Rules: Section 7 Rules of Play

Rules: Section 7 Rules of Play

FIBA Official Basketball Rules 

CMBA games will be played under the current FIBA Official Rules.  The complete set of these rules can be found on the FIBA website  Modifications to these rules have been made for each division (see links at bottom of page).  

CMBA Playing Time Guidelines

CMBA and the Zone Presidents have created a guideline to playing time for games.  It is the coaches responsibility to ensure all players must play a similar amount of time in each game. It is also expected that all players play a part of every quarter of the game. CMBA believes any individual player who plays a significant amount of time more then other players on their team in a single game is not in the spirit of CMBA and this tactic is deemed unsportsmanlike and is subject to discipline.  

CMBA understands certain variables can occur in playing rosters that can affect playing time.  These variables can include shortened rosters, injuries, sickness and discipline.  Coaches are expected to follow the guidelines with the players that are able to play in that game.

If any of the players that are on the bench are unable to play a similar amount of time compared to other players on the team the head coach(es) should inform the referees and opposing coaches prior to the start of the game. 

The Sportsmanship and Conduct Committee (SCC) will investigate teams that do not follow the guidelines of playing time.  The SCC has authority to discipline coaches and teams that are not following the spirit of CMBA’s playing time guidelines.  Disciplinary action can include suspensions and forfeits.  It is at the discretion of the SCC and is on a case by case basis.

CMBA 40 Point Game Spread Mercy Rule

For all age groups and divisions, if one team reaches a lead of forty (40) points at any time, the game will be stopped immediately by the referees and the team in the lead will be credited with the win.  At this time both coaches of each team will be advised by the referees that the game result is official at the current score and will be recorded on the score sheet as such.  Should both coaches agree, play is to continue for the total remaining time left on the score clock. The scoreboard will be set to 0 - 0. The referees will continue to officiate the game and all rules. Referees are obligated to continue to officiate the remainder of the game with all CMBA rules in effect.

Bench Personnel

Coaches: Maximum 3 (adults) on their teams bench during the game. Only one coach may stand at a time.

Starting of Game

The games must start and end on time as scheduled.  The referee will instruct the time keeper to start the game clock at the scheduled start of the game even if the teams are not ready to play.

Definition of Illegal Defense

Except where zone defense is permitted, all players must play person - to - person defense. Anything otherwise will be considered “illegal defense”. It includes players covering a certain section of the floor and/or not covering or not knowing their opponent. It is permissible to play “help-side-defense” and also to “sag” from an offensive player who is not actively involved in the play. 

The illegal defense call will be based on the intent of the play and is at the discretion of the referees. Any demonstration by a coach to position four of his players away from the key in an effort to pull the defenders out of the key resulting in a one-on-one situation for the ball carrier, with the specific intent to “show” the referees that the opposing team is playing “zone defense” is not acceptable and will result in a technical foul to the offending coach.


In keeping with the Canadian Long-Term Athlete Development model for Basketball, modifications have been made to the FIBA rules specific to each age group and their developmental stages.

Please click on the links below for specific rule modifications for each age division.   

7.1 U-11 Rule Modifications (Boys and Girls)

7.2 U-13 Rule Modifications (Boys and Girls)

7.3 U-15 Rule Modifications (Boys and Girls)

7.4 U-18 Rule Modifications (Boys and Girls)



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