3-on-3 League – Rules / Officiating Guidelines

Summer 3-on-3 League – Rules / Officiating Guidelines

Basic Rules

  • 3-on-3 ‘Full-court’ played in the half court. 
  • Approximate 45-50 min. games. (25 min. halves are ideal) Substitutions made for equal time and competitive balance. 
  • Approximately 8.5-9.5 foot baskets (adjust for age/ability). 
  • 27.5 or 28.5 ball for better ball-handling and greater range on their shooting with good form.
  • Man-to-man defense. Match kids up with player of similar age/ability.
  • Ball must be allowed in-bounds, but after that, defense is allowed to play all over the court. (Not always applicable for older group – Grades 3-4).
  • Steals and blocks encouraged. 
  • 1 Free Throw for 2 points on shooting fouls or ball out-of-bounds depending on flow of play.
  • Grades 1-2, there will be more traveling. Only call the most blatant or call it on the kids who understand. During the first few weeks, give the ball back to the same team for learning purposes. As the week’s go by, call more and more traveling. 
  • Grades 3-4, emphasize traveling more often. But also be aware that there are some beginners who may need more room to learn. Balance the need to learn with the desire to keep playing (which is what the kids really want!)

Officiating Points

  • Biggest goals – minimize physicality and keep the game moving. These two things should guide the entire game. 
  • Minimizing physicality is super, super important for the young age group. You have to show you are in charge and you want the game to be free-flowing. It can easily descend into chaos. 
  • For the younger ages, the ball must be allowed inbounds. For older players, the coaches can decide, but typically it’s not an issue (only if there is one superior team). 
  • You don’t need to check the ball in each time for inbounds plays. If the players are ready, just give them the go. Let them get used to this, because they will want to pass it to you by habit. 
  • You are the authority. This is very important. Be the authority in the game. Make sure the kids know you are in charge and they need to play according to your standards. This is especially important when you have older kids who can tend to get more physical. 
  • If the game gets too physical, talk to the coaches first. Or call a timeout and explain to the players you want them to keep playing, not to hear you talking. 
  • Start each half with a jump ball, just because the kids like it! 
  • More than anything, do all you can to help your players have fun!

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