MSSBL RULES & POLICIES
I. PLAYER ELIGIBILITY AND REQUIREMENTS
Players from Middleboro or any church organization in the Middleboro area, whether or not the organization is a member of the MSSBL, are eligible to participate in all divisions except in the high school boys division. In the high school boys division, all players must be Middleboro residents to be eligible to participate. High school boys who are not Middleboro residents must request written permission and receive a waiver from the ABD in order to participate.
Each player is requested and encouraged to attend a church, religious organization, or related function at least once per month. Players from all church or religious affiliations are welcome.
In order to be eligible to participate in the playoff and championship games, a player must have submitted a signed registration form and paid the registration fee by January 1st, and must be listed on the official roster for his/her team by January 1st.
All players must be 18 years of age or younger. A player who is 19 years of age who is enrolled in high school or a high school equivalency program may also play.
II. PLAYER DIVISIONS
1. Divisions are divided based on school grade, as follows:
Division/Grades Type of Play Playing Time
Girls 1-3 Instruction 60-90 Minutes
Girls 4-7 Practice/Game* Two 16 min. halves
Girls 7-12 Practice/Game* Two 20-min. halves
Boys 1-2 Instruction 60-90 Minutes
Boys 3-4 Practice/Game 1 hour
Boys 5-6 Practice/Game* Two 16 min. halves
Boys 7-8 Practice/Game* Two 16 min. halves
Boys 9-12 Practice/Game* Two 20-min. halves
* All teams in these divisions will participate in playoffs.
Division Directors. The director of each division shall observe and assist coaches to insure that the purpose of the MSSBL is being fulfilled. It will be the director’s responsibility to report important issues and information concerning their division to the league officers. Division directors will be appointed by the league officers.
Exceptions. A player may move up from one division to the next, but not down to a younger division. In order to move up, the player’s parent must submit a request to the league officers, who will review the request with the coach and render a decision. No player will be allowed to move up more than one grade.
III. RULES OF PLAY
Uniforms. All players must be uniformed in numbered jerseys provided by the MSSBL. Non-marking rubber-soled sneakers must be worn during all practices and games. No player will be allowed to play without a designated number on their jersey.
2, Starting Time. Teams must be ready to start 10 minutes before scheduled game time with 5 available players. A grace period of 10 minutes after the scheduled beginning time of the game will be given, if needed. Failure to meet this requirement will result in forfeiture of the game. In the event of a forfeit, both coaches are encouraged to split up the teams and scrimmage for the benefit of those players who were present for the game. In the event that a team begins a game with at least 5 players, but loses one or more players due to injury or fouling out, that team can continue to play with a minimum of four players. Any team that gets down to fewer than 4 players will forfeit the game. Teams are encouraged to continue playing as a scrimmage.
High School Basic Rules. MIAA basketball rules are enforced in all divisions, with the exception of the following rules, unless otherwise specified. Any team in violation of the following rules will receive a technical foul.
There will be no full-court pressing by a team having a 15-point lead.
A team must play zone defense inside the perimeter of the 3 point line should they attain a 25-point lead.
Additional Rules for Girls 4-7, Girls 7-12, and Boys 5-6. Any team in violation of the following rules will receive a technical foul.
The type of defense used will be at the discretion of the coach. The defense will not apply pressure until the ball has passed half-court.
The defense may apply full-court pressure only during the last two minutes of each half.
Additional Rules for Boys 3-4. Instructional games will take place in half of a regulation court. Coaches will act as on-court referees, and will stop the game to offer instruction to players whenever necessary. Coaches will substitute their bench every 4-5 minutes. Unless playing with 5 or 6 players, every player will sit out at least two 4-5 minute blocks of time during each game. Coaches will instruct their players to use a zone defense, allowing the opposing team to bring the ball to at least half way up the court before applying defensive pressure. The objective of this division is to point out the mistakes being made and to correct them as soon as they are recognized. The games should be at a slow enough pace so that players can be taught properly.
