3-on-3 Rules & Coaching Points (Grades 1-4)

Summer 3-on-3 League – Rules / Coaching Points

Basic Rules

  • 3-on-3 ‘Full-court’ played in the half court. 
  • Approximate 45-50 min. games. 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 (shoot a minimum of FTs is a simple goal).

Coaching Points

  • Don’t over-instruct! The best coaches at any level know that the most effective instruction is given when the players are out of the game. We want to hear minimal to no instruction during the course of a game. Let the kids play and make mistakes. After all, mistakes are essential to the learning process. Not only that, but you will be surprised how much they learn on their own or by listening to their own teammates. 
  • We don’t keep score. Just let them play. They don’t really care, so neither should we.
  • Encourage your kids to try new skills, even if they miss. 
  • Encourage passing to the open man (especially when out of the game). But keep in mind that they are still young and that it takes a great deal of play to actually recognize open teammates. Be very patient with them in this respect. 
  • It may sound odd, but dribbling is more important to their development than passing at this point. So although you do not want to encourage one player to overly dominate the ball, you do want to encourage dribbling. Do your best to do both. 
  • If kids really are unresponsive and refuse to listen, please let one of the leaders know.
  • Match up kids against players of similar basketball ability.
  • We want our young referees to limit physicality while also limiting the amount of whistles. This is difficult, so please help them by emphasizing limiting physicality with your kids. And let us know immediately if the game is getting too physical. We can put rules in place to limit the fouling, but prefer not to and typically do not have to.
  • Most of all, do all you can to help your kids have fun! 

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