TYBL Rules

Updated Wednesday December 13, 2017 by Sonia Johnson.




1. All TYBL League games are played in accordance with current California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) rules except as defined hereunder.


2.    Division Play

TYBL League play is divided by school grade into six (6) divisions for boys and three (3) for girls, and two combined gender “clinic” divisions as follows:


Division                       Grades

Clinic Beginner             Co-ed K & 1

Clinic Advanced           Co-ed 1 & 2

B3                                Boys 3rd

B4                                Boys 4th

B5                                Boys 5th

B6                                Boys 6th

B7                                Boys 7th

B8                                Boys 8th

LDG                             Girls 3rd & 4th

MDG                           Girls 5th & 6th

UDG                            Girls 7th & 8th

Players may play “up” one division only upon application to and approval by the TYBL Board and/or its Division Commissioners.


3.    Length of Games

  1. Clinic Beginner and Clinic Advanced games consist of Six (6) 5-minute running quarters with no stopped time and no overtimes.
  2. B3, B4, B5, B6, B7, B8 grades and LDG, MDG, and UDG games shall consist of four (4) 8-minute running quarters. Running time means the clock stops only for team or official timeouts, including technical fouls.
  3. Overtime periods shall be three minutes for the first overtime period, two minutes for the second and one minute for the third and any subsequent periods.

The last two minutes of regulation and the last one minute of overtime shall be “stopped time” (the clock stops for any whistle) provided no team is ahead by 15 or more points.


4.    Timeouts and Breaks of Play

  1. All teams receive two timeouts of one minute each per half. Timeouts not used in the first half will not carry over to the second half.
  2. One timeout of one minute per overtime is allotted.  No timeouts are carried over into overtime.
  3. Quarter and overtime breaks shall consist of one minute. Players or substitutes checking in for the quarter must do so at or before the 45 second warning horn (This is not a timeout for coaching).
  4. Halftime shall be a maximum three minutes, and may be reduced at the discretion of the referees and or site supervisor to save time and maintain the game schedule.


5.    Team Rosters and Playing Requirements/Restrictions

  1. All players present at games will play at least two full quarters per game without substitution/interruption. If a minimum of seven players are present, no substitution during a quarter is permitted until the fourth quarter, and substitution is only allowed for players who have already completed two full quarters.
  2. If a player is unable to complete a full quarter due to injury/illness or fouling out, that quarter shall count toward this requirement. The injured or fouled out player’s substitute will not be credited for that quarter for the two quarter requirement, but the quarter will count toward the three quarter maximum (rule 5c). Note: If a player appears injured the referees will stop the clock to attend to the player. If the player requires assistance, or the coach, parent or other team adult comes onto the floor; the injured player must be substituted for minimum one “dead ball” stoppage, i.e. once the game restarts until the next whistle (violation, time out, etc.). At that point the injured player may re-enter the game and play resumes as if the injured player had never left the game, and the substitute’s appearance will not count toward a third quarter appearance (rule 5c).
  3. Provided a minimum of seven players is present for a game and eligible to play, no player shall play more than three quarters per game. This rule will not apply to either team when six or fewer eligible players are present for a game for either team. If a team starts play with six players present and a seventh player arrives late, but by the end of the first quarter, the “three quarter maximum” provision of 5a will apply to the team. The scorekeeper will record the quarter in which the late player arrives. If a team starts with seven or more players and a player is disqualified in the fourth quarter (by fouling out or being ejected for technical fouls) leaving no eligible players to substitute, the team must continue play with four players. The injured player note (5b) should also be observed. For overtime periods, all players that have not fouled out during regular play are eligible to play in overtime. 
  4. Players displaying behavior on the court that requires discipline by the coach may be removed from the game and forfeit any required playing time.
  5. Players not attending at least one practice per week without an excused absence are required to play only one quarter, but may play up to the maximum at the coach’s discretion.
  6. Players in any division may score a maximum of 15 points per half. Players reaching the maximum must be substituted for immediately and sit out the remainder of the half. If the player scores out on a two or three point goal all points will count. If the player is fouled as s/he scores out, any foul shot made will count. A player scoring out in the second half is eligible to play in any overtime periods. At the coach’s discretion, a player may or may not substitute for a player removed for scoring the maximum; if there is a substitution, the quarter will count toward the maximum three quarter rule for the substitute player.
  7. Any player arriving after the first quarter of a game without prior notice to the coach may, at the discretion of the coach, be penalized with reduced playing time as follows: Arrival during the second quarter or half time, minimum playing time is one quarter; Arrival during the third quarter or later: No playing time need be given.
  8. All disciplinary actions must be approved by the relevant division commissioners by exchange of emails at least 24 hours prior to the start of a game. All adjustments and exceptions to required playing time are to be advised by the coach to the scorekeepers and referees prior to the start of each game.
  9. Coaches are responsible for providing the score table with the TYBL roster form (download from tybl.org) prior to the start of games.  A technical foul may be issued if a coach does not provide roster from causing a delay in starting the game.  The roster form should include notations as necessary for absence, lateness, discipline, or health issues.  Players not listed on the roster form that arrive after the start of the game, will be amended to the scorebook and a technical foul issued to the offending


