Israel Basketball League 

RULES & Regulations


INTRODUCTION: The following rules and regulations are intended to provide for competitive and safe games. Clearly, it would be unrealistic to attempt to include all of the rules of basketball here. Instead, this document defines the ways in which the Yeshiva Basketball League's rules differ from standard basketball, and emphasizes the rules that are different from, or were in question during, previous years.


TEAMS: Each team’s roster is limited to 10 active players. Rosters must be submitted as specified during the registration process. Teams without rosters on file will not be allowed to play. Players that have not signed a roster-waiver form are not eligible to play. Changes to rosters must be submitted through the league website as specified during the registration process.

Players who are on the roster of any team, on or beyond January 21st, may not be added to another team’s roster. A team captain may ask a referee to check the eligibility of an opposing player.

Use of an ineligible player is a technical foul, and the ineligible player must of course immediately leave the game. Regardless of any consequences upon the game, use of an ineligible player constitutes a serious financial risk to the player and the League, for which the league can not insure itself and which it cannot bear. Use of such a player will subject the team to an automatic minimum fine of NIS 1,000. The captain and players of the offending team and the ineligible player, jointly and severally, agree to cover all costs, medical and otherwise, incurred by any party, ensuing from the use of the ineligible player, as well as the above-mentioned fine.

Teams making any additions or changes to their roster after the beginning of the season, must inform the league commissioner at least one full non-shabbat/chag day in advance of their next game (as the league sometimes must manually refresh the roster list).  


EQUIPMENT: Only standard sized basketballs (provided by the League) may be used in League games. If both teams agree on a different ball for that game, the ball may be used as long as it is a standard sized basketball. This decision will be decided by the referee.


PRIOR TO THE GAME: Teams must arrive on time. If a team does not have 5 eligible players ready, the game clock will start and the opposing team will automatically begin each half with the ball. Additionally, the team present will receive one point for every minute that the team is still tardy. If a team is 15 minutes late, the game will be a forfeit, with a score of 15-0. The League may assess further penalties, including possible fine, suspension, and points in the standings, for forfeited games.

Once a game has been legally started with 5 players, a team may continue with fewer (e.g. if the 5th player fouls out) - however, the league strongly recommends arriving with more than the minimum five players.

This league works hard to prevent forfeits - in this league they are vanishingly  rare, and their penalty is harsh (which is why they are so rare!). The default penalty, unless otherwise decided by the league commissioner, for forfeiting a game with less than 4 hours advance notice (not including shabbat/chag hours) will be forfeit of one additional game, no further consideration of preferences when making the schedule, and requirement of a NIS 500 deposit to guarantee against repeat offense. This must be submitted before any future games are scheduled (otherwise games will simply be scheduled in advance as forfeited games with no opponent, so that no team has to risk coming for no reason). In short - don’t do this!

POSSESSION: The game will start with a tip-off, and afterwards throughout the game possession will go according to the possession arrow. There will be no other tip-off throughout the remainder of the game besides overtime (if there is overtime).


SCOREKEEPING: The league sometimes provides an official scorer in addition to referees, otherwise each team will be given a score sheet before each game and throughout the game must have someone designated to be responsible for the team's score, personal and team fouls, time-outs and any other stats. Any discrepancy or question must be brought to the attention of the referees. The scoreboard will be kept by the official scorekeeper or each team’s scorekeepers as well. If there is a discrepancy between the score sheet and the scoreboard at any point during the game, the scoreboard takes precedence, unless the referee deems otherwise. The clock will be kept by the refs unless there is an electronic clock available at the court.

Note: The person responsible for his team’s score sheet must be sitting with the sheet at the scorer’s table. If a score-keeper leaves the scorer’s table with the sheet, the referee may assess a technical foul on that team.


GAME CLOCK: Games consist of two 20-minute halves, with a two-minute halftime break. The clock runs continuously, except during timeouts and during the last 2 minutes of each half. During that last 2 minutes, the clock is stopped on every whistle and every basket. The clock restarts when a player touches the ball after the pass. On a free throw, the clock starts when the ball hits the rim/backboard (whichever comes first).

The referee will announce the two-minute warning of each half and will count down the last 10 seconds of each half.

The above notwithstanding, if a team leads by 15 points or more, at or beyond the two-minute warning of the second half, the game clock will run as usual (not “stopped time”) and neither team will have any time outs, except in playoff games. The clock will then continue to run even if the trailing team pulls within 14 or less.

SHOT CLOCK: There will be no shot clock during the game besides the last 2 minutes of each half. Starting from the 2 minute warning, there will be a 30 second shot clock (even when the 2-minute mark is reached while a team is in the middle of its possession). The referee will keep the shot clock, and will call out 10 seconds for the shot clock and count down from 5 seconds to 0.


