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Rules & Regulations


Rules and Regulations

2023-24 NFHS Rules Changes

NFHS Basketball Rules Changes - 2023-24

 7-6-6 — Allows the official administering a throw-in to the wrong team to correct the mistake before the first dead ball after the ball becomes live unless there is a change of possession.

3-4-5 — Clarifies that teammates must all wear like-colored uniform bottoms but may wear multiple styles.

3-5-6 — Allows undershirts worn under visiting team jerseys to be black or the single solid color similar to the torso of the jersey. All teammates wearing undershirts must wear the same solid color.

4-36, 6-4-3, 7-5-2 thru 4, 9-1 PENALTY 3, 9-4 PENALTY, 9-5 PENALTY, 9-6 PENALTY, 9-8 PENALTY, 9-9 PENALTY, 9-12 PENALTIES 3 & 4, 9-13 PENALTY

— Establishes four throw-in spots (the nearest 28-foot mark along each sideline or the nearest spot 3-feet outside the lane line on the end line) when a team is retaining or gaining team control in its frontcourt due to a violation, a common foul prior to the bonus, or other stoppages in play other than an out of bounds.

9-3-3 — Establishes that a player may step out of bounds without penalty unless they are the first player to touch the ball after returning to the court or if they left the court to avoid a violation.

2023-24 Basketball Points of Emphasis 

  • Uniforms
  • Equipment and Apparel
  • Bench Decorum
  • Throw-Ins – Proper Locations
  • End-of-Game Protocols

NFHS Interpretations for clarification

Out-of-Bounds Violations

A reminder that the new rules have not changed the ensuing throw-in spot for out-of-bounds violations. Play should be resumed from the designated out-of-bounds spot nearest the violation. For plays on the sideline, the ensuing throw-in is always at the violation spot. For plays on either endline, the ensuing throw-in is only moved from the violation spot if the violation is located in the free-throw lane. A reminder that the court is split in half and the ensuing throw-ins should be taken from the side of the free-throw lane which the violation occurred from.

Backcourt Violations or Fouls. 

A reminder that the new rules have not changed regarding fouls or violations in the ensuing team's backcourt. See the graphic below as a reminder of these throw-in spots.




(New) Stepping on the Division Line. 

NFHS released their rules interpretations for the 2023-24 year and rules changes. When a player commits a backcourt violation by only stepping on the division line, the ensuing throw-in would be at the appropriate 28-foot line for the side of the court the violation occurred on. 

Timeout During Throw-in. 

When the throw-in team requests and is granted a timeout during a throw-in, the ensuing throw-in spot is unchanged. For example, if a throw-in is for an out-of-bounds violation where the ball was deflected out in one of the frontcourt corners, a timeout does not change the throw-in is still for the out-of-bounds violation. The ensuing throw-in following the timeout does not allow the throw-in to be taken from the designated spot three feet outside the free-throw lane line.

Timeout in Frontcourt. 
When the offensive team requests and is granted a timeout during on-court action in the offensive frontcourt, the ensuing throw-in is from the side of the floor the ball is when play is stopped at the designated three feet spot outside the free-throw lane line or 28-foot line as determined by the ball’s location when the timeout is granted.

Backcourt Throw-in Untouched. 

When the offensive team has a throw-in in the offensive backcourt and the throw-in goes out of bounds untouched, the ensuing throw-in will be from the side of the floor of the throw-in at the designated three feet spot outside the free-throw lane line or 28-foot line. This is a throw-in violation and the offense will be awarded possession in its frontcourt; therefore the throw-in will be at one of the four designated spots.

Other Common Scenarios. 

Here are some other situations where the four designated spots are used for the ensuing throw-in. A 10-second backcourt violation, when point of interruption is used with the offensive team in the frontcourt, backcourt violation (note the above graphic should be used for where the ball was touched creating the backcourt violation rather for designated spot on endline or 28-foot line), off-ball foul that awards possession in the ensuing team’s frontcourt, kicking violation in ensuing team’s frontcourt, ensuing throw-in for an intentional foul in ensuing team’s frontcourt, etc.

