THE OBJECT OF THE GAME is to outscore your opponent by shooting the ball into your basket and preventing them from putting the ball into theirs. The ball can be advanced up the floor with the hands only, either by dribbling or passing to teammates. Below is a summary of how “streetball” differs to “basketball” in not only the rules themselves, but the atmosphere in which the game is to be played – that is, with FUN FIRST attitude!

  1. DURATION OF THE GAME: All matches will be two 18 min halves, with a few minutes break in between. No clock stoppages will be made except under exceptional circumstances. Such circumstance will be at the sole discretion of the UR Staff.
  2. THE COURT The game shall be played on a standard Basketball court. Some variations may vary depending on venue, and location of courts.  
  3. THE TEAM The number of players required on the court, for this league is  three or five (3 or 5, depending on your selected league). 
    • There must be a minimum of two (1-2) Males, and Females on the field always.
    • This league requires your team to have a minimum of four (3-4) players, including one Male or Female to start the game. (check your league specific rules to confirm minimum numbers). 
    • Please consider our Default, Forfeit, and Substitute Policy
  4. SUBSTITUTIONS can be made at any time. Players coming onto the field must wait until the player they are substituting with has come off the field.
  5. STARTING PLAY Each team will “shoot to start” to see who will start off with the first possession of the game. One team will nominate one player to shoot from the free throw line. If that player misses, the other team will have a shot from the free throw line. The first team to make the basket will start with the ball. The ball is “checked” to the team with first possession of the game at the top of the 3-point arc, and the game begins.
  6. HOW TO SCORE Each 2-point basket will be worth 1 point, and each 3-point basket will be worth 2 points, as per traditional streetball scoring
  7. CHECK PHASE This “check” phase is performed by one team passing the ball to another team at the top of the 3-point line. The team passing the ball to the offensive team, in this situation, may do so once they have “set up” their defence (traditionally, the defensive tactics in streetball is simply a “man-on-man” tactic, rather than a “zone” defence). Once the ball has made contact with the offensive player’s hand, that phase of play will start. The check phase occurs:
    • On every made basketball, with the team who scored retaining possession of the ball for the next phase of play
    • On an out-of-bounds situation, with the team that will be in possession of the ball retaining possession of the ball for the next phase of play
    • On every non-shooting foul, the team that was fouled with the ball will be in possession of the ball for the next phase of play. 
  8. FOULS Basketball fouls are penalties assessed for rough play to keep a player from gaining an advantage over another player. A player who is fouled is awarded the ball out of bounds unless the foul occurred during the act of shooting, in which case the player who is fouled is awarded 2 free throws. Here are a simple list of fouls. No personal fouls will be recorded, but team fouls may be awarded.
    • Blocking – A personal foul caused when the defender makes illegal personal contact with an opponent who may or may not have the ball. Blocking is called when the defender impedes the progress of the opponent.
    • Charging (or Player Control Foul) – A personal foul occurring when an offensive player makes contact with a defender who has already established a set position. A player with the ball must avoid contact with a stationary defender by stopping or changing direction.
    • Elbowing – It is a violation for a player to swing the elbows excessively.
    • Flagrant Foul – A personal or technical foul, which is violent in nature. Examples are fighting, striking, kicking, or kneeing an opponent.
    • Hand Check – A personal foul caused by a defender making repeated contact with her hands on her opponent.
    • Holding – A personal foul caused by illegal contact with an opponent, which interferes with his freedom of movement.
    • Blocking Females – As per mixed basketball rules, guys are not allowed to block a girl’s shot on any part of the court. If a girl’s shot is blocked, the basketball will be counted from wherever the ball was shot from (1 point counted for a 2-point attempt, 2 points counted for a 3-point attempt). The player will also receive 1 additional free throw.
  9. VIOLATIONS The basketball basic rules include numerous ball handling and time violations that cause a team to lose possession of the ball. Here are some common violations. In Streetball, minor travels and “carries” will largely be played on, as some “trick moves” performed by players may involve “bending” the traditional rules of basketball.
    • Back-court Violation – If a player is the last one on her team to touch the ball before it goes into the back-court, she cannot be the first player to touch it in the back-court.
    • Closely Guarded (or Five-second Violation) – Violation that occurs when a ball handler in his team's front-court is continuously guarded by any opponent who is within 6 feet of him while he is either dribbling or holding the ball. The offensive player has 5 seconds to either get rid of the ball or drive past the defender.
    • Double Dribble - When a dribbler touches the ball with both hands at the same time or when the dribbler picks up the ball and then starts dribbling again.
    • Goal-tending – Occurs when a player touches a shot ball while it is in its downward flight above the rim. It also occurs when a defender touches a free throw attempt outside the basket.
    • Lane Violation – A violation called during a free throw situation against a player who enters the lane too soon.
    • Ten Seconds in the Back-court – A team has 10 seconds to advance the ball from their back-court past the half-court line to the front-court.
    • Three Seconds in the Lane – An offensive player cannot remain in the free throw lane for longer than 3 seconds while her team is in control of the ball in the front-court. She has to clear the lane completely with both feet to stop the official's count. If she receives the ball while she is in the lane, she is allowed to stay beyond 3 seconds in order to drive toward the goal for a shot.
    • Traveling – A violation caused by moving the feet in any direction without properly dribbling the ball. It results in a turnover, and the ball is given to the opposing team. While holding the ball, a player has to establish a pivot foot which has to remain on the floor at all times until he passes, shoots, or dribbles. While holding the ball, his knee cannot touch the floor and if he falls, he must get rid of the ball before attempting to get up.
  10. WINNING TEAM The winner is the team with the greater number of goals at the end of the game. A draw will be awarded if both teams have an equal amount of goals. The winning team receives 3 points, 1 point each for drawn game and no points for a loss. Your Fun Points will affect your position on the standings. If two teams are matched on competition points, the team with the higher fun points rating will be favoured up the ladder.
  11. FAIRPLAY SYSTEM Each league night you will have an Event Host onsite, but these guys are not official referees. Urban Rec is a recreational league which practices a fair-play and fun-first policy, meaning you should be making your own calls on the game. The Event Host will be there to make the calls not made by individuals, keep time, and help guide the games within the game play rules. The Urban Rec Event Host has the final say on any issue that cannot be self-resolved.
  12. SPORTSMANSHIP All Urban Rec participants have read and agreed to the Urban Rec Code of Conduct. We also exercise a strict Disciplinary Policy. If you are seen to be rude in any way or not playing within the respect of the rules and Code of Conduct, you will be asked by the Urban Rec Staff to sub out of the game. If after returning to the game your attitude does not improve you will be asked to leave the venue, and an assessment will be made if you can play again. We do not tolerate idiots. Play fair.


Note that the above details are generic Basketball rules. The rules for each specific league may differ.