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NJ Play Sports Basketball Rules

NJ Play Sports Men's/Women’s Basketball Rules


Set Up

  • Full Court 5-on-5 basketball

  • Two 20 minute halves

  • Each team is allowed two 30 second time-outs per game

  • Running clock- clock will stop for the last two minutes of the second half, unless a team is up by 15 or more points

  • Regular Season Overtime

    • There will be a 2:00 overtime if the game is tied at the end of regulation

    • If the game remains tied after the overtime period, the game will reset with a tip-off and the first team to score will win. This includes a single free-throw.

  • Substitute players must be registered before they can play. All subs must check in with the site manager before the start of the game in order to play.

  • Substitute players are prohibited from playing any playoff games.


  • The scheduled start time of your game is when the clock will start. 

  • We allow a 10 minute grace period. This grace period is for teams still getting ready, teammates running late, etc. "(Please keep in mind that the game clock will be running during the grace period)"

  • After 10 minutes the game is officially ruled a forfeit. If the teams still want to play after the grace period is up, the referees and site managers will still run a game, but the game will still count as a forfeit for the standings.

  • If an official is late or doesn’t show up, teams have a choice to self-officiate, mutually agree upon an official (team member or spectator), or allow a Site Manager to officiate the game. Games will not be rescheduled and will count as an official game.

  • Games are rescheduled or refunded/credited in the event that NJ Play Sports specifically cancels a game. Reschedules and refund/credits do not apply in events outside of NJ Play Sports control (ie: excessive rainouts, forfeits, etc.) 

  • All subs must fill out a waiver in order to participate in games. At least 50% of the players on the team must be on the roster. You may have no more than 1 bench player available, if you are inviting subs/guest players to the game. 



  • All players must wear their own team uniforms during games.

  • Participants must wear sneakers at all times.

Forfeitures/Game Time

  • Please avoid forfeiture. Both your teammates and opponents count on you to have a full team and competitive game.

  • First offense: loss of game.

  • Second offense: loss of game and removal from playoffs.

  • Third offense: removal from the rest of the schedule.

  • If you know in advance that your team is going to forfeit a game, you MUST contact us via email at or text (973) 358-5729, and we will make efforts to contact the other team.

  • There is no additional penalty if you show up short-handed (and need to add other NJ Play players to field a full team) and have to forfeit the game, since you did make an effort to get a team to play.

  • Once NJ Play is notified you are forfeiting, it is official, and the other team will be notified.


 Substitutions/Picking up players

  • Substitute players must be registered ( before they can play. All subs must check in with the site manager or referee before the start of the game in order to play. 

  • Substitute players are prohibited from playing any playoff games.

  • To avoid forfeitures, teams may pick up an additional player from a preceding team to field a full team. When adding players from a previous game, you must inform both the referee and the opposing team captain.

Game Time

  • The beginning of the game will begin with a jump ball. Possession for all following jump balls are alternate possessions. The start of overtime will also begin with a jump ball.

  • Game clock is divided into two 20 minute halves, with a 2 minute half time.

  • There will be a running clock except for the final 2 minutes of play. For the duration of the final 2 minutes, the clock will stop on all whistles and timeouts.

  • During the final 2 minutes, time will run during made field goals. The clock will not stop in the last two minutes of the second half if one team is ahead by 15 or more points.

  • Each team is allowed two 30 second time-outs per game. If in the first 38 minutes a time out is called prior to a free throw, the clock will remain stopped during the free throws until the ball is live again.

Overtime (Playoffs)

  • During the playoffs, each overtime period is 2 minutes. The clock will run continuously during the first minute and stop in the last minute on whistles and timeouts.

  • Each team is awarded 1 timeout per overtime period. Time-outs do not carry over from regulation to the overtime period.

  • Two minute overtimes will continue until there is a winner.

Personal and Team Fouls

  • Personal fouls will be recorded: Players foul out of the game after recording their 5th foul.

