in it’s 3rd year. Each year, every team gets to select 2 keepers. There is a rule in the league constitution that says:

“Players can only be kept by one team for 3 consecutive years. After a player has been kept for 3
consecutive years, they are no longer eligible to be a keeper, and are returned to the draft pool.”

Reading through it recently, I realized that it isn’t very clear whether that means you get to select a player as your keeper 3 times (meaning you got them on your team for 4) or you get to keep the player 2 times (meaning you got them on your team for 3 years). So I put it to a league vote, and the majority chose the second option: keep 2 times, roster 3 years.

The issue is, I now have a league mate (who is technically co-commissioner, but that’s really just as a backup cause I do everything) messaging me saying he wished he’d known that’s how it was going to work before the draft. Which seems like a fair point.

So, my question for everyone is: do I honor the poll, and tell everyone that they can’t keep certain players next year, or do I override that and say that all players are still available to keep next year because that rule wasn’t clear at draft time? If I go with option 2, the clarified rule would take affect after next years keepers are selected.

I think the rule was actually pretty clear…can only be KEPT for 3 years…not rostered. But either way, good job putting it to a vote for a consensus. If anyone is complaining you probably have to delay the ruling until the following year, especially if you think anyone will be annoyed enough by it to cause some controversy in the league.

Off topic, if a player is kept for a year, then traded to a new team…can that new team roster them for 3 years or is it 3 consecutive years total, regardless of team ownership? Just asking because that was a problem I ran into in our league…we set it as years kept total by all teams, otherwise the temptation to trade good players at the “end of their life on that team” becomes strong and breeds collusion possibilities.

jvaughan502, in our league, if a keeper is traded to another team, the new team can keep then for 3 years

I don’t see anything ambiguous at all, “kept by one team for 3 consecutive years” is not ambiguous, 3=3.