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Basketball Rules

2022-23 Basketball Rules

 (Click Here for downloadable pdf)

NEW 2022-23 Divisions

  • Under 7 – 6-year-olds, as of June 1, 2022 (1st Grade Division)

  • Under 8 – 7-year-ods, as of June 1, 2022 (2nd Grade Division)

  • Under 9 – 8-year-olds, as of June 1, 2022 (3rd Grade Division)

  • Under 10 – 9-year-olds, as of June 1, 2022 (4th Grade Division)

  • Under 11 – 10-year-olds, as of June 1, 2022 (5th Grade Division)

  • Under 12 – 11-year-olds, as of June 1, 2022 (6th Grade Division)

  • Under 14 - players ages 12 & 13, (7th & 8th Grade) on June 1, 2022

  • Under 16 - players ages 14 &15, (9th & 10th Grade) on June 1, 2022

  • Under 18 - players ages 16 & 17, (11th & 12th Grade) on June 1, 2022

U14-U18 Age Divisions

  • Division 1 - school teams and older players (13-year-olds playing U14s)

  • Division 2 - lowest age players in the division (12-year-olds playing U14s)

Goal Heights 

  • 8.5 Feet - U7/U8/U9/U10 Divisions      

  • 10 Feet - U11/U12/U14/U16/U18 Divisions    


Ball Size 

  • 27.5" - U8 Boys and Girls 

  • 28.5” - Boys U9-U12 & Girls U9 - U18

  • 29.5” - Boys U14 - U18

Length of Games 

  • Under 7 through Under 12 divisions- Two 18-minute halves

  • Under 14 through Under 18 divisions - Two 20-minute halves

  • TIMEOUTS - (2) 45-second timeouts per half, DO NOT carry over to 2nd half

  • CLOCK: Running Clock (Last Minute of 2nd-Half, except when point rules is applied 

The Game

  • 5 v 5, NO OVERTIME 

  • Teams shoot on goals OPPOSITE of their bench for 1st Half.

  • Halftime is 4-minutes max 

  • Halftime – teams switch goals

  • Halftime - U8 League - players will shoot 1 Free-throw, EQUAL # OF SHOTS PER TEAM

  • 3-Point Goals (U11-U18 divisions ONLY)

  • U7-U8 Point Rule - teams with a 15-point lead are restricted to the 15' Lane

  • U9-U12 Point Rule – teams with a 15-point lead are restricted in the 3-Point Arc

  • U14-U18 Point Rule – teams with a 20-point lead are limited in the 3-Point Arc

  • 5-Second Lane Violation - U7-U8 divisions

  • 3-Second Lane Violation – U9-U18 divisions

  • JERSEY: HOME team is White or Light, and the GUESTS team is Dark​​


The Start of Play

  • A Jump Ball determines 1st possession at center court

  • Alternate possessions at the start of the second half from Possession Arrow

  • Teams will switch goals after halftime

  • Must have four players to start the game

  • If one team does not have (5) players, after the scheduled game time, and a
    5-Minute Grace Period, the game will be declared a FORFEIT

  • If the game is announced a FOREFIT, teams will play a scrimmage

  • Forfeit Scrimmages (two 15-minute halves) will use assigned officials and end 15-minutes before the start of the next game


The Head Coach

  • The Head Coach MUST meet with officials and submit Scoresheets at the pre-game meeting and is responsible for all behavior issues related to players and fans

  • A maximum of two (2) coaches in the bench area—however, only one (1) standing coach at a time. 

  • After one (1) warning, a technical foul may be given

  • Bench Technical – by either a player or an assistant coach will result in the loss of Coaching Box privileges for the Head Coach

  • No Coaches are allowed under the backboard area when the ball is in play

  • Coaches are responsible for seeing that their bench area is cleaned after each game


  • The suggested maximum number on each roster is 10

  • Every player (if physically able) should play at least 50% of the game

  • ESCRA recommends reversible Jerseys (with both light/dark colors)

  • WHITE T-SHIRTS are the preferred color for undergarments

  • Legal Numbers MUST be on the front and back. 

  • Uniforms must match and have numbers 1-5, 11-15, or 21-25

  • The following numbers (6, 7, 8, or 9) are NOT to be used in any combination.


General Safety

  • Necklaces, watches, jewelry, earrings, and any pierced body parts on either boys or girls are PROHIBITED. 

  • U7-U10 players with stud earrings may wear tape to cover and play

  • Players wearing beads must wear a head cover to prevent injury to other players


The Score

  • The score will be kept at each game, including fouls and technical fouls

  • HOWEVER, no league standings will be kept 

  • ESCRA is a Developmental League focusing on fun, fellowship, and instruction

Fouls and Technicals

  • 7 Common Team Fouls = Double Bonus

  • ESCRA does not shoot 1 and 1

  • Offensive and Defensive fouls may be called on any player. 

