The basic rules for 3 on 3 are the same as regular 5 on 5 basketball.

You can’t travel. You can’t go out of bounds. Make a basket, get points.

But there are some rules that are different and sometimes misunderstood. Here are the highlights.

Team Ages/ Requirements

For youth teams, divisions are based on age. The oldest player determines the age of the team. Age is based on the oldest player’s age on the last day of the tournament. For example, if there are 4 players on a team where 1 is 11 years, 2 are 12 years old, and 1 is 14 years old at the tournament, they are considered a 14 year old team. We DO NOT take team average age and we DO NOT consider how good or bad a player is. Divisions are strictly based on age, no exceptions.

For adult teams, the 6’0 and Under division requires ALL PLAYERS to be under 6’0 tall. It is not an average team height and not based on a player’s ability. It is strictly based on height. All OPEN players will be officially measured.

Free Throws – When to Shoot Them

For the non-OPEN divisions, all non-shooting fouls (defensive and offensive) shall result in a one-and-one free throw situation. Team fouls are not counted with the exception of the OPEN divisions.

For all divisions, players fouled in the act of shooting will shoot free throws. If the field goal is made, the player will shoot one free throw. If the field goal is missed, the player will shoot the number of free throws equal to the value of the field goal. IE a missed two-point field goal attempt will result in two free throws and a missed three-point field goal attempt will result in three free throws.

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 final free throw shot is made or missed. After a foul shot, the ball will be placed into play from the backcourt line. 

Length of Game – ALL DIVISIONS (excluding the OPEN Division)

If a score of 35 is achieved within 25 minutes:
The target score for all games is 35 points, meaning the first team to reach 35 points within 25 minutes of play is declared the winner. The team that reaches 35 points does not need to have a winning margin of 2 points or greater.

The 25- minute clock is stopped during team time-outs and if the court monitor stops play for a player injury or other unusual circumstance. If neither team has reached a score of 35 points, the court official shall stop the game after 25 minutes of play. In all situations, the court monitor can declare a technical foul (see the stalling rule above) if the monitor determines that a team is intentionally stalling to run out the clock.

If a score of 35 is not achieved within 25 minutes:
If at this point of interruption a team has a lead of one (1) or more points, that team is declared the winner. If the score is tied, the overtime rule will be activated. In overtime, the first team to score a total of 2 points or reach 35 points, will be declared the winner. A coin toss will determine who gets the ball first in overtime.

Use these examples as a guideline:

Scores at the beginning of the overtime session

Score of 32 to 32: the first team to score 2 points wins.

Score of 34 to 34: the first team to 35 wins. No game goes beyond 35 points.

Score of 14 to 13: no overtime is needed since there is a team with a lead.

Length of Game – OPEN Divisions – OPEN division games are played until a team scores 35 points.

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. “Taking it back” means that whoever has possession of the ball touches any part of the 3-point line with the ball or their body. 

The Fine Print

To read all the rules for the tournament, click here.