6.    Fouls and Disqualifications

  1. All players receiving a fifth personal foul in a game are disqualified from further play.  They are also ineligible for any subsequent overtime play.
  2. Any coach receiving a second technical foul for conduct must leave the building. Any player receiving a second technical foul must remain on the bench for the duration of the game. These coaches and players may be suspended from the next scheduled game as determined by the relevant division commissioner and board.
  3. Any player or coach who, in the judgment of the referees and/or the site supervisor, demonstrates poor sportsmanship by word or deed shall be issued a technical foul. Upon the second offense, the coach will be ejected from that game and asked to leave the facility. Upon the second player offense, the player will be benched for the remainder of the game. The coach and/or player may be suspended from the next scheduled game as determined by the relevant division commissioner and board.


  1. “All head coaches” may stand and coach from the “coaches box”. Assistant coaches must be seated at all times during play. If any coach exhibits poor sportsmanship the referee can require that the offending coach be required to be seated on the team bench during play. Failure to comply with this request will result in a warning by the referee; subsequent violations will incur a technical foul. A second technical foul for the violation will result in ejection. (See rule 6 b/c).
  2. It is the spectators sole responsibility to be aware of the TYBL Code of Conduct and to comply with it, whether it has been acknowledge or not.  Any parent or spectator not following the TYBL code of conduct will be asked to leave the facility immediately and may be suspended by the board from attending other TYBL events. Coaches are responsible for their team’s parents and spectators compliance with this rule.


7.    Pre-Game Foul Shots

Every player in Boys B3, B4, B5 Grades and Girls LDG & MDG will shoot one foul shot prior to the start of the game. If made, this will count toward the team score and the player’s first half scoring limit. Players unable to play due illness or injury are permitted to shoot the allotted foul shot as longs as they are wearing their team jersey. The number of foul shots will equal the number of players present for each team at the start of the game. Note: this may not be an equal number.  The team with fewer players has a competitive advantage (See TYBL play-time matrix).


8.    Foul Shots

The team foul shooting bonus (“one plus one”) will apply on the seventh team foul committed by the opposing team in each half. The double bonus (two shots) will apply on the tenth and subsequent fouls. Team fouls will carry over to overtime periods.


Foul shots shall be taken as follows:

Division                                               Rim Height                               Free Throw Line Clinic                                                                8’                                    n/a


Boys B3 & B4 and Girls LDG                             9’                                 10’ from backboard

  • Shooter can cross line but cannot advance until ball hits rim All other players may advance on ball release.

Boys B5 and Girls MDG                                   10’                                                                        Standard distance

  • Shooter can cross line but cannot advance until ball hits rim. All other players may advance on ball release.

Boys B6, B7, B8 and Girls UDG                        10’                                                                        Standard distance

  • Shooter cannot cross the line until the ball hits rim. All other players may advance on ball release.


9.    Defense and Pressing

  1. Man-to-Man defense is required in Clinic Beginner, Clinic Advanced, 3rd and 4th Grade Boys, LDG and MDG. Help Defense is allowed (see addendum below) until the initial defender recovers. At that point, help defender (help defense) “must” release back to guarding his man; double teaming is not permitted and will result in technical fouls.  Again, please see addendum regarding Help Defense
  2. Pressing and Full court trapping is permitted in Boys 5-8 and UDG, unless the defending team is 15 or more points ahead.