  • If a player fouls out of a game and it results in a team having to play with less than five players, the fouled out player will be allowed to continue play. Any additional fouls committed by this player will be treated as a technical foul.

  • All technical fouls will be recorded as team fouls and personal fouls

  • Beginning with the seventh team foul, the player fouled in a non-shooting situation will be awarded a "one and one"  free throw: if the player misses the first shot the ball is live, if the player makes the second they receive a second shot.

  • Beginning with the tenth team foul, the player fouled in a non-shooting situation will be awarded 2 free throws.

  • The ball is dead after the first foul shot. If the player makes the second shot, the opposing team gains possession. If the player misses the second shot, the ball is live.


Technical Fouls

  • Technical fouls are considered team and personal fouls. Any individual that is given two technical fouls will be automatically ejected from the game.

  • Substituting on the fly and not during a dead ball will result in a technical foul.

  •  All technical fouls result in 2 free throws and ball possession.

  • Team may select the player to shoot.

NCAA  Overview

  • Normal rules and penalties of the NCAA apply unless exceptions have been made in these rules

  • The 3-point field goal is in effect if the court has a line marked

  • Backcourt violations will be in effect unless otherwise noted

  • Dunking may or may not be allowed depending on the facility

  • When administering free throws, no player shall occupy this space the first marked lane space

    •  The second marked lane space shall be occupied by opponents of the free thrower. No teammate of the free thrower shall occupy either of these marked lane spaces

    • The third marked lane spaces on each side may be occupied by teammates of the free thrower

    • The fourth marked lane spaces may by occupied by opponents of the free thrower

  • Any player, other than the free thrower, who does not occupy marked lane space, must be behind the free throw line extended and behind the three-point line.

  • The ball does not advance on any timeout under any circumstance



  • Top teams will advance to playoffs

  • Only roster players are permitted to participate in the playoffs

  • Registered players who have met all roster requirements for participation are allowed to play on multiple teams in the playoffs. Playoff Substitute player exceptions will not be made if a player chooses to play on a specific team during a conflicting time slot in the playoffs. These considerations must be made prior to to roster deadline.


  • Ranking Points (Win: 3, Tie:1, Loss: 0)

  • Win Percentage 

  • Head to Head

  • Points Against

  • Power Index (Strength of Schedule Metric)

  • If none of the above tie breakers resolve seeding issues there will a coin toss to break the tie

Player Protests 

In the event that a team feels that the referee or site management does not acknowledge or incorrectly assumes a written rule in the NJ Play Rule Book the captain can protest said rule. The captain is protesting the fact that the rule exists or is different from what the referee is applying to the game. They are NOT protesting the interpretation of said rule or protesting any judgment calls on the field.

When a team protests a rule they must declare they are officially protesting the rule, the game will pause while the site manager and/or team captain confirm the rule exists or that the rule is being read correctly. If the rule exists or was being read incorrectly this is considered a successful protest (see below). If the rule does not exist or was being read and applied correctly on the field, this is considered a failed protest (see below).


Successful Protests:

Protest must take place on site before the next play begins, no alterations to the game can take place after the next play begins.

Play will continue using the accurate rule


Failed Protests:

Basketball: Timeout will be deducted from the teams allotted timeouts. If no time-outs are available the team will be charged with a technical foul.



  • Ejection for fouls/abusive language (even aimed at own team members), taunting, and serious foul play will be used. Such offenses will be documented by NJ Play Sports staff. All players who are ejected from the game (including actions after ejection call is issued) may be asked to leave the site. Refusal to leave may result in the game being ended and/or forfeited, regardless of time remaining.

  • If a player is ejected, an automatic suspension will be enforced for one or more subsequent games. This includes any doubleheaders or picking up for other teams. Excessive ejections or dangerous play may result in expulsion from the league.

  • NJ Play's ultimate goal is for you to have fun. Please keep this in mind while participating. While games may become intense, please maintain sportsmanship. Any behavior or abusive language to another player or referee, and is considered unacceptable by the referee, may result in suspension or ejection from a game or the league.