Gameplay Rules

The National High School Federation (NHSF) rules & regulations will apply to any rule not specified below. Please note, a Teammate Basketball Tournament Director reserves the right to adjust any gameplay rule if conducive to event.

1. Game Length

  • 2nd-6th Grade will play two 14-minute, stopped-time halves. (28.5 size ball)
  • 7th-12th Grade will play two 16-minute, stopped-time halves. (29.5 size ball; girls use 28.5 size ball)
  • Select tournaments will administer a “running clock”. If a tournament applies the running clock format, all divisions will play two 20-minute halves. The clock will run continuously (with the exception of during a timeout) until the last two minutes of both halves.
  • Pre-Game Warm-Up time will last 5 minutes; please prepare to play/stretch prior to warm-up
  • Halftime will last 3 minutes
  • The first and second Overtime will last 2 minutes (stopped-time). 3rd OT will be determined by Sudden Death (first basket to score in 3rd OT period will be declared winner).

2. Timeouts / Fouls

  • Each team will have 4 Timeouts per game: 2 Full & 2 30-second Timeouts
  • Each team will have 1 Timeout per Overtime period
  • Timeouts from regulation do not carry over to Overtime periods
  • Teams will shoot two free throws after 10th foul per half (no 1-and-1 free throws)
  • A player will foul out after 5 personal fouls.

3. Pool Play / Seeding

  • In most Teammate Basketball tournaments, teams will begin in Pool Play and be seeded for Bracket Play based on Pool Play results.
  • A team’s seed for Bracket Play will be determined by the following, in order (tie-scenarios below):
    • Pool Play Record
    • Point Differential (+/- 20 points; the most a team can win by and receive credit for is 20 points)
    • Points Allowed (the team with the fewest points scored against them in Pool Play is higher seed)

4. Tie-Breaker Scenarios

  • If 2 teams have a tied record after Pool Play, the winner of the head-to-head matchup is awarded the higher seed.
  • If 2 teams did not play head-to-head, Point Differential (see above) is applied to determine seeding.
  • If 2 teams also have the same Point Differential, the team who allowed the least amount of points in Pool Play would be awarded the higher seed (using this formula, there is no benefit to running up the score, rather the benefit is in stopping the opposing team from scoring).
  • If 3 teams are tied, head-to-head matchups are irrelevent in determining seed for Bracket Play.
  • If 3 teams are tied, Point Differntial is applied; the team with the highest Point Differential is awarded the high seed.
  • If a tie in Point Differential exists, Points Allowed (see above) will determine seed for Bracket Play.

5. Mercy Rule

  • The clock will run continuosly if at any time the lead is 20 points or more; the clock will resume normal operation once the lead is back below 20 points.
  • There is no defensive pressing allowed when the Mercy Rule is in effect.

Roster Rules

To ensure fair play at Teammate Basketball events, it’s required that all players show proof of age and grade by providing a birth certificate and report card ­ OR by getting your players verified through obtaining an ID via National Sports ID (Click Here to verify your players). By obtaining an ID from NSID, you can avoid carrying around your athlete’s sensitive information and speed up the check­-in process at any tournament. 

1. Teams are allowed a maximum of 15 players on a roster. Teams must have a minimum of (4) players in order to start a game.

2. A player can play on two teams in the same tournament as long as the following conditions are met:

  • The teams are from the same organization.
  • The teams are not in the same division.
  • The player meets the eligibility criteria for both teams.
  • Once bracket play (elimination play) begins, the player must have played in at least one pool play game in the division in order to compete in that division’s bracket play. 

3. No additions to a roster are allowed after tournament play has begun.

4. A player MUST play in at least one Pool Play game in order to be eligible for Bracket Play.

5. All players/roster must be in compliance with eligibility criteria set forth by Teammate Basketball. Click Here for eligibility information.

6. Challenging the eligibility of an opposing team’s player:

  • Only a Head Coach can challenge the eligibility of an opposing team’s player.
  • Fans, parents, and assistant coaches are not allowed to make an official challenge.
  • Challenges must be made to tournament director before the game starts, no challenges can occur during or after gameplay.
  • If challenge is incorrect, the challenging team will lose a timeout and be assessed a technical foul.
  • If challenge is correct, ineligible player is disqualified, offending team loses a timeout and is assessed a technical foul.
  • If determined that a team has completed a full game in which an ineligible player participated, that team is disqualified from the tournament.
  • Two or more ineligible player offenses from an organization will result in suspension from Teammate Basketball tournaments for the remainder of that season and (1) following season.
  • Nearly all ineligible players, whether intentionally or unintentionally put on a roster, are discovered during our Team Check-In process, however the ability to challenge a player is an additional layer of integrity at our events.
  • After one unsuccessful challenge by a coach, no player eligibility challenges can be made from that team in that same tournament.
  • There is no cost to challenge the eligibility of a player.

