Basketball Rules (3rd - 4th Grade)


3rd GRADE

Games are played according to the National Federation of State High School Associations Basketball Rules Book (NFHS). Below are modifications and clarifications adopted by KIDSPORTS for teams in the 3rd grade.


Baskets: 8'6"
Balls: Junior Size
Free Throw Line: 9'


Free Throw Lane: Rebound positions are moved out one lane space to compensate for portable standards when needed.

TIMING REGULATIONS AND SUBSTITUTION RULES

The game is divided into eight periods. Each period is 5 minutes, running clock. The clock is stopped for timeouts. The clock shall also be stopped while players are lining up for free throw attempts and restarted when the ball is handed to the shooter. If there is a difference of 10 points or less in the score with 2 minutes left in the final period, regulation timing (stop clock) will be used for the remainder of the game. Overtime periods are 2 minutes with a stop clock.


Each team is allowed 3 timeouts per game, plus 1 for each overtime period.


Each team must furnish a line-up card to the KIDSPORTS referee prior to game time. LINE-UP CARDS SHOULD BE FILLED OUT COMPLETELY TO REFLECT THE PERIODS EACH PLAYER IS PROJECTED TO PLAY.


Teams with 9 or fewer players at the game: Each player who starts a period shall play that full period (no substitutions allowed). Each eligible player who did not play the previous period shall play the next period. Each player on a team with 7 or more players at a game must sit out at least two 5-minute periods. Each player on a team with 6 players at a game must sit out at least one 5-minute period.


Teams with 10 players at the game: Each player who starts a period shall play that full period (no substitution allowed). The 5 players who did not play the previous period shall play the next period. At HALF TIME, the coach may re-arrange his or her players so that they have the opportunity to play with a different combination of teammates. As in the first half, all 5 players who did not play in the previous period shall play in the next period.


Teams with 11 or more players at the game: Each player who starts a period shall play that full period (no substitution allowed). Five players who did not play the previous period shall play the next period. Each eligible player must play at least 3 full periods and must never sit out more than two consecutive periods.

(Note: KIDSPORTS substitution rules will not force a team to play with less than 5 players when there are 5 or more players available and eligible.)


EXCEPTIONS TO ALL SUBSTITUTION RULES: When a player must leave the game due to illness or injury, he/she may be substituted for. If the ill or injured player can return to the game, he/she should re-enter the game at the next dead ball opportunity and play their remaining specified periods. A substitute who plays a portion of a period for an injured, ill, or disqualified player will not have to change any of their specified playing periods. However, any player who substitutes an entire period for an ill, injured, or disqualified player must sit out the minimum number of periods as required by their team size.

In overtime, the coach may elect to play any player who has not been disqualified from the game. However, once the overtime lineup is set, no substitution is allowed during the period except for injured or disqualified players.

Penalty for illegal substitution:
Correction of the substitution violation will be the first remedy for any violation.*** Repeat or flagrant violations will result in a technical foul to the coach who then must address the situation. .  If not addressed, the coach could receive disciplinary sanctions from league officials.



GENERAL RULES: 3RD GRADE

Three point shots will be allowed where courts are marked.


Head Coach can stand to communicate with players.
If a coach receives a technical foul, they must remain seated for the rest of the game.

All officials' decisions are final and protests are not recognized. Players must wear uniforms as issued.

Absolutely no jewelry or hard hair accessories allowed.

 

MERCY RULE

If at any point during the game the scoring margin between the teams exceeds 30 points, the running score will no longer be shown on the scoreboard. 
The game will continue with normal timing and scoring rules without the score being displayed.

In this situation, it is expected that the coaches do everything possible to keep the game a positive learning experience for ALL players.
Contact KIDSPORTS staff if you need assistance with ideas and ways of coaching to keep a game productive for ALL kids learning valuable lessons during these formative games.



STARTING THE GAME AND SUBSEQUENT POSSESSIONS

Jump ball to start the game and any overtime periods. Subsequent periods: team will receive the ball based on the possession arrow. Ball will be in-bounded in the backcourt to begin periods.


BACK-COURT GUARDING RESTRICTIONS

No backcourt guarding is allowed on any pass being in bounded from backcourt into the backcourt area or at any time a team has gained definite possession in backcourt. Once possession is gained, defensive players may not hinder the offensive team in any way, even by accident. Even if possession is lost and the ball becomes loose, the defensive team cannot interfere or take possession until it crosses mid-court.

A pass from backcourt to front-court cannot be intercepted until the ball crosses the mid-court line. When the ball is being dribbled from back-court into front-court, the dribbler may not be guarded within 6 feet of the mid-court line until both of the dribbler's feet and the ball are in front-court.

An inbound pass from front-court or mid-court may not be defended in backcourt.

Occasional inadvertent violations of the backcourt guarding rule shall be whistled and warned, allowing the possessing team to inbound from back-court.
Flagrant and persistent intentional violations must be addressed by the coach.  If not addressed, the coach could receive disciplinary sanctions from league officials.

HALF COURT DEFENSIVE RULES

Once the ball is advanced into front court, only one-on-one defensive positions may be established until the offensive team establishes possession below the top of the key (semi-circle) extended.

Once this is established, if the player guarding the ball is beat and his/her opponent is going to the basket unguarded, one help defender – closest to the ball/or weak side defender – can look to help out and stop the ball. 

The help side defender should not leave their assigned offensive player to double team the ball; only to help a teammate that has been beaten in a one on one situation.  The goal is to try and teach the concept of help –side defense not double teaming or bunch ball as the offense looks to attack the basket.


