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MS & Travel Rules


(NFHS rules will be the governing rules with the following exceptions)


· To be eligible to play in the HCYP Middle School Basketball League players must attend the school they wish to try-out for.

· Any player who doesn't make their school team shall have the opportunity to try out for the Howard United Middle School team.

· Players whose zoned school does not field a team will be able to try out for The Howard United Team. If Howard United Middle School teams has reached its players roster limit, the student/athlete made seek approval from the Middle School Commissioner to play for another team in the league.

· All other players must seek approval from the Middle School Commissioner before attending a tryout. This would include private schooled players who wish to try out for The Howard United Team.

· All home-schooled players can try out for their zoned school if they can prove they are zoned for said school.

· Each team may have up to twelve (12) players active roster (additional three (3) players on the reserve roster).


· HCYP Middle School Basketball League does not require equal playing time for all athletes, the team’s head coach has the overall responsibility in handling playing time:

1.    However, this is a competitive non-equal playing time league. Players who are concerned with playing time need to speak with the coaches.

2.     Playing time is based on effort and ability shown in practice as well as attending practices and maintaining good academic standing.


·         Boys - Two twenty (20) minute halves (Clock doesn’t stop during free throws except during last two minutes of each half)

·         Girls -  Four ten (10) minute quarters (Clock doesn’t stop during free throws except during last one (1) minute of each quarter)

·         Each team must arrive 15 minutes before the scheduled game time.

·         Each team much be dressed 5 minutes before scheduled game time

·         Players must check in at the scorer’s table before each game

·         Halftime is 3-minutes before the game whistle blows.

Rules for HCYP Basketball Promoting Good Sportsmanship


In all HCYP MS/Travel League Basketball games a full court press is not permitted after a team has attained a lead of twenty-five (25) points or more. The team behind in the score must be permitted to advance the ball without being pressed, until the lead has been reduced to less than twenty-five (25) points. If a violation of this rule occurs, the officials will warn the violating team at once. Any future violation of this rule will result in a bench technical foul being called - two shots.


HCYP MS/Travel Basketball League’s do not have a ‘Mercy Rule’- which is generally a regulation that allows the game clock to continue to run when an opponent is down by 30 points or more (consider to be an insurmountable lead).

HCYP MS/Travel Basketball League games are all played with a running clock therefore the rule would not impact the length of the game. “The ideas of sportsmanship should come into play when a team has 25 points or more lead on an opponent.”

Coaches have the responsibility to stress proper sportsmanship and provide opportunities for players on both teams to improve when they have a large lead.


Enter forfeit result as 2-0. If the team to which the game is forfeited is ahead, the score at the time of forfeiture shall stand. If this team is not ahead or team is a no show, the score shall be recorded as 2-0 in its favor of the team present for the game.

·         At the beginning of the game there is a 15-minute grace period before forfeit of the game will takes place.

·         A team can be given 5 extra minutes if the opposing team agrees to a game with two 13 minute halves

·         Team forfeiting the game will be responsible for the $50.00 game official’s fees.

The NFHS basketball forfeiture rule states:

"The referee shall forfeit the game if a team refuses to play after being instructed to do so by an official. The referee may also forfeit a game if any player, team member, bench personnel, or coach fails to comply with any technical foul penalty or repeatedly commits technical foul infractions or other acts which make a travesty of the game". If the team that the game is forfeited to is ahead, the score at the time of forfeit shall stand.  If on the other hand the team that the game is forfeited to is behind, the score shall be recorded at 2-0, in their favor."
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Two (2) Game Officials for every game. Each team is required to pay $25 per game (for a total of $50) for game officials.

·         May declare the game a forfeit when conditions warrant.

·         Decide matters upon which the timers and scorers disagree.

·         Meet with timers and scorers during pregame conference to review responsibilities or each, ensure both team’s (school name) name and date are entered in the score book.

·         Confer with the scorer at halftime to determine the possession arrow is pointed in the proper direction to begin play in the second half.

·         Check and approve the score at the end of each half (of quarter for girl’s games). His/her approval of the score at the end of the game terminates the jurisdiction of the officials (ensure the running score has been recorded).



