This is a continuation of the list of youth basketball regulations and guidelines introduced previously.
In Part 1, the following topics were covered:
Number of games
Number of players
Half-time lasts anywhere from 5-10 minutes. Players typically have time to grab a drink, meet with their coach on the sideline, and maybe shoot around for a few minutes.
The game begins with a jump ball, but after the opening tip, the alternating possession rule goes into effect.
A lane violation will be called if an offensive player remains in the lane longer than 3 seconds without the ball.
Seasons usually consist of 8-10 games with one game per week. Sometimes, there is a tournament scheduled at the end of the season, but not always.
There aren't usually any youth basketball rules regulating the type of offense a team can run. It's recommended that offensive plays 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:
Isolation offense, spreading players out wide so the best player can go 1-on-1, is illegal.
Sometimes, two officials call the game, but it's not unusual to only have one show up. 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 the level of play is so low. The officials' main function is to keep the game organized and help the youngsters learn the basic rules.
In the event of overtime (OT), the duration of each quarter will be:
A team may start with 4 players. If a team has less than 4 players, a game may be declared a forfeit at the time the game is scheduled to begin.
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.
If a player is ill or injured, he should not dress in uniform for the game and should not be put on the score sheet if he isn't going to play.
In some leagues, 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. If someone plays in 3 quarters one game, someone else is selected to play 3 quarters the next game.
Coaches are required to keep up with the number of quarters a player plays each game. They should come to a game with a written game plan of how they plan on allocating each player's minutes.
For other leagues, all players must play at least 20 minutes of each game. The only possible exceptions are:
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 what position they play.
There is no maximum number of practices a team can hold. However, as a general rule, practices should be limited to no more than a couple 1 1/2 hour practices a week.
Teams are usually given a minimum of 10 minutes to warm up before a game. Youth league games are often scheduled back-to-back, so there may not be any additional time to shoot around.
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.
Coaches must have a roster with player's numbers. They're required to check in at the scorer's table at least 15 minutes before each game to fill out a score sheet.
Coaches may designate one parent from their team as the stat keeper for that game. The official stats will be kept at the scorer's table by a scorekeeper provided by the league.
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.
Many youth basketball leagues don't use a 3-point line, but others use the high school 3-pt line for all age groups.
Rules for breaking a tie to determine league champion:
If more than two teams are tied with the same record, the following will happen:
Each team may call two 30-second timeouts per half. Unused timeouts cannot be carried over to the next half.
There is one time out per overtime quarter. Timeouts left over from regulation do not carry over to overtime.
It is standard to have the Home team wear a light-colored jersey while the Visitors wear a dark-colored jersey. However, sometimes teams don't have uniforms, and players just wear scrimmage vests over their t-shirts.
All players must wear their official uniform during the game. Any player not wearing their official shirts provided by the league will be called for a technical foul.
If a player chooses to wear an undershirt, it must match the team's basic color, or the default color may always be a black cut off shirt or a black T-shirt.
All players should wear as close to basic black shorts as possible.
Shirts must be tucked inside the shorts.
No player is allowed to wear jewelry of any type during the game.
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 stops play and explains to the player what he's doing wrong.