Rules & Regulations

Tournament Rules

The National High School Federation Rules & Regulations will apply to all USBA games with the following exceptions:

  1. All games will be played as follows:
    1. Grades 7th and up will play two 16-minute halves.
    2. Grades 6th and below will play two 14-minute halves.
    3. Boys grades 6th and below will play with the 28.5 intermediate basketball.
  2. Halftime shall be no longer than 5 minutes.  Pregame warm-ups will be at least 5 minutes.  Time may be changed at the discretion of the site director.  No games will start before their scheduled time unless agreed to by both coaches.
  3. A total of two (2) 30 second time-outs & two (2) full time-outs will be allowed per game.  One additional time-out per team will be awarded for each overtime period.  Timeouts from the game will not carry over to overtime.
  4. Two (2) direct technical fouls during a game on any player, coach, or team representative will result in their disqualification for the next one (1) game of the tournament.  If the team has less than one (1) game in the tournament for which they were ejected the disqualification will NOT carry over to the next tournament.
  5. Each team is allowed two coaches in free. Additional coaches will have to pay admission.
  6. Each team is responsible for providing a designated representative to assist in keeping the scorebook.  USBA will attempt to provide clock operators at all tournaments but if a USBA representative is unavailable the visiting team will be responsible for providing a clock operator.  The scorekeeper & clock operator must be 16 yrs old or older.
  7. Each team is responsible for their own warm-ups balls and game balls and/or any other items brought to the game.  USBA is NOT responsible for lost items.
  8. The home team must provide the game ball.
  9. A player MUST participate in at least one pool play game to be eligible to play in bracket play.
  10. If a team forfeits two (2) or more pool games; the team will be disqualified from the event and cannot participate in the tourney round of play.

Note:  if a team has players leave the bench to come onto the court, USBA reserves the right to dismiss that team for the remainder of that particular tournament.

Roster Rules

  1. Players participate at present grade level of school. Please see: Player Eligibility
  2. Age and grade verification is now required at all USBA Tournaments on National Sports ID. Once you get your team verified on NSID your team is good all year long for USBA events. Teams are required to be NSID verified upon check-in to all USBA events. Get My Team Verified.
  3. All rosters will be created and verified on National Sports ID. This will not only assure all your players are in the proper division but also allow you to enter USBA events by the online check-in process. You can learn more how this works here: Verified Rosters and Online Check-in
  4. Players can play up in a division, but not down.
  5. Players may only participate on one team in a tournament.
  6. A player MUST play in at least one pool play game to be eligible to play in bracket play.
  7. No roster additions will be permitted after the team has begun play of its first game for each particular tournament.
  8. Completed roster and registration fees must be submitted to USBA with the time limits noted or the team will be ineligible for play.
  9. Only head coaches are allowed to challenge the legitimacy or eligibility of an opposing player. Fans, parents, and assistant coaches are not allowed to make an official challenge. All challenges should be made before the game starts.
  10. If a players who’s eligibility is challenged is found to be eligible with proper paperwork (birth certificate/report card), the challenging team will lose a timeout and be assessed a technical foul.
  11. Players who are found to be ineligible will be removed from the game, the violating team will be assessed a technical foul.
  12. Any team violating roster or team rules will be ineligible and will be reprimanded by the USBA. Reprimand will be at the discretion of USBA staff.Note:  A player CANNOT be on multiple rosters or play or multiple teams during the same tournament (regardless if teams are in the same organization).

Divisions of Play

The USBA currently offers one division of play at each grade for boys and girls during regular season tournaments. Depending on participation, up to three divisions may be used during USBA Nationals.

Home/Visitor Team Responsibility

Regarding bracket play, top team listed will be home team. Home team wears lighter color uniform. Home teams bench would be to the left of the scores table looking from center court.

Home team is responsible for the game ball and an official bookkeeper.