ZONE DEFENSE

Zone defenses are not allowed. No player may guard an area of the court instead of an opponent. A defensive player may not be in the 3-second key for longer than 3 seconds if it is apparent that the player is not guarding an offensive player.


Basic defensive moves such as switching, sliding through, and helping off on the weak side are permissible; double teaming is not.

Defensive players should be in help side/off ball defense positioning when offensive players are not in the scoring area.

Flagrant and persistent violation of these rules will result in a warning from officials and the violations must be addressed and corrected by the coach.  If not addressed, the coach could receive disciplinary sanctions from league officials.

Note: It is not intended that offenses be designed to bring one player with the ball down the court on one side and put four "decoy" players on the other sideline in order to take advantage of this rule. This does not teach kids basketball.



4th GRADE


Games are played according to the National Federation of State High School Associations Basketball Rules Book (NFHS). Below are modifications and clarifications adopted by KIDSPORTS for teams in the 4 th grade.

Baskets: 8'6"
Balls: Junior size
Free Throw Line: 9'


TIMING REGULATIONS AND SUBSTITUTION RULES

The game is divided into 4 quarters. Each quarter is 10 minutes, running clock. The clock is stopped for timeouts. The clock shall also be stopped while players are lining up for free throw attempts and restarted when the ball is handed to the shooter. If there is a difference of 10 points or less in the score with 2 minutes left in the final period, regulation timing (stop clock) will be used for the remainder of the game. Overtime periods are 2 minutes with a stop clock.

Each team is allowed 3 timeouts per game, plus 1 for each overtime period.

Each team must furnish a line-up card to the KIDSPORTS referee prior to game time.

All eligible players must play at least 20 minutes per game with an entry in both the 1 st and 2 nd half.


A major goal of KIDSPORTS is to maximize the participation of every player, not just the most skilled. Substitution Rules are an attempt to promote participation and still allow coaches some latitude in substitution.


EXCEPTIONS TO ALL SUBSTITUTION RULES: When a player must leave the game due to illness or injury every effort should be made for the player to receive their 20 minutes of playing time if they are able to return to the game.

Penalty for illegal substitution: Correction of the substitution violation will be the first remedy for any violation.
Repeat or flagrant violations will result in a technical foul to the coach who then must address the situation. .  If not addressed, the coach could receive disciplinary sanctions from league officials.

Regular playing time requirements do not apply to overtime. The coach is allowed free substitution of any player who has not been disqualified from the game.


GENERAL RULES: 4th GRADE

Three point shots will be allowed where courts are marked.


Head Coach can stand to communicate with players.
If a coach receives a technical foul, they must remain seated for the rest of the game.

All officials' decisions are final and protests are not recognized. Players must wear uniforms as issued.

Absolutely no jewelry or hard hair accessories allowed.


 

MERCY RULE

If at any point during the game the scoring margin between the teams exceeds 30 points, the running score will no longer be shown on the scoreboard. 
The game will continue with normal timing and scoring rules without the score being displayed.

In this situation, it is expected that the coaches do everything possible to keep the game a positive learning experience for ALL players.
Contact KIDSPORTS staff if you need assistance with ideas and ways of coaching to keep a game productive for ALL kids learning valuable lessons during these formative games.


STARTING THE GAME AND SUBSEQUENT POSSESSIONS

Jump ball to start the game and any overtime periods. Subsequent periods: team will receive the ball based on the possession arrow. Ball will be in-bounded in the backcourt to begin periods.


BACK-COURT GUARDING RESTRICTIONS

No backcourt guarding is allowed on any pass being in bounded from backcourt into the backcourt area or at any time a team has gained definite possession in backcourt. Once possession is gained, defensive players may not hinder the offensive team in any way, even by accident. Even if possession is lost and the ball becomes loose, the defensive team cannot interfere or take possession until it crosses mid-court.

A pass from backcourt to front-court cannot be intercepted until the ball crosses the mid-court line.
When the ball is being dribbled from back-court into front-court, the dribbler may not be guarded within 6 feet of the mid-court line until both of the dribbler's feet and the ball are in front-court.

An inbound pass from front-court or mid-court may not be defended in backcourt.

Occasional inadvertent violations of the backcourt guarding rule shall be whistled and warned, allowing the possessing team to inbound from backcourt.
Flagrant and persistent intentional violations must be addressed by the coach – if not addressed, the coach will receive sanctions from league officials. The defensive team is not allowed to call a timeout immediately following a backcourt guarding violation.


HALF COURT DEFENSIVE RULES

Once the ball is advanced into front court, only one-on-one defensive position may be established until the offensive team establishes possession below the top of the key (semi-circle) extended.

Once this is established, if the player guarding the ball is beat and his/her opponent is going to the basket unguarded, one help defender – closest to the ball/or weak side defender – can look to help out and stop the ball. 

Flagrant and persistent intentional violations must be addressed by the coach – if not addressed, the coach will receive sanctions from league officials.


ZONE DEFENSE

Zone defenses are not allowed. No player may guard an area of the court instead of an opponent. A defensive player may not be in the 3-second key for longer than 3 seconds if it is apparent that the player is not guarding an offensive player.

Basic defensive moves such as switching, sliding through, and helping off on the weak side are permissible; double teaming is not.

Defensive players should be in help side/off ball defense positioning when offensive players are not in the scoring area.

Flagrant and persistent violation of these rules will provoke a warning from officials and the violations must be addressed and corrected by the coach.  If not addressed, the coach could receive disciplinary sanctions from league officials.

Note: It is not intended that offenses be designed to bring one player with the ball down the court on one side and put four "decoy" players on the other sideline in order to take advantage of this rule. This does not teach kids basketball.