Basketball Rules

(Updated Nov 2018) Blue highlighted font indicates new updates from 2017 to 2018





















Convener: Louise Gillespie CIS
Gold Division

Convener: Rebecca Vuong CAIS
Silver Division 

Convener: Sally Wong KCCIS
Bronze Division

League President: Allan Fraser CIS

All FIBA rules and regulations are in force except where specifically indicated otherwise


  1. Be eligible for competition under the ISSFHK Constitution, Bylaws and Standing Rules
  2. Schools must declare a team when the Executive Secretary sends out the Season 2 Sign up Forms. A deadline will be indicated.
  3. Team Rosters must be sent in to the Executive Secretary, no later than 24 hours before the team’s first game. All matches played with no eligibility list received by the convener will result in a forfeit to the opposing team.  Please refer to the ISSFHK constitution regarding player moves between divisions.


  1. Each team is allowed a maximum of 15 players sitting on the team bench with additional 2 coaches

  1. At least one qualified official must be provided for u12/u14/u16 games.
  2. At least two neutral, qualified officials must be provided for u20 games.
  3. In the event that there is no official(s) at your game, the following must occur:

a) U20 - games must be rescheduled

b) U16, U14 and U12 - it is the discretion of both coaches as to whether the game should or should not be played. Coaches may referee at this point, but there will be no protest allowed under these circumstances.

  1. All U16 & U20 play-off matches must be officiated by a minimum of 3 referees (2 on court and one bench official)

  1. A single timer and a single scorer may be used if they are acceptable to both team coaches.
  2. Both teams may have a representative at the scorer's table
  3. For all age divisions, a scoreboard with a running time should be in use at all venues and be visible to both teams during the game


  1. Each team should have two sets of uniforms (or one dark/light reversible uniform), one of a light color and the other dark. The light color is for home games. If in doubt, the officials should request the home team to change colors, or, wear bibs/pinnies.
  2. Teams are required to wear matching tops with numbers 0-99 (and each player has a unique number).  Different shorts are allowed and bibs/pinnies with numbers are allowed.  Minor exceptions are allowed if the opposing coach agrees to them (such as one player having a slightly different uniform from a previous year or two players with the same number).   If the opposing coach does not agree, those players shall not play.
  3. No eyeglasses are allowed to be worn during ISSFHK basketball matches.  Sports goggles are allowed.  

  1. Official approved leather basketball
  2. Boys U20, U16, U14 - Size 7
  3. Boys U12 - Size 6
  4. Girls U20, U16, U14, U12 - Size 6


  1. For U12, 2 x 20 minute halves with a running clock
  2. For U12, Clock only stops for timeouts
  3. For U12, one 30 second timeout per half
  4. For U12, 6 Team fouls per half
  5. For U14 and U16 competitions, there will four 10 minute quarters with stop time the last 2 minutes of the 4th quarter and stop time for time-outs and all foul shots.
  6. For U20 competitions, there will be four 8 minute quarters with stop time for the entire game.
  7. For U16 and U20 competitions, there will be a 24 second shot clock. FIBA rules regarding shot clock re-sets (14 seconds in the appropriate circumstance) will be followed.
  8. If there is a tie after regulation time for u14 and u16, there will be a five- minute running time overtime period, with the final minute being stop time. For u20, there will be a three minute stop clock overtime period.  Teams are only allowed one timeout per overtime period, no matter how many they had remaining at the end of the fourth.  The clock stops for timeouts and free throws similar to normal u14/u16 timing until the stop clock takes effect in the last minute.  Team fouls do not re-set in OT (or multiple OT’s) per FIBA rules.
  9. If the game is still tied after overtime, there will be another overtime period under the same rules. This will continue until there is a winner.
  10. The U12 division follows the same rules set forth in 7.8 & 7.9 for u14 and u16, but the clock does not stop, except for timeouts, during the entire 5 minute period.


  1. The schedule will be released one week before the season is scheduled to begin.
  2. After the schedule is released, schools have 3 days to make any changes to any games
  3. After the 3 day grace period no changes will occur. If your team / school wants to reschedule a game it is up to both schools. If a rescheduled date is not agreed upon the school who DID NOT request the change will be awarded the win.
  4. If a team shows up 20 minutes after the scheduled start time, a forfeit will occur
  5. In the event of extreme circumstances a game will be re-scheduled, but, will be at the discretion of the convenor and the opposing school
  6. You as coaches and your school's athletic director are responsible for ensuring that this is followed out and that all bus and transportation circumstances are taken care of well in advance of a game
  7. The schedule found on  will be the final version. ALL TEAMS MUST check the schedule on the website regularly.