Each coach is responsible for the players, assistant coaches, staff, and parents of his/her team.  Any misconduct on or off the court will result in immediate dismissal and/or disqualification from tournament. The tournament site director will have the final authority to remove or disqualify any team. Note: In the event of disqualification, tournament fees or any other refund will NOT be issued! No Exceptions!

Pre-Game Warm Up: Pre game warm up time will consist of  5 minutes. The tournament site director may shorten this time if need be.

Half Time: Half time will be 5 minutes. This may be shortened at the discretion of the site tournament director.

Overtime: Two, Two (2) minute overtimes will be allowed. If teams are still tied after the second overtime, the sudden death format will be used with the first team scoring a basket being declared the winner.

20 Point Lead: If at any time during the game, a team establishes a 20 point lead, the clock will continue to run with the exception of a time out being called. If the 20 point lead is reduced to 15 points, normal clock operation will resume.  Note: Team that is winning by 20 points or more will not be allowed to press full court and the clock runs at all times unless a timeout is called unless the lead is reduced to 15 points


  1. In a regular season tournament, each team will be placed in a pool and play two pool (2) games (unless noted otherwise).  If there are less than six (6) teams in an age group there will be only one pool.  The USBA reserves the right to place a team(s) “up” to have enough teams for a tournament.  For example there must be at least 3 teams to have a tournament.  If one team is 4TH GRADE and two teams are 5TH GRADE, the USBA will place the 4TH GRADE “up” to have three teams which is enough teams to have a tournament.
  2. If gym space is limited, USBA reserves the right to not have single elimination bracket play for regular season tournaments and each team will simply play one (1) bracket play game.  The championship will be between the top two seeds in pool play only.
  3. If only 2 teams register for an age division, and both teams agree to play a three game series, the first two games will be considered pool games and the third game the championship.  The USBA will notify both teams in a two team division to make sure they both are agreeable to playing the same team three times.
  4. Teams will be placed in pools with regard being considered for travel time for regular season tournaments as most regular season tournaments begin on Friday evenings.
  5. Each team will play 2 pool games.
  6. After each team has played two (2) pool games teams will then be placed in a single elimination tournament bracket based on win-loss record.
  7. Ties are broken by who won head to head competitions (2 teams tied).  See TIE BREAKER SYSTEM below for all other tie scenarios.
  8. The tournament director’s decision is final regarding placement of teams.


Tie Breaker System

Pool Play Tie Breaker for 2 Teams Tied

  1. In a situation where (2) two teams are tied, head to head competition between the teams will determine the winner.  If the (2) teams did not play each other, than the point differential system will be used with 15 points being the maximum.

  2. If more than (2) two teams tie, a point differential tie-breaker will be applied to pool games (15 point maximum).  Teams are then ranked according to the sum of the point differential with the highest number placing first, the second highest placing second and so on. The maximum that you can beat a team and still gain an advantage is 15 points.

  3. If more than two teams are still tied after the application of the point differential formula, the higher seed is rewarded to the team with the fewest combined points scored against them.

  4. If more than 2 teams are still tied after the “points scored against” formula has been applied, revert back to head to head if they played.  If teams did not play, then the exact point differential will be used.

  5. The score of all forfeits shall be 15-0 in favor of the non-forfeited team.


Each team must have either a reversible jersey, and/or have both a light and dark set of uniforms.

It is required that a number be on the back of the jersey. It is highly recommended that a number be on the front of the jersey as well. You can purchase uniforms here: Purchase Uniforms

Coaching Attire

All coaches, including assistant coaches, trainers, ball boys, and other bench personnel are required to wear long pants or nice golf type shorts, and a collared shirt. Shoes must include either tennis shoes or dress shoes. Absolutely no jeans, cut offs, tank tops, baseball caps, skull caps, beachwear, or sweat suits. No open shoes, sandals, flip flops, etc. will be allowed. Any coach or other bench personnel not observing this rule will not be allowed to remain on the bench.

Multiple Team Discount

The USBA will offer the following discounts for teams from the SAME organization that register for the same tournament during the regular season:

  • 2 Teams – 5% off
  • 3 Teams – 10% off
  • 4 Teams – 15% off
  • 5 or more – 20% off

The USBA will determine discounts for multiple teams from the same organization for State, Regional events and post them on the website.  There are no discounts for National events. 

