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League Rules

Rules for Magic Hoops Development League 2023-24

  • All rules are adapted from FIBA Basketball guidelines.
  • If you are unaware of what these are, you can click the link below to go over the rules. It may even be worth having the players refer to rules if there is something that they are not sure on. FIBA Official Basketball Rules.

Housekeeping Rules

  • Signing in: All players must sign in with the table officials before entering the hall for the game.
  • Game Kit: Players must wear dark coloured (navy or black preferred) shorts/bottoms for the game. Players will be given a basketball top to wear, This must be returned to the coaches after the game. Please have an idea of what your childs size will be before arriving, as we will not be able to swap these around during or after the sign in process. (Sizes range from Extra Small Youth – XXL Adult, please see the size guide for basketball tops here: https://www.magichoops.co.uk/sizechart/)
  • Spectator Expectations: Upon arrival, the players will need to go to the team bench & stay with the team for the duration of the game. If they have a drink or any equipment for the game, they must take that with them and place it behind their seating.
  • Seating: Players & coaches will sit by the scorers table on one side of the court, spectators will sit on the other side of the court. At no point during the game should spectators go across to the team bench to interact with the players, scorers or coaches.
  • Cheering & Supporting: Please support the teams! Cheer, be loud and have fun! But be courteous. Players could be playing their first game ever, and sometimes referees will make mistakes. We do not expect anyone involved in the game to come under any kind of abuse. If a referee or coach feels like you are acting inappropriately, they will ask you to leave until the end of the game.
  • Transition from one game to the next: The players/families arriving for the next game should not enter until the game previously has finished the game & left the venue. Unless players are related & are sitting watching their respected family the players must wait outside the court to avoid overcrowding in the sports hall.
  • Exiting the Hall: A different door will be used to exit the hall (that will take you into the car park) once the game has finished, to help us and the Leisure Centre staff with the flow of people.


  • For fairness but also in the spirit of the game we have adapted some of the rules, so the children get more in-game playing time with the bonus of being able to make more errors without being penalised as much.
  • Quarter length: The quarter Length is 8 minutes with a running clock (32 minutes in total). The last 2 minutes of the 4th quarter the clock will stop when the ball goes out of play.
  • Injuries: Injuries will be seen to by the referee & the coaches. When the referee blows the whistle to stop play, the coach will come onto the floor to assist the injured player. When a player is injured whether they are treated or untreated they must be subbed out.
  • Playing time: The players are guaranteed one quarter of playing time whether that is the 1st, 2ndd or 3rd Quarter in the game. After that, it’s down to the coaches who will play the remainder of the game. (Example, if you have 12 players, 5 will play the first Quarter, 5 will play the 2nd Quarter, 2 will play the 3rd quarter with another 3 who have already played. Those 3 who’ve already played can be rotated but the 2 who haven’t played their mandatory time will stay on for the duration of that Quarter. The final Quarter will be rotate, with the coach making all decisions.)
  • Smaller Teams: If a team has less than 10 players, the coach of the opposing team will be allowed in the 2nd Quarter to choose a substitute for the opposing team. This is to avoid one player playing all minutes and to help the game remain an even contest.
  • Substitutes: After all players have played their mandatory game time (One Quarter) the coach will be allowed to rotate any player at any time, this will take place from the 3rd Quarter onwards. The only time a rotated player will happen outside of the mandatory time is when there is an injury or the player requests to come off.
  • Half Court Defence: Teams will have to play half court defence. When possession changes from one team to another in the team with possessions backcourt the defensive team must go back to their own half & cannot take the ball. The result of a steal would be a violation & the ball going to the sideline with the team who had possession. The only time Half-court defence is not on is in the u16 games in the final Quarter when the game is within 20 points. The team at this point may play full court defence & press the offensive team.
  • Fouls/Free Throws: If a player goes for a shot anywhere on the court they will go to the free throw line, however they will only be awarded one shot. This shot will be worth all their points the player attempted when they were fouled. Example if a player shoots a 3-point shot & misses but was fouled during the shot. The player will go to the free throw line, if they make it they get all 3 points, if they miss they get no points & the ball is back in play to be rebounded & continue.
  • Shooting a Free Throw: In u12’s the player is allowed to cross the free throw line during the attempt & the basket will count if it goes in. The u14 & 16’s however will not & the basket will not be counted, leading to a violation & the ball being inbounded by the opposing team on the sideline.
  • Tied Game: At the end of regulation time, if the game is tied, the game will start with the team who’s turn it is to inbound the ball and it will be the next points win. One basket, regardless of score, will win the game.
  • Team Fouls: Team fouls will still be applicable in the game & once there are 5 team fouls, any foul will result in 1 free throw worth 2 points (Unless it was a 3-point shot or a contested shot that went in) until the end of the quarter where it resets. Individual fouls are not applicable & a player cannot be fouled out. If a player is continuing to foul unnecessarily or dangerously the referee will let the player know they will need to stop. If the player continues the referee will ask the coach to speak to the player. If it still continues the referee can request the player be substituted for the remainder of the quarter.
  • Unsportsmanlike fouls/Technical fouls: A unsportsmanlike or technical foul will be taken the same way as a normal game, if they receive 2 they will be automatically subbed out for the remainder of the Quarter, they are allowed to come back in for the following Quarter.