House League Rules

//House League Rules
House League Rules 2024-04-01T03:23:36+00:00

Rules & Expectations

All players, coaches and spectators are required to uphold the following expectations while participating in the House League program.

  1. Only registered players are permitted to play in House League.
  2. Follow all Health & Safety protocols, including Concussion policies.
  3. No yelling at or criticizing of referees. Many of our referees are teenagers who have played in our organization.  They will not be perfect, but they should be consistent.  If a player, coach or parent/guardian are dissatisfied with the work of any referee, report concerns to the convenor.
  4. Be positive and demonstrate good sportsmanship at all times. House league players, coaches and/or spectators who demonstrate inappropriate behaviour will be asked to leave the gym.  Additional disciplinary actions may be pursued depending on the severity and/or frequency of the inappropriate behaviour.
  5. Players, coaches and parents are asked to be supportive of the house league trade process. The goal of early season trades is to heighten the enthusiasm and engagement of all players and fair teams assist in doing this.

Game Play

NTBA has developed slightly modified rules for House League game play in order to maximize participation, support skill development and keep schedules running on time.

  1. Games are comprised of 10 x 4-minute shifts, running time with a 4-minute half time break.
  2. Equal playing time is required for all players.
  3. Timeouts are not permitted. Minimize time between shifts – players should be ready to play within 30 seconds of a shift ending.
  4. Person-to-person defense only; no double teams. Zone defense is not permitted.
  5. Half-court defense only; players must “fall back” to half-court when the other team gets possession of the ball.
  6. No “over and back” or “3 seconds in the key” calls.
  7. Foul shots are taken from the “block” for U9 – U12; 1 shot only but 2 points scored for a made basket. Foul shots are taken from the foul line for U13+; 1 shot only but 2 points scored for a made basket.
  8. Individual / team fouls are not tracked so fouling out of a game is not possible. Coaches must instruct players on proper defensive play so as to avoid excessive fouls.
  9. 3-point shots are allowed in U15+ (Girls & Boys). If a player is fouled on a 3-point shot attempt, they take 1 foul shot from the foul line; made foul shot is worth 3 points.
  10. If a team does not have 5 players at the start of the game, they will forfeit the game and the opposing team will get the win. Game play must still proceed – players from the opposing team can swap teams so that each team has a minimum of 5 players.

Coaches must keep track of lineups/shifts and hand in the House League Participation & Scorecard to the on-site convenor after each game.


Prior to each house league season, NTBA will communicate to our community regarding paid house league referee opportunities.  Referees must be of high school or post-secondary age, have experience playing basketball (house league or rep level) and demonstrate strong leadership skills.  Interested students must complete an application and if selected, attend an evening referee clinic.