Additional Rules for Girls 1-3 and Boys 1-2. Coaches will offer instruction through the use of specific drills, focusing on the fundamentals of the game, during the first three quarters of the instructional session. Coaches may organize a scrimmage during the last quarter of the instructional session. Keeping score is not necessary.
Use of clocks.
It is the coach’s responsibility to delegate one individual to run the time clock/scoreboard and one individual to maintain the scorebook. It is preferable that these tasks be performed by adults.
All divisions will automatically stop the clock for all shooting fouls throughout the game. The clock will resume when the ball is put back in play. During the last two minutes of each half, the clock will be stopped each time the referee blows the whistle.
Time-outs called by a team, or time between periods/overtime periods will not exceed 1 minute. Half-time will not exceed 5 minutes.
If the score is tied at the end of regulation time for a game, two-minute overtime periods will be played until a winner is determined. Each overtime period will begin with a jump ball.
Four time-outs are allowed per game, per team. No more than two time-outs may be taken per half, per team. One additional time-out will be given to each team for each overtime period necessary. Unused time-outs from the second half may be carried over into each overtime period.
Team and personal fouls will carry over into the overtime period(s).
Playing Time. In an effort to insure playing time parity, the following will be adhered to in the Girls 4-7, and Boys 5&6 divisions:
Teams will play two 16 minute halves consisting of four, 4 minute periods per half.
At the end of each 4 minute period, the team with possession of the ball shall retain possession of the ball beginning the following 4 minute period, except at half time when possession will be determined by the possession arrow. If no team is in clear possession of the ball at the end of a 4 minute period the possession arrow will determine who starts the next period with the ball.
Coaches will substitute their entire bench every four minutes, i.e. at every 4-minute block of time.
Unless playing with 5 or 6 players, every player will sit out one four-minute block of time, each half.
A player who doesn’t exit at least once in the first half will spend the first eight minutes on the bench in the second half.
Rules concerning playing time are not in effect in overtime.
Any disciplinary situation that would interfere with the above should be discussed between the coaches before the game starts.
The division directors and/or league officers reserve the right to review any complaints concerning playing time with a coach. Division directors are required to inform the league president of any playing time issues brought to their attention.
Any team not following the rules concerning playing time may be forced to forfeit that game.
Boys 7&8 Playing Time.
Coaches will be expected to ensure fair playing time for all players, making periodic substitutions during the game. Every player will play a minimum of approximately eight minutes during each half.
Unless playing with 5 or 6 players, every player will sit out a minimum of approximately 5 minutes during each half.
The defense may apply full-court pressure only during the last five minutes of each half.
Girls 7-12 & Boys 9-12 Playing Time.
Coaches will be expected to ensure fair playing time for all players, making periodic substitutions during the game. Every player will play a minimum of approximately four minutes during each half.
Unless playing with 5 or 6 players, every player will sit out a minimum of approximately 4 minutes during each half.
The division director and/or league officers reserve the right to review any complaints concerning playing time with a coach. The division director is required to inform the league president of any issues brought to their attention.
Any team not following the rules concerning playing time may be forced to forfeit that game.
The original schedule and playoff schedule, once in place, will not be altered to accommodate the needs of any team, unless approved by the league officers.
Any changes to the original schedule will be made by the MSSBL league officers or ABD only if deemed necessary for the good of the league.
Regular season games cancelled due to inclement weather will not be made up.
Practices cancelled due to inclement weather or due to closure of school, town, or church facilities will not be made up or rescheduled.
Protests and Issues.
The MSSBL does not allow protests. A coach may make an appeal in writing to the MSSBL officers regarding the competence of a referee.
Issues that arise during the season should be put in writing and given to the league officers.
IV. COACH ELIGIBILITY, TRAINING, & DUTIES
MSSBL is an instructional basketball league supported by area churches. Therefore, coaches should not only instruct players in basketball skills, but should display and model good sportsmanship, patience, respect, and self-control at all times for the benefit of the players in the league.
