Grade & Age (dual requirement), Residency, and Roster

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General Rules

Game Rules

RIYBA Membership


  • Basketball organizations wishing to join RIYBA must have representation of at least 3 teams.  They must agree to abide by the rules established by RIYBA for RIYBA tournaments.  They will be subject to dues and fee imposed as agreed by the membership.

  • Each organization has the opportunity to host a tournament.

  • Each organization is allowed one vote in membership matters.

  • While out-of-state teams can play in RIYBA tournaments, only RI organizations can become members of RIYBA.  (09/14)



  • Tournaments are organized and managed solely by individual member organizations within RIYBA.

  • Beginning in 2019-20, A and B divisions will be included in select tournaments.  Impacts to rankings are recognized by the association members. (03/19)

  • Member organizations collectively agree to abide by RIYBA rules and guidelines in administering these tournaments and submit themselves to RIYBA's general oversight of these rules and guidelines.

  • As RIYBA does not participate in these tournaments in any way, RIYBA is not responsible for any inappropriateness, mismanagement, negligence, injury, or any other wrong-doing that may occur in any individual tournament, and as such, is not liable for penalty or remedy in such matters.

  • Tournament Cancellations/Postponements:  Ultimately, tournament directors and their boards are responsible to make the decisions on tournament cancellations and postponements due to inclement weather.  RIYBA is not part of the decision process - just the conduit for communication of these decisions to the member organizations within RIYBA. (03/18)

    • If part of a tournament is cancelled, those scheduled games will be decided by a coin-flip by RIYBA's master scheduler.​

    • If a full tournament is cancelled, the tournament will not be rescheduled.  The host organization must first have a discussion with the RIYBA rules committee before issuing mass communication for tournament cancellation.

    • There will be no refunds for individual games or partial tournaments cancelled for inclement weather.  If the entire tournament is cancelled, there will be a 50% refund on all "net" registration fees paid to host organization.  This will be administered by the host organization.  (10/18)

RIYBA State Championship


  • Eligibility:  Only teams from RIYBA organizations are eligible for the RIYBA state championship tournament.

  • Teams must play in a minimum of 4 RIYBA tournaments to be eligible for the RIYBA state championship tournament.  (09/14)

  • Two (2) Divisions:  The RIYBA State Championship Tournament will consist of two divisions - Gold & Silver - which will be hosted by separate organizations on the same weekend.  (Gold) / (Silver) divisions will be determined by standings at the defined cut-off date.  (03/15)



  • All Girl Divisions will use basketball size (28.5).

  • All Boys 4th & 5th grades will use basketball size (28.5).

  • All other Boys Divisions will use regulation basketball size (29.5).



  • Running time Eighteen (18) minute halves.

  • Clock will stop during all shooting fouls and the last two (2) minutes of each half.

  • Halftime will be four (4) minutes.




  • Tournament officials reserve the right to implement the mercy rule which allows the clock to continue to run the final 3 minutes of the game if 1 team is leading by more than 20 points.

  • Should the tournament schedule fall behind for any reason, tournament officials reserve the right to "catch up" by adjusting pre-game warm ups and/or half-time periods, and/or eliminating stop time until schedule is back on time.  Prior notice to both teams in affected games is required.



  • Two (2) timeouts per half (timeouts may NOT be carried over into the 2nd half or into overtime) (03/15)



  • Overtime will be two (2) minutes - Stop time.

  • One (1) time out will be given to each team for the overtime period.  (Additional timeouts DO NOT carry over from regulation)



  • Players are disqualified after receiving a 5th personal foul.

  • Players or coaches receiving two (2) technical fouls in a game must leave the gym immediately and are not allowed to attend the remainder of the tournament.  If this ejection occurs in the team's final game of a tournament, the player or coach cannot participate in or attend the team's next scheduled tournament.  (04/17)

Foul Shots


  • 1 and 1 on 7 team fouls per half (Note: clock will remain stopped throughout foul, see RI rule).

  • 2 shots on 10 team fouls per half (Note: clock will remain stopped throughout foul, see RI rule).



  • Coaches are mentors and role models for the players they coach.  They are also ambassadors of the organizations that they represent.  RIYBA expects coaches to comport themselves with these truths in mind.  Sportsmanship, integrity, and appropriate manner towards opponents and referees are required.

  • In cases of inappropriateness by a coach, RIYBA reserves the right to discipline the coach up to and including dismissal from coaching teams in RIYBA tournaments.

  • If a coach is ejected from the game for any reason, that coach shall not be allowed to return to any remaining games in that tournament.  Additionally, that coach's organization will pay $100 fine to RIYBA.  Incidents must be reported to RIYBA by the host organizations.

  • Only two (2) coaches, including the head coach are allowed on the team bench during games. (Parents, Scorekeepers, etc... may not sit on the bench).  Two coaches only. (03/16)
    Host tournament officials are responsible to monitor this requirement - do not leave to referees only. (03/19)

  • Only one (1) coach may be designated to stand and address referees during games. 

