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McLean Youth Basketball
Rules Governing the Play of Games

These Rules and Regulations have been approved and instituted by the

Board of McLean Youth Basketball, September 2017.

A.     Interpretation of Rules, Non-Game Situations.  Interpretation of MYB Basketball Rules Governing the Play of Games in all non-game situations (i.e., rulings requested before the start of the game or after the game is completed) shall be the responsibility of Chairman or the Chief Commissioner(s) supervising the League involved (i.e., House League, Select, Developmental).  Coaches or players who have questions regarding MYB rules or regulations should contact their Age Group Coordinator (“AGC”) who will talk with the Chairman or the appropriate Chief Commissioner.  AGCs, League Commissioners and Coaches are not permitted to agree to any changes in these rules prior to or during any game.  Rules may be changed only through approval of the Board of McLean Youth Basketball.
B.     Interpretation of Rules During Game Play.  During the play of a game, the referee’s interpretation of the rules, with the exception of all playing time rules, applies and his/her rulings are final.  Only the head coach, or in his/her absence the designated head coach, (no players or fans) may request a rule interpretation during the play of game and must abide by the ruling of the referee.  If an AGC or Chief Commissioner is attending a game, they should discuss any rule issues with the referees, allowing the referee to make and announce the decision.  
C.     Playing Time Rule EnforcementHead Coaches are solely responsible for reading, understanding and enforcing all playing time rules, including minimum and maximum playing time requirements.  Coaches may not rely on the interpretation of referees, other coaches or participants in the correct enforcement of these rules.  If such advice is requested and is wrong it is only the responsibility of the coach relying on such advice and the appropriate penalties will be enforced.  
D.     Rule Enforcement Appeal Process.  Rulings may be appealed, but only after completion of play and only by the Head Coach to their respective AGC.  The AGC will discuss the issues involved with the Chairman or the appropriate Chief Commissioner who will make a ruling regarding the appeal.  During the season, League Commissioners, Division Coordinators within Leagues (e.g., the East Division of the 4th Grade Boys League), and/or Coaches may not “agree to change the rules” as it applies to any league, division within a league, or a specific game.  The Rules are modified only at the suggestion of the Rules Committee and after review and approval by the McLean Youth Basketball Board.

All MYB basketball games are governed by the high school basketball rules as adopted by the National Federation of High Schools (NFHS), except as expressly modified by these MYB Basketball Rules Governing the Play of Games and any other publication released by MYB and/or posted to the website.  No distinction is made between “boys” and “girls” rules except for the size of the official ball.  Any conflict between MYB rules and NFHS (high school) rules will be governed by the MYB rules.
A.     Starting Time.  Each game will be begin no later than 5 minutes past the time scheduled for the game to start (or if delayed by the previous game, within 5 minutes of the conclusion of the previous game).  It is up to the referee to determine the official starting time for each game.  If one or both teams have failed to show up with a minimum of four players (three players for 4th grade leagues) within five minutes of the designated official starting time for the game, the League assigned referee shall rule the game a forfeit.
B.     Time of Regular Quarters.  Quarters will be timed with a stopped clock.  The duration of each quarter will be:
                           Grade 4 Boys and Girls                                          6 minutes
                           Grades 5-8 Boys and Girls                                     7 minutes
                           Grades 9-12 Boys and Girls                                   8 minutes
C.     Time Outs
.  All MYB teams may take up to three (3) time outs per game and each time out will be one minute.  Time outs may be called by any player on the floor (in the game) or by the Head Coach on the sideline.
         For Grades 4-5 Girls and Boys, in the last two (2) minutes of the game, any timeout called by the team leading the game will be inbounded in the frontcourt, out of bounds at the foul line extended and must be inbounded into the front court.
D.     Time Between Quarters.  There will be a one minute break between quarters.
E.     Half Time.  Half time will be three (3) minutes for all age groups.
F.      Two Minute Warning.  The official timer will use his/her best efforts to notify each Coach when there are two minutes left in each half.
G.     Overtime.  If regular play ends in a tie:
1.   Overtime Period.  A one minute rest period will be allowed, followed by up to two three minute overtime periods with a stopped clock.  Overtime is considered an extension of the second half, teams shoot at the same basket, and the number of team fouls (to determine bonus or double bonus free throws) continue from the second half.

