Official 3-on-3 League Rules


Good sportsmanship and cooperation are both anticipated and expected. The team captain or designated coach, if applicable, is expected to aid in controlling teammates’ and team followers’ conduct and to represent his/her team as spokesperson in case of appeals to the court monitor. Poor sportsmanship could result in penalties against the team in either the Technical, Intentional, or Flagrant foul categories (see rule 12). Failure to comply with the Spirit of Bozeman Basketball Leagues, with acts such as fighting, taunting, intimidating or verbally attacking a tournament official, player or spectator may lead to removal of that player, team and/or spectator from the league. Any ejection from the league will result in a suspension from the next year’s league, at a minimum. Decisions made by the commissioner are final, and are not subject to review by video or other recordings, or other sources.

1 - Who Can Play

The league is open to adults over the age of 18. A player may participate on multiple teams during the regular season, but can only play on 1 team during the final tournament.

2 - Number of Players - 5 per team max

Each team may consist of a maximum of 5 players and a minimum of 3 players. A team may have only 3 players on the court at any time. All games must start with at least 3 players on each team. Any number of players (1, 2, or 3) may complete a game. Teams may only pick up one extra player from another team to help play during the regular season, but the individual must be approved by the opposing teams captain. No pickups during the tournament games.

3 - Authorized Equipment & Apparel

No player shall be allowed to wear a guard, cast, hard brace or other potentially dangerous equipment on his or her elbow, hand, wrist, finger, or forearm, including equipment made of hard leather, plastic, plaster or metal—even if the equipment is covered with soft padding. Soft braces, sleeves and wraps will be allowed unless they pose a danger to other players. In addition, jewelery, hair bands and clips will not be allowed. As always, Bozeman Basketball Leagues retains the right to disallow any equipment or apparel that it judges to be dangerous or inappropriate.

4 - Eligibility Issues

All high school and college players are encouraged to check with their coaches and/or athletic directors about participating in the league and the potential effects on their eligibility. Bozeman Basketball Leagues is not responsible for determining a particular athlete’s eligibility under National Collegiate Athletic Association or applicable high school association rules.

5 - Bracket Types

Teams will be divided into tournament brackets according to its players’ ages, heights, playing experience, and competition level, in accordance with the information on each team entry form. Tournament officials reserve the right to verify a player’s entry form data. False information will be grounds for dismissal from the tournament.

6 - Basket Height

The standard height of 10 feet will be used for all other brackets.

7 - Basketball Size

The intermediate size ball will be used for all female games. The full size ball will be used for all other games.

8 - Free Throw Shooting Distance

The distance for free-throws will be 15 feet for all divisions.

9 - Two-Point Shooting Distance

The distance for two-point shooting is 19 feet for all other divisions.

10 - Stealing the Ball

Players in all age categories may steal the ball when it is being passed even immediately following the check-in play.

11 - Diversity Statement

Bozeman Basketball Leagues provides an atmosphere that is diverse and inclusive and will not tolerate discrimination of any kind. Bozeman Basketball Leagues has adopted a strict policy regarding all discriminatory remarks or actions from players, spectators, and tournament officials. Failure to adhere to this policy may result in expulsion from the event.

12 - Fouls

The participating players will call their own fouls. More specifically, the player that was fouled will call the foul. All called fouls shall result in one free throw shot, except on successful field goals, in which case the basket counts and no free throw shot is awarded. During a free throw, opposing team players may not intentionally disrupt the shooter’s unhindered throw. A change of possession will result regardless of whether the free throw shot is made or missed. After a foul shot, the ball will be placed into play from the back-court line. Incidental contact between opponents shall not result in a called foul unless such contact results in a meaningful disadvantage. Players fouled behind the two-point arc, while in the act of shooting, shall be awarded two free throws. A player fouled behind the two-point arc, not in the act of shooting, shall be awarded one free throw. The exception will be for successful field goals, in which case the basket counts and no foul shots will be awarded. Referees will only be used in the final tournament.

A - Technical Fouls

A technical foul will be called for unsportsmanlike acts such as taunting, baiting, or trash talk. Taunting and baiting can involve derogatory remarks or gestures that incite or insult a player. Trash talk involves a deeply personal, verbal attack directed toward any person involved in the event. In extreme cases, the player may also be suspended from play and a coach or fan removed from the court for the remainder of that game or for the rest of the tournament. A player who aggressively comes into contact with or assaults a court monitor, court marshal, or other tournament official shall be automatically ejected from the game and for the remainder of the current tournament. Additional suspension for such acts will be determined by the Bozeman Basketball Leagues organization on a case by case basis. The court monitor may also assess a technical foul if the monitor determines that the team is stalling in the interest of preserving a winning margin. A technical foul results in one point for the offended team and possession of the ball.

B - Intentional Fouls

An intentional foul is a foul designed to neutralize an opponent’s obvious advantageous position. It is a foul which, based on the court monitor’s observation of the act, is not a legitimate attempt to directly play the ball. A foul shall also be ruled intentional, based on the monitor’s observation of the act, if while attempting to play the ball, a player causes excessive contact. An intentional foul results in one point for the offended team and possession of the ball.

