Game events:

Last 3 seconds:



The 30-second device must be placed behind the lower part of the backboard, and must be visible to players, Officials and spectators. It is recommended that it should indicate the passing of time in periods of not more than 5 seconds.

The markers used by Scorer to indicate the number of fouls (Art. 11/e) must be raised in a manner visible to both coaches and be kept in position for a reasonable length of time. In case of a double foul, Scorer shall raise with his right hand the marker corresponding to the foul committed by player of team sitting to his right, and with his left hand the marker corresponding to the foul committed by player of team sitting to his left.

Officials should not put the ball in play too quickly after a foul but must give enough time to Scorer to complete the entry or entries on the Score Sheet and to use the markers to signal the number of fouls.


Provisions contained in Article 12 of the Rules regarding size, colour and place or numbers to be worn by players should be strictly respected. Numbers must be clearly visible and easily identifiable by Officials and by Scorer.

The attention of Coaches and team officials is drawn to the responsibility they carry in this matter.

3.PLAYERS AND SUBSTITUTES (art. 12, 13, 43, 46, 75 and 86)

A member of the team is a player when he is on the court and is entitled to play. Otherwise he is a substitute. A substitute becomes player when the Official beckons him to enter the court and a player becomes substitute when he leaves the court as authorized by the Rules.

A foul committed by a player who has committed his fifth foul is considered as a substitute's foul: it is therefore inscribed by the Coach and is penalized as a substitute's foul (art.75).

If a player involved in a jump-ball must leave the game because of injury, his substitute must jump in his place.

4.TEAM FOLLOWER (art. 20)

A team follower is any person who sits on substitutes bench or who eventually sits at or near Scorer's table as a relative of his team. To be a team follower is a privilege, and this involves a responsibility. This is why a team follower's behaviour comes under the jurisdiction of the Officials.


In case of injury to an Official, the other Official shall apply the same provisions as those indicated in case of injury to a player (art. 43). If the injured Official cannot continue to fulfill his duties within 10 minutes of the incident, play shall be resumed and the other Official will officiate alone until the end of the game, unless the particular regulations of the competition have provisions that permit the replacement of the injured Official.


A player who has come to a STOP at the first count of the two-count rhythm, is not entitled to a new movement within the second count.

7.CHARGED TIME-OUT (art. 41)

The following points, related to the administration of charged time-outs, are brought to the attention of Coaches and Scorers:

  1. A team's request for a charged time-out may be withdrawn only before the Scorer signals the Officials that a request for a charged time-out has been made,
  2. The Scorer shall withhold his signal to request a charged time-out when the Official is about to toss the ball for a jump-ball or is about to hand the ball to a free thrower.
  3. If the two Coaches request charged time-outs at about the same time, the time-out will be charged to the Coach who was first.


If a player, other that the one on whom the foul was committed, attempts the free throws, no points can be scored, and the Official, upon discovery of the substitution, shall award the ball to the opponents for a throw-in from out-of-bounds at sideline opposite the free throw line,.

However, if discovery of substitution occurs after the ball is again alive and in play following the last free throw, the whole matter will be disregarded, and the points scored still be valid.


Following a foul committed during the last three minutes of play, the offended team has the option of either attempting the two free throws or of putting the ball in play from out-of-bounds at the mid-point of the side line. Immediately after calling the foul and having signalled the Scorer in the prescribed manner, the Official will consult the Captain of the offended team, who shall clearly indicate either the free throw line or side line. The decision of the Captain is irrevocable. Intentional delay by Captain in using the right of option will forfeit the right, and the two free throws will be attempted.

10.TECHNICAL FOUL AND PERSONAL pot (art. 74 and 75)

All player fouls which involve contact with an opponent are personal fouls, even when committed during a dead ball or when time was out. On the contrary, all fouls committed by substitutes, and all player fouls which do not involve contact with an opponent, are technical fouls.

11.TECHNlCAL FOUL (art. 74 and 75)

An Official may prevent technical fouls by warning players when they are about to make some minor infraction, such as inadvertently stepping off the court during a time-out or failing to report to the Scorer or to an Official when entering the game as a substitute. It is good judgment for him to forestall and in some cases overlook minor technical infractions which are obviously unintentional and have no effect on the game. On the other hand, technical fouls which are deliberate or unsportsmanlike or give the offender an unfair advantage should be penalized promptly.


A disqualifying foul must always involve the penalty of an intentional foul (personal or technical). The foul must be inscribed on the Score Sheet, and two free throws awarded the opponents,


Many decisions related to personal contact must be result of a judgment which must be exercised with the following basic principles in mind:

  1. It is the duty of each player to avoid contact in any possible way,
  2. Any player ist entitled to a normal floor position not occupied by an opponent, provided he does not cause personal contact in taking such position,
  3. If a contact foul occurs, the foul is caused by the player responsible for the contact.

The following criteria may be used in determining responsibility for personal contact:

If a player B takes a position

  1. behind and so close to a stationary opponent A, that a contact foul occurs when A makes normal body movements, then B is primarily responsible for the foul, or
  2. at the side or in front of a stationary opponent A, without contact, then A is primarily responsible for any contact foul caused by A's subsequent movements, or
  3. in the path a moving opponent A, who does not have the ball, so quickly that A cannot stop or change direction in time to avoid contact, then B is-primarily responsible if contact occurs.

In case of doubt the greater responsibility is on B.

If a player B establishes a legal guarding position in the path of a dribbler A, and a contact foul occurs, A has the greater responsibility.

If a player B tries to reach the ball from a position at the rear or side of A, when the latter is in control of it, or if B attempts to reach an uncontrolled ball when A is in a more favourable position, then B has the greater responsibility if a contact foul occurs.

