NYC Social Basketball Rules

Playing time is two 18-minute halves with a running clock game. The clock will run continuously throughout the game, stopping ONLY during the last 2 minutes of the half/game for fouls and during team timeouts.


  • Remember, this is a social League. Keep a relaxed attitude, meet some new people, and have a good time.
  • There should be equal playing time for all Players, regardless of gender.
  • You always need your T-Shirts. They are our only way of identifying you and not wearing them will affect your standings!
  • Please treat our referees with respect.
  • Referees will be judging your Sportsmanship; it’s best to be gracious whether you’re winning or losing.
  • Any aggressive behavior will not be tolerated and may result in suspension or expulsion from our Leagues.
  • Please be on time. We recommend showing up at least 15 minutes early to avoid any confusion and the chance of forfeiting.
  • Roster Changes can be made up until week four.
  • 5v5 and more will increase the minimum requirement of players needed to complete a team.

4v4 Full Court Rules

Number of Players

A team consists of a minimum of 8 and a maximum of 12 players. 4 Players will play at once.

A minimum of 3 players from your roster and/or pre-registered substitutes is needed to start or continue a game.


If a team is short the required number of players in a regular season game, they may invite players from other teams within the division. Subs from within the division are subject to the Referee’s discretion. Teams can only invite enough Subs from within the division to meet the maximum number of players allowed on field (4) plus one additional player to rotate in.

Substitute players from within the division should be the last one to cycle into the game (barring gender requirements). If players from a team’s roster arrive late, the Subs from within the division must rotate out.

Substitutions from outside the division are allowed. Substitutions during the Playoffs are not permitted. Teams using pre-registered substitutes may not exceed the headcount of their original roster, and individuals may not serve as a pre-registered substitute player more than 3 times during a Season.

Substitute players must check in with the Host onsite to receive a league issued pinnie to wear in the Game. Substitute players must leave a form of identification with the Host in exchange for the participation pinnie. The ID will be returned to the player when the pinnie is turned in after the Game.


Possession Changes

The “check-line” will be the three-point line.

Putting the Ball Back in Play

  • The ball changes possession after each basket unless a foul is awarded. The ball must be PASSED in from the start of a possession in order to attempt a shot on net.
  • The referee must handle the ball after an out of bounds is called or a foul is awarded.
  • After defensive steals, rebounds, blocked shots, or air-balls (shots that don’t hit the rim from the opposing team), the ball must be returned to the three-point line but does not need to be passed into play.


The referee will signal the ball in play for free throw attempts. Teams must line up promptly for foul shots. Officials will penalize teams attempting to consume time by using stalling tactics. Officials may order stoppage of time and charge a technical foul. Two free-throws will be awarded for each technical foul committed. Referees call shooting fouls throughout the game. If three consecutive fouls occur in the final 2 min of the game, team receives two free throws and clock stops.

Timeouts & Substitutions

Will take place AFTER a converted basket, timeout, a foul shot, or any stoppage of play. The substitute must get an official’s attention and wait to be called in. A technical foul will be charged to the team for failure to abide by this rule.  There must be a fair rotation of all players throughout the game. This means both men and women get time, both on the bench and on the court. Referees may require substitutions to ensure this.

  • Each team is allowed two (2) one minute time-out per game.
  • If play is stopped by a teammate to attend to an obvious injury, then the injured player must sit out at least until the next dead ball.
  • Player substitution is permitted during any dead ball situation

Live Ball/ Dead Ball Possession

  • The ball changes possession after each scored basket and brought out of bounds and passed in play by the opposing team.
  • Jump balls will be called by the Official and awarded through alternating possessions.


Any player who accumulates 5 fouls in a single game will be disqualified from that game “fouled out”. Referees call shooting fouls throughout the game and anything they feel warrants a technical foul. If three consecutive fouls occur in the final 2 min of the game, team receives two free throws and clock stops.

Defensive Hand Check

When a defensive player reaches in coming across the offensive players hand or body will result in a foul.  If player is in a shooting motion he/she will receive two foul shots. If it was on the ground it will result in the offensive team taking the ball out of bounds and passing it in play. The clock will not stop unless it is within the last two minutes of the game.

Blocking Fouls

If a defensive player impedes onto a offensive player with to much force by using there body to alter a offensive players route they will be charged a foul for blocking.

Offensive Charge

When the offensive player is in motion and the defensive player has two feet firmly planted without motion, knocking the defensive player over, they will be called for a foul at the referee’s discretion.

Technical Fouls

(Again at the Referees Discretion) will result in two free throws and possession of the ball goes to the offended team. If a single player receives two technical fouls in a single game he/she will be ejected.

