GH Basketball Rules

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Green Hornets Boys' Basketball
G.S.P.A.A. League Playing Rules


  1. SAFETY FIRST - The referees may blow the whistle and stop the game to investigate the condition of a player who might be hurt, at any time, and resume play as soon as reasonable. The safety and well-being of our players is always our main concern. Referees are instructed to stop play the moment they see a player in distress, regardless of current events in the game.
  2. Coaches are required to be at the gym a minimum of 15 minutes before the scheduled start of the game. Coaches are requested to “chaperone” their players before the start of their game and keep them out of the way of the underway game. Every effort should be made to start games at the designated time including getting scorebook and clock operations set up quickly. In cases where game times are running late, game officials have the authority to shorten or eliminate warm ups, half-time breaks, and timeouts.
  3. Coaches are responsible to designate one person (typically a parent) to work either the game clock or the scorebook (each team supplies one person). If a parent is not available, an assistant coach must handle the duty. Scorebook operators and game clock operators must sit at the designated table and are not allowed to either coach or actively participate in the game; they are officiating personnel for that game.
  4. Five minutes after the scheduled start time is forfeit time. Teams must have five players to start the game. In the case of not enough players, the two head coaches can agree to play the game even if five players are not present however; 1) both coaches must agree up front, and 2) if the game is started, it becomes an official game.
    -- 1. The league will be made up of teams with a maximum of 10 players. In special situations, some teams may have 11 players. In those cases, coaches will have leeway on substitutions to create equal playing time.
    -- 2. Each player must play at least one quarter in each half. Players are not permitted to play the entire first half or the entire second half without playing at least one quarter in each half. Violations in playing time will result in forfeit.
    ---- a) If a player does not arrive before the start of the second quarter, he is not eligible to play two quarters in the second half: only one quarter. Nor is he permitted to enter the game at arrival.
    ---- b) NO substitutions will be allowed during a quarter, except for: injuries; a player fouls out; or the management of the 11-man team mentioned in 5a.
    ---- c) If a team has fewer than ten players in attendance, no player will be allowed to play four quarters unless all other team members have played three quarters.
    ---- d) If a player becomes ill or injured and needs to leave the game, the coach of his team can designate ANY bench player to finish the remainder of the quarter of play.
    -- i. The injured or ill player should return at any time he is ready. Substitutions in this case should be made at dead ball situations.
    -- ii. The quarter should be assessed to either the ill or injured player or the replacement player, which ever played the majority of that quarter.
  6. All age groups will play eight-minute quarters. Games must be completed in under an hour so half-times and quarter breaks should be kept to a reasonable amount of time (two minutes between quarters; three to five minutes for halftime). Clocks will only be stopped for timeouts, injuries, and shooting fouls EXCEPT in the last minute of each quarter where regular rules apply (e.g., the clock stops for all “dead ball” situations).
  7. Each team is allowed two timeouts per half, with an additional timeout allowed for each overtime period. Timeouts do not carry over to halves or overtime periods. Timeouts should last for 45 seconds.
  8. All age groups will shoot free throws on the seventh team foul of a half. For the 3rd/4th Grade league, foul shots will be taken from ten feet or a designated spot by the game officials. For the 3rd/4th Grade and 5th/6th Grade leagues, a lenient enforcement of the rule for breaking the free throw line plane will be in effect.
  9. In the case of a tie at the end of regulation time, there will be a two-minute overtime period. Coaches may choose any five players for the overtime period. If the tie remains after the overtime period, the game will be ruled a tie.

    In the playoffs, the overtime periods will last until a winner is determined. If the score remains tied after the first two-minute overtime, there will be an additional two-minute overtime period. All players who were on the bench for the preceding overtime period must play in the new period. If additional overtime periods are needed, the same overtime-period by overtime-period substitution rules will apply.

  10. In the 1st/2nd Grade league, defenders will remain inside the foul lanes. In the 3rd/4th Grade and 5th/6th Grade age groups, emphasis is placed on the development of skills. In view of this, each team must play man-to-man defense. Violations of these rules will result in a warning; repeated violations will result in a technical foul being called. The primary issue officials are taught to regulate is the defender that is just “following the ball” without any regard for guarding a specific player.
    a) The defense cannot pickup their man before he crosses half court, but MUST pick him up by the time he reaches the three-point area and must remain in close proximity until the ball reaches the foul lane.
    -- b) In 3rd/4th Grade, full-court pressure will only be permitted in the last 30
    seconds of the game of the regular season (and overtime if applicable). During the playoffs pressing will be permitted in the final minute of the second and fourth quarters.
    -- c) Full-court pressure is permitted in 5th/6th Grade during the last minute of every quarter (vs 2nd and 4th); however, once a 5th/6th Grade team gains a lead of 15 points or more, the team in the lead will not be allowed to apply defensive pressure until the offense crosses mid-court.
    -- d) Full-court pressure is permitted at all times in 7th/8th Grade and 9th-12th Grade,
    except when a team gains a 20-point lead, the team in the lead will not be allowed to apply defensive pressure until the offense crosses mid-court.
    -- e) Zone defense is only permitted in 7th/8th Grade and 9th-12th Grade.
  11. In the 7th/8th Grade and 9th-12th Grade leagues, the three-point shot will be in effect.
  12. In the event a player or a coach is ejected from a game for unsportsmanlike conduct, the player or coach will automatically receive a one game suspension, which can only be appealed to the Young Referee Program Director and Boys Basketball Commissioner. Coach ejections can and will be made by Young Referee Program Director or Boys Basketball Commissioner during actual game play or a post-game review of events. If an act is deemed excessive, repetitive, or violent in nature, the Commissioner reserves the right to levy a greater punishment.
  13. The team bench is limited to rostered players, one head coach and a maximum of two assistant coaches.
  14. Coaches are required to adhere to the game rules of basketball that require all coaches to remain seated during play. Coaches are allowed to temporarily stand up and instruct their teams but must immediately sit down. Coaches are not allowed to stand to register a complaint. Abuse of this rule can lead to a technical foul (per the official High School Federation Basketball rulebook) and or suspension.
  15. Minor modifications can be made to these rules through a consensus agreement of the Green Hornets Boys’ Basketball Council, league coaches, and the League Director prior to or during the regular season.
  16. Coaches are required to submit the game score electronically to the designated league administrator within 24-hours of the conclusion of the game. Details on submission procedures will be provided to coaches by each League Director prior to the start of the season.

Any concerns that you may have during the course of the season can be brought to the attention of one of the members of the Boys’ Basketball Council (Liam O’Callaghan or Mark Glagola).

Last updated November 28, 2018.