3v3 Basketball Tournament Rules

The Official NFHS Basketball Rules of the Game are valid for all game situations not specifically mentioned in the 3×3 Rules of the Game listed below.

Art. 1 Court and ball
The game of 3×3 is played on a half court with one basket. Half of a traditional basketball court may be used.

Note: at grassroots level, 3×3 can be played anywhere; court markings – if any are used – shall be adapted to the available space

Art. 2 Teams
Each team shall consist of 5 players (3 players on the court and 2 substitutes).

Art. 3 Game officials
The game shall consist of 1 referee and time/score keepers.

Art. 4 Beginning of the game
4.1. Both teams shall warm-up simultaneously prior to the game.

4.2. A coin flip shall determine which team gets the first possession. The team that wins the coin flip can either choose to benefit from the ball possession at the beginning of the game or at the beginning of a potential overtime.

4.3. The game must start with three players on the court.

Art. 5 Scoring

5.1. Every successful shot inside the arc shall be awarded 1 point.

5.2. Every successful shot behind the arc shall be awarded 2 points.

5.3. Every successful free throw shall be awarded 1 point.

5.4. If no arc exists on Court, then all shots shall be awarded 1 point.

Art. 6 Playing time/Winner of a game

6.1. The regular playing time shall be as follows: one period of 10 minutes playing time. The clock shall be stopped during dead ball situations and free throws. The clock shall be restarted after the exchange of the ball is completed (as soon as it is in the offensive team’s hands).

6.2. The first team to score 21 points or more wins the game if it happens before the end of regular playing time. This rule applies to regular playing time only (not in a potential overtime).

6.3. If the score is tied at the end of playing time, an extra period of time will be played. There shall be a break of 1 minute before the overtime starts. The first team to score 2 points in the overtime wins the game.  Exception:  If during regulation time, both teams have scored five points or less, the first basket in overtime wins the game.

6.3.1.  Pool games can end in ties.

6.4. A team shall lose the game by forfeit if at the scheduled starting time the team is not present on the playing court with 3 players ready to play. In case of a forfeit, the game score is marked with w-0 or 0-w (“w” standing for win).

6.5. A team shall lose by default if it leaves the court before the end of the game or all the players of the team are injured and/or disqualified. In case of a default situation, the winning team can choose to keep its score or have the game forfeited, while in either case the defaulting team’s score is set to 0.

6.6. A team losing by default or a forfeit will be disqualified from the competition.

Art. 7 Fouls/Free throws

7.1. A team is in a penalty situation after it has committed 6 fouls. After a team has reached 9 team fouls, any subsequent foul will be considered technical. For the avoidance of doubt, players are not excluded based on the number of personal fouls subject to art. 15.

7.2. Fouls during the act of shooting inside the arc shall be awarded 1 free throw, whilst fouls during the act of shooting behind the arc shall be awarded 2 free throws.  If the court does not have an arc, fouls during the act of shooting shall be awarded 1 free throw.

7.3. Fouls during the act of shooting followed by a successful field goal shall be awarded 1 additional free throw.

7.4. Team fouls 7, 8 and 9 shall always be awarded with 2 free throws. The 10th and any subsequent team foul as well as technical and unsportsmanlike fouls will be always awarded with 2 free throws and ball possession. This clause is applied also to fouls during the act of shooting and overrules 7.2 and 7.3.

7.5. Possession is kept after the last free throw derived from an unsportsmanlike or technical foul and the game shall continue with an exchange of the ball behind the arc at the top of the court.

Art. 8 How the ball is played

8.1. Following each successful field goal or last free throw (ex article 7.5):

  • A player from a non-scoring team will resume the game by “taking it out” up top.

8.2. Following each unsuccessful field goal or last free throw (ex article 7.5):

  • If the offensive team rebounds the ball, it may continue to attempt to score without returning the ball behind the arc.
  • If the defensive team rebounds or steals the ball, it must return the ball behind the arc (by passing or dribbling).

8.3. Possession of the ball given to either team following any dead ball situation shall start with an exchange of the ball (between the defensive and the offensive player) behind the arc at the top of the court.

8.4. A player is considered to be “behind the arc” when neither of his feet are inside nor stepping on the arc.

8.5. In the event of a jump ball situation, possession will alternate.

Art. 9 Stalling

9.1. Stalling or failing to play actively (i.e. not attempting to score) shall be a violation.

9.2. No shot clock. But if a team is not sufficiently trying to attack the basket, the referee shall give them a warning by counting the last 5 seconds.

Art. 10 Substitutions

Substitutions can be done by any team when the ball becomes dead, prior to the check-ball. The substitute can enter the game after his teammate steps off the court. Substitutions can only take place behind the end line opposite the basket and substitutions require no action from the referees or table officials.

Art. 11 Time-outs
One 30-second time-out is granted to each team. A player can call the time-out in a dead ball situation.

Art.12 Protest procedure
No protests.

Art. 13 Standings of teams
Both in pools and in overall competition standings, the following classification rules apply. If teams are tied after the first step, refer to the next one – and so on.

  • 1. Most wins (or win ratio in case of unequal number of games in inter-pool comparison);
  • 2. Head-to-head confrontation (only taking win/loss into account and applies within a pool only);
  • 3. Most points scored in average (without considering winning scores of forfeits).

If teams are still tied after those three steps, standings will be determined by a coin toss.

Art. 14 Reserved.

Art. 15 Disqualification
A player committing two unsportsmanlike fouls will be disqualified from the game by the referees and from the event by the organizer. Independent thereof, the organizer will disqualify the player(s) concerned from the event for acts of violence, verbal or physical aggression, or tortuous interference in game results. The organizer may also disqualify the entire team from the event depending on the other team members’ contribution (also through non-action) to the aforementioned behavior.

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