2.   Sudden Death.  If a tie still exists at the end of the second overtime, another one minute break will be allowed, followed by a sudden death overtime.  The first team to score a point (basket or free throw) wins the game.
3.   Time Outs.  One 30-second time out will be allowed for each team during any overtime period (including sudden death).  Unused time outs from regulation time or the prior overtime period do not carry over into overtime or sudden death.
H.     Appeals.  Game results are final.  This shall not preclude the later imposition of a forfeiture under the rules (e.g., minimum playing time, unapproved practices or players).
The primary goal of McLean Youth Basketball is the fair participation and development of all the players in the program.  To that end, the most important rules developed by the League are those rules governing player participation.  These rules, however, are intended for the protection of those players that abide by the MYB Code of Conduct, attend team practices, show up on time and are available for the entire game.  The most severe infraction of MYB rules and coach can commit is the intentional manipulation of these rules to limit the participation of any player on his or her team.  Coaches are expected to abide by the letter of the rule, as outlined below, but more importantly, they are expected to abide by the spirit of the rule which requires them to treat all players equally and to balance, as much as possible within the limits of a competitive game, the participation of all the players on the team.

There are specific minimum and maximum playing time rules for leagues playing 4 v 4 basketball (grades 4 boys and girls leagues).  Please check the website for a copy of these rules.  The following explanation of the minimum and maximum playing time rules is for those leagues playing 5 v 5 basketball (grades 5 through 12 boys and girls leagues).
A.  Minimum Playing Time.  For every team, each player must play a minimum of two unbroken, but not necessarily consecutive quarters.  An unbroken quarter is one in which a player starts the quarter and is not substituted for throughout the quarter.  Two “half” quarters do not equal one unbroken quarter. 

The minimum playing time rule does not apply to any player who shows up late, after the tip-off of the game, leaves any time prior to the end of the game, or is disqualified during the game (five fouls or ejection by the referee).  Players that need to leave the game early should alert their head coach prior to the start of the game and the head coach should then alert the referees and the head coach of the other team 


Exceptions to the minimum playing time rule are:
1.   Player Injury or Disqualification.  If the player is removed from the game by injury, verified by the referee, or the player is disqualified from the game (five fouls or ejection by the referee), no minimum playing time applies to that player.  In the case of an injury, the referee shall notify the opposing Coach of the player’s injury before play is resumed.  NOTE:  if removed for a minor injury and reinserted within the same period as soon as the player is capable of playing, the player will be considered to have played an unbroken quarter (see also Rule VIII-D below).



2.   Late Arrival or Early Departure.  If a player arrives anytime after the start of the game or leaves prior to the conclusion of the game, the minimum playing time rule no longer applies to that player.  However, if that player is available for at least two full quarters, then the coach is obligated to play that player for at least one full quarter.
3.   Failure to Participate in Practice.  If a player consistently fails to attend team practices and the Coach needs to invoke discipline under this rule, no minimum playing time applies to that player, provided the Coach notifies the AGC (or Division Coordinator), who will then notify the Program Chairman and the Chief Commissioner, and obtains clearance, in writing, from the Program Chairman or Chief Commissioner to invoke this rule at least one day prior to day of the game.  The AGC must also notify the opposing Coach and the referee coordinator prior to the start of the game.  The Coach should also make a note in the scorebook indicating this rule has been invoked.  
4.   Teams With 6 Players.  If a team has only six players, then each player must play three unbroken quarters.  If a seventh player shows up prior to the end of the first half, then the minimum playing time reverts back to two unbroken quarters for those players present at the start of the game.  (See Late Arrival above for playing time requirement of the player arriving late).
B.     Maximum Playing Time.   The maximum playing time rule applies to each team that has seven or more players at the start of the game.  The rule may apply to only one team if the other team has fewer than seven players show up prior to the start of the game.  The rule requires that every player on a team with seven or more players must sit out one unbroken quarter (maximum playing time of three full quarters for any one player).  The rule does not apply in the following situations:
i)       as a result of injury or disqualification, a team does not have five other players available.  The rule should never be interpreted to require a team to play with less than five players if they have a player(s) otherwise eligible to play available on the bench;
iii)     if a player is injured and must be substituted for, then the player brought into the game for the injured player is not subject to the maximum playing time restrictions, as indicated in Paragraph B above.  If the injury is minor and the player can return before the end of the quarter in which the injury occurred, the Coach must bring the injured player back into the game as soon as is reasonable, and the player substituted for him must come out.