14.BLOCKING (art. 77)

A player is entitled to take any position on the court not occupied by another player, provided that:

  1. this position is not so close to an opponent (less than approximately 90 cm.) that contact ensues when the opponent makes normal bodily movements, or
  2. this position is not taken in the path of a moving opponent so quickly that the latter cannot avoid contact.

In the foregoing cases, the player who takes the position described is responsible if contact ensues, unless other factors are involved.

A player who is attempting to screen is blocking if contact occurs when he is moving and if his opponent is stationary or retreating from him. In other cases of contact resulting from an attempt to screen when both players are in motion, either or both may have committed a foul, but in case of doubt, the greater responsibility is on the player who is attempting to screen.

If a player disregards the ball, faces an opponent, and shifts his position as the opponent shifts, such player is primarily responsible for any contact that ensues, unless other factors are involved (obstruction).

The expression "unless other factors are involved" in the foregoing statements, refers to deliberate pushing, charging or holding by a player who is being screened. This player must make a reasonable effort to avoid contact, and any deliberate act on his part which causes contact should be penalized.

It is legal for one or more players to run down the court close to a team mate who has the ball with the apparent intention of preventing opponents from approaching the player with the ball. If, however, they run into an opponent who has taken a position in their path, charging, blocking or obstruction occurs, and in any case of contact in such a play, the greater responsibility is on the team in possession of the ball.

It is legal for a player to extend his arm or elbow in taking position on the floor, but the arm or elbow must be lowered when an opponent attempts to go by, otherwise blocking or holding by that player usually occurs.


This play has been restricted by limiting to three seconds the time a player may remain in a defined part of his opponents restricted area while the ball is in play and in control of his team.

The pivot player should not be allowed to shoulder or hip his opponent out of position, nor to interfere with the latter's freedom of motion by the use of extended elbows or arms, after he has thrown the ball. On the other hand, the guarding player should not be allowed to interfere with the pivot player's freedom or motion by the use of the arms, knee, or other parts of the body.


Article 77 contains a statement that emphasizes the responsibility of the dribbler in connection with the fouls resulting from the dribble, If the dribbler's path is blocked, he ought not to try to dribble by an opponent unless there is a reasonable chance of getting by without contact, This is not intended to free the defensive player from responsibility; it is the duty of both players to avoid contact, but more attention should be directed to the dribbler's responsibility. In attempting to stop a dribble, the defensive player must play the ball.

17.HELD BALL (art. 55 and 77)

Some Officials call held ball to forestall fouls. That is, they see players about to charge into, or hold an opponent who has the ball, and they prevent the foul by blowing the whistle and declaring held ball. This is unjust to the player who has gained possession, and it encourages rough play. Officials who call "guarding from the rear" strictly are getting a cleaner, more open type of game.


Any number of fouls, or combination of fouls, may be called at about the same time during a match.. When several fouls are committed at about the same time, the following basic principles should be applied:

  1. A foul shall be charged for each offence, and be inscribed on the Score Sheet.
  2. During a play phase, the team in possession of the ball may expect to score two points. Accordingly, after a valid field goal, no free throws may be awarded to that team even if fouls have occurred, and if the field goal was missed, only a maximum of two free throws may be awarded, regardless of the number of fouls.
  3. A "play phase" is the period of time during which a team, having obtained possession of the ball, plays it and scores a field goal, or loses it through an interception by opponents, or until the ball becomes dead because of a violation or a foul.
  4. When the ball becomes dead (field goal, violation, foul), the following dead ball period will be considered as part of the play phase that has preceded it, and this until the ball becomes alive again, following the provisions contained in Article 38 of the Rules.

    Fouls committed during the dead-ball period will be considered as committed at the time the ball became dead.

    The moment the ball becomes alive a new play phase begins.

  5. After a valid field goal and after a successful last free throw (art. 31), the ball is put in play from the end line, except as indicated in (f) below.
  6. Whenever a foul is called on a Coach of a substitute, the opponents shall have possession of the ball (art.75, Penalty) after the throw of throws have been attempted, unless a similar foul or a player foul involving two free throws has been called at the same time or during the same dead ball against the opponents. In that case, play shall be resumed by a jump ball at the nearest circle.


If at the end of a game there are doubts regarding the exact termination of playing time (for instance: Timekeeper fails to stop the game watch on a violation, a held ball of a foul), the Referee shall immediately consult the Timekeeper and Scorer to determine the exact time that remained to be played. The Referee shall clearly indicate on the Score sheet the score obtained at the moment the Timekeeper's signal was sounded and shall then order the game to be continued for the time under discussion. The Referee shall start the game as if nothing had occurred, by administering the violation, the jump-ball or the foul. Should a protest be filed by one of the teams, be shall immediately report the incident to the competent authority.


The hand signals illustrated at the end of these Rules should be learned thoroughly by every Official and used in all of his games. It is important that Scorers and Timekeepers be also familiar with these signals.

The illustrations and captions explain the signals, but the following notes emphasize and amplify certain points:

  1. Hand above head always stops the game watch. If a foul is involved, hand above head with fingers closed is signal for the foul as well as signal to stop the game watch. If the game watch is to be stopped when there is no foul, the hand is held above head with fingers open and palm toward the Timekeeper.
  2. When number of free throws is to be indicated, fingers may be held horizontal at side with elbow against Official's side. When number of points scored is to be indicated, fingers may be held at face level, with a repeated motion downward from wrist.
  3. Violation is signalled by a sweeping motion of the hand toward out-of-bounds spot, followed by pointing toward basket of the team which is awarded ball out-of-bounds.
  4. For three-seconds rule violation, the same motion is used but three fingers are extended when pointing to out-of- bounds spot.