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3v3 Basketball Rules


3v3 Basketball Rules


1 Teams

  • Each team shall consist of 5 players (3 players on the court and 2 substitutes)
  • Before the first game is played, each team’s roster is to be finalized with the league director.  Teams can play only with players listed on the roster.
  • Only the league director can authorize additions/subtractions from the team roster.

 2 Game Officials

The game officials shall consist of 1 referee or 1 referee and 1 time/score keeper.

 3 Beginning of the Game

3.1. Both teams shall warm-up simultaneously prior to the game.

3.2. A coin flip shall determine which team gets the first possession. The team that wins the coin flip can either choose to benefit from the ball possession at the beginning of the game or at the beginning of a potential overtime.

3.3. The game must start with two players on the court.

3.4. A team must have at least 2 players present to begin a game. At 5 minutes past game time, the referee can declare the game a Forfeit if at least 2 players are not present.

4 Scoring

4.1. Every shot inside the arc shall be awarded one point.

4.2. Every shot behind the arc shall be awarded 2 points.

4.3 Every successful free throw shall be awarded 1 point.

5 Playing time/Winner of a Game

5.1. The regular playing time shall be as follows: 20 minutes of total playing time. The clock will not stop

5.2. The first team to score 21 points or more wins the game if it happens before the end of regular playing time. This rule applies to regular playing time only (not in a potential overtime).

5.3. If the score is tied at the end of playing time, an extra 2 minute period of time will be played. There shall be an interval of 1 minute before overtime starts. The first team to score 2 points in overtime wins the game. If only 1 point is scored at the end of the two minute overtime period, the team scoring the goal will be the winner. If the scored is tied at the end of overtime, play will continue and the first team to score in sudden death will win.

5.4. A team shall lose the game by forfeit if at the scheduled starting time the team is not present on the playing court with 2 players ready to play.

5.5. A team shall lose by default if it leaves the court before the end of the game or all the players of the team are injured and/or disqualified. In case of a default situation, the winning team can choose to keep its score or have the game forfeited, whilst the defaulting team’s score is set to 0 in any case.

5.6. A team losing by default or a tortuous forfeit will be disqualified from the competition.

Note: if a game clock is not available the running time’s length and/or required points for sudden death is at the organizer’s discretion.

6 Fouls/Free Throws

6.1. A team is in penalty situation after it has committed 6 fouls. Players are not excluded based on the number of personal fouls subject to disqualification.

6.2. Fouls during the act of shooting inside the arc shall be awarded 1 free throw, whilst fouls during the act of shooting behind the arc shall be awarded 2 free throws.

6.3. Fouls during the act of shooting followed by a successful field goal shall be awarded 1 additional free throw.

7.4. Team fouls 7, 8 and 9 shall always be awarded with 2 free throws. The 10th and any subsequent team foul will be awarded 2 free throws and ball possession. The game shall continue with an exchange of the ball behind the arc at the top of the court after a technical or unsportsmanlike foul.

Note: no free throws are awarded after offensive foul.

7 How the Ball is played

7.1. Following each successful field goal or last free throw:

– A player from a non-scoring team will start with a check-ball, i.e. an exchange of the ball (between the defensive and offensive player) behind the arc at the top of the court. The ball must be passed in (not dribbled) from behind the arc. The defensive player is not allowed to steal the ball from the player passing the ball in. The defensive player may try to steal the in-play pass.

7.2. Following each unsuccessful field goal or last free throw (except those followed by ball possession):

– If the offensive team rebounds the ball, it may continue to attempt to score without returning the ball behind the arc.

– If the defensive team rebounds the ball, it must clear the ball behind the arc (by passing or dribbling).

7.3. If the defensive team steals or blocks the ball, it must clear the ball behind the arc (by passing or dribbling)

7.4. Possession of the ball given to either team following any dead ball situation shall start with a check-ball, i.e. an exchange of the ball (between the defensive and the offensive player) behind the arc at the top of the court.

7.5. A player is considered to be “behind the arc” when neither of his feet are inside nor stepping on the arc.

7.6. In the event of a jump ball situation, the defensive team shall be rewarded the ball.

8 Stalling

8.1. Stalling or failing to play actively (i.e. not attempting to score) shall be a violation. Teams stalling may be penalized with delay of game warning or technical foul (1 free-throw + possession of the ball)

8.2. The referee may institute a 30 second shot clock at any time. After a team has been warned about stalling, failure to hit the rim on the offensive possession within 30 seconds will result in loss of possession or technical foul (1 free-throw + possession of ball)

9 Substitutions

Substitutions can be done by any team when the ball becomes dead, prior to the check-ball or free throw. The substitute can enter the game after his teammate steps off the court and establishes a physical contact with him. Substitutions can only take place behind the end line opposite the basket (i.e. standard half court) and substitutions require no action from the referees or table officials.

10 Time-outs

10.1. Each team is granted one 45 second team time-out. Any player can call the time-out in a dead ball situation.

10.2. No timeouts in the last three minutes of the game. The game clock does not stop during timeouts.

10.3. All time-outs have a length of 45 seconds.

Note: time-outs and substitutions can only be called in dead ball situations and cannot be called when the ball is live pursuant 8.1.

11 Standings of teams

Both in pools and in overall competitions standings, the following classification rules apply. If teams are tied after the first step, refer to the next one – and so on.

  1. Most wins (or win ratio in case of unequal number of games in inter-pool comparison);
  2. Head-to-head confrontation (only taking win/loss into account and applies within a pool only);
  3. Points against
  4. Coin flip

***The league director will have final say on all disputes and interpretations of the Rules***