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Basketball Rules

Niagara Sport & Social Club 3-vs-3 Basketball League Rules

Waivers: All players and participants must sign a waiver before playing their first game.

Sportsmanship Goal: Providing a safe and fun environment for the players. Unsportsmanlike conduct will not be tolerated.
No swearing directly at another player or official.
No intentional acts of violence (pushing, shoving or intentional physical contact)
No verbal threats or comments to instigate an altercation with any person. The player will be suspended immediately from play and the park or gym, and further game suspensions may follow and will not necessarily include or be limited to the player.
If at any time during a game if there are any concerns with the opposing team players, the team captain will address the issue with the other team captain with the presence of the official during a break or halftime. If the issue has not been resolved by the end of the game please forward any concerns to

Player Conduct

A player committing two unsportsmanlike fouls will be disqualified from the game by the referees and from the event by the organizer. Independent thereof, the organizer will disqualify the player(s) concerned from the event for acts of violence, verbal or physical aggression, tortuous interference in game results

Any unsportsmanlike conduct may result in immediate expulsion from the league. This includes, physical or rough play, verbal abuse, damage to facility property and/or loss of facility permit. Fighting will result in immediate expulsion from the league.

Event Coordinator may stop a game before the full time has expired due to overly aggressive play, persistent unsportsmanlike conduct or a general violation of the rules of the game.

The organizer may also disqualify the entire team from the event depending on the other team members' contribution (also through non-action) to the aforementioned behaviour.

The Official FIBA Basketball Rules of the Game are valid for all game situations not specifically mentioned in the 3x3 Rules of the Game listed below.

Court & Ball

The game of 3x3 is played on a half court with one basket. A regular 3x3 court playing surface in official competitions is approximately 49' wide x 36' deep (15 meters x 11 meters), with regular basketball court markings, including a 19-foot (5.8 meters) free throw line, a 22-foot (6.75 meters) 2-point line, and a no-charge semi-circle area underneath the one basket. Half of a traditional basketball court may be used.

A size 6 ball is used in all official FIBA competitions.


Each team shall consist of a maximum of 3 players on the court. You can have as many players as you want on a team. Any subs have to be added onto the team's roster. The minimum amount of players required to play a match is 2 players.

Game officials

The game shall consist of 1 ref and a scorekeeper.

Beginning of the game

Both teams shall warm-up simultaneously prior to the game. (5 minutes warm-up time)

Rock, Paper, Scissors shall determine which team gets the first possession. The team that wins the Rock, Paper, Scissors can either choose to benefit from the ball possession at the beginning of the game or at the beginning of a potential overtime.


Every successful shot inside the arc shall be awarded 1 point.

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

Every successful free throw shall be awarded 1 point.

Playing Time / Winner of a game

5-Minute warm-up for both teams combined together.
Each Match will consist of the 3 games of 15 minutes. Whichever team is leading at the time of the end of the 15 minute game, wins that game within the match or if there is a tie at the end of 15 minutes play continues until the next basket wins that game within the match.

2 Minute Break allowed between each game within a match.

A team shall lose the game by forfeit if at the scheduled starting time the team is not present on the playing court with a minimum 2 players ready to play. In case of a forfeit, the game score is marked with 2-0 win.

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.

Fouls/Free throws

A player will be disqualified upon committing their 6th personal foul or 2nd technical foul within a single game within a match.
Both common fouls and technical fouls count against the personal foul limit.  After each game within the match, all personal, and team fouls reset back to 0 to start the next game within the match.

Player common fouls and technical fouls will be combined for the team foul total.

A team is in a penalty situation after it has committed 6 fouls. The bonus will start on the 7th team foul in each game within the match this results in free throws following the foul call.

Team fouls 7, 8 and 9 shall always be awarded with 2 free throws. The 10th and any subsequent team foul as well as technical and unsportsmanlike fouls will be always awarded with 2 free throws and ball possession. This clause is applied also to fouls during the act of shooting.

After a team has reached 9 team fouls, any subsequent foul will be considered technical. For the avoidance of doubt, players are not excluded based on the number of personal fouls.

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.

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

Possession is kept after the last free throw derived from an unsportsmanlike or technical foul and the game shall continue with an exchange of the ball behind the arc at the top of the court.

How the ball is played

Following each successful field goal or last free throw:

  • A player from a non-scoring team will resume the game by dribbling or passing the ball from inside the court directly underneath the basket (not from behind the end line) to a place on the court behind the arc.
  • The defensive team is not allowed to play for the ball in the no-charge semi-circle area underneath the basket.

Following each unsuccessful field goal or last free throw:

  • 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 or steals the ball, it must return the ball behind the arc (by passing or dribbling).

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

All held-balls are awarded to the defence first, then they alternate possessions each held-ball after that.

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

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


Stalling or failing to play actively (i.e. not attempting to score) shall be a violation.

If a team is not sufficiently trying to attack the basket, the referee shall give them a warning by counting the last 5 seconds.


Substitutions can be done by any team when the ball becomes dead, prior to the check-ball. The substitute can enter the game after his teammate steps off the court and establishes a physical contact with him (example:  High-5).

Substitutions can only take place behind the end line opposite the basket and substitutions require no action from the referees or table officials.

Standings of teams

Both in pools and in overall competition 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. Most points scored in average (without considering winning scores of forfeits).

If teams are still tied after those three steps, the tie will be broken by Niagara Sport & Social Club staff.

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