BASKETBALL RULES

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RULES AND REGULATIONS

Basket Height

Many leagues play with the regulation 10-foot basketball goals, but for players 3-5 age

the goal is lowered to 8-8.5 feet.

8-13 age group will have 9-10 foot basketball goals depends on level of play.

Court size

There isn't a standard basketball court size for youth basketball leagues.

The standard court used by the NCAA (94 ft x 50 ft) and the court used by high school

players (84 ft x 50 ft) are really too big for youth basketball players.

A court about 74 ft x 42 ft is a nice size for young players, but youth courts come in all

Many times, the size of the court depends on the facilities that are available. Youth

leagues don't always have access to regulation-size courts, and games are played on

smaller courts like those in school cafeterias. When a standard-size basketball court is

available, youth league games are often played from sideline to sideline on one half of

A smaller court is really important for young players so that fatigue doesn't become as

much of a factor. As they are learning how to play basketball, a smaller court allows the

players to handle the ball more instead of spending so much time and energy running

up and down the court just trying to get from one end to the other.

Defense

The 3-5 age groups will just guard any opponent. The 6-13 age group will guard there

Teams are not allowed to pressure the ball full-court.

Defensive players have to drop back past the half-court line. It doesn't matter whether

it's after a made shot, a turnover, or a rebound, teams have to drop back to half-court

and allow the ball to be dribbled down without pressure. Once the ball crosses half-

court, the defense can guard the ball.

Man-to-man defense is played so that players can learn the basic skills of individual and

At the beginning of each quarter, the teams line up facing each other at half-court and

identify the players they will be matched up against.

The two players who will be guarding each other are given wristbands of the same color

to wear so that they can keep up with each other.

Stealing the ball is allowed once it passes half-court, but shot blocking is not allowed. If

a player takes a shot, the defender is allowed to stand with arms extended straight up

in the air, but she cannot jump up or swat at the ball

Fouls

Officials want to avoid injury to young kids, so they try to discourage rough play by

blowing their whistles at the smallest physical contact. 3-5 age groups will be limited

calls but will call for safety first. 6-7 age group some fouls will be called but we want

the kids moving and having fun. 8-13 age group fouls will be called and a book will be

Even though basketball is considered a contact sport, young players are not big

enough, strong enough, or mature enough to handle the kind of contact that occurs at

Game length

Four 8-minute quarters are common for a youth league game. To speed up the game,

the game clock runs continuously and only stops at the end of each quarter, during

timeouts, and for designated group substitutions.

Gender

All teams will be co-ed. This is a fun league with learning to play and have fun is the

Half-time

The duration of half-time is anywhere from 5-7 minutes. There aren't usually any locker

rooms around, so players have enough time to grab a drink, have a short meeting with

their coach on the bench, and maybe shoot around for a few minutes.

Jump balls

The game begins with a jump ball, but after the opening tip the alternating possession

rule goes into effect. Any time there is a tied up ball, teams alternate throwing the ball

Number of games

Seasons usually consist of 7 games with one game per week. Sometimes there is a

tournament scheduled at the end of the season, but not always.

                                                                     

                                                  Offense

There aren't usually any youth basketball rules regulating the type of offense a team

can run. Offensive plays should be kept very simple and focus on the basics of passing,

catching, and moving without the ball.

There are really two common offensive set-ups for youth basketball players:

1. One player is designated as the point guard to bring the ball down the court,

with two players out on the wings, and two players inside the key as post

2. Two guards play out top to help each other bring the ball down, two wings stay

out wide, and one post works the middle.

3. There will be no score or book for the 3-5 age groups. There will a score but no

book for the 6-7 age groups. The 8-12 age groups will have a book and score will

be shown. One team will have volunteer parent to do the score or book for each

game. One volunteer from each team.

A clever and fun way to teach kids how to play basketball is to let them watch

the professional games on TV. Guide them through the steps that those players

do. A way to stream basketball games is through Direct TV deals which allow

you to watch all the games necessary to make your youth team a winning one!

Officials

Sometimes 2 officials call the game, but most of the time you're lucky to have one

Youth basketball leagues don't usually hire regulation officials; instead they depend on

high school or college kids to help out.

Most of the time, the experience level of the official doesn't matter too much because

They mainly serve to keep the game organized and help the youngsters have some idea

The officials may or may not use their whistle, and they may or may not have on an

I will have to admit I was a bit disillusioned at one YMCA game when the young kid

actually officiated our game in baggy beach shorts and flip flops!

Positions

Players can rotate to several different positions throughout the game. Rather than lock

players into specific positions when they're just starting out, I like to give them a

chance to experience playing at different spots.

The focus at this level is teaching the basic fundamentals of dribbling, passing,

shooting, rebounding, and defending. These skills are needed by every player no matter

Pre-game warm-up

Teams are usually given a minimum of 10 minutes to warm up before a game. Youth

games are often scheduled in between other games, so there may not be any additional

Players are not able to take the floor until the previous game is finished and both teams

have cleared the floor. If there are no other games going on, teams are able to take the

floor as early as they'd like.

Substitutions

Most leagues have strict youth basketball rules regarding substitutions to ensure that

all players get equal playing time.

Obviously, the exact amount of time each player is on the floor varies due to a number

of factors, like the number of players on the team and injuries that occur.

Usually at the 4-minute mark of each quarter, the buzzer will sound, play will stop, and

substitutions will be made.

Each player is guaranteed to play in at least 2 quarters.

For a team with 10 players, each player could expect to play half a game, or about 16

minutes. But for a team with 12 players, not everyone will play 2 full quarters.

Coaches are required to keep up with the number of quarters a player plays each game.

If someone plays in 3 quarters one game, someone else is selected to play 3 quarters

Switching ends

Teams switch ends of the court at half-time. They remain on the same bench, but they

shoot at the opposite goal for the second half.

Three-point line

Many youth basketball leagues don't use a 3-point line. However, some use the high

Timeouts

Coaches are allowed a 2 timeouts a half.

Uniforms

It is standard to have one team wear a light-colored jersey (Home) while the other

team wears a dark-colored jersey (Visitors). However, sometimes teams don't have

uniforms, and players just wear scrimmage vests over their t-shirts.

Violations

Officials are usually pretty loose with calling violations. If they blew their whistle every

time a beginner traveled or double dribbled, the game would be stopped constantly.

If the infraction is blatant or a player keeps repeating the same mistake, the official will

stop play and explain to the player what he is doing wrong.

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We Really Care

My desire to help the kids in our community and see a child improve in their sports while building character is why I opened LSC. My wife, Brandee and I along with our Children, Taylor and Ryan, are honored to bring Loudoun Sports Center to Loudoun.

Just seeing the face of a young athlete when I say they are doing a great job is an unbelievable feeling. To make a difference in a child’s life through sports is the impact I hope to have in the community.

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