Central Florida Youth Basketball Rules Summary Pre-K Division

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1 PreK basketball rules page 1 of 6 Central Florida Youth Basketball Rules Summary Pre-K Division Central Florida YMCA Sports utilizes the National Federation of High Schools Rulebook, actually a collection of three books, with over 300 pages of rules and procedures. Visit for more information. The following is only a summary of the basic rules plus any YMCA amendments. I. Players, substitutes, and bench personnel: A. Games are played with a maximum of four players for each team. 1. Every effort must be made to ensure all players play at least half of the total game time as best as possible. 2. Teams may start the game with less than four players if necessary. 3. If a team must start the game with less than four players, that team may borrow a player(s) from the opponent and the opponent must lend any available player(s) so that a game can take place with four players on the court for each team. 4. After starting, a game may continue with less than four players for either or both teams if the game continues to be a healthy and fun challenge. B. Substitutions may take place at any time. 1. The game does not need to be delayed to allow for substitution if the official determines it is not necessary. 2. When players are available, a team must make every effort to play all available players up to the maximum of four on the court. 3. A team may not purposely play fewer players unless directed to do so by the official. C. Two coaches for each team may be anywhere on the court 1. To encourage and instruct players. 2. To respectfully request information from an official. 3. While staying clear of play and the official s duties. a. The on-court coaches must not touch a live ball. b. This includes taking or giving the ball to/from any player including his/her own team. c. The official may, however, take or give the ball when it is necessary to do so. D. All bench personnel must remain off the court including other coaches, team representatives, spectators, etc., and substitutes must be reasonably supervised. 1

2 PreK basketball rules page 2 of 6 II. Equipment and uniforms: A. The PreK division will use 1. A mini size basketball provided by the YMCA. 2. A 6ft high goal provided by the YMCA. 3. An approximately 50ft long by 30ft wide court provided by the YMCA. 4. A game shirt provided by the YMCA. B. It is highly recommended that players wear shoes and shorts appropriately designed for indoor court-sports. C. If the official determines a player is wearing illegal equipment, the item(s) must be removed in order for that player to be allowed to participate such as 1. Items that are hard or sharp that could cut or scratch (examples are jewelry, ear rings, rings, watches, barrettes, belt buckles, etc.) 2. Items that are hard or do not give that could collide with another player (examples are casts, slow recovery padding, caps, knotted clothing or bandanas, hair clips, etc.). 3. Items that are loose fitting or hanging loosely off the body in a gap that could catch another player (examples are bracelets, necklaces, looped ear rings, cloth jewelry, large pockets, belt loops, hoods, etc.). 4. Items that are hanging loosely off the body that could swing or strike another player (examples are hair ties or adornments, clothing with strings or ties, etc.). III. Scoring and timing: A. Players are encouraged to shoot for baskets; however, no score is officially kept. The concept is to develop coordination and skill, to have fun and gain confidence. B. Games are played in two 12 minute halves. 1. The clock does not stop unless the official determines it is necessary to do so due to an unusual delay. 2. There are no team timeouts. 3. There is a 2 minute timeout at half-time. 4. Teams may practice for up to 10 minutes prior to the start of the game; the game may start if both teams are ready beforehand. C. The resumption of play rule will be in effect for all awarded throw ins. 1. If necessary, the official will notify teams the throw in will take place, as with the beginning of the period. 2. If there is a delay in doing so, the official will notify teams that play must now resume. 3. If the team receiving the out of bounds throw in is not available, the official will simply give the ball to the opponent and play resumes. 4. The concept is to encourage player hustle and focus, and to prevent the game from becoming undesirably stagnant. IV. Offense and defense: A. Teams play offense by taking the ball to the opponent s goal and attempt to score. 1. An offensive player will throw in the ball from out of bounds. 2. The teammate receiving the throw in will take the ball towards the opponent s half of the court and must dribble the ball at least one time. 2