Division Restrictions


  • 4th Grade:

    • The entire game is to be played with man-to-man half-court defense.  Full court man-to-man defense may be played in the last 2 minutes of each half and overtime. All players must be in a recognizable man defense.  Proper positioning relative to the ball and help defense do not constitute illegal defense.  If one or more players are freelancing, double teaming, or playing zone techniques, the team will be charged with playing an illegal defense.  First offense is a warning.  All subsequent offense will be a technical foul.  (10/19)

  • 5th Grade:

    • The first half of games must be played with man-to-man defense (see 4th grade above) whether in half-court or full-court. 

    • Any type of defense, full or half-court, may be played in the second half of games. (10/19)

Full Court Pressure


  • No full court press in 4th grade divisions except the last two (2) minutes of each half and overtime.  (03/19)

  • Mercy Rule - If point differential is twenty (20) points, leading team cannot apply full court pressure.

Tournament Scorekeepers & Clock Operators


  • Each organization must provide two (2) individuals - one to operate the clock and one to keep the official scorebook for each game.  One person shall not perform both duties.  No restrictions on using youth; however, RIYBA encourages all organizations to use qualified workers for these roles.  (03/16)  Additionally, host tournaments should restrict the number of people allowed at the table to the two assigned workers so as to avoid distraction.  Scorekeepers and clock operators should refrain from using cell phones during the games that they are working.  (03/18)

  • Team scorekeepers should sit in close proximity to the official scorer's table wherever possible.  Challenges or reviews should not be yelled across the gyms or address official scorekeepers directly.  Rather, team scorekeepers should communicate issues to the head coach, who in turn can ask the referee to consult on the matter.  (03/18)



  • Referees are hired by individual organizations for their tournaments, and may or may not be RI Board Certified Referees.

  • Referees represent the highest authority in officiating games and are to be respected by players, coaches, and fans.

  • Referees enforce the rules set forth by RIYBA, and have the authority to remove players, coaches, and/or fans from the game or premises in order to keep the game safe and respectful for all participants.

  • Only RI Board Certified Referees are allowed to be assigned to the RIYBA State Championship Tournaments.  (03/15)

  • No RIYBA organization director or coach may referee a team from his/her program at a tournament which their organization is hosting.  (09/14)



  • Organizations must submit their blackouts online for each tournament they participate in when registering their teams.

  • First round blackout accommodations only:

    • 4 hour blackout on Friday or anytime on Saturday (not both days).

    • Must be on the hour, not 1/2 or 1/4 hour  (i.e. 8-12 is acceptable; 8:15-12:15,8:30-12:30 and 8:45-12:45 are not allowed)

    • No Sunday blackouts.

Team Cancellation/No Show:

  • Team Cancellation or Team No Show of any game will result in a $100.00 fine payable to the host organization.

Uniform Requirements:

  • In RIYBA tournaments, no individual or commercial sponsoring is allowed on uniform jerseys.

    • Uniforms can consist of the following:

      • Reversible dark/white colors

      • Number

      • Name of Organization

      • Player's name on back (optional)

    • Any logos of team mascots and/or sponsoring/promotional information, etc... may be included on warm-up  jerseys that may be worn prior to games and on the bench.


  • When a game results in a forfeit due to a rules violation, the game must still be played provided both teams are present and have enough players.  The non-forfeiting team will advance regardless of outcome.  If the non-forfeiting team refuses to play, they will be penalized from advancing to the next round.  (03/16)

Parents and Fans


Admission to tournaments, whether purchased or not, is a privilege and a revocable license and may be withdrawn anytime at the discretion of the tournament management representative(s).  Your admission may be refused or revoked without refund for reasons including, but not limited to the following:

  • Obvious abuse of alcohol or other intoxicants.

  • Fighting, taunting, or any action that may harm or endanger others in the facility.

  • Abusive or foul language and obscene actions.

  • Any behavior resulting in the disruption of the game.

  • Any other conduct deemed to be beyond the bounds of reason for a spectator attending a youth sporting event.

Exceptions and Appeals


Rules are created and agreed upon by the member organizations to promote competitive balance and to support the efforts of the member organizations that are providing a service to their respective municipalities.  On occasion, reasonable circumstances may lead to exceptions granted to existing rules or rulings under one of the following:


 Petition Process

  • Appeals for relief of rules or decisions must be made in writing (email is fine) and must be first sponsored by both the coach and director of the organization.

  • Must be addressed to the President of RIYBA with a copy to the coach and director of the organization.

  • The RIYBA President will forward the appeal request to the Rules Committee, who will convene on the matter either in person, by phone, or by email.  (03/15)

  • The Committee will render a decision in writing and communicate this to the president.

  • The President will communicate the decision to the petitioners with a copy to the coach(es)/directors where applicable.



  • Documentation for any exceptions must be maintained by the player's coach and be available upon request at tournaments.