The Barker League Rules

Mission: The objective of the Youth Division (Grades 1-8) in-town league is for the players to learn and enjoy the game of basketball. In the 2nd and 3rd Grades, in particular, the primary objective is instructing the players in the fundamentals of the game. Referees will officiate the games in Grades 3 through 8.

Younger Siblings: Younger siblings are allowed to play up with older siblings when the following conditions apply:

  1. The player who is playing in the higher grade is capable of playing at that level as agreed by the two Grade Commissioners for the grades in question.
  2. The player who is playing up only plays on one team.
  3. This decision applies for the whole season.
  4. The player declares prior to team drafts.

Minimum Number of Players: Each team must have 5 uniformed, rostered players to start the game. A game will be officially declared a forfeit if a team does not have at least 5 uniformed players, but the coaches are encouraged to still play the game as a scrimmage. Once the game starts, and if only 5 players on one team are present, and:

  1. the team with 5 players has one player foul out – on that foul and any subsequent foul by that player, there will be two foul shots and retention of possession, or
  2. if one player is injured, the game will continue with only 4 players. The rule on fouls listed in Rule 3.a. will not apply.

Game Time: Games will be divided into four (4) 10-minute quarters. Each quarter will be running time, except for the last two minutes of the 4th quarter, which will be stop time. Quarters should be shortened if a game cannot be finished within the approximate allowed timeframe in order to prevent significant back-ups with remaining games. The intervals between the 1st and 2nd quarters and 3rd and 4th quarters will be 1-minute and the halftime interval will be 2-minutes. Mid-quarter shift changes are for personnel only. Play should quickly resume.

Playing Time: A pillar of the in-town league is to distribute playing time equally. Each player shall play at least half the game for the timeframe that they are present. In order to ensure that playing time is equally distributed and can be tracked, each grade shall adhere strictly to a designated substitution time at the start and mid-point of each quarter (i.e., at the beginning of every 5-minute shift).

Substitutions at Start and Mid-Quarters: Each quarter shall be divided into two 5-minute shifts. Substitutions shall occur only at the start and mid-point of quarters (i.e., the start of each 5-minute shift). No player can play more than one shift more than any other player. No player shall sit two shifts in a row. In other words, no player can start a fifth shift until all other players have played at least four shifts, and no player can start a sixth shift until all other players have played at least five shifts, and so on.

  1. Substitutions mid-shift are only allowed for injury, illness, or for a player who has fouled out. All substitutes must report to the scoring table and/or opposing coach before entering the game.
  2. Players who show up late are only entitled to play half the game for the timeframe that they are present.
  3. Furthermore, players that intend to leave early can only play half the game for the timeframe that they are there in order to prevent abuses of the playing time rule during the rest of the game.
  4. These player participation rules will be strictly enforced throughout the season.

Time Outs: There will be a maximum of two time-outs per team per half. Unused time-outs do not carry over. A time-out will last for one minute.

Overtime: Providing there is time during the regular season games, if there is a tie at the end of regulation time, then one 2-minute overtime will take place. Only one of these 2-minute overtimes will be permitted per regular season game. After that, if the score is still even, the game will be declared a tie.

Jump Balls: The game will begin with a jump ball. There will be no other jump balls during the game. An alternating possession arrow will be in effect the remainder of the game for jump ball situations and for the beginning of new quarters.

Rules of the Game: The following rules will be enforced and should be taught to all players in all grades.