Gyms/Arenas & Facilities

Some of the gyms/facilities that are used by USBA will not have access to locker rooms. Teams must arrive at the gym prepared to play.

Any misconduct, vandalism, etc. made by any coach, player, staff, or parent to any USBA facility will lead to immediate dismissal and removal from facility.


Teams and coaches must be in the gym, ready to play at their designated times and places.

USBA will allow a five minute delay in regards to game starting time. This simply means, that if a team is not at the designated court at the correct time, or five minutes after designated time, the team that is late or not there will forfeit that game an issued a loss for that game at a score of 15-0.

If the game before your game is running into your time slot, teams must be prepared to tip off no later than 5 minutes after late game is completed.

If a referee or tournament director has to forfeit a game due to misconduct or inappropriate behavior, team receiving the forfeit will also be issued a loss.

**If your team has to forfeit, there will be NO refunds issued for the tournament fee.  No Exceptions!

Refund Policy

Due to the amount of time and effort it takes to schedule and organize a tournament, USBA has adopted the following withdrawal policy:

If a team withdraws from a tournament after the registration deadline, they will forfeit 100% of the entry fee.

To request a refund, please send an email to mailto: subject=Refund Request

The USBA Team Membership fee is Non-Refundable.


  1. Proof of age and grade is required.
    1. Acceptable Proof of Age: clean photocopies of birth certificates, state-issued ID, adoption documentation, immigration documentation, school documentation, or passport.
    2. Acceptable Proof of Grade: clean copy of report card/progress report from current calendar year/semester. Note: Teams are required to have proof of age/grade on hand at all times.
  2. Players can play up in grade level, but not down.
  3. Players must remain on one roster and cannot participate on two different teams.
  4. No roster additions will be permitted after the team has begun play of its first game.
  5. Any team violating roster or team rules will be disqualified.
  6. Eligibility Protests: Only head coaches are allowed to challenge the legitimacy or eligibility of an opposing player. Fans, parents, and assistant coaches are not allowed to make an official challenge. Challenge must be made before the game starts, no challenge can be made post-game.
  7. If a player who’s eligibility is challenged is found to be eligible with proper paperwork (birth certificate/report card), the challenging team will lose a timeout and be assessed a technical foul.
  8. Players who are found to be illegal will result in automatic team disqualification; please ensure all players are compliant with the eligibility criteria. If no documents are present for proof of identity, the player in question is disqualified and the protested team will lose a timeout and be assessed a technical foul.
  9. At the USBA national tournament, a protest must be made before the game and the cost is $100.

Tournament Conduct

Any misconduct or inappropriate behavior during a USBA tournament, either on or off the court will be the responsibility of the Head Coach of the team acting inappropriately. This would include any misconduct at the USBA gyms, restaurants, hotels, etc. that are affiliated with the USBA during the scheduled tournament.

Any player who is ejected or disqualified, for reasons other than fouling out, will have to sit out the next game of that tournament.  A coach who has been ejected by the officials will have to sit out the next game. There are no exceptions to this rule. 

If ejection occurs in team’s final game of the tournament, the disqualification will not carry over to a future tournament.  

All ejections or disqualifications will be reported to the tournament director and then forwarded to the USBA office.  If the USBA finds that their is repeated problems from the same player, coach or team the USBA may place the team, player and or coach on probation or may decide that it is in the best interest of the USBA to not allow them to participate in future USBA events.

Lost and/or Stolen Policy

The United States Basketball Association (USBA) cannot be responsible for any lost and/or stolen items that is lost or stolen during any of our USBA tournaments.

Hotel Information

The United States Basketball Association (USBA) has no control over hotel refund policy.  Please make sure the tournament has enough teams before booking your hotel (or make sure you know the hotel refund policy and you are able to get any deposit or money paid back towards any hotel if needed)