C.     Substitutions.  Substitutions are allowed, at the discretion of the referee, at any time during a stop in play.  All substitutes must first report to the official scorer who will notify the referee at the next stoppage of play.  The player entering the game as a substitute and the player being substituted for receive no credit toward the two unbroken quarter playing requirement.
D.     Re-entry into Game After Injury.  An injured player who has recovered sufficiently to play and who has not satisfied the minimum playing time requirement shall come as close to meeting the minimum as remaining game time permits.  
E.     Penalty for Failure to Meet Minimum or Maximum Playing Time Enforcement and compliance with player participation rules is the sole responsibility of the Head Coach of each team.  Failure to comply with the above rules regarding player participation will result in forfeiture of the game.  The final decision of such forfeiture will be made by the Chief Commissioner within a reasonable time of an investigation of the facts.  A separate document dealing with Minimum and Maximum playing time requirements which discusses these rules in more detail is available on the website at myathletics.org.  It is strongly recommended that coaches download this document and read it thoroughly (also available in the Coach’s Handbook). 
V.     MYB RULE MODIFICATIONS.  As indicated earlier, all MYB games are governed by NFHS high school basketball rules except as expressly modified by MYB including, but not limited to, these special provisions (see League Rules at a Glance to see which Leagues each specific rule applies to):
 A.     Total Games Played.  The season will generally start in early December, and along with the playoffs and March Madness Weekend, will generally continue through early to mid-March.  MYB Basketball will schedule as many games as possible within that period taking into consideration the number of teams in the League and the availability of gym space.  Games will be played on both Saturday and Sunday.  
All games played are official games and shall count for the regular season championship and seeding for the end of season tournament.  Regular season schedules will be completed by the MYB Director of Scheduling based on team lists supplied by the AGCs and may not be altered.
B.     Ball Size.  Junior sized balls will be used for Development and the Grade 4 Girls League.  The Grade 4 Boys, Grade 5 Boys and Grade 6 Boys Leagues and all other Girls Leagues will use the ball size #285 or Intermediate ball.  All other Leagues will use the standard size basketball.  Before play begins, the referee shall designate the game ball.
C.     Free Throw Distance.  For Boys and Girls Grades 4 and 5, the free throw line shall be set at twelve (12) feet, three (3) feet shorter than the standard free throw line.  If the line is not marked with tape on the floor, then the referee shall take one pace forward of the free throw line and indicate that is where the player should take his/her free throws from.  Referees should be lenient, within reason, in calling line violations against the shooter if there is no visible line.  For all other Leagues the Free Throw Distance will be the traditional 15-foot line.


D.     Players on Free Throw Line.  For all Leagues, no more than six (6) players, including no more than four (4) defensive players and no more than two (2) offensive players (in addition to the shooter), may line-up along the lane to rebound a missed free-throw.  Neither team can add additional players even if the other team declines to use all of its allotted positions.



  E.   Backcourt Pressing.  Backcourt defense is not permitted in the boys and girls 4th and 5th grade leagues.  The following specific restrictions apply for these leagues: 

  1. On any dead ball situation in the backcourt (e.g., any in-bounds play after a turnover, basket, or made free throw), the throw-in is uncontested in the backcourt and the defensive team must fall back beyond the half court line.
  2. Once the defensive team has gained possession in its backcourt in a live ball situation (rebound, steal, or loose ball possession), the other team must stop contesting the ball and fall back beyond the half court line.
  3. Defensive players may not reach from the frontcourt into the backcourt and make contact with the ball or player from the opposing team (same restriction governing throw-in plays).
  4. Defensive players cannot “hang out” along the half court line and obstruct the movement of the ball into the frontcourt.  Only the defensive player assigned to the plyer bringing the ball into the front court may contest the player at the half-court line.


