League & Tournament Rules
USA 3x3 Philosophy
Our 3x3 basketball tournaments embody a philosophy that aims to strike a balance between healthy competition and providing an enjoyable platform for kids to have fun and improve their skills in a relaxed environment. We believe that basketball should be a source of joy and excitement for young athletes. While the tournaments offer opportunities for friendly rivalry and development, our primary focus is ensuring that kids have a great time while learning the game. We place significant emphasis on sportsmanship, encouraging fair play, respect, and positive interactions among players, coaches, officials, and spectators.
In our games, we'll play until one team gets to 21 points. The game will have a running clock for 25 minutes, except for the last minute of the game when we'll stop the clock. If nobody reaches 21 points, the team with the most points wins. To win, a team just needs to be ahead by one point. We will be playing by 1’s and 2’s rather than 2’s and 3’s. The “Make-it-Take-it” rule will not be in effect.
Length of Game:
(If a score of 21 is achieved within 25 minutes)
The 25-minute clock is paused during team time-outs and when the court official halts play due to a player injury or other extraordinary situations. If neither team has reached a score of 21 points, the court official will conclude the game after 25 minutes of play, and the team in the lead at that point will be declared the winner. In the event of a tie, both teams will select one shooter to participate in a sudden death round from the free-throw line.
Each team is required 1 scorekeeper. Coaches are not required, but 1 is allowed in for free They will be asked to track team fouls, manage the clock, and the score. Wristbands for scorekeepers will be available at the desk.
Number of Players:
A team can have up to 5 players, with a minimum requirement of 3 players. Only 3 players from each team are allowed on the court simultaneously. It is mandatory for all games to begin with a minimum of 3 players per team. The game can be completed with any number of players, ranging from 1 to 3. Additionally, 2 alternates are permitted. You can participate in only 1 team within your division, and if you wish to join multiple teams, you must be outside your division.
Coaches are allowed to sit on the bench, but aren’t required. Parents are encouraged to observe and let their children independently learn, develop, and comprehend the game on their own.
There will be one official on each court. Any disputes or questions on interpretation will be settled by the official on the court.
When fouled on a 1-point shot you will be rewarded with 1 free throw worth 1 point.
If fouled on a shot behind the 2-point line you get to shoot 1 free throw that is worth 2 points.
In an “And 1” situation you will shoot the free throw, if you make it, it is the opposing team's ball, if you miss it, it is live.
If there is a non-shooting foul, the ball will be checked up like normal behind the take-back line and the ball will stay with the offense.
After 10 fouls teams will be in the bonus. The bonus will be only 1 free throw, and the clock will not stop unless it is under the 1-minute mark.
Take Back Line/Check Line:
The “Take Back” line is the 3 point arc, so anywhere behind that will be good.
On every change of possession, regardless of shot attempts, the ball must be "taken back" to avoid loss of possession and nullification of any recently scored points. Even if there is an “air-ball” you will need to take the ball back. "Taking it back" entails bringing both feet behind the check line (2-point line). When a team rebounds and intends to take back the ball, stealing is permitted. However, if a steal occurs, the ball must still be taken back before attempting a field goal.
If you make a basket from behind the take back line (3 Point Arc) it will be counted as a 2 pointer. The players must have both feet behind the line when shooting for it to count as a 2 pointer.
If the game is tied after 25 minutes, and neither team has reached 21, the official will flip a coin to determine who gets possession. The first team to score TWO (2) points will win the game.
There will be a running clock up until the last 1 minute of the game. Under 1 minute the clock will be stopped at every whistle.
Each team is allowed one 1 - minute time out per game.
ALL jump-balls will go to the defense.
Substitutions are only allowed during time-outs and “dead ball” situations. Players will need to be vocal to get the referees attention.
The court official has the authority to halt the game to ensure the safety of an injured player. If a player is bleeding or has an open wound, they will be instructed to temporarily leave the game to receive proper bandaging for their injury. When a player's clothing or bandage becomes bloodstained, they must remove the stained or saturated material before being allowed to rejoin the game. The decision of the court official regarding these matters is final.
Change of Possession:
Possession of the ball will switch after successful field goals, jump balls, made free throws, and 2-point foul shots, except in cases of Technical, Intentional, or Flagrant fouls. The "make it, take it" rule will not be in effect.
