The intent and purpose of these rules is to create balance of play, equal opportunity between players, a safe playing environment and an atmosphere of sportsmanship and fair play.

Keep in mind that the referees officiate in a number of leagues and might need to be reminded of our rules. Help them out by reviewing these rules before the game. During the game, treat the official with respect and courtesy. Mistreatment of the officials will not be tolerated. Make sure your team’s players and parents are aware of this as well.

Clean up the bench area after your game. Make sure your players have all their belongings, and do not leave any garbage behind.

The game schedule can be found on Tourney Machine. The team listed second (or at the bottom if you are looking at the app on your phone) is considered the home team and should wear white.


Scoreclock/scorebook -- Each team must assign one parent to the scorer’s table — one to run the scoreclock and the other on the scorebook, keeping track of points (important to have as a backup), team fouls, timeouts, etc. After the game the winning coach needs to email the score of the game to so we can update the standings.

Playing time -- All coaches will fill out the playing matrix form before the game and substitute according to the form. Changes cannot be made to the form except in cases of injury or ejection, in which case the next player on the chart is called on to replace the departing player. If more than 30 seconds have been played in that period, the incoming player remains in for their regular ensuing shift. TO ACCESS THE PLAYING-TIME MATRIX, CLICK HERE.


High school rules apply, with the following exceptions/notes:

Ball -- Girls in Grades 3-4 use a size 27.5 ball. Girls in Grades 5-8 use a size 28.5 ball. Boys Grade 3-6 use 28.5. Boys Grade 7/8 use 29.5 (full size).

Game time -- Games are four quarters, each lasting 7 minutes, stop time on every whistle. At the midpoint of each quarter (3:30), the referee and/or clock operator will signal for substitutions (if there is a scoring opportunity, they should wait for it to be completed). Note that the mid-quarter breaks are not timeouts. Players should be substituted immediately. The breaks between quarters (including halftime) are one minute.

Jump ball/possession arrow -- The game starts with a jump ball. After every tie-up and quarter, alternating possession is used. Note that the mid-quarter substitution break is not the end of a period, so the alternating possession rule is not in effect, and the team that had the ball retains possession.

Shot clock -- There is no shot clock in any of the grades.

Fouls -- There is no player disqualification for having too many fouls. However, if a player is deemed to be fouling excessively or aggressively they may be charged with an intentional or technical foul and/or be removed from the game at the referee's discretion.

Free throw bonus -- New rule this year (following the new high school rule): When a team commits five team fouls in a quarter, the opposing team shoots two free throws. There are no 1-and-1s.

Free throws -- In Grades 3 and 4, players are allowed to take one step in from the free throw line if needed, or they can start behind it and jump over it while shooting. If they choose to do this, they cannot rebound a missed free throw. In Grades 5 and 6, players must start behind the free throw line but they can jump over it. Again, if they go over the the line, they cannot rebound a missed free throw. In Grades 7 and 8, players must stay behind the free throw line through the completion of their free throw (and they are eligible to rebound it).

3-pointers -- Shots from behind the arc in any grade will count for 3 points.

Man-to-man defense -- No zones are allowed in any grade. Players should be within 6 feet of the player they are guarding. Exception: If the offensive player is well above the 3-point line and does not have the ball, the defender can wait at the 3-point line. Defensive players are allowed to switch, but this should only be encouraged when they are picked. Double teams are not allowed, although defensive players are allowed to provide help defense if an offensive player with the ball is making a move to the basket and is in the key or close to it. If the referee feels that a team is intentionally violating the man-to-man defense rule, a technical foul may be assessed after a warning.

Addendum for Grade 3 boys and Grade 3/4 girls: For the December games, defenders are restricted behind the 3-point arc, giving ballhandlers have a “safe area” between the 3-point line and halfcourt. Defenders can chase loose balls and rebounds past the 3-point line but cannot pressure a ballhandler there. During winter break the coaches will discuss whether or not to extend this rule to the end of the season.

Isolation offense -- Because no double-teaming nor zone defenses are allowed, offenses are not allowed to run isolation plays where one player attempts to beat their defender while the other offensive players clear out to the other side of the court.

Pressing -- Defenses are not allowed to guard full court except during the final minute of the game and only if the team on defense is losing or tied. If you are winning, you cannot press. Presses have to be man-to-man. No chasing or double-teaming the ball or using a zone press.

Timeouts -- Each team gets two timeouts per game, which can be used at any time.

Overtime -- There is no overtime during the regular season. Games can end in a tie. In the playoffs, if a game is tied after regulation, teams will substitute as per the playing time matrix for a new period and play a two-minute standard overtime. If the score remains tied after the first overtime, teams will substitute again and play sudden death, with the first team to score TWO points declared the winner. Teams will sub every two minutes until one team scores two points. Team fouls from the fourth quarter carry over to the overtime (meaning the count does not reset).