Stalling or Deliberate Attempts to Freeze the Ball

This will result in loss of ball possession. The referee may issue a verbal warning before taking away possession

Three-Second Lane Violations

“Three Seconds in the Key” will be called.


The Referee will signal the ball in play for free throw attempts and teams will line up promptly and in the correct places for foul shots. The officials will penalize teams attempting to consume time by using stalling tactics. Officials may order stoppage of time and charge a technical foul.

After every made basket the ball must be took out of bounds and passed in play by the opposite team. If a player does not dribble the ball when in possession he/she will be called for travelling. They have ten seconds to cross half court.


  • Each field goal is worth two points.
  • A successful shot from beyond the three-point line (21 ft arc) is worth three (3) points. The player shooting the ball must have both feet completely behind the arc when initiating the attempt.

Overtime Procedure (Playoffs Only)

If the score is tied after regulation play, an overtime period of five minutes will be played. If the score is tied after the overtime period a second overtime will be played and so on and so forth.


Teams should report to the fields at least 15 minutes before their scheduled starting time of the game. A game will be ruled a forfeit if any of the following occur:

  • No one from one of the teams is present at game time
  • The minimum number of players are not present (3)
  • Improper conduct by one or more players on any team

Teams will receive a forfeit loss of 10-0 in the official standings, if they have not shown up by the scheduled game time.

Teams will forfeit if they have not shown up by the scheduled game time.

Exceptions can be made if a team is waiting on a couple of players (e.g. transit issues) with the understanding that the delay will cut time from the end of their game, and that the final decision is subject to the Referee’s discretion.

Inclement Weather

NYC Social recognizes that the winter months can bring extreme weather conditions. In the event of severe cold weather, determined as a forecasted wind chill factor below 10 degrees Fahrenheit, NYC Social will postpone games 90 minutes before game time.

In the event of heavy rain or snow that results in the conditions of a game being unsafe or travel being unsafe, NYC Social will update the Weather Line (347.491.7001) with any postponements 90 minutes before game time.

In the event the games have been started and then have to be called off due to inclement weather while underway, the games will be restarted from the beginning if less than half of the game has been played and will be called or resumed from the stoppage of play if gameplay crossed the half-game mark. Any games postponed for weather will be rescheduled and information on the rescheduled game will be sent to all players and gamestaff by email.

Season Abandonment

Registered teams that miss two weeks of play will be considered to have abandoned their place in the league. Teams in this category will be contacted by a NYC Social staff member to confirm their status. Teams failing to respond within two business days will be removed from the season schedule and will forfeit their registration fees. Teams that do respond will be required to supply reasoning for lack of attendance and petition the league for reinstatement. Season abandonment and reactivation decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis at the sole discretion of the league management and must be resolved before returning to play in the current season or in subsequent seasons.

Team T-Shirts

Each player on an official team roster will receive a league-issued Team T-Shirt at the start of the season. The shirt must be worn and visible during each and every game of the season.

Team T-Shirts are also used by staff at the sponsor bar to determine whether a player is eligible to receive league discounts.

Names, nicknames, numbers, and team logos are all welcome additions to the Team T-Shirts. Please also feel free to bedazzle, tie-dye, or apply patches to them, if you are so inclined.

Alcohol, Controlled Substance, and Safety Policy

Individuals (players, fans, or friends of players) will, at the discretion of NYC Social, be ejected immediately if any of the following are true:

  • found bringing alcohol, weapons, or controlled substances to any venue or sponsor bar in use by NYC Social
  • suspected of excessive pre-game alcohol consumption
  • suspected of abusing a controlled substance
  • deemed unruly or a danger to themselves or others at any time

Anyone who is ejected from one of our venues or sponsor bars will be required to petition NYC Social for reinstatement before participating in or attending any subsequent NYC Social event. Team(s) associated with the offending player, friend, or fan will risk receiving a forfeit based on the Referee and NYC Social staff discretion.

These policies are in place for the safety, enjoyment, and continued camaraderie of all players, the sponsoring venues, sponsor bars, and all of NYC Social.

 Ejected Participants

Any ejected individual must get approval by NYC Social prior to attending or participating in future games, leagues, or hosted events, including Post-Game Parties. Attempted participation without approval is subject to further penalties. Rulings may include, but are not limited to, probation, game/league suspension, or permanent expulsion.


Teams not advancing to the Playoffs will be awarded a Friendly Game if they choose.


THIS IS A SOCIAL LEAGUE: Have fun and make new friends. The game may or may not go your way, but the beer is still cold and cheap afterwards!