  F.   Zone Defense.  For the boys and girls 4th and 5th grade leagues, all teams must play man-to-man defense.  In all other leagues, coaches may play any defense in accordance with NFHS rules.  Where required, man-to-man defense is defined as:


  1. All defensive players must be within six feet of an offensive player (the same standard as closely guarded).  Defensive players are not necessarily required to stay precisely within six feet of the same offensive player since switching man-to-man defense is permitted and encouraged.  This rule is intended to permit defense to “sag off” their offensive player when he/she does not have the ball or pose a significant offensive threat so that they are in a position to provide “help defense” as necessary.
  2. The defensive team may not double-team any player.  While learning to double-team is an important part of defense, it makes it very difficult to learn the necessary offensive skills when multiple defensive players guard the ball handler.  Defensive players are encouraged to sag off their player and/or switch players when the ball handler “beats” his/her defensive player, but at no time should two defensive players cover one offensive player.
  3. The defense is not required to guard any offensive player above the top of the foul line semi-circle.  This is to prohibit offensive coaches from running a four corners offense and using one or two players to run their offense down the center of the court.  If an offensive player goes and stays beyond the semi-circle above the foul line, then the defense player is not obligated to guard that player and may drop back below the top of the circle.


G.   Clear-out Offense.  One of the primary goals of MYB basketball is involvement of all team players in all aspects of the game.  For the boys and girls 4th and 5th grade leagues, a clear-out offensive is prohibited.



  1. A clear-out offensive is defined as an offense in which a single player handles the ball isolated on one side of the court while the remaining teammates are on the other side of the court.




  1. A team may still be in violation of the clear-out offense prohibition even if they are in technical compliance if, in the opinion of the referee, the team is violating the intent of the rule.  In particular, referees should watch for offensive teams spreading the court such that only one or two players run their offense down the center of the court.  This does not mean that the spread offense cannot be used, only that coaches cannot use it as a way to run a modified clear-out offense.  It is solely at the discretion of the referee to determine when such an offense is being used too much

To be clear, spreading the offense is perfectly fine when it encourages the participation of all of the players on the team and spreads out the offensive players to make it easier to pass the ball and create offensive opportunities.



H.   Penalties.  Referees must first give a team a warning for the first violation of each of the above prohibitions: backcourt pressing, zone defense (which includes double-teaming), and clear-out offense.  A subsequent violation after a warning will result in a technical foul against the team (also counts as an indirect technical foul on the coach) with the other team shooting two free throws and gaining possession of the ball at half court.



A.     Uniform Alterations are Prohibited.  No player or team may alter their uniform jersey in any way.  Players may not were jewelry of any kind, including rings, watches, bracelets and earrings with the exception of stud earrings covered by tape or a bandage.  Hard casts are not permitted, no matter what material is used to cover them.
Alterations include, but are not limited to, cutting, intentional tearing or shortening the jersey, adding individual or team names or nicknames, altering numbers on the jersey, and drawing or adding any substance or material to the jersey.  Any player(s) arriving at the game with an altered jersey will not be permitted to play unless an acceptable team jersey is made available.

Coaches are given extra shirts at the beginning of the season and should bring them to games in case a player alters his shirt and needs another team jersey to play in the game.  If no additional team jersey is available, a player may participate in a solid t-shirt in a color closely matching the team color.
B.     Player Suspension.  With the exception of the minimum playing time provisions, Coaches will not drop or suspend any player from participation in any of the team’s games or practices without the action first being approved by the AGC in addition to the Program Chairman and/or Chief Commissioner.
C.     Minimum Players.  For Grades 5 through 12, a minimum of four (4) players is required for a team to be eligible to commence play.  Once a game has started, the game will be stopped as soon as either team has fewer than four players available for play.  At that time, the game will be ruled a forfeit with the team having fewer than four players losing the game, irrespective of which team is leading at the time the game is stopped.  



