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Bay State Youth Basketball League (BSYBL)

Game Rules


General Rules



  • Game balls shall be leather or synthetic leather

  • Game balls shall measure 28.5 inches in circumference (standard women’s basketball)


Length of Games

  • Games shall consist of two 16-minute halves

  • Stop time shall be used for the official game clock (i.e. clock stops on all whistles by referees)

  • Halftime shall be 5 minutes in duration



  • Each team shall be allowed 3 full timeouts per game

  • Each timeout shall be 1 minute in duration



  • Overtime periods shall be 3 minutes in duration

  • Each team shall be provided 1 timeout per overtime

  • Timeouts from regulation shall not carry over into overtime



  • Personal Fouls

    • 1 and 1 free throws (bonus) shall be awarded on the 10th, 11th, and 12th fouls of each half

    • 2 free throws (double bonus) shall be awarded on the 13th and succeeding fouls of each half

    • Second half fouls shall carry over into overtime periods and count towards the awarding of bonus and double bonus free throws

    • Fouls on missed 3-point attempts shall be awarded 3 free throws


  • Technical Fouls

    • Technical fouls committed by players shall be counted as personal fouls and team fouls

    • Any coach who receives a technical foul shall be required to remain seated on the team bench for the remainder of the game


  • Ejections

    • Coaches shall be ejected from the game should they receive any of the following:

      • 2 direct technical fouls

      • 2 indirect technical fouls and 1 direct technical foul

      • 3 indirect technical fouls

    • Any player or coach who is ejected from a game shall not participate in the next league game


Free Throw Attempts

  • Players shall be allowed to take 1 step inside the foul line (approximately 3 feet as determined by the referee) when attempting free throws

  • As with regulation free throws, shooters shall not step towards the basket after a free throw until the ball has hit the rim

  • Following a missed free throw attempt, the shooter shall not be allowed to be the first player to secure control of the ball, even if it was tapped/touched by another player first

  • Shooters shall not be allowed to intentionally miss a free throw attempt in order to tip it to a teammate – referees shall have full authority to determine intent at their discretion

  • Shooters electing to shoot from behind the foul line shall follow standard free throw shooting rules


Full Court Pressing

  • There shall be no full court pressing allowed other than during the following time frames:

    • The last 2 minutes of the 1st half

    • The last 4 minutes of the 2nd half

    • All overtime periods

  • There shall be no full court pressing by any team leading by 20 points or more

  • Only man-to-man presses shall be allowed - all zone presses are prohibited


Use of Zones (Offense & Defense)

  • No zone defenses shall be allowed

  • In the frontcourt between the 3 point arc and the timeline, help defense, trapping, and double teaming shall not be allowed

  • Inside the 3 point arc, but outside the key, help defense shall be allowed, but not to the point of trapping or double teaming one player

  • Inside the key, help defense, trapping, and double teaming shall be allowed

  • Offenses shall not be allowed to run “isolation plays” (i.e. send 4 players to remote areas of the frontcourt in order to allow their 5th player to go one-on-one against a defender without the risk of encountering help defense)

  • The first violation of these rules during a game shall result in a warning being given by the referees to the coach of the offending team

  • Second and subsequent violations of these rules during the same game shall result in an indirect technical foul being assessed to the coach of the offending team

  • Game officials shall have full responsibility and authority in determining any violations of the above rules

  • Any issues or concerns regarding the above rules shall be addressed by Town Administrators directly to the League Commissioner - NOT by coaches directly to the referees while a game is being played


Rationale for Zone Rules

  • The general intent of these rules is to avoid teams “packing it in”, thereby forcing teams to beat them with outside shooting, quick passing, etc.

  • Players at this level generally do not have the offensive skills to ‘break’ a zone defense successfully, thus creating an unfair advantage for any team choosing to utilize one

  • Given the above, allowing zone defenses would likely discourage teams from playing man-to-man defense, thus preventing players from learning and practicing this critical fundamental skill

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