3 3 PreK basketball rules page 3 of 6 3. After that player has performed the minimum one dribble, he/she must pass to a teammate. 4. The teammate receiving the pass must dribble at least one time and may move towards the basket and attempt to score. a. The player attempting to score is not required to dribble so long as he/she has already dribbled at least once during his/her possession. b. The player may run, dodge, jump, etc. away from the defender in an attempt to score; travel is not in force during this attempt. c. If the official judges that the player s attempt is unsuccessful and/or that enough time has elapsed for an attempt, the official may direct the player to pass to a teammate. 5. A player has committed traveling by a. Passing or shooting the ball prior to performing at least one dribble. b. Shooting the ball prior the team making at least one pass. 6. The official will halt play, encourage the player to dribble or pass, then give the ball back to that player for correction. 7. The dribble rule also applies when a player receives a pass, gains a rebound, or receives an inbounds ball from the official. 8. The pass rule only applies to the player receiving an out of bounds throw in unless otherwise directed by the official. 9. Every effort must be made to develop dribbling skills by encouraging the players to take at least one dribble during his/her possession prior to attempting a try for goal or passing. 10. Every effort must be made to develop passing skills by encouraging the players to make at least one pass before attempting to score. 11. If a player attempts to dribble or pass but loses possession, the official will give the ball back to that player even if the defense takes possession, unless the ball goes irretrievably out of bounds. 12. No offensive screens, or purposely attempting to obstruct the defense, shall be utilized. B. The opponent is encouraged to play defense and may do so by 1. Matching up man-to-man using similarly colored wristbands; teams may match up with its opponent at the beginning of each period and during substitutions. 2. The defensive team may switch wristbands to better match up like-skilled or physically similar players; the offensive team shall not switch wristbands to take advantage of a scoring miss-match. 3. Switching wristbands shall not be done during play action- the coach shall request to the official his/her intent to switch wristbands; when the official grants the request, the official will notify the like-colored opponent to help lessen the player s confusion. 4. The defender may move to obstruct his/her opponent wearing the same colored wristband to defend a pass or a shot; the purpose is to allow the defense to be involved and learn basic defensive movement and keeping track of his/her offensive opponent. 5. Teams may play half court, man-to-man defense only; the offensive must be allowed out of the backcourt and there shall be no double-teaming, trapping, or zone strategy. C. The official will give the ball inbounds back to the offensive player if 1. The defense steals the ball.

4 PreK basketball rules page 4 of 6 2. The defense blocks a shot by swatting, flailing, or slapping at the ball; only vertical positioning may be used to legally attempt to block a shot. 3. The defense causes a held ball, except during simultaneous possession of a missed shot attempt. 4. The defense does not matchup and/or defend its opponent wearing the same colored wristband. D. Both teams may rebound any missed shot attempt. 1. If the offense rebounds the missed attempt, the rebounding player must dribble at least one time and then may either attempt to score or pass. 2. If the defense rebounds the missed attempt, it becomes the offense and must follow the same rules for the offensive team: dribble at least once, must pass before attempting to score, etc. 3. If the attempt is made, the opponent shall take the ball out of bounds to begin its offensive possession with a throw in and then follow the same the rules for the offensive team. 4. If two opponents simultaneously gain possession of a rebound from a missed attempt, the defensive team is awarded possession. E. If the official judges a team is obviously dominating another or that a player is in need of extra encouragement 1. The official may direct the defense to a. Allow a player to get even closer to the basket and/or b. Not to raise their hands and/or c. Give their rebound back to the offense for another attempt. d. Give their throw in opportunity to the offense for another possession. 2. The official may direct the offense to pass to the particular player and/or generate fun opportunities for that player. V. Live ball and dead ball: A. Prior to each game, players and coaches line up along the sideline for a prayer and program information. B. Teams will play in the direction they warmed up. 1. This way, the players will continue to shoot at the same basket. 2. The home team begins the first half and the away team begins the second half. 3. Teams do not switch direction of play for the second half of the game. C. There is no jump ball or alternating procedure due to a held ball. D. The on-court coaches must not touch a live ball including taking or giving the ball to/from any player including his/her own team. E. The ball is live at the moment an official Makes the ball available for an out of bounds throw in. 2. Gives the ball back to a player while inbounds, as in for illegal defense. F. The ball is dead when 1. A goal is scored. 2. Time expires for the period except during a try for goal that is in flight prior to expiration. 3. The official signals it is necessary to stop play. 4