Bench Rules

1. Teams are allowed 3 bench personnel. (Example: Head Coach, Assistant Coach, Bookkeeper)

  • Teams will receive three complimentary coach’s bands at Team Check-In (unless otherwise noted).
  • Home Team (designated on schedule) will provide official bookkeeper, game ball, and will wear light-color jerseys.
  • Wristbands must be worn on wrist at all times for the duration of the tournament; entry into gym cannot be permitted without a wristband.
  • Lost coach’s bands must be repurchased at the going spectator rate.

2. The following Dress Code will be enforced at Teammate Basketball tournaments:

  • All coaches (including assistant coaches and bench personnel) are suggested to wear a Team Polo or team t-shirt; shorts and jeans are permitted to wear.
  • Excluded apparel includes, but is not limited to: Tank tops, open-toe sandals, flip-flops, pajama-style sweats.
  • Hats are acceptable only if hat represents organization and must be worn properly.
  • Judgment of acceptable attire will be the responsibility of tournament representative.

3. Coaches: Benches must be cleaned of bottles/trash/spills after every game.

General Rules


  • A 5-minute grace period is allowed for late-arriving teams; failure to have 4 ready players on the court prepared to play by 5 minutes after the official game start time will result in a forfeit.
  • If two forfeits by one team occur in the same tournament, that team is not permitted to advance to bracket play.
  • The resulting score of a forfeited game will be 20-0, in favor of the non-forfeiting team.

Team Check-In

  • Teams should arrive at designated Check-In area at least 20 minutes prior to official game start time in order to properly check-in with a Teammate Basketball tournament representative.
  • Coaches should be prepared to show a clean copy of roster, birth certificate (or valid proof of age), and report card (or valid proof of grade) at Team Check-In.
  • It is highly suggested your players obtain a National Sports ID to help your team check in more efficiently and to avoid carrying around sensitive personal information for your athletes
  • Paperwork / Team Binder must be organized and prepared for review before Team Check-In process begins.
  • All teams must go through the Team Check-In process before taking the floor.


  • ALL participating athletes must have a current waiver on file with Teammate Basketball, signed by parent/guardian.

Sportsmanship Rules

1. No fighting will be tolerated.

  • Any player, coach, or spectator who is ejected for fighting is immediately suspended for the remainder of the tournament and is ineligible for a refund.

2. Technical Fouls

  • Upon receiving 2nd technical foul in a game, coaches/players will be ejected and must leave the building. Receiving 3 technical fouls in same tournament will result in coach/player being dismissed for remainder of event.
  • If a player, coach, or spectator is ejected for any reason, that individual must serve a 1-game suspension during the next scheduled game and cannot be on the bench or bleachers while serving suspension. If next scheduled game is a forfeit for any reason, the suspension would carry over to the next scheduled game.

3. Inappropriate Behavior

  • Teammate Basketball expects all players, coaches, parents, spectators, and staff to act in an appropriate manner.
  • Teammate Basketball officials may remove individuals from the facility or defer to law enforcement for hostile behavior.
  • Head coaches are accountable for the actions of their assistants, players, parents and supporters. If someone from organization has been ejected and refuses to leave, tournament staff will consult head coach for assistance with departure of ejected individual. If unwilling to leave facility after head coach is consulted, ejected individual will have (1) minute to leave facility before team forfeits game.

4. Use of Loud Speakers

  • Stereos, boom boxes, & portable speakers are only permitted for use in single-court facilities. Please refrain from using speakers in facilities with multiple courts under one roof.

Refund Policy

To request a refund of your tournament registration fee, you must email BEFORE the tournament registration deadline (typically the Monday prior to event). Refunds cannot be issued after the registration deadline.

Teammate Basketball is not responsible for travel expenses that arise toward an event that does not “make” (e.g. non-refundable hotel/cabin/vehicle deposits, airline tickets, etc).