4-on-4 / 5-on-5 League – Rules / Officiating Guide


  • 12 Minute Quarters, running clock.
  • 1-2 Quarters 4-on-4 / 2-3 Quarters 5-on-5 with 24 sec. shot-clock (breakdown can be decided on by the coaches before and/or during the game and depending upon number of players on each team. For example, if each team only has 6 one night, they are encouraged to play 4-on-4)
  • Man-to-man must be played most of the game, but is allowed for short periods of time. But please do not play zone for extensive periods of time. It severely limits the learning opportunities we are looking for.
  • Score is optional for all quarters. Reset the score after each quarter unless coaches want to continue to play with the same score for an entire half. Again, can be decided on by the teams.
  • Pressing allowed and even encouraged.
  • All shooting fouls are 1 shot for 2 points (shoot them efficiently to keep the game moving)
  • Substitute as you wish, but do your best for relatively equal time and competitive balance.
  • Ball out of bounds can be inbounded immediately once referee declares possession, but don’t take advantage of it in a nonsensical way.
    • Be patient with underneath inbounds, but keep things moving.
  • Minimize physicality as best you can.
    • If play is too physical, we will impose a 3 foul limit for each player each quarter.
  • More than anything, keep play active and moving along.
  • 29.5 ball for boys, 28.5 for girls.

Officiating Points

  • Biggest goals – minimize physicality and keep the game moving. These two things should guide the entire game. 
  • 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. 
  • If the physicality is too much, implement the 2 foul rule. 2nd foul and you have to sit the rest of the quarter. 
  • Before the game, make sure you have a scorekeeper for the scoreboard/shot-clock. Give a tutorial if necessary. 
  • More than anything, do all you can to help your players have fun!

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