1st and 2nd-3rd Grade Rules

GHAA-MYSA-WPD 2nd-3rd Grade Basketball Rules GHAA 1st Grade Basketball Rules

Last Update: 11/3/2018

Game Length

Games will consist of 4 eight minute quarters. The clock will only stop on the referee whistles, extended delays & at the four minute mark of each quarter to allow for substitutions (Substitutions are not a time-out, get your players in & out). The team with possession of the ball at the four minute mark of each quarter will retain possession of the ball when play continues. If the end of a period comes during a shooting foul situation, the free throws will be attempted with the rebound determining possession. The start of each new quarter will be determined by the possession arrow. A five minute break will occur at the half of each game if actual time allows. Games without overtime should end at least 10 minutes before the top of the hour. Depending upon completion of previous game, warm up time may be minimal.

Play Clock

A continuous play clock will be used with the clock stopping for the following: injury, official’s time out, personal fouls, and time outs. On a non-shooting foul, the clock will resume when the ball is put into play. On a shooting foul, the clock will resume with rim contact of the first attempt (1 and 1) or second attempt (2 shots). Also, the clock will stop on all whistles during the last minute of each half.


2 time-outs are permitted per game. 1 additional time-out per team if game goes to overtime.

Rim Height

Rim height will be 8-foot for 1st grade and will be 9-foot for 2nd-3rd grade.

Ball Size

27.5 or 28.5 inch basketball will be used.

Team Shirts

Players must wear team shirts in order to play. Jersey numbers must be between 1-5 to enable referees to communicate easier with the scorer's table. For example: 1-5, 10-15, 20-25, 30-35, etc... If needed, penny shirts to be provided by host facility.


No watches or jewelry of any kind will be allowed on the court.

Wrist Bands

Since the primary goal of this league is to teach man to man defense, wrist bands must be worn on both wrists to enforce this policy. The host facility will provide a set of five different colored wrist bands (10 total wrist bands) for every game. Prior to the start of the game, coaches should meet to determine the color sequence based of ability & height. League officials and league representatives will monitor wrist band placement and will make changes if necessary. Because of the wrist band rule, open switching of any kind is not allowed.

# of Players

A team should have 5 players to start the game but may finish with less than 5 in the event of an ejection, foul outs, injuries, etc. In the event of one team playing with less then 5 players, coaches will decide if they want to match up with the same number of players for the remaining game.

Player Minutes

Because the intent of this program is one of instruction, an equal play rule will be enforced. No player can play more than 1 four minute period than any other player & a strong effort should be made by coaches to rotate all players through all the various playing positions. Every player must have an opportunity to be in a ball handling position. A warning will be giving to the coach if the same player(s) are in the ball handling positions. After the first warning, the team will lose possession of the ball every time after. Player substitutions (outside of the normal four minute mark of each quarter) are allowed only in the event of an injury, but this partial period does not count towards the replacement player’s total number of periods played. A player not present or ready to play at the start of the game must sit the remainder of the eight minute quarter they arrived in. Player may play in the following eight minute quarter provided that player is ready & is entered into the officials score book.

Possession Violations

Initially, possession changing violations (e.g. traveling, double-dribble, etc.) should not result in a possession change. The referees will blow the whistle, stopping play and communicate to the player the violation. The offensive team will get the ball back at half court. After 3-4 games, the coaches can agree to waive this and begin regular turnover rules with the agreement of the referee.

One Pass Rule

Upon obtaining possession of the ball, a team is required to complete one pass before attempting a shot (An inbound pass is considered a pass to satisfy this rule). A team in violation of the one pass rule will lose possession on a missed basket (with a defensive rebound). A team in violation of the one pass rule on a made basket will be awarded the ball back with the inbound taking place at center court.


Team scores may be displayed during each game, but win/loss standings will not be maintained.

3 Second Rule

Lane violations can be called after a minimum of 5 seconds. The referee will attempt to avoid calling this violation by encouraging the player to move out of the lane during play.


Double screens are not allowed on or off the ball. A defensive player must be allowed to work thru or around a screen set by the offensive player. A violation of this rule will result in the ball being awarded to the defensive team. Single, staggered screens are allowed.

Free Throws

Free throws will be shot from 2 feet in front of the regulation line. However, the shooter may not go after the rebound before it hits the rim. Standard IESA rules apply on entering the lane.


Defenders may not initiate Man-to-Man defense until the offensive player has crossed the "defensive line" (volleyball line). Defenders are required to fall back beyond the defensive line after a defensive rebound, made basket, or when the ball changes possession (possession is defined in this example as controlling the ball).

Man-to-Man Defense

Man-to-man defense will be strictly called. Double-teaming is only allowed when the offensive player in possession of the ball enters the lane. In Man-to-Man defense, a defensive player must be no more than two steps away from their offensive player when on the ball side of the court (Strong side). The exception to this rule is as follows: defensive players are not required to play defense outside the perimeter of the 3-point line but they must remain in the area adjacent to their offensive player until an offensive player with possession of the ball enters the lane or their offensive player moves inside the 3-point line on the ball side of the court (Strong side). After a team violation of guarding the wrong offensive player or "sagging" too far off their offensive player, play will be stop to explain what they did wrong & the offensive team will maintain possession of the ball at half court. No zone defenses of any kind are allowed.

Double Teaming

Double-teaming and guarding a player with a different colored wristband is only allowed when the offensive player controlling the ball is in the lane. After each team violation of double-teaming outside of the lane, play will be stopped & the offensive team will maintain possession of the ball at half court.


A defensive player is not allowed to steal the ball from the offensive player who is dribbling the ball. Stealing a pass is allowed.


Technical fouls can be assessed by the referees if needed. A technical foul will result in the ball being awarded to the opposing team at half court. A coach receiving a technical foul must remain in their chair on the bench the remainder of the game. A player receiving a technical foul must sit out the remaining time in the half. A coach or player receiving 2 technical fouls will be automatically removed from the game & will be subject to review. Any unsportsmanlike conduct by players, coaches, or spectators will result in that individual being removed from the current game; such conduct to be determined by the referees and facility supervisor. The first removal from a game for technical fouls or unsportsmanlike conduct by a player, coach, or spectator will result in a 2-game minimum suspension. A second violation will require the individual to a board review which could lead to the removal of the individual from the program with no refund of fees.

Referee Calls

All calls or decisions made by the referees during the course of the game are final. Disputes regarding rules interpretation will first be directed to the facility supervisor & then to the League Director. If needed, the League Director will consult with the Board President. Unless otherwise noted in this document, normal “IESA” rules regarding game play will apply.


The head coach & the assistance coach(s) will be allowed on the bench during a game. Coaches are allowed to stand at each end of the court to help coach their team. It is the responsibility of each coach to see that each team member present for the game is entered into the official book prior to the start of the game. It is the responsibility of each player to register with the official book prior to entering the game. The players must report to the scorer at the beginning of each period.

Youth Basketball Rules

Unless otherwise noted in this document, normal “IESA” rules regarding game play will apply.