Basketball Rules

 Neighborhood Sports JR NBA & JR WNBA Youth Basketball Rules

1. Playing rules are State High School Association rules for the current year except where modified below:
2. Uniforms: Teams wear league uniforms
3. Program is a grade-based program. Grade level is determined by player’s grade on October 1. Players may only participate in one division. Players can play up a division but cannot play down. Grade Divisions are 1st/2nd grade, 3rd/4th grade, 5th/6th grade, and 7th/8th grade.
4.Division information
Grade Division
Style of play
Players / team
Rim Height
Game length
Basketball size
Boys 1st & 2nd grade
4v4 Full court (cross court)
(SWA plays 5v5)
8 players
8 Ft
Two 20 minute halves
27.5 inches
Girls 1st & 2nd grade
4v4 Full court (cross court)
(SWA plays 5v5)
8 players
8 Ft
Two 20 minute halves
27.5 inches
Girls 3rd -6th grade           
5v5 Full court
10 Players
10 Ft.
Two 20minute halves
28.5 inches
Boys 3rd -6th grade
5v5 Full court
10 Players
10 Ft.
Two 20minute halves
28.5 inches
Boys 7th & 8th grade
5v5 Full court
10 Players
10 Ft.
Two 20 minute halves
29.5 inches
5. Playing Rules
    • ½ Grade is 4V4 Full court (cross court). 3rd – 8th Grade is 5V5 Full court.
    • Game length is two (2) twenty (20) minute halves with a running clock.
    • Game starts with teams jumping for ball at mid court.
6. Clock / Scoring
  • Clock is a running clock and stops for time outs and technical fouls. Clock stops for scheduled substitutions. The officials may use their discretion to stop the clock for injury, ball retrieval, etc.
  • Scoring- A regulation shot counts as 2 points while a shot beyond the 3-point arc counts 3 points. There are no 3-point shots in the ½ grade division.
7. Defense / Point Spread Rule
  • Teams in the ½ grade division can only run a Man to Man defense.
  • Teams in grades 3 – 8 can run Man to Man or Zone defense.
  • Defense can’t pick up offensive player until they cross mid-court (1 - 6th grade) 
  • Defensive player cannot chase the ball (one player covering everyone)
  • Defense cannot double team the ball outside 3 point line (3-6 Grade). Defense cannot double team anywhere in the ½ grade division.
  • Defensive players can switch players they are guarding (i.e. When an offensive player sets a pick on a defensive player, the defensive players can switch assignments to guard ball and player setting pick)
  • (Grades 3 – 6 only) During the last two minutes each half and overtime period teams are allowed to play full or half court defense (man, zone, trapping, double teaming ball...) if they are not winning by 10 points.
  • (Grades 3 – 8 only) Defense can cover players full court if they are losing by more than 10 points at any time during the game. Defense cannot press or double team anywhere on the court if winning by more than 10 points.
  • In 7/8th grade division a team can play full court defense, including double teams, until they are up by 10 points.
8. Fouls / Free throws
  • 5 fouls and a player must leave the game
  • When a foul is committed that requires a free throw…the player shoots one shot for the point value designated by referee (if fouled while shooting a two pointer the free throw is worth two points if fouled while shooting a 3 point shot the free throw is worth 3 points). There are no 3-point shots in the ½ grade division.
  • Two technical fouls and player, person, or coach is ejected from the game and must leave the building
  • Bonus Free throws - Teams shoot free throws when there are 7 teams fouls or more (one shot for two points)
9. Time outs:
  • Each team is allowed one (1) 30 second time out per half.
10. Halftime:
  • Two minute halftime. If the games are running behind schedule, the league administrator or game officials may shorten the halftime intermission.
11. Overtime: If the score is tied at the end of regulation play:
  • 1st - 8th grade - Two minute overtime, no time outs in overtime. Teams play sudden death with the next basket made wins if tied after overtime period.
12. Game Administration
  • The visiting team provides a timekeeper.
  • The home team provides a qualified scorekeeper.
13. Mandatory Substitution (This is not a time out…players must move from bench to court ASAP)
  • The game clock is a running clock and stops for scheduled substitutions. Timekeeper will work with referee for substitution times every five-minutes.
  • Play will stop at which time all substitutes on bench must enter the game. Players must be rotated... no player can play every period unless there are no substitutes on the bench. Every player must play a minimum of 4 periods. Players can not play more than 6 periods unless there are no players on the bench.
  • Free substitution is allowed during the last 5 minutes of the game; substitutions may be made at the discretion of the coach and when there is a dead ball. Coaches cannot use substitution time as a time out. Substitutions must be made quickly. Failure to substitute in a timely manner could result in the referee putting the ball back into play before you are finished with your substitution. Clock does not stop for free substitution.
14. Stalling or attempts to freeze the ball are not allowed and may result in loss of ball possession. If a team is warned for stalling, the official will administer a 10-second count during which a shot must be attempted. If a shot is not attempted, ball possession is lost.
15. Officiating & Sportsmanship
  • Our Officials try their best to facilitate the game experience. They give their time to do something that most people do not like to do. We ask that you treat our referees with respect at all times and set a good example for our kids. Unsportsmanlike conduct will not be tolerated by players, coaches, or fans and may result in immediate ejection and banishment from the playing area. The referee shall have power to make decisions on any point not specifically covered in the rules.
  • No officiating from the stands. Anyone who officiate from the stands may be asked to leave
  • Only the head coach can talk to the referee.