10.    Special Clinic Divisions Rules:

No official scores are kept.

No referees are provided for Clinic Beginner, and games are to be refereed by the coaches


Clinic Beginner & Clinic Advanced: All players will play a man-to-man defense. Players will be substituted each quarter by clearing the bench to ensure no player sits for two consecutive quarters (unless there are 11 players on the team).  Players will be outfitted with a


colored wristband by their coach to help them recognize the player they are defending/guarding. During play, defensive players are to stay behind the red line (as seen on court) area. No trapping or double-teaming is allowed. During play, once the defense controls the ball, the opposing team must get back on defense, i.e. no pressing or back court defense is allowed. However, fast-break and transition play is allowed. If a defensive player steals the ball from an offensive player, and has a clear path to the basket, s/he is encouraged to finish the play and try to score a basket. Defenders may not steal the ball on the dribble, except for inside the key on fast breaks - but not in half court sets. They may steal passes; pick up loose balls and fast break off of missed shots.


11.    Equipment

  1. Participants shall wear the uniform provided by TYBL. All jerseys are reversible and the Home Team will wear the light color jersey. Undershirts should be white or match the dominant color of the jersey. The entire team should match, either all white or matching the dominant color of the jersey. If a team is listed as the HOME team, undershirts must match the lighter color.
  2. TYBL provides all scoring and timing equipment, and schedules and pays for referees, scorekeepers and timekeepers.


Game balls are as follows:

Clinic, Lower & Middle Division Girls, 3rd and 4th Grade Boys:  “Youth” size (“27.5”)

Upper Girls and 5th and 6th Grade Boys: “Intermediate” (28.5)

7th and 8th Grade Boys: “Full regulation” size (“29.5”)


12.    Activity

TYBL limits the number of allowable activities of participants to a total of three (3) per week, including all practices and games.  Teams found violating this rule risk forfeiture of next scheduled game.  Any team violating this rule will subject their immediate next game to forfeiture as determined by the age group commissioner.


13.    Protests and Appeals

  1. Protests are to be resolved by the facility site supervisor and/or supervising Board Members and may only involve rules infractions.  Referee judgment calls may not be protested.

Appeals may be made to the Board whenever a protest resolution is deemed unsatisfactory or unfair, or when the purpose of the league appears to be in jeopardy. All appeals are to be submitted in writing and as per the Appeals procedure, including a forfeitable $100 deposit

 Help Defense Addendum

There seems to be many misconceptions regarding what is considered man to man vs zone defense. When the board wrote the rule requiring man-to-man defense we did this because we believe that playing man-to-man defense is better for the development of youth players and will better prepare them to play at the next level. That being said it was never meant for players to be tethered to each other or certain amount of feet away from another player. Please read below to get a better idea of what we believe is the best way to play defense at the youth level.

What does Help Defense Mean?


A basketball defense fundamental in which a defensive player who is two passes away from the ball adjusts his defense to help another teammate defend the ball handler.

The following explanation of help defense as explained by Sporting Charts


To understand help defense, first you have to understand what the help-side is. The help-side, also known as the weak-side of the court, is the area of the court away from the ball (and therefore the ball handler). In man-to-man defense, a defensive player on the help-side is typically already guarding another player In order for that defensive player to provide help defense, he must maintain his current defense while also helping to prevent a drive to the basket by the ball handler.

The best practice for help defense is for the helping defender to move away from his own man or defensive assignment towards the center of the court, but only enough to deny a clear lane to the basket, while also close enough to return to his original defensive assignment. Most coaches will teach defenders to drop about a step below the line of the ball and open up their body, so that when they are facing away from the basket, they can see both the player they are guarding and the ball in their peripheral vision. By not being too far away from their assignment and being closer to the defender they are helping, they have enough time to react and defend either a pass or a drive to the weak side.

Here is a good article on help defense. http://www.breakthroughbasketball.com/defense/help-positioning.html

We hope this can clear up some of the misconceptions of what is considered man-to-man and zone defense. Please let your division commissioner know if you have any questions.

Thanks, TYBL

TYBL 2017-2018_Rules_101017.pdf