Notes on Shot Clock :

1.     A team is considered in possession of the ball even when the ball has been batted away but the opponent has not gained possession.

2.     Team possession ends when either:

a.     There is a legal field goal attempt. However, on an offensive rebound, the shot clock will reset to 20 seconds

b.     The opponent gains possession

3.     If a ball is touched by a defensive player who does not gain possession of the ball, the 30-second clock shall continue to run.

4.      Resetting the shot clock:

a.     The 30-second clock shall be reset when, in the judgement of the referee,  a special situation occurs which warrants such action.

b.     The 30-second clock is not reset on technical fouls called on the offensive team.

c.     The 30-second clock shall be reset to 30 seconds anytime the following occurs:

                                  i.        Change of possession

                                 ii.        Ball contacting the basket rim of the team which is in possession

                                iii.        Personal foul where ball is being inbounded in backcourt

                                iv.         Violation where ball is being inbounded in backcourt

                      v.     Defensive foul in the backcourt.

                     vi.     Defensive foul that results in free throw(s), besides technical fouls.

d.     The 30-second clock shall remain the same as when play was interrupted or reset to 10 seconds, whichever is greater, anytime the following occurs:

                      i.     Personal foul by the defense that does not result in free throw(s).

                     II.     Personal foul by the defense where ball is being inbounded in frontcourt.

                    III.     Kicked ball by the defensive team with the ball being inbounded in the front-court.

                    iv.    Technical fouls on the defensive team.

                    v.     All flagrant fouls.


SUBSTITUTIONS: A team may substitute a player only after notifying the scorer’s table, which will allow the substitution at the following whistle or after a free throw.


TIME OUTS: Each team receives two time outs per half. Any player on the court, or player or coach in the immediate vicinity of the bench, may signal for a time out.

It is the responsibility of the team to clearly signal time out, and to alert the referee immediately if any non-team-member is in the vicinity of their bench - if such a person calls a time out, it will be charged.

Each time out lasts 45 seconds. A referee is allowed, at his discretion, to stop the game clock and may retroactively change a team’s time out to an official time out if it emerges that the time out was necessary to correct an error.

Notes: Even if a timeout is called after a basket, the team will inbound the ball after the ensuing timeout from the half court. Teams are responsible to know how many time outs they have, and may check with the scorer’s table.




OUT OF BOUNDS: The sides of the Backboard are considered inbounds unless the ball goes over the backboard. The back and top of the Backboard, and any supporting wires, poles etc., are out of bounds.


PERSONAL/TEAM FOULS: A player fouls out on his 5th personal foul. When a team reaches its 7th team foul of the half, the opposing team will then shoot a 1 and 1 on that foul and any ensuing foul besides an offensive foul until the team's 10th foul. When the team then reaches its 10th team foul, the opposing team will shoot 2 shots on that foul and any ensuing foul besides offensive fouls from then until the end of the half. Offensive, Technical and Flagrant fouls will constitute personal fouls but not team fouls.

Note: When a player fouls out, there is not an automatic timeout.

Note: If the team has no eligible players left on the bench the player who just fouled out still goes to the bench and the team must play shorthanded.


TECHNICAL AND FLAGRANT FOULS: Unsportsmanlike behavior will be called a Technical Foul, at the referee's discretion. A Technical foul results in 1 foul shot – a technical foul does not result in a turnover. Please note, that any whining at the referee or abusive language is a Technical Foul, solely at the referee’s discretion.

A Flagrant foul is a foul that is committed with clear intent to commit a foul regardless of the severity of the foul, except if it is clearly and solely meant to stop the clock. Flagrant Fouls results in 2 foul shots and possession of the ball.



  1. If a Technical Foul is assessed on the defensive team while the opposing team is about to shoot free throws for a regular foul, the Technical will be shot first followed by the regular foul shots.
  2. If a double Technical foul is assessed to the offense and the defense at the same time, neither team will shoot free throws.
  3. If the foul is clearly and solely meant to stop the clock and/or to send the opponent to the Free Throw Line but is committed in a way which could endanger the player, it will be considered a flagrant foul. This will be under the referee’s discretion.


FREE THROWS: 6 players are allowed to fill up the legally marked lines during the free throw (4 from the opposing team and 2 from the shooter's team). If the Opposing team doesn’t fill up their 4 spots then the shooter's team can then fill up one more spot in addition to the 2 that it has. Other players must remain behind the 3-point line. The players on the designated spots may enter the lane once the shooter has released the ball while the players behind the 3-point line and the shooter may only move over the line once the ball has hit the rim or the backboard (whichever comes first).

