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Basketball Rules

Basketball - 5’s

There is only one format of Basketball 5’s rules under JAM Rules. This rulebook will cover Mixed Basketball, Men’s Basketball and Women’s Basketball 5’s programs.

JAM is for Everyone – Inclusion Statement

Our program offerings are designed to be inclusive for all members of the JAM community. Our goal is to create a welcoming gender policy that uplifts and supports each player where they are at. To ensure we can offer something for everyone, our programs may be offered in the following formats: Mixed-Gender, Women's, Men's, and Open.

Many of our league rules specify gender-based roster requirements, the goal of which is to ensure that each player has an equal opportunity to be included in gameplay.

Everyone participating in a JAM program is welcome to compete based on their gender identity and gender expression; regardless of their gender assigned at birth. Members whose gender identity does not align with the binary man/woman construct are welcome to play in all our mixed-gender and open programs.

Nonbinary, trans, genderqueer, and all other players who identify as a gender minority can count towards the roster minimums for either men or women in our mixed-gender leagues.

Game Time

All Basketball games are approximately 55-minutes in length. Please arrive early to ensure you get the full use of your allotted court time. Regardless of when your game begins your game will always end on time to allow the succeeding games to begin at their scheduled time.

Time Keeping: If you’re playing without an official score clock, the JAM Ambassadoron site will be keeping track of time and will determine the end of your game. In this instance, you will receive a warning indicating the final five (5) minutes of your game and a final signal for the end of your game. Once the final signal occurs your game is over.

Halftimes: There is no stoppage for halftime unless requested by one of the teams. If a half-time is requested, then it must be accommodated by the opposing team.

Changing Sides: If one side of a venue has a potential advantage (i.e. stage at one end, etc.), teams should agree before the game that they will be switching sides at approximately the mid-point of the game (and agree on the time to switch). If a switch requested, then it must be accommodated by the opposing team.

Time Outs: Teams may call a one (1) minute time-out per game if needed except in the final 10 minutes of play.


Teams are comprised of five (5) players on the court at a time. A default will occur if any team cannot field a squad by 10 minutes after the official start time. All gender requirements for each specific league are noted below.

Gender Numbers: The following indicates the gender requirements for each specific Basketball programs:

  • Co-ed- Each team must have a minimum of two (2) players of each gender on the court at once.
  • Men’s- Each team will consist of five (5) Men on the court at once
  • Women’s- Each team will consist of five (5) Women on the court at once

Defaults: Teams will default a match if they cannot provide a full team 10 minutes after the scheduled start time. A team can play with a minimum of 4 players on the court.

Note: For Co-ed Leagues, teams must play with a minimum of one player of each gender on the court at once, regardless of playing with 4 total players.

Exceptions: Both teams can agree to play with any number of people on the court up to five (5) players, with any ratio of females and males. If both teams agree then the game counts.

Playing Area

All Basketball gyms vary in size and there is no set standard for a JAM Basketball surface.

Equipment/Set Up

Team captains are responsible for bringing a regulation-sized basketball for each game. Both Co-ed and Men’s Leagues will play with a regulation Men Sized Basketball. Women’s Games will play with a regulation Women Sized Basketball unless agreed upon by both teams to use a Men’s Sized Ball.

Teams are also responsible for keeping track of the score. Please designate one person to keep track of the score.


Teams are required to bring both light and coloured shirts to every game. Team colours are posted on the JAM website in your schedule. If two teams have the same colour the team captains should contact each other to ensure that each team knows what colour to wear.

Defaults: There is no default for players that don’t wear the right colour. However, that player must do everything they can to ensure it’s not confusing for the opposition. Whether this means wearing a pinny, a hat, a teammate’s shirt, etc. Under no circumstances can a player purposely deceive the opposition.

Basketball 101

The following outlines the basis of the rules of Basketball 4’s Programs:

General NCAA Basketball rules apply to JAM games with the following modifications/exceptions:

  • Games begin with a jump ball
  • Defensive play is man-to-man only (no zone defence).
  • Players may substitute after a basket has been scored (not "on the fly").
  • Each basket scored counts as a single point (regardless of where the shot was taken from i.e. no 3-pointers).
  • An out of bounds ball in favour of the attacking team, or a defensive foul results in the attacking team taking possession of the ball at the top of the key. At this point, the ball must be "checked" in by the defensive team before play can resume. Once the ball has been checked in, the attacking player can dribble the ball but must make a pass (S/he cannot score directly off the check-in)
  • "Three seconds in the key": If an offensive player is in the key for more than 3 seconds, the defensive player may warn the player. An offensive player can receive 2 warnings, after the 3rd warning an automatic turnover occurs. Please note that time starts when the ball crosses half court. Counting should go as follows: "one one thousand, two one thousand, three one thousand"
  • When the ball is 'tied up', and a jump ball call is made, the team who lost the opening tip will be awarded possession of the ball (irrelevant of who was on offence or defence). For any subsequent "jump balls", possession will alternate between teams (next jump ball will go to the team who won the opening tip) and continue to switch.
  • DUNKING IS NOT ALLOWED. Dunking damages the rim which makes the schools very unhappy.


All standard basketball infractions are enforced (e.g. reaching-in, body contact of any kind, charging, etc.). Players are responsible for calling their own fouls. Please don't abuse this rule. If a foul call has not been made, the player who has been fouled can also make the foul call.

  • Only one of the two players involved with an infraction can make a foul call.
  • If a foul call is disputed and the two players cannot come to an agreement, the player who allegedly was fouled will take a shot from the free-throw line. If it goes in, that team gains possession at the free-throw line (the basket does not count towards the final score). A missed basket results in the other team taking possession under their own hoop. Remember that games are timed, so it is not worth wasting time arguing over calls.
  • During the last 10 minutes of a game (as announced by the designated timekeeper), if the offensive player with the ball is fouled (whether shooting or not), this person has the option of taking the ball at the top of the key (as usual) OR going to the line and shooting one foul shot. If the player elects to shoot a foul shot and it goes in, it is equivalent to one basket. The ball would then be turned over to the team that had originally committed the foul. If the foul shot does not go in, the ball is live. To avoid defensive players from killing time during the setup for the foul shot, the shooter can attempt the foul shot as soon as the rest of his team is in position for the foul shot (regardless of the position of the defensive players) The foul shooter has a maximum of 20 seconds to take the shot - do not delay the game by taking an unnecessary amount of time.
  • Intentional fouls are not permitted in our self-officiated leagues, regardless of the score. If an intentional foul is committed, the player involved will face further disciplinary action. Please be aware that without referees to monitor the game, this is simply not a safe play.

Regular Season Matches

Games can be tied during the regular season.

Playoffs Eligibility and Tiebreak

There must be a winner in a playoff match. In the event that the match ends in a tie, teams will partake in the following tie-breaker until a winner is determined:

In the playoffs, a game that is tied at the end of regulation time is decided by a three-minute overtime period. If still tied, the game continues without a stoppage until the next point is scored (sudden death). Please note that playoff games should only be 50 minutes in length in anticipation of needing the extra time to settle a tie.

Rough Play

Any rough or physical play will result in immediate expulsion from further league play and may result in a lifetime league expulsion. Please see the JAM General Policy for our official guidelines on this subject. It is recognized that incidental contact between players is inevitable; however, all players should go out of their way to avoid creating an unsafe play. This rule supersedes all others.

Please note that on-site staff members have full autonomy when supervising games. Games may be stopped entirely, players may be asked to leave the playing area or be removed from the game entirely under their discretion.


There are absolutely no alcoholic beverages permitted on JAM property. Any offenders will be asked to leave the league without refund. No exceptions.

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