3 on 3 Rules

3 on 3 Rules 2018-10-10T13:25:39-05:00

Who Can Play

The tournament is open to adult players, as well as youth who are at least 8 years old by the day the tournament begins. Players under 8 years old will be allowed to register based on request by a team and acceptance by event organizers. A designated coach is required for all teams whose oldest player is 12 or younger. A player may not participate on multiple teams within the same bracket.

Number of Players

Each team must have a minimum of 3 players and may consist of a maximum of 4 players. A team shall have no more than 3 players on the court at any time. For all teams placed in a designated co-ed bracket (See Rule 5), a member of the opposite sex must be on the court at all times. All games must start with at least 3 players on each team. Any number of players (1, 2, or 3) may finish a game.

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, jewelry, hair bands and clips will not be allowed. Tournament officials retain the right to disallow any equipment or apparel that is judged to be dangerous or inappropriate.

Eligibility Issues

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

Bracket Types

The tournament will consist of the following Divisions:

Youth Division (Ages 8 – 12) – No player on a team may be over 12 years old on the first day of the tournament.

Teen Division (Ages 13 – 19) – No player on a team may be over 19 years old on the first day of the tournament.

Adult Division (Ages 20 & Over) – A team has one or more players at least 20 years old on the first day of the tournament.

Youth, Teen and Adult Divisions teams will be placed in smaller groupings, called brackets, by tournament officials who will consider individual player and team characteristics including age, height, gender and experience obtained during the team registration process. Individual teams may consist of male and female players. Mixed gender teams will be placed in identified co-ed brackets if event organizers determine there are a sufficient number of co-ed teams to form a specific co-ed bracket in a particular grouping. Otherwise, mixed gender teams will be placed in a male bracket and the playing rule for designated co- ed brackets will not apply (See Rule 2).

Elite Division (Ages 18 & Over) – For the most competitive teams. There will be a Men’s Elite Division and a Women’s Elite Division. Solely in the Men’s Elite Division, teams will be divided into two separate categories: 6 Foot & Under and Over 6 Foot, based on each team’s tallest player as provided through the team registration process. Teams in the Men’s 6 Foot & Under Elite Division cannot have any players over 6 feet tall, and all players in that division will be measured by event organizers. When measured, players not taller than 6 feet will be required to wear an organizer-provided band at all times during tournament play. Players measuring taller than 6 feet will be removed from that 6 foot and under team and the team will not be able to switch categories.

Unlike other divisions, and except for height in the Men’s Elite Division, teams will be scheduled without regard to individual player characteristics. Event organizers reserve the right to determine team and player eligibility for Elite Division admittance. Players younger than 18 years old will be allowed to register based on request by a team and acceptance by event organizers.

Wheelchair Division – Limited to Wheelchair participants of all ages.

Special Olympics – Limited to Special Olympics and Unified participants of all ages.

*Wheelchair teams and Special Olympics teams will be bracketed based on the number of participants.

  1. Player Age Verification

Every player must have available, for each game at their designated court, acceptable documentation to verify their age and birthday. All players 13 and older must also have photo ID available at all times. If a player’s eligibility is challenged, the player must produce appropriate documentation to a tournament official.

If a player does not produce acceptable documentation, the player may be disqualified from further participation in the tournament, at the sole discretion of a tournament official. Any false or misleading information provided on a player or a team will also be grounds for dismissal of the player and team from the tournament.

  1. Basket Height / Two Point Arc

The basket height will be 10 feet in all brackets. The distance for the two point arc will be 16 feet in brackets consisting of teams whose oldest player is age 12. The distance will be 19 feet in all other brackets.

  1. Basketball Size

The intermediate size ball will be used in all female brackets and all male or co-ed brackets whose oldest player is age 12. The full size ball will be used in all other brackets.

  1. Free Throw Shooting Distance

The distance for free throws will be 10 feet in brackets consisting of teams whose oldest player is age 9. The distance will be 15 feet in all other brackets.

  1. Fouls

Basketball officials, acting as court monitors, will call fouls for all games. All called fouls shall result in at least one free throw shot, except on a successful field goal, in which case the basket counts and no free throw shot is awarded, and except for Intentional, Flagrant or Technical fouls, which result in an automatic one point award

If the fouled player is in the “act of shooting” a two point shot, which is missed, that player will be awarded two free throw shots. However, a basket shall not count when an offensive foul occurs. 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 the last free throw 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.

  1. 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 basketball official’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 basketball official’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.

  1. 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 basketball official, 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 event organizers on a case by case basis. The basketball official may also assess a technical foul if he/she determines 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.

  1. 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.

  1. Elite Division Fouls

In addition to the other fouls detailed within these Rules & Regulations, in the Elite Division only, team fouls will be counted each game. Team fouls 1 through 6 will result in normal sanctions. Beginning with team foul number 7, all fouls will result in two free throws, unless the basket associated with the foul was made, in which case the basket will count and no free throws will occur and except where the foul results in an automatic one point award.