Note: Players must set up immediately for free-throws. A player may not shoot a foul shot before receiving the ball from the Referee. If a player fails to set up immediately and shoot without delay, the referee will, at his discretion, rule the shot a miss, and award the rebound to the opposing team.



-          Advancing beyond the backcourt: A team must advance the ball beyond the back court within 10 seconds of taking possession.


-          3 seconds: If a player has both feet in the paint for 3 consecutive seconds during which there was no loose ball, whistle or a shot that hit the rim, then a 3 second violation will be called resulting in a turnover.


-          5 seconds: A closely guarded player anywhere in his front court may not hold the ball for five seconds without dribbling.

Note: If a player is dribbling, the 5 second rule is not in effect (not like the NCAA)!


-          Goaltending: Goaltending will be called when a ball is touched while the ball is going down towards the basket or while the ball is on the rim and it is not clear that it is falling out.

-      Dunking: Dunking is considered Goaltending.


-          Free throws: A free throw that results in an airball is considered a violation on the shooter, in addition to the abovementioned rules.


-          Other violations: Other violations will be called as in standard basketball rules, including holding, blocking, kicking, illegal picks, charging, double dribble, and palming.


INBOUNDING THE BALL: The referee will give the ball to the player who plans to inbound the ball. Traveling is permitted for the player attempting the inbounding pass after a basket/free throw is scored, and not on any other inbounding pass. A player has 5 seconds to inbound the ball, and failure to do so will result in a turnover.

Note: Players may inbound the ball without giving the ball to the referee following a basket.

Note: Any ball out-of-bounds in a team's frontcourt or at the midcourt line can be passed into the backcourt at all times.


OVERTIME: Should regulation time end in a tie, there will be overtime. Overtime will be 2 minutes, and will be started immediately after regulation time, with a tip-off. The first minute will be running time, and the final minute stoppage time, with a shot clock. Each team will receive 1 timeout during this OT. Personal and Team fouls continue from the end of the 2nd half.  

Should the game be tied at the end of one overtime, there will be a sudden-death overtime; the first team to score a point will win. It will be started immediately after the previous overtime, with a tip-off. There will be a shot clock, and no game clock. There will be no team time outs during sudden-death overtime. Personal and Team fouls continue from the end of the previous overtime.  


UNSPORTSMANLIKE CONDUCT: Unsportsmanlike Conduct is a Technical Foul, and includes abusive, threatening or offensive language to players, fans or officials. A player will be ejected for dangerous or threatening conduct, upon first offense. If, in the judgment of the referee, any illegal procedure was attempted or committed with intent to deceive the referee (i.e. the player is attempting to cheat), the technical foul will be assessed when it comes to the attention of the referee. The team and any individual player judged, by omission or commission, to have thus deceived the referee may be assessed a Technical Foul, and further penalties including ejection may be assessed at the referee’s discretion.


CONDUCT AND DISCIPLINE: The players of the Yeshiva Basketball League are bnei Torah. To maintain standards, the league rarely if ever has – but, if necessary, unhesitatingly will – take disciplinary action to promote appropriate behavior. Any unsportsmanlike conduct will subject the offender to possible ejection from the game, and will subject the offending player and/or his team to disciplinary action, including but not limited to fine, suspension, expulsion, and forfeit of past or future games, as deemed appropriate by the league commissioner.  


APPEALS AND PROTESTS: Any appeal to the referee must be made immediately upon such time as the appellant knew or should reasonably have known of the subject of the appeal. Only the team captain may make such an appeal. Any deliberation of the decision prior to resuming play, and any stop of the game, is undertaken solely at the discretion of the referee, and appeals do not preclude the possibility of the game continuing or of incurring relevant penalties. The referee is the final arbiter of all decisions, with the exception of disciplinary matters.

STANDINGS TIE-BREAKERS: For teams tied in the standings, seedings are determined as follows. Note: If at any point in the tie-breaker process a team or several teams are separated from others by virtue of a tie-breaking step, return the remaining group(s) of tied teams to step 1 in the process.

1. Head to head record, only if any team or group of teams have defeated, or been defeated by, all other tied teams.

2. Best record of opponent defeated. Then second-best record, etc.

3. Best record of opponent which defeated the team. Then second-best record, etc.

4. Random method of choosing.


ADDITIONAL RULES: Where not otherwise indicated, the rules of the National Basketball Association will apply to this League. Where deemed appropriate, the Commissioner will make final decisions as regards exceptional situations or precedents which warrant other action for the good of the game or the League.