  1. Traveling/Double Dribble
  2. 5 seconds inbound limitations
  3. 3 feet allowance rule for inbounds play
  4. Back court
  5. 10 seconds to get the ball past half court
  6. No offensive player may stand in the free throw lane for more than 3 seconds, (5 seconds for grades 2-4), unless the ball is in the air following a shot.
  7. Moving Picks
  8. Jumping over the line on free throws
  9. Alternating Baskets at Mid-Game: At halftime teams will change sides and shoot for a different basket.
  10. Personal Fouls: Each player is allowed five (5) personal fouls. On the fifth foul by a player, that player shall be unable to play the remainder of the game, unless there are only five players present. In this case see Rule 3.3.a. The number of personal fouls per player should be kept for all games in grades 3 through 8. Technical fouls count as a personal foul. Coaches and/or scorekeepers should keep track of fouls per game and alert referees when a player has reached the five fouls limit.
  11. Shooting Fouls: Fouling another player in the act of shooting will result in two foul shots.
  12. Fouls during the Final 2-Minutes (1-and-1’s): Non-shooting fouls (fouls not committed in the act of shooting) will result in a “one-and-one” situation only during the last two minutes of the 4th quarter (when the clock stops). Starting with the third foul by a team in the last two minutes of the 4th quarter and for all subsequent fouls (shooting or non-shooting) there will be a “two shot” situation for the rest of the game.
  13. Flagrant Fouls: Flagrant fouls will result in two (2) foul shots plus retention of the ball and ejection of the player who is called for the flagrant foul. Flagrant fouls are called when a player is put in physical danger due to an intentional act of another player. Said act demonstrates a blatant disregard for the wellbeing of the opponent. A player who is assessed with a flagrant foul must sit out the remainder of the game from when the foul is called and the following full game. If a second flagrant foul is assessed against a player in a season, he is prohibited from playing for the remainder of the season and playoffs. No fees will be refunded.
  14. Hard Fouls: “Hard” fouls will result in two (2) foul shots plus retention of the ball. Hard fouls are less severe than Flagrant fouls, and do not demonstrate the blatant disregard for the wellbeing of the opponent.
  15. Full court defense:
  16. No Full Court Defense (Grades 2-4) - In Grades 2-4, the defensive teams must allow the offensive team to get to half court. The only exception is the last 10 seconds of a game, to prevent a player from simply dribbling out the end of the game, undefended. This practice is against the spirit of Barker and is prohibited.
  17. Grades 5-6 - In Grades 5 and 6 the defensive team must allow the offensive team to get to half court except in the 4th quarter and when not leading by 10 points or more. Full court press for Grades 5 and 6, if played, must be man-to-man without any double-teaming. Referees will enforce this rule.
  18. Grades 7-8 - Full court play is allowed in Grades 7 and 8, except when leading by 10 points or more.
  19. No Zone Defense (Grades 2-6): Man-to-man defense will be used exclusively at Grades 2-6. Zone defenses will not be permitted until the 7th Grade.
  20. No Double-Team Defense (Grades 2-6): Double-teaming is not allowed in Grades 2-6. Recovery or help defense is allowed. The ball will be returned to a team if it loses the ball as a result of a double team.
  21. No Isolation Offense (Grades 2-6): No isolation plays are allowed through 6th Grade. An isolation play is defined as any play involving only one player and requires all other players to position themselves out of the action or on the opposite side of the court.
  22. Automatic Ejection: Fighting or swearing directed towards anyone, or any disrespect toward the referees will call for automatic ejection. Any further occurrence will result in suspension from the league. Two technical fouls called on the same person in a game shall result in an automatic ejection.
  23. Division of Responsibilities (Referees/Coaches): The referees will be responsible for regulating game play. Coaches will be responsible for regulating game management, such as substitutions, playing times, keeping track of individual fouls, team fouls, etc. This means coaches not only have the responsibility to manage these issues for their own team but also serve as the “check” on these issues for the opposing team.
  24. No Disputing Calls: Coaches are not allowed to argue with officials regarding a judgement call. Coaches can only address referees regarding rule interpretations or to request clarification of a call. One of the primary roles of coaches is to demonstrate good sportsmanship.
  25. Playoffs: Because all teams make the playoffs, coaches should work together towards achieving the objective of the league, that is to teach the game of basketball so that all players can learn and enjoy the game.
  26. Seedings: Playoff seedings are determined by the Grade Commissioner (typically using season standings or through a blind draw). All regular season rules previously stated apply to the playoffs.
  27. Playoff Overtime: In the playoffs there is no maximum number of overtime periods. In a first overtime period no substitutions are required. However, if a game goes to a second overtime period (or additional overtime period) it is mandatory that all players must play in at least one complete overtime period.
  28. Commissioner Discretion: Slight changes in these rules are allowed by Grade Commissioners but only if they do not result in changes that are contrary to the objective of the league. 
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