Through Central Sports Basketball, youth learn the fundamentals of basketball with an emphasis on proper dribbling, passing & shooting techniques, general rules of the sport, defensive positioning and sportsmanship. Players of all skill levels are welcome to play in the Central Sports Basketball league.

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Boys and girls in 1st through 6th grades are eligible for the Central Sports Basketball league. Teams are separated by gender and grade. A jersey and shorts are provided for each player (included in the registration fee). Each player should provide their own athletic/court shoes.

League Rules


  • Before each game a devotional and prayer will be led over the sound system. Teams and coaches are expected to be at mid-court for this time.
  • A coin toss or other impartial method determines which team receives possession first. In jump-ball situations, possessions will alternate.
  • During each segment the clock runs continuously stopping only at the end of each segment for predetermined substitutions; this time should not be treated as a timeout.
  • At the start of each 6-minute period, coaches will line players up from best to worst on the court, starting with the best player closest to the table. This allows coaches to line up and match substitutions based on height and ability without wasting valuable game time.
  • At the end of each segment, the team that receives the ball next is based upon the direction of the possession arrow. This avoids stalling by the offensive team at the end of a segment.
  • Teams switch goals at halftime.
  • Any games ending in a tie should remain a tie. There is no overtime period.
  • No league standings are maintained.


  • Man-to-man defense will be played at all times. Zone defenses are not allowed. Only the 5-6th grade division may play zone defense inside the 3-point line. In most cases, players are guarding the opponent that closely matches ability and height, creating a more competitive system for all on the court
  • Defensive players must stay within arm’s reach of the player they’re guarding.
  • Isolation plays will not be allowed because they take away the opportunity for improvement for all players and contradict the spirit of the rules. This prevents defenders from sagging or crowding an area of the court to gain a defensive advantage.
  • Double teaming is not allowed. However, help defense is strongly encouraged in the following instances:
    • Offensive Picks and Screens – Defensive switching is allowed on offensive picks and screens. The non-screened defender can help his or her teammate by temporarily switching until the teammate recovers to defend his or her offensive player. This is commonly referred to as “help and recover”.
    • Fast Breaks – During any fast break (when the team that gains possession pushes quickly into the opponent’s end of the court), another defensive player not assigned to the ball handler may help in order to slow or stop the fast break. Upon stopping the fast break, defenders should return to guarding their assigned players.
    • Lane Area – If a defender is in the lane and the player he or she is guarding is within arm’s reach, the defender is allowed to provide help defense.
  • At the beginning of each segment, both coaches should line up the players at mid-court in the order the table tells you to. This act is performed to promote equal player matchups.
    • 1st-2nd grades – each player will wear a colored wristband (red, white, blue black, green). Players guard the corresponding color. (If both coaches agree to a matchup problem the may switch wristbands)
    • 3rd-6th grades – once given the “ok” by the ref, coaches may move them around to show who they are guarding
  • Full-court presses are not allowed. Defensive players may not guard their opponents in the backcourt. This creates an equal opportunity for each athlete to participate both on offense and defense
  • Due to the shortness of the court in cross court play, backcourt violation will not be called. However, backcourt violation will be called when playing 5th – 6th grade. The offense must purposefully attack the defense in every situation – no stalling. After a warning from the referee, a violation will be called resulting in a turnover.
  • Steals:
    • In 1st-2nd grades a defender may only steal the ball from the player they are guarding.
    • In 3rd-6th grades if a defender remains within arm’s length of the player they are guarding they may steal the ball from another offensive player
  • A player committing two fouls in one six-minute segment must sit out the remainder of that segment. The next player in the rotation closest in ability comes in as the substitute. This does not change the normal rotation, because the fouled-out player does not come back into the game until scheduled to do so. The player who comes in as a substitute gains extra playing time. This extra time does not affect the predetermined substitution system.
    • Note: In a second foul situation, when a team only has five players at a game, replace the substitution rule with a two-point penalty by awarding the fouled team two additional points. The opposing team then takes possession.


  • The offense must purposefully attack the defense in every situation – no stalling. After a warning from the referee, a violation will be called resulting in a turnover. This will prevent a team with the lead from running the clock out by staying in the backcourt.
  • Non-shooting fouls result in the ball being taken out on the side by the offended team (no bonus rule). All shooting fouls result in free throws in grades 5-6 division only. (5-6 grade – if a foul occurs on a made basket, the player will shoot one free throw.) (All free-throws is 5-6 grade will be on shot for corresponding 1,2,3 points).
  • No score will be given for a basket in the wrong goal (except 5-6 grade). It will be treated as a turnover. This will prevent further embarrassing a player for making this mistake.
  • Last 2 minutes of the game:
    • Any non-shooting foul in the last 2 minutes of the game will result in 1 point for the offense and will retain possession of ball.
    • Any shooting foul in the last 2 minutes of the game will result in 2 points for the offense and the defense will take possession of the ball. If the foul is on a 3-point shot in the 5th-6th grade division, it will result in 3 points.
    • This will not waste precious game time and will prevent intentional fouling at the end of the game.


  • This substitution system is designed to provide every player an equal opportunity for improvement. The substitution system ensures that:
    • The starting lineup shifts down one player every game, allowing every child the opportunity to be in the starting lineup
    • No child will sit out back-to-back six minute segments
    • Every child will play at least half of the game
    • In most cases, each child will play against someone of similar ability
    • Playing time for all players is virtually even over the course of the season
    • The starting five will change by one player each week
    • The best players on your team will always be playing with teammates who are not as good as them
    • The weaker players will be given the opportunity to play with a teammate who can make them better

Lauren Young

Family Activities Associate

Lauren Young

Family Activities Associate