Each team will be coached by an adult who is at least 18 years old. Coaches of high school teams must be at least 21 years old. All coaches and assistant coaches will complete a CORI form prior to the start of the season.
All coaches should attend the annual Coaches’ Clinic, which offers suggestions on how to run practices and familiarizes them with the rules of the game. Training is mandatory for first year coaches. It is the coach’s responsibility to know and respect the rules and regulations of MSSBL.
All coaches will complete a player rating sheet for his or her team, if instructed by MSSBL officers to do so, which will be used the following year to assist in establishing teams.
All coaches who will act as referees are required to attend the annual referee clinic to become more familiar with the rules of the game and to be made aware of any rule changes from the prior year.
Each coach will be responsible for refereeing games or for acting as a second referee in games where a paid referee is present as designated by the MSSBL. Coaches must never leave a game in which two referees are not present, but must find replacements for themselves if they are unable to referee their designated game.
At half time, the referees and coaches will review the scorebook. Any player that arrives after half time may participate in the game after the referees and coaches have been notified. Any issues will be addressed between the coaches and the referee(s), with the referees’ decision being final. Coaches shall not speak directly to the officials at the scorers table (i.e. the persons running the time clock or scorebook).
Coaches’ Rule. Coaches must remain in front of their team bench at all times while the clock is running or is stopped. Only one coach may stand during the game; all other coaches must be seated on the bench during the game. Any coach who violates this rule will be immediately given a technical foul, except for the following reasons. A coach may:
Confer with the referee to request a time-out for a correctable error.
Confer with a referee to request a time-out to prevent or rectify a 1) timing mistake, 2) scoring mistake, or 3) an alternating-possession mistake.
Replace or remove a disqualified or injured player, or player directed to leave the game, within 30 seconds when a substitute is available, while within the confines of his/her bench.
Attend to an injured player when beckoned onto the court by an official.
Zero Tolerance Policy. The MSSBL has adopted a Zero Tolerance Policy. Any coach who violates the policy will, in addition to being issued a warning, be assigned a technical foul. Coaches are responsible for distributing copies of the policy to their players and their parents, and for reminding spectators of the policy prior to the start of each game.
Technical Fouls. The following offenses will result in an automatic technical foul to the offending team at the time of the offense.
Fighting by a player or coach. In addition to the technical foul, the Zero Tolerance Policy will be in effect, and the player or coach will be removed from the game in which the fight took place, and shall be issued a three-game suspension. A second offense will result in immediate suspension from the league for the remainder of the season (including playoffs and championship games).
Profane language by a player or coach, as determined by the referees. Players or coaches who use profane language will be issued a technical foul.
Abusive language by a player or coach, as determined by the referees. Players or coaches who use abusive language (directed to another individual), as determined by the referees, will be ejected immediately from the game, and will be suspended from the next scheduled game of that team.
Any act intended to harm another individual, as determined by the referees. The offending coach or player will be ejected immediately from the game, and will be suspended from the next scheduled game of that team. The coach of a suspended player is responsible to inform the division director about the suspension. If the suspended player plays in a game in which he/she is suspended, the game will be forfeited.
Any coach removed from a game for any of the above reasons will automatically forfeit that game.
Any player or coach who receives three technical fouls in one season, for any of the above reasons, will be removed from the league.
Any player suspensions that carry over into the playoffs will result in that player being ineligible for the entire playoffs.
Awards. Awards will be given out at the end of the season as determined by the league officers and the Advisory Board of Directors.
Smoking/Alcohol. Smoking and the consumption of alcoholic beverages are prohibited from all MSSBL activities.
Parking. Parked motor vehicles must not block driveways or obstruct access to the schools. Sufficient clearance, particularly for passage of emergency vehicles, must be provided. Any illegally parked vehicles will be towed.
Damages. The MSSBL is responsible for any damage done to school buildings and their contents during the basketball season, including the playoffs and championship. Adequate adult supervision must be provided at all times to maintain complete control of all players and spectators.
Any exceptions to the MSSBL rules and policies must be approved by the ABD. No exceptions will be allowed without ABD approval.