Check Ball Definition:
During a check ball, the team preparing to start their offensive possession initially hands the ball to the defense, who then returns it. Once this exchange takes place, the ball becomes live. If there is a fumble during the check, it must be redone. Any attempts to manipulate the check will not be tolerated, and the referee holds the authority to order a re-check at any time.
Before the ball can be put into play, an opposing player must perform a "check" by making contact with the ball. The check-in action must take place behind the "2-point" line at the top of the key. After an out-of-bounds situation or when a basket is scored, the ball must be checked before play resumes. Once the check has occurred, players are free to dribble, pass, or shoot to initiate a possession. In the final minute of the game, the clock starts running as soon as the ball is checked back to the offensive team.
Teams are required to be prepared for the start of their game at the designated time. If a team is not present at their court when their scheduled game begins, a 5-minute grace period is granted before a forfeit is declared. In case of a forfeit, the score will be recorded as 21-0 in favor of the opposing team. Games are not allowed to commence earlier than 5 minutes before the scheduled time, following the "Grandparents rule." However, if a parent notifies the director about potential tardiness, exceptions may be made (the director's decision is final).
Both teams will warm up at the same time prior to the start of the game. A coin flip will determine who gets possession first. If there is an overtime then there will be another coin flip to determine who starts with the ball.
Free Throw Shooting Distance:
The distance for the free-throw line will be a standard 15 feet for all divisions. 3rd-4th grade can jump over the line, but NEED to start behind the line. 5th-11th grade must stay behind the line.
Each successful shot made inside the two-point line will be worth one point, while shots made from outside the two-point line will be worth two points. The first team to accumulate a total of 21 points will be declared the winner. The referee will be responsible for keeping track of time and maintaining a running score using the provided score sheet. Players are allowed to inquire about the score and time during the game. However, it is important to note that parents are not permitted to engage in any interactions with the officials.
Out of Bounds:
If a ball goes out-of-bounds the ball will be checked at the top of the key. There will be NO takeouts on the baseline. The half court line will be a boundary for both courts, and the remaining 3 other out of bounds lines will stay the same as a regular game.
Equipment & Apparel:
Players are prohibited from wearing any protective gear, such as guards, casts, hard braces, or similar equipment, that could potentially pose a risk to other players, on their elbow, hand, wrist, finger, or forearm. This includes items made of hard materials like leather, plastic, plaster, or metal, even if they are covered with soft padding. Soft braces, sleeves, and wraps are permissible unless they are deemed hazardous to other players. The game official reserves the authority to disallow any equipment or clothing that is deemed unsafe or dangerous.
An intermediate sized basketball (28.5) will be used for all female and boy’s grades 3rd-5th. All other games will be using a full-size basketball. (29.5)
All baskets will be set at a standard height of 10 feet.
Unsportsmanlike acts such as taunting, baiting, or engaging in derogatory remarks or gestures that incite or insult a player will result in a technical foul. Trash talk, which involves deeply personal, verbal attacks towards anyone involved in the event, is also considered unsportsmanlike. In severe cases, a player may face suspension from play for one week. Any player who aggressively makes contact with or assaults a court official, scorekeeper, or other league officials will be immediately ejected from the game and subsequently banned from participating in the league. As a consequence of a technical foul, one point will be awarded to the opposing team, and they will gain possession of the ball.
An intentional foul refers to a deliberate foul committed with the intention of nullifying an opponent's clear advantageous position. It is a foul that, as determined by the official's observation, does not constitute a legitimate effort to directly play the ball. Additionally, a foul may be deemed intentional if a player, while making a play for the ball, generates excessive contact, as observed by the official. When an intentional foul occurs, the offended team is awarded one point and gains possession of the ball.
Dunking will not be allowed at any time, including warm-ups. This will be looked at as unsportsmanlike conduct and will result in a technical foul. (Any equipment damaged from dunking will be charged to the player/team)
If there is a tie, to determine league standings, it will be broken down like this:
The designated tournament officials possess the authority to make rulings on any matters not explicitly addressed in these rules. They are also fully empowered to interpret the intentions and objectives of these rules. One Day Shootouts Staff and officials further retain the right to disqualify any player and/or team for violations of tournament policies.
Download:Official USA3x3 Rules (1).pdf