         If one team has only four players available, this does not affect the number of players that may participate for the other team, A team with five or more players must play five players against a team with only four players.  A coach may not agree to play with fewer than five players if his team has at least five players eligible to play.


            For Grade 4 Boys and Girls Leagues playing 4 v 4 basketball, a minimum of three players is required by each team to commence play.  Games will be stopped if either team has fewer than 3 players available to play.  At the time, the game will be ruled a forfeit with the team having fewer than three players losing the game, irrespective of which team is leading at the time the game is stopped.


         If one team has only three players available, this does not effect the number of players that may participate for the other team, A team with four or more players must play four  players against a team with only three players.  A coach may not agree to play with fewer than four players if his or her team has at least four players eligible to play.


D.     Three-Point Baskets.  The three-point shooting line will be utilized by all Boys and Girls Leagues Grade 7 and above.  If, for some reason, leagues authorized to utilize the three point shot are scheduled to play in a gym without a three-point line, then, for that game, there will be no three-point shots allowed.  MYB will make every effort to schedule leagues, when appropriate, in gyms with a three-point line.


VII.      END OF SEASON TOURNAMENT.  All Divisions (within each League) in MYB Basketball, with the exception of the Boys and Girls Grades 1 & 2 Developmental Program, will have a tournament at the end of the regular season (ending in March Madness Championship Weekend).  The MYB Director of Scheduling, based on standings supplied by the AGCs, will distribute all schedules for the end of season tournament.


A.  Type of Tournament.  Each Division, where time and gym space permit, will conduct a modified double elimination tournament (teams that lose a game can still compete in the consolation bracket and play into the third place game held on March Madness Weekend).

 B.  Seeding for the Tournament.  Seeding for the tournament will be in accordance with win/loss standings as determined by regular season records, including the official results of all scheduled games.  Ties will be broken by comparison of head-to-head competition.  Remaining ties will be broken by a coin toss.
C.  Tournament Brackets.  
1.   Six Team Divisions.  The top two seeds are given byes into the semi-finals.  The first round involves #4 vs. #5 and #3 vs. #6 seeds.  The winners of the first round play the top two seeds in the semi-finals.  The winners of the semi-finals play for the championship.  The losers of the semi-finals play the losers of the first round with the highest seed playing the lowest seed (with the exception that match-ups should be different from the first round of the tournament).  The winners of these two games play in the third place game.
2.   Eight Team Divisions.  All eight teams play in the first round with #1 vs. #8, #4 vs. #5, #3 vs. #6, and #2 vs. #7.  The four winners play in the semi-finals with the winners of the semi-finals playing in the championship game.  The four losers in the first round play each other with the two winners playing the losers of the semi-finals for berths in the third place game on championship weekend.
3.   Ten Team Divisions.  The lowest four seeds participate in “play-in games” with #10 vs. #7 and #8 vs. #9.  The winners of the play-in games advance with the other six teams and the remainder of the bracket is played like the eight team Divisions.  If time or space is not available (since ten-team Divisions must play at least nine games to complete a full round-robin within the Division), then ten team Divisions may be scheduled for a single elimination tournament.
4.   Twelve and Sixteen Team Divisions.  Twelve and sixteen team Divisions, at the discretion of the AGC, can be divided into two sub-divisions with two champions (tournaments would then run like the six and eight team Divisions) or treated as a single Division with one champion.  If the single Division format is used then, time and space permitting, the bracket will include as much of the double elimination features as is reasonable.


VIII.     REVISION OF THESE RULES AND GUIDELINES.  The rules and regulations for MYB Intramural Basketball may be revised by the following methods:
A.     Rules Committee.  The Board may, at its discretion, vote to form a Rules Committee.  The Rules Committee shall consist of at least three members appointed by the Chairman and approved by the Board.  The Rules Committee shall make such revisions to the rules as it believes necessary subject to review and approval by the Board.
B.     Board Vote.  Other then when suggested by the Rules Committee, the Board may revise these rules and regulations by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the members present at any Board meeting.