·         Game starts - on a jump ball, alternate possession afterwards
Basketball size - A regulation size ball used for boys will be 29.5, the size used for girls will be 28.5

·         5-second possession rule - coaches should stress this important rule for ball possession: If the player with ball is guarded closely (within six feet), he has five seconds to dribble the basketball, pass, or shoot the ball once he picks up his dribble. If five seconds’ pass and the same player still has the ball, he will be in violation of basketball rules.

·         10-seconds rule - This rule reads that no team shall be in continuous possession of the ball for more than 10 seconds in its own half of the court. If a team fails to advance the ball past the half-court line in 10 seconds, they lose possession of the ball.

·         Backcourt violation – The offensive squad may not bring the ball backward over the half-court line even if this is done by mistake due to an errant pass or a ball dribbled off the foot of an offensive player. If an offensive player is the first to touch a ball that has crossed back over the half-court line, his team will lose possession of the ball.

·         Line infractions


·         Running Clock - stops during the following:

1.       Last 2 minutes

2.       Timeouts

3.       Injuries


1.       Each team has two (2) 30 second timeouts per half

2.       Each team has one (1) 30 second timeout in the overtime period


·         Timeouts do not carry over from the first half to the second half, nor the overtime period.


 Players occupying marked free-throw lane line spaces may not enter the free-throw semicircle until the ball touches the ring or until the free throw ends. Rationale: The addition of this information makes the rule complete and easy to understand. This rule adds protection for the shooter.

·         Free-throw Violations

1. Players wishing to occupy the marked lane spaces must do so quickly, and must alternate lane spaces if the opponents wish to occupy the space nearest them. These players may enter the lane as soon as the ball has touched the rim and/or backboard.

2. Any player other than the free thrower, who does not occupy a marked lane space, must be behind the free throw line extended and behind the three-point line. These players may not enter this area until the ball has touched the rim and/or backboard.

Protecting the Free Throw Shooter

This continues to be an area of emphasis. The rule change last year was implemented to protect the free throw shooter. On release of the ball by the player attempting the free throw, the defender “boxing out” shall not cross the free-throw line into the semicircle until the ball contacts the ring. In addition, officials should be aware that contact and displacement of the free throw shooter is illegal and shall be enforced.

Free-Throw Provisions

A player, other than the free thrower, who does not occupy a marked lane space, may not have either foot beyond the vertical plane of the free-throw line extended and three-point line which is farther from the basket, until the ball touches the ring or until the free throw ends.


·         Team Fouls

1.       Seven (7) team fouls - results in teams shooting 1-and-1 free-throw for the remainder of the half; After Ten (10) team fouls – results in teams shooting 2 shots double bonus for the remainder of the half

·         Personal Fouls

2.       Five (5) personal fouls results in player disqualification (fouling out) from the game

·         Technical Fouls – will count toward players personal

3.       Two (2) free throws plus possession of the ball


·         A single flagrant technical foul or the second technical foul charged to a result in disqualification of the offender to the team bench.

·         Any action that seems harmful to the league and other players will be taken to the commissioner for possible multi-game suspension or expulsion from the league.

·         Technical fouls can be given to players that are not in the game

·         No taunting or staring down opponents (technical & personal foul)


- Sportsmanship will be enforced at all times!!! Coaches must ensure that they have responsible persons assigned to Score/Time Keeper duties!

4.       Score Keeper - Home team provides scorekeeper the game

5.       Timekeeper - Visiting team provides timekeeper for game


6. Two (2) minutes overtime period for a tied score at the end of regulation.

6.       Each team will receive one (1) timeout in the overtime period

7.       Team timeouts do not carry over into the overtime period

8.       If necessary, a third overtime will be resolved by a basketball penalty shootout


· Penalty Shootout - Teams take turns shooting two (2) free-throws, with the team with the most makes being the winner. If the result is still tied, the free-throw shootout continues with a "basket-for-basket" basis, with the teams (each player) taking shots alternately, and the one that scores a goal unmatched by the other team is declared the winner. This may continue until every player has taken a shot, after which players may take extra shots, until the tie is broken, and is also known as "sudden death".


 This number (443) 472-5969 is the emergency contact phone number just in case any teams are locked out of their scheduled practice or game gymnasium.


In times of emergencies/school closings, information will be shared with the community through the following: HCPSS Information Hotline Phone 410-313-6666

Howard County Youth Program, Inc.

P.O. BOX 6441 
Ellicott City, Maryland 21042
Phone : 410-461-7694
Email : [email protected]
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