Youth League Basketball Rules

Basketball League Rules


Otero County Youth Development League Sports Basketball Rules & Regulations


  1. Eligibility
  1. Players will be 4-12 years of age to participate in league play. Age is determined by the participant’s age as of December 31st, of the current year. Exceptions may be made at the discretion of Otero County Youth Sports Directors.
  2. Players will be divided (to the best of our ability) into evenly split teams based upon age, ability, and skill level. All player assignments will be the sole discretion of Otero County Youth Sports Directors.
  3. Each team will have one (1) practice per week. Contact your coach for day & times of your practice.(no practice facilities as of yet)
  4. A player may only be listed on one roster per season. A player may choose to play up one age division, but he/she cannot play down an age division.
  5. Refunds will NOT be issued after uniforms have been ordered.


  1. Equipment/Uniforms
  1. All players on each team must wear jerseys that are matching in color and which have a permanently affixed, non-duplicated number on the front and back of jersey. Otero County will provide jerseys for all registered individuals.
  2. Players must wear shoes that are designed for indoor wood court surfaces. NO “turf shoes” or other black-soled shoes will be allowed. Players may not play barefooted or in stocking feet.
  3. Referees may ban any equipment that they deem as unsafe or illegal.
  4. Jerseys must be tucked in at all times during games.
  5. No jewelry may be worn at any time during the game.


III. Playing Rules

  1. Teams should be present thirty (30) minutes before game time.
  2. Playing time per game: Each player is required to play the equivalent of HALF of each game for first six weeks.
  3. A starting line-up must be turned into the Official Scorekeeper 15 minutes prior to game time. Line-up must include last name, first name and jersey number.
  4. Quarters/Halves:
    1. K4/K5: An official game shall consist of: four (4) six -minute quarters. The clock will stop at the 1st dead ball under 4-minutes of each quarter at which time the coaches may make substitutions.
    2. 1st/2nd Grades: An official game shall consist of: four (4) six-minute quarters. Teams may substitute players at a “dead ball” near the 4-minute mark but players will NOT line up. Coaches must instruct them on who they are guarding before entering the game. Clock will not stop until the last minute of each HALF.
    3. 3rd-6th Grade: Teams will play two, 20-minute halves with the clock stopping under ONE minute in each half.
  5. Halftime: 3-minutes in length
  6. Basketball sizes used:
    1. K4/K5 will utilize a 27.5” ball.
    2. 1st-6th grades will utilize a 28.5” ball.
  7. Goal sizes used:
    1. K4/K5 will utilize a 6 foot goal.
    2. 1st/2nd Grade will utilize a 8 foot goal.
    3. 3rd-6th grades will utilize a 10 foot goal.
  8. The “three – second” lane violation rule will be in effect for only 3rd grade & older Division Games.
  9. Full Court Press:
    1. 2nd Grade & Below: Pressing is NOT allowed.
    2. 3rd/4th Grade: Pressing is allowed in the 2nd HALF ONLY.
    3. 5th Grade & Above: Pressing is allowed ALL game.
    4. Mercy Rule:
      1. 3rd-6th Grade: If a team is up by more than 15 points in the 2nd half, that team cannot full court press. They will receive a warning on the first incident and a technical foul on the coach for the 2nd.
  10. The ten-second rule for offensive teams to advance the ball past half court will be in effect during all games EXCEPT for K4/K5 Divisions.
  11. Three Point Shot, all shots made behind the 3-point arc will be counted as such.
  12. Timeouts:
    1. Pre-K thru 2nd Grade: Teams will receive 1 timeout per half
    2. 3rd Grade & Up: Teams will receive 2 timeouts per half.
  1. Teams may start with a minimum of 4 players and can finish with as few as two.
  2. All substitutes must check in at the scorer’s table and wait for an official to allow them to enter the game.
    1. K4/K5: players will lineup at half court at the beginning of each quarter to determine who they are guarding, the league will provide colored wrist bands to help with this.
    2. 1st/2nd Grade: Substitutes may come in at the 4-minute mark of each quarter.
    3. For 3rd grade & above, there will be “free substitutions”. Coaches may sub players in at any stoppage in play. There will not be an official Substitution Timeout.
  1. Zone Defense: 3rd Grade & above CAN play zone defense.
    1. Man to Man Defense: Required for K4/K5 & 1st/2nd Grade Divisions. All players will be responsible for guarding the player they are assigned to. Player assignments will be determined by both coaches prior to the start of the period.
  2. Coaches: One (1) Coach may stand during the game. All other coaches must remain seated on the sideline during game play, except during substitutions (Exception: In K4/K5, 1st/2nd Grade Divisions, One (1) Coach will be allowed on the game floor with the players, but will not impede game progress).
  3. Otero County Youth reserves the right to approve/disapprove any team logo, language or uniform deemed lewd, vulgar, obscene or suggestive in order to maintain a wholesome environment conducive to providing quality leisure opportunities.


  1. Fouls
  1. In K4/K5, 1st/2nd Grade Divisions, a player may not foul out. In 3rd grade & above divisions, 5 fouls committed during the game will result in that player having to set out the remainder of the game.
  2. Foul Shots:
    1. K4/K5, 1st/2nd Division: There will be no foul shots. Every foul will result in an out of bounds possession by the team whose player was fouled.
    2. 3rd-6th Grade Division: Foul shots will be taken from the painted foul line, or if needed, at a closer line marked on the floor with tape.
  3. Bonuses: Will take effect in 3rd-6th Grade Divisions.
    1. After 6 Team Fouls, all fouls will result in a 1-1 shot for the player the foul was committed against. (Player will be given 1 shot, if it is made, they will be granted an additional shot. If the basket is not made, play will resume on the rebound of the shot if possible).
    2. After 9 Team Fouls, all fouls will result in an automatic 2 shots for the player the foul was committed against.
    3. All Team Fouls will reset at Halftime.


  1. Overtime
  1. No Overtime will be played in K4/K5, 1st/2nd Grade Divisions. Games can end in a tie.
  2. For 3rd-6th Grade Divisions, a (1) one-minute overtime will be played at the end of regulation. If there is a tie at the end of the overtime period, the game will go to a sudden death play. Sudden Death will be started with a Jump Ball in Center Court. Game will end after one team makes a basket.
  3. For the Overtime Period, Coaches will be given ONE additional time-out.



  1. Staff Information/Inclement Weather

Contact your coach for information on any cancellations. Also check the OCYDL  Twitter and Facebook Pages.


VII. Conduct/Discipline Policy

  1. Any player, coach, or manager ejected from any league game will be suspended for a minimum of two (2) league games.
  2. Players, coaches and managers who have been suspended must leave the facilities and grounds immediately or the team will forfeit the game.
  3. Each team manager will be held responsible for the conduct of his or her fans/spectators.
  4. Physical violence, especially attacks on a game or league official immediately before, during, or after a game, or fights/confrontations between players/teams will result in a minimum of one (1) year loss of eligibility in all league play or indefinite suspension in all league play; subject to an annual review if requested.
  5. The referees/OCYDL  have the authority to remove players, coaches, or spectators from the game and/or forfeit the game due to unsportsmanlike conduct. Unsportsmanlike conduct shall include, but not be limited to, profanity, threats of any kind toward the referees or scorekeeper, fighting (before, during or after the game), or any flagrant foul as determined by the referee.


VII. Protests

There will be no Protests of calls. All calls made in a game are final.


VIII. Amendments

OCYDL reserves the right to add, delete or amend the rules/regulations/polices for the betterment of the program.


This league is facilitated by Otero County Youth Development league Sports in collaboration with the main host site, NMSU-A Tays Event Center..