  1. Stealing the Ball

Players in all age categories may steal the ball when it is being passed. Brackets consisting of teams whose oldest player is age 9 will have a no-steal rule when a player is either dribbling or holding the ball. Stealing will be allowed in those cases in all other brackets.

  1. Stalling

Stalling is prohibited at all times. Stalling involves 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 10.B).

  1. Which Team Receives the Ball First?

A coin toss prior to each game and to start overtime determines which team first gets the ball.

  1. Scoring

Baskets made from inside the two point arc count for one point. Baskets made from outside the two point arc count for two points. The first team to 20 points within the 25 minute time limit is the winner, except in the Elite Division where there is no time limit. There is no winning score beyond 20 points. There is NO win by 2 rule. If neither team reaches 20 points in a timed game, see Rule 15 for further proceedings. All Elite Division games go to the targeted score of 20 points without a time limitation and without declaring an overtime session.

  1. Length of Play / Overtime

This rule does not apply to Elite Division games (See Rule 14). The first team to reach 20 points within 25 minutes of play is declared the winner. The team that reaches 20 points does not need to have a winning margin of 2 points or greater. The 25 minute clock is stopped during team timeouts and if the court monitor stops play for a player injury or other unusual circumstance. In all situations, the court monitor shall declare a technical foul if it is determined that a team is intentionally stalling to run out the clock.

If neither team has reached a score of 20 points, the court monitor shall stop the game after 25 minutes of play. At this point, if a team has a lead of 2 or more points, that team is the winner. If neither team has at least a 2 point advantage, the overtime rule must be activated. In overtime, the first team to score a total of 2 points more than the leading team’s score at the beginning of the overtime session, or reach 20 points, is the winner.



Score of 18 to 17:The first team to 20 wins. Score of 16 to 16:The first team to 18 wins. Score of 8 to 7: The first team to 10 wins.

Score of 14 to 12: No overtime is needed since the leading team has at least a 2 point lead.


In all brackets where the oldest player is age 9, overtime is only played if the teams are tied after 25 minutes of play. In these brackets, the first team to score in the overtime session shall be declared the winner.

  1. Change of Possession

The ball must change possession after scored baskets and after all free throw attempts with the exception of a Technical, Intentional or Flagrant foul (See Rule 10). There is no “make it, take it” rule.

  1. Checked Ball

The ball must be “checked” by an opposing player before it is put into play. The check-in must occur behind the dashed take back line and not the out of bounds or end line. The ball must be passed to begin play. The pass may occur anywhere on the court, but the on-ball defender must remain behind the two point arc. Only in brackets where the oldest player is age 9, the initial pass, if made behind the free throw line extended, shall not be contested by the opposing team. In those cases, if the initial pass is made in front of the free throw line extended, toward the basket, the pass may be contested (See Rule 11).

  1. 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. When taking the ball back, the player must bring his/her whole body and the ball behind the dashed “take back” line, and not the sidelines or two point arc.

  1. Ball Out-of-Bounds

A ball out-of-bounds will be taken out from the back court line.

  1. 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.

  1. Jump Ball

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

  1. Dunking

Dunking is allowed in Elite Division games where breakaway rims are used, except during warm-ups. Dunking is not allowed at any time, including during warm-ups, in all other divisions. Unauthorized dunking is an unsportsmanlike act and will result in a technical foul (See Rule 10).

  1. Substitutions

Substitutions may only be made during a timeout or a “dead ball” situation.

  1. Timeout

Each team is allowed a single one minute timeout per game. The clock will stop during a timeout.

  1. Wheelchair Participants

Players in the Wheelchair Division should be aware that a liberal three second in the key rule will be enforced. All wheelchair players not currently active in any game must stay positioned behind the back court line and not inside the curbing along the sides of the court. Chair measurements are expected to be in accordance with established wheelchair rules.

  1. 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, event organizers 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.

  1. Game Times

All printed schedules are effective through only the first game for all teams, subject to unusual circumstances outside the control of event organizers. Following the tournament’s first game, each team is required to check the Master Scoreboard 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. 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.

  1. Use of Illegal Players

The players listed on the roster submitted in the team registration process, accepted by event organizers, are the only players eligible for play on that team. Player changes submitted on an authorized Player Change Form, and accepted by the event organizers, must be completed and approved by 8:00am on the first day of the tournament. Under no circumstances will roster substitutions be allowed after the tournament begins. If a team uses a player not properly registered, that team will be disqualified from the tournament. Before the beginning of each game, every player must sign the Official Scoresheet, which contains a Voluntary Waiver and Release Agreement and Sportsmanship Pledge.

  1. False Information

Information provided during team registration or on an accepted Player Change Form is the basis for placement in divisions and brackets. It is expected to be both accurate and complete. Players and teams providing false, misleading or inaccurate information may be disqualified from the tournament.

Please Note

Event organizers and designated tournament officials shall have the power to make all decisions on any points not specifically covered in the Rules & Regulations and shall have the sole authority to interpret the intent and purpose of these Rules & Regulations. Event organizers and designated tournament officials reserve the right to disqualify any player and/or team for infractions of tournament rules and policies.