League Rules

Basketball (4-on-4)

Quick Summary

This is what you need to know to get going. For a full listing of all the rules, with detailed descriptions and definitions, see Full Rules below.

The changes specific to TRSL Rec. Basketball and other important highlights are listed below:

  1. All players MUST abide by the TRSL’s “Players’ Code of Conduct
  2. Except for the changes noted, all Official FIBA basketball rules apply.
  3. Teams play 4-a-side. In co-ed leagues, there must be at least 1 woman (or 1 man) on the court (ie. you can’t have 4 men or 4 women on at a time). If you’re short players, you may play 1 player short (gender min’s still apply in co-ed leagues), but no less. (See “Full Rules” – Start-up #1).
  4. The game is generally two 23 minute halves with a 2-3 minute half-time break. However, games must end by 55 minutes after scheduled start time.
  5. All baskets are worth 1 point.
  6. Home team will start with possession – switch in the 2nd half.
  7. It’s your responsibility to be in control of your body at all times. AGGRESSIVE PLAY, WHETHER CLUMSY OR INTENTIONAL, MUST BE AVOIDED.
  8. Officiating is a hybrid of self-officiated and refereed. Players are to call their own fouls (offensive calls). The Game Supervisor moderates the game and can make/change calls as needed.
  9. After a foul, the fouled team takes the ball “at the top” and play is restarted by the defence checking the ball in. After the check, a team must pass before a basket can be scored.
  10. Subs can be made on the fly. There must be a tag at the sideline between the exiting and entering player.

Full Rules

Unless otherwise stated, all rules and regulations are in accordance with FIBA basketball rules (http://www.fiba.com/basketball-rules).

The changes specific to TRSL 4 on 4 Basketball and other important highlights are listed below:


  1. The game will consist of two halves of equal duration (approx. 23 minutes), with a brief 2 or 3 minute half-time break. Games MUST finish by 55 minutes after the scheduled start time.
  2. “Stop-time” will be played during the final minute of the 1st half; and during the final 2 minutes of the 2nd half if the difference in score is 12 or less.
  3. Each team is allowed one 30-second time-out per game.


  1. Each team must have 4 players on the court. In co-ed leagues your team must have at least 1 woman (or 1 man) on the court – you may NOT play with 4 men or 4 women at a time.
  2. If short, a team may play 1 player short. In co-ed leagues the minimum 1 woman/man rule still applies.
  3. A team may not start/continue to play more than 1 player short.
  4. If a team cannot field the minimum number of players by 10 minutes past game time, they will have defaulted. A score of 10-0 will be recorded.
  5. Home team starts with possession. In the 2nd half, teams should switch ends and the away team should start with possession.
  6. Each team should bring both dark shirts and white shirts to the game so that teams can wear opposing colours. AVOID GREY SHIRTS – they cause confusion (looks dark, looks light).
  7. If the game is tied at the end of regulation time, a 2-minute overtime will be played (stop-time, no timeouts). The team with 1st possession at the start of the game starts with possession in overtime.
  8. If the game is still tied at the end of overtime, the game is declared a tie (except in playoffs).


  1. Officiating is a hybrid of self-officiated and refereed. Players are to call their own fouls (like in a self-officiated game) with the offensive player being responsible to clearly call out “foul”. Additionally, there is a Game Supervisor moderating the game. They will make/change/correct/over-ride any calls as they see fit and generally manage the game to maximize fun, fairness and safety.
  2. The Game Supervisor has final authority over any disputed calls / plays and the game in general. Their decision is final.


  1. Substitutions are to be made “on the fly”. This means at any time, including while the ball is in play.
  2. The new player must not enter the court until the player leaving has reached the sideline and tagged the oncoming player.


  1. To help understand what should and shouldn’t be called in a basketball game, think of it as an organized pick-up game. If you’d call it on the playground, call it in TRSL. If it’s something you’d let go on the playground, let it go it the TRSL.
  3. While it’s impossible to avoid all contact in a basketball game, hard contact should be kept to a minimum. There’s no place for swinging elbows or barreling through a pick. This is not a rough, physical game. No one should get hurt.
  4. When a foul is called, play should be restarted by the fouled team taking the ball “at the top” and having the defensive team “check” the ball in.
  5. Whenever the ball is checked in, the player starting with the ball may NOT dribble and may NOT score until after the ball is possessed by another player. The clock starts on the first pass (similar to inbounding the ball).
  6. Because there are no free throws, and you can’t foul out, be aware of committing excessive number of fouls. Do NOT abuse the rules and the recreational nature of the game by constantly fouling someone anytime they get near the basket. This will destroy the game.
  7. There are no free throws.
  8. Each basket made scores 1 (one) point.
  9. There is no shot clock. Remember that it’s very unsporting to hold the ball for an excessive amount of time to kill the clock when you’re leading. Do not abuse the “no shot clock” rule, play the game.
  10. While “3 in the key” will not be strictly enforced, keep in mind the spirit of the rule and avoid planting yourself in the key. If a player recognizes an opponent lingering in the key, they should give them a friendly reminder to vacate the key.
  11. If the ball hits an obstruction (ie. ceiling, not-in-play basketball net, etc.) it is out of play.

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