C - Flagrant Fouls

A flagrant foul may be of a violent or aggressive nature, or an act which displays unacceptable conduct. It may or may not be intentional. It may involve violent or aggressive contact such as striking, kicking, kneeing, moving under an opponent who is in the air, and crouching or hipping in a manner which could cause severe injury to the opponent. It may also involve dead ball contact or dialogue which is extreme or persistent, aggressive, or abusive. A flagrant foul results in one point for the offended team and possession of the ball. The player committing the foul will be suspended from play for the remainder of that game and possibly for the rest of the tournament. Technical, intentional, and flagrant fouls cannot be called by a player. A court monitor or court marshal will make this call. Their decision is final.

D - Crowd Control

The Team Captains are the only people, other than the Players, whom are permitted to address the Court Monitor. Any Fans whom negatively address a Court Monitor, Marshal or Tournament Official shall be assessed a technical foul to their team.

13 - Stalling

Stalling is prohibited. Stalling is a style of play in which a team does not actively attempt to advance the basketball toward the basket and shoot the ball at the basket. It is a method used in an attempt to run out the game clock to preserve a win. Stalling is considered an unsportsmanlike act and will result in a technical foul against the offending team (see rule 12a).

14 - Which Team Receives the Ball First?

Rock, paper, scissors will be played prior to each game to determine which team gets the ball out-of-bounds first.

15 - Keeping Score

All made baskets from inside the two-point arc count for one point and made baskets from outside the two-point arc count for two points. The first team to 15 points is the winner. (see rule 16 for exceptions).

16 - Length of Game - 15 Points or 15 Minutes

The target score for all games is 15 points, meaning the first team to reach 15 points within 15 minutes of play is declared the winner. The team that reaches 15 points does not need to have a winning margin of 2 points or greater. The clock runs continuously until the last 1 minute of the game or if a team calls a timeout. Each team gets 1 timeout per game. If neither team has reached a score of 15 points, the court monitor shall stop the game after 15 minutes of play.

No game shall go beyond 15 points. If a game is tied at 14 at the conclusion of 15 minutes, the first team to score in overtime shall be declared the winner.

17 - Checked Ball

The ball must be checked by an opposing player before it is put into play. The check-in must occur behind the 3-point line and not the out of bounds or end line. As always, the ball must be passed to begin play. Shots are not allowed without an initial pass off the top. The pass may occur anywhere on the court, but the on-ball defender must remain behind the two-point arc.

18 - Change of Possession

The ball will change possession after scored baskets and all free-throw attempts with the exception of Technical, Intentional or Flagrant fouls (see rule 12 a, b, c, d). There will be no make it, take it rule.

19 - Taking It Back

The ball will be taken back on each change of possession, regardless of whether or not a shot was attempted. Failure to take it back results in loss of possession and any points just scored. Taking it back means bringing your whole body and the ball behind the 3-point line.

20 - Ball Out-of-Bounds

A ball out-of-bounds will be taken out from behind the 3-point line.

21 - Boundaries

The basket structure, padding, and structural supports will be played as out-of-bounds. The actual backboard, including its face, top, bottom and sides, shall be considered in-bounds.

Jump Ball

In a jump ball situation, the ball will first go to the team which lost the opening control, with alternating possessions thereafter.


Dunking is encouraged. Dunking during warm-ups is ok. Any damage to the rim or backboard is the responsibility of the individual


Substitutions may only be made during a time-out or a "dead ball" situation.


Each team is allowed a single one minute time-out per game. The clock will stop running during a time-out.

Player Injury

A court monitor has the discretion to suspend play for the protection of an injured player. If a player is bleeding or has an open wound, that player will be directed to leave the game and properly bandage the wound. A player with any bloodstained clothing or bandage must remove the stained or saturated material prior to re-entering the game. If it is believed that a player has lost consciousness during a game, or is severely injured, Bozeman Basketball Leagues may require a written note from a medical doctor who has examined the player subsequent to the game injury and specifically authorizes that player to continue participation in the tournament.

Game Times

All printed schedules are effective through only the first game for all teams. Following the league's first game on each day, each team is required to check the website for all official schedules, times, courts, revisions, and general game information. Teams must be ready to begin play at their scheduled start time. Teams not at their court for their scheduled game are given a 5 minute grace period before a forfeit is enforced. Bozeman Basketball Leagues shall not be responsible for any games lost due to forfeits. Teams are encouraged to remain in contact with their court to observe the effects of scheduling changes that could occur mainly due to inclement weather or other unexpected delays. Inclement weather and non-playable situations may result in the modification or cancellation of the event. Under these unlikely circumstances team entry fees will not be refunded.

The Fine Print

The league commissioner shall have the power to make decisions on any points not specifically covered in the Rules and Regulations and shall also have the complete authorization to interpret the intent and purpose of these Rules and Regulations. Bozeman Basketball League officials also reserve the right to disqualify any player and/or team for infractions of tournament policies, including the following:

Use of Illegal Players

The players listed on the team entry form as accepted by Bozeman Basketball Leagues are the only ones eligible for play on that team. Under no circumstances will roster substitutions be allowed after May 1st of each league year. Before the beginning of each game, every player will sign a Release and Waiver and Sportsmanship Pledge. Any team using a player not properly registered will be disqualified from the tournament.

False Information

Information provided on a team entry form is the basis for bracket scheduling and is expected to be both accurate and complete. Players listing inaccurate information on these forms may be disqualified from the tournament.