  • The referee should briefly explain all infractions.

  • Technical Fouls may be called on any player, coach, or fan.

  • Player Disqualification - Five (5) fouls and removal from the game.  Players remain as bench personnel, not permitted to leave

  • Coach Ejection - Two (2) technical fouls and removal from the facility within 1-minute after ejection or the game will be canceled

  • Direct Technicals for unsportsmanlike actions:  3 free throws and possession

  • Indirect Technicals for rules infractions: 2 free throws and possession

  • (2) Direct Technicals = (2) Game Suspension

  • (4) Total Direct Technicals = Suspension from ESCRA Basketball



  • To enter the game, players check in at the Scorer’s Table and kneel at the X.

  • When the whistle is blown for a dead-ball, subs will be waived in by the official.

  • The scorekeeper will notify the officials of substitutes with a short horn when the ball is not in play.

  • If a player is injured and needs to come out of the game, an official may call a time-out to stop the clock.  Play will resume at the point of interruption on all inbound plays or rebounds after notification is made by the official to restart the clock.


Pressing and Defense

  • Man-2-Man Defense is preferred

  • Zone Defense is allowed

  • No Double Teams – Under 8 & Under 10 Divisions

  • U8 Defense – players, can ONLY play the ball when it crosses 3-Point Arc

  • U10 Defense – players, can ONLY play the ball when it crosses Half-court

  • U12/18 Defense – teams, can full-court press, and double-teams are allowed

  • After the 15-Point & 20-Point Rules, Defense outside of the 3-point Arc is an Illegal Defense.



  • ESCRA will assign two (2) officials to enforce the rules of the game with
    Instruction, fun, fairness, and safety are in mind.

  • The officials have complete administration of the game. 

  • One (1) warning will be given to the Head Coach in the event of fan issues.

  • In the event of an unruly fan, the result is an Indirect Technical on their Head Coach

  • Please inform the Site Director and YOUR Athletic Director of any issues.


Mission Statement

Our mission is to provide and promote recreation between churches in the Shelby County area in a Christ-honoring environment.


Our Purpose

  • Provide athletic competition for all ages.

  • Promote an environment that will assure a spirit of fair play and sportsmanship.

  • Promote participation in team sports.

  • Encourage fellowship that honors Jesus Christ.


Age/Grade Exemptions

  • In exceptional circumstances, an exemption may be granted for a player to play in an age group for which they are too old.

  • Please submit the online Exemption Request at

  • The team’s Recreation Director must request before Nov. 15.

  • Churches will be notified concerning the status of the exemption, approved/denied

  • Approvals can be revoked if the exemption information is found to be false.


Playing on More Than One Team

Players are not allowed to play on more than one team within the same sports season  Anyone playing for their school, playing on a competitive team, or playing in another league/association within the same sports season may not play in the ESCRA league


Score Sheets

Score sheets (Excel format) are available online at for coaches to complete before their games.  Please include your Church, Age Division, and Player’s first and last names and turn them into the Scorekeeper before tip-off.


Inclement Weather Number

For dangerous driving conditions due to Winter Weather, coaches should call (901) 679-6041 to check if any gyms are closed and games canceled.  Please get in touch with this line each Saturday after 8:00 am and 3:00 weeknights for updates.


Canceling a Game

  • ESCRA will not cover the COST OF OFFICIALS.

  • Play all games as scheduled.

  • For any games canceled, the ESCRA will NOT reschedule games.

  • PROTOCOL: Head Coach informs their Director, who reports the League


The Bench (Assistant Coaches)

  • Only ONE (1) coach can stand and direct play during a game.

  • Coaches’ Box is the area from the bench to the sidelines with seven chairs in length.  Substitute players must remain seated.

  • Teams must have Adult Coaches (25 years old).  Exemptions Request may be submitted

  • A coach receiving (2) Direct Technicals in a game will be ejected from the facility.

  • The ESCRA Board of Directors will review a coach receiving (3) Direct Technicals in a season to determine the eligibility for coaching in future ESCRA games.


Clock Operators / Scorekeepers

The League pays for clock operators and scorekeepers.  Location Managers may contact two people for each game.  Scorekeepers must ensure that the coaches submit a Score Sheet including Church name, Division, player numbers, and first and last names.



  • Games begin with PRAYER

  • Coaches must, in good faith, keep up with the 50% play rule or face disciplinary actions.

  • Modified TSSAA Rules apply to all games, NO overtimes.



  • Free Throws: One & One after 7 team fouls; Two after 10 team fouls.

(Revised: 8/17/2022)

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