5 PreK basketball rules page 5 of 6 VI. Out of bounds and the throw in: A. The boundary lines are out of bounds but play will continue if a player is dribbling or steps out of bounds and is able to immediately move inbounds when directed to do so. 1. Every effort should be made to save a loose ball escaping the court; all adults within the vicinity of the boundary lines may prevent the ball from escaping out of bounds by tapping it back in. 2. The concept is to provide as little disruption and distraction as possible. When the ball or a player is obviously out of bounds or going out of bounds and/or cannot immediately be put back inbounds, play will be stopped for a throw in. B. A team will receive an out of bounds throw in when 1. That team receives the alternating possession to start the game or the next period. 2. The opponent scores a goal or a team scores into its own goal. 3. The opponent, or the ball last touched by the opponent, is out of bounds. 4. The offensive opponent commits an infraction of the rules judged necessary to stop play. C. A player on the offensive team will simply receive the ball inbounds from the official and play will continue immediately when 1. The defensive opponent commits an infraction of the rules judged necessary to stop play. 2. The ball lodges inbounds within the basket or backboard. D. The spot of the out of bounds throw in shall be nearest the spot where the ball became dead except 1. To start a period. 2. After a scored goal. a. The throw in after a goal shall be anywhere along the end line for the opponent of the scoring team. b. However, the spot will never originate from behind or underneath the goal. 3. If the throw in does not touch another player prior to going back out of bounds, the throw in is at the original spot. E. The player making the throw in must 1. Remain out of bounds prior to the throw. 2. Remain near the throw in spot prior to the throw except for throw ins following a goal. 3. Pass the ball inbounds. F. Play continues without penalty if the thrower commits a throw in violation unless the official halts play to encourage proper throw in technique; the concept is to either move on without disruption or, if necessary, to help teach the skill by providing players with another opportunity. VII. Free throws, violations, and fouls: A. Free throws involve complicated procedures and concepts; and so there are none. B. If a player is fouled in the act of shooting, that player receives the ball again and play continues regardless of whether the attempt was successful or not. C. Generally, there are no detailed provisions for violations except for those previously described. 5

6 PreK basketball rules page 6 of 6 D. Generally, there are no detailed provisions for fouls; however, the official will stop play if judged necessary to do so. 1. If play is stopped, the official will encourage the offending player by providing information about the foul. 2. The opponent is awarded the ball dependent upon the offensive or defensive status of the offended team. 3. For the defense, the concept is to teach and develop fundamental defense by moving with its opponent wearing the same colored wristband, being positioned in a vertical position when the opponent shoots, and pursuing any missed shot attempts. 4. For the offense, the concept is to teach and develop fundamental skills by taking at least one dribble for each player in contact with the ball, passing at least once during a team s offensive possession, and maintaining a reasonable amount of bodily control while attempting to score. E. Generally, there are no detailed provisions regarding technical fouls and misconduct. 1. However, if a coach, spectator, or player should lose their way and behave in a manner determined to be profane, taunting, vulgar, abusive, obscene, inciting, persistent, demonstrative, or otherwise disrespectful or inappropriate, the official or coordinator will encourage the offender to stop the behavior. 2. The act(s) do not need to be directed to any specific individual to be accountable. 3. If the player s conduct does not cease a. The official will direct that player to the sideline. b. The player shall not participate for the remainder of the period. c. Or continues further, the official may disqualify the player for the remainder of the game. d. Or in some unfortunate, severely inappropriate or potentially violent situations, the player may be disqualified without prior encouragement. 4. If a coach s or spectator s conduct does not cease a. The coordinator will direct that coach or spectator to leave the facility. b. In some unfortunate, severely inappropriate or potentially violent situations, a coach or spectator may be directed to leave the facility without prior encouragement. The referees and coordinators of the YMCA are actually YMCA Employees. They work here because they enjoy working with children and sports and the opportunities of being positive role models with other adults to encourage both teams to try their best, gain friendships, learn and develop skill, and grow as healthy, gracious competitors. Winning externally, as in winning by score, is secondary. 6

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