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River Valley League - Rules of the Game

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River Valley League Girls Basketball - Rules of the Game

(Amended 9/26/2023)

A.     Each League game will consist of 4 quarters of 8 minutes length. 

Overtime periods will be used as required, until a winner is determined.

  1. There will be a 3-to-6-minute intermission between halves. (Home Team discretion)

  2. The game clock will be stopped at all whistles.        

  3. A quality ball (28.5 size basketball) shall be used and supplied by the Home Team.   

  1. If the Home Team is unable to supply a quality ball the Visiting Team shall supply one.

  2. The referee has final authority over the quality of the ball.

  3. 4th Grade (only) will use a 27.5-inch ball

  1. The home team shall have two board certified referees per game.  The referees must wear a referee uniform with a patch indicating they are board certified.

  2. Uniforms must be worn by all players.

  1. All teams must have white and dark color uniforms (numbers on the front shall be a minimum of 4 inches and on the back shall be a minimum of 6 inches) with legal numbers starting and/or ending with 0, 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5.  There can be no number 6, 7, 8 or 9 on their uniforms.

  1. The lengths of the quarters are as follows:

  1. For All grade divisions shall be eight (8) minutes.

  2. Overtime periods will be three (3) minutes.

  1. Each team is allowed to have a maximum of 3 coaches on the team bench. 
    Only one coach may stand at any one time unless it is for spontaneous celebration or instructions.
    This does not include table personnel. (Team managers, team trainers, etc. count as a coach.)


B.     Each game shall be conducted according to the rules of the National Federation of State High School Association (NFHS) with the exceptions noted as follows:

  1. 2 foul shots will be taken upon the 5th team foul per quarter. At the start of the following quarter, team fouls will reset to zero.

  2. Teams are allowed four (4) 60-second timeouts during a regulation game.  

    • Unused time-outs can be carried over into overtime and may be used at any time.  

    • Consecutive time-outs are not allowed.

  3. One (1) additional 60-second timeout will be allowed during each overtime period.

  4. As no shot clock is utilized, the 10-second backcourt rules will apply.

  5. On all courts with a designated 3-point arc, 3-point shots will be allowed.

  6. For 4th & 5th grade only, only man to man defense will be played.  No zone or double teaming. 

Full court pressing is only allowed in:

  • 4th Grade - Last two (2) minutes of the game and overtime

  • 5th Grade - Last two (2) minutes of both halves and overtime

  • Press must be Man to Man. (No pressing is allowed if leading by 10+ points.)  

  1. A foul shooter is allowed a foot violation provided she does not continue into the lane until the ball touches the rim.

  2. Man to Man defense means to stay within approx. 4 feet from your offensive player on the strong side (ball side).  Weak side defenders may put one (1) foot in the lane.  Two (2) feet in the lane on the weak side when the player you are covering is not in the lane is a violation.

  3. Man to Man defense allows for “help side” defensive concepts.  Help defense allows for a weak side defender to help a teammate that has been beaten defensively. Once the original defender recovers back to her man, the help defender should recover back to her player, unless a switch has taken place. 

  4. Violations for double teaming, two (2) feet in the lane (weak side only) and full court pressing is as follows:

  • First violation is a warning.

  • All subsequent violations will be two (2) shots with the lane cleared and the ball at half court for a throw in. The game officials have discretion in interpreting the violation.

  1. When multiple offensive and defensive players are in the lane, the double-teaming violation is unmanageable, and the game officials will have final responsibility for interpreting the violation.  If no advantage is being gained, then the official may not call a violation.

  1. For the 6th grade only, teams will be limited to a half-court defense only after a 15-point lead. Otherwise, a full-court defense may be used.

  1. A technical foul will occur on any intentional violation of the half court rule when a team has a 15-point lead.

  1. For the 7th/8th grade only, teams will be limited to a half-court defense only after a 20-point lead. Otherwise, a full-court defense may be used.

  1. A technical foul will occur on any intentional violation of the half court rule when a team has a 20-point lead.

  1. All technical fouls (Direct Technical: Physical or Verbal abuse, Unsportsmanlike conduct) of Players or Coaches must be reported to the appropriate Age Director and Commissioner(s) within 72 hours of the conclusion of the game.  

    • If the head coach does not report their team(s) technical fouls in the allotted time, then the coach shall be suspended for two (2) or more games depending on the number of violations.

  2. Ejections:  Any individual ejected from a RVL game will be suspended for 1 league game for their first  offense.  

    • A second ejection will result in a minimum three (3) game suspension. 

    • A third ejection will result in a minimum of one (1) year suspension. 

    • Both coaches must report the ejection(s) to the appropriate Age Director and Commissioner(s) within 24 hours of the conclusion of the game.  

  3. Threats or physical abuse to another party (i.e., Referee, Coach, Player, etc.) will result in a suspension from all RVL events for a minimum of one (1) year.  

    • The suspension(s) shall be enforced by the Age Director with an appeal process to the BOD.

  4. Mouth pieces are not required.

C.      Injured players who have blood showing must be removed from the game.

  1. The injured player cannot reenter the game until the bleeding has stopped and the wound is properly covered.

  2. Uniforms stained with blood must be changed. No player with a blooded uniform will be allowed to play.

D.     Teams will be required to submit teams with a minimum roster size of eight (8) players

  1. Games may be played with less than 8 in attendance, to a minimum of 5 players, due to injury/illness/etc.


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