  1. All games will start at 4:15 pm (with a warm-up period beginning at 4pm), unless stated in the schedule or agreed upon otherwise between both teams
  2. Halftime for all games is three minutes
  3. The second game will commence ten minutes after the first game, or, deemed by the schedule


  1. Schools that forfeit a game will automatically be assessed a loss
  2. There will be no rescheduling of forfeited games
  3. If a game is called by an official for any reason prior to the end of a game, it must be reported immediately to the convenor for review

  1. If divisions have less than seven teams, the playoff format will be have a semi-final and final
  2. If divisions have eight or more teams, the playoff format will have a quarter final, semi-final and final. providing that their is sufficient time available in schedule.
  3. Playoff dates, site and times, to be determined after the coaches meeting
  4. Hosting schools are required to provide an adult scoreboard/clock operator for the playoffs.

  1. In the event of a tie in the standings, the following will occur to break the tie for playoff seedings:
  1. Head to Head
  2. If there is a multi-way tie that cannot be directly settled by head to head, then point differential in the games involving the tied teams only will determine the highest finisher.  If a three way tie, then the next two teams order of finish is determined by their head to head result.  If more than three teams, then the procedure is the same until we reach the head to head result amongst the tied teams.  

  1. Host schools are responsible for providing training acceptable scorers and timers, in keeping with league timing rules.
  2. Providing the safe well-being of the visiting school
  3. The home team is responsible for emailing results to the convener (listed on the first page of this document) no more than 48 hours after the game. If the home team fails to do this, they may suffer a walk over at the discretion of the convenors.  The home team should also keep a file of game scoresheets archived until the end of the season in case there is a dispute about the final score.
  4. For U12, all schools entering the league must provide at least 1 hosting venue or co-host (i.e. scorekeepers) to participate
  5. Host schools are responsible for Parents.  They cannot approach the bench, score table or officials at any stage during the game

  1. A player that has committed five (5) fouls, personal and or technical shall be informed thereof by an official and must leave the game immediately. He/She must be substituted within thirty (30) seconds.

  1. Except in the u12 division, a team is in a team foul penalty situation when it has committed five (5) team fouls in a period.
  2. When a team is in a team foul penalty situation, all subsequent player personal fouls committed on a player not in the act of shooting shall be penalised by two (2) free throws, instead of a throw in.


  1. Players ejected from the game for unsportsmanlike behaviour are automatically suspended from the next game. Although a player is removed after five fouls, this is not classified as an ejection unless it includes two technical fouls.  It is the responsibility of the ejected player's coach to inform the convenor by telephone or email that same night. The player must appear before ISSFHK Disciplinary Committee.  A player and/or coach are automatically ejected after two technical fouls, but can be ejected on the first technical, subject to the match official’s discretion.
  2. A second ejection for a player is an automatic suspension for the rest of the season. This may be appealed to ISSFHK Disciplinary Committee, but, the player may not participate until after the appeal is heard.
  3. A coach ejected from a game is suspended indefinitely until the coach appears before the ISSFHK Disciplinary Committee.
  4. A coach ejected from a game must leave the playing venue.  The game will continue with assistance from the hosting school if necessary.
  5. A coach will appear before the ISSHFK Disciplinary Committee if they are assessed two technical fouls during the course of the season.

  1. Must be made in writing to the ISSFHK president within 24 hours of the match. This protest must be signed by both the coach and Athletic Director

  1. Championship pennants will be presented to each divisional championship team.
  2. Individual gold, silver and bronze medallions will be presented to the first second and third place finishers in each division.  A maximum of 15 medals will be awarded.

  1. Backcourt: In ISSFHK u12 matches, teams are not allowed to defend the opposing team in their offensive zone.  Once possession has clearly been established by whatever means (defensive rebound, steal, or violation where the offense gets the ball in their defensive half court), then the opposing team must drop back over half court into their defensive half.  If this does not occur, the official shall call a violation and the ball shall go to the team in possession who will inbound in their backcourt. To be clear, this means no full court pressing.
  2. A zone defense is not allowed in ISSFHK u12 matches.  A zone defense is defined as a player clearly marking an area and not an opposing player.  It is the judgment of the match official as to whether a team (or any player on a team) is playing a zone defense.  The opposing coach may raise a complaint to this effect with the match official, but it is the official’s decision as to whether they support that complaint.  If a zone is deemed to be played, a violation should be called (similar to a non-shooting defensive foul), and a warning issued to both players and coaches.  If a team repeatedly violates this rule, this will be reported to the convener for further action.

  1. The mercy rule refers to the act of either stopping the game entirely or ceasing to keep score and playing the remainder of the game as a friendly.  The coach of the team which is behind has the option of waiving the mercy rule or choosing between the two options given in the previous sentence.  If the mercy rule can go into effect, there should be a discussion between the officials/scorekeepers and the coaches during the next stoppage in the game as to how to proceed.  The league result recorded will be the score at the point at which the mercy rule came into effect.
  2. U12 Mercy Rule: If at any point in a game if a team leads by 20 then the mercy rule can be applied
  3. U14/U16/20 Mercy Rule: If at any point in a game if a team leads by 30 then the mercy rule can be applied.