Technical Foul Throw-ins. 

A division line throw-in is still used to resume play following the free throws for a technical foul. 

Additional Situation, provided by NFHS

SITUATION: Team A has possession of the ball in its frontcourt when the ball is deflected out of bounds by Team B. The ball exits the court along the end line close to the right sideline. Team A is granted an in-bound at the location where the ball exited the court. While Team A is trying to inbound the ball, Team A calls a time-out. After the time-out, the in-bound spot (a) returns to the same spot; (b) moves to the designated spot 3-feet outside of the lane along the end line. RULING: (a) Correct procedure; (b) Incorrect procedure. COMMENT: Since the ball was not on the court, the time-out did not create a “stoppage in play” that would move the in-bound spot to one of the four designated spots. Play will continue from the in-bound spot established by the deflection of the ball by Team B. (7-5-2, 7-5-3a)


Official Basketball

The Spalding TF1000 Legacy basketball will be the official tournament basketball for sectional and state tournament games.

Preseason / Season Reminders


  • Make sure coaching box is properly marked on floor.  Measure 28 feet from the baseline and place a tape line outside the boundary. That gives you a 28 foot box.
  • If you have a design/logo in the center of your basketball court, make sure that you have the center restraining circle and center line properly marked as required by NFHS rules. See page 9 of the current NFHS Basketball Rules book for details.
  • Please review the timing guidelines along with the introduction format. Please share this information with your scoring table personnel and announcer.
  • Check the pressure of your rims. Many of you may have never had your rims pulled down and may not be "in proper condition". Check with the manufacturer to insure that your rims meet specifications -- pages 12-13 of the NFHS Basketball Rules book.



60 second time-out --- buzz warning horn with 15 seconds remaining
30 second time-out --- buzz warning horn with 15 seconds remaining
15 seconds to:

  1. replace a disqualified player (5 fouls) - buzz warning horn with 15 seconds remaining
  2. replace an injured player - buzz warning horn with 15 seconds remaining. Don't start clock until official indicates.
  3. replace a player directed to leave the game - buzz warning horn with 15 seconds remaining



  • 18 minute halves
  • 1 minute interval prior to any overtime periods
  • 10 minute halftime (unless otherwise arranged ... parent nights, etc.)
  • Overtime periods - 4 minutes in length



  • 15:00: Warm-up Begins - officials enter court and go directly to positions to supervise warm-up.
  • 12:00 Referee goes to the table and checks scorebook(s), briefs scorer and timer, checks game ball
  • 10:00 Remaining official(s) go across the floor to join referee, greet the visiting coach, then greet the home head coach. 
    • 1) Referee goes to area in front of scorer’s table. 
    • 2) U1 and U2 will get respective head coaches and captains from teams. 
    • 3) Referee does introductions of officials, coaches, and captain(s). 
    • 4) Referee conducts pregame briefing to include discussing legal equipment and good sporting behavior with head coaches and captain(s). Also discuss team color, proper basket, other appropriate items and answer any questions. 
    • 5) Return to original positions

To honor America and those defending our freedom, we ask those who are able, to stand, remove your hats and place your hand over your heart for the playing of the National Anthem.



All five starters of the visiting team shall be introduced first followed by the five starters for the home team. Players shall not seek out the opposing coach to shake his/her hand. Players should proceed to the free throw circle in front of their bench and not run to the center of the floor.  Player should not hold hands or swing their hands during the National Anthem.



We are required to follow NFHS uniform with regard to "pink events". Only pink socks, shoe laces, or shoes would be allowed. We have specific color requirements for wristbands and headbands. If you order uniforms, make sure you do not order pink as a color unless pink is very dark and can be used as your "dark uniform". White is required to be worn at home. Please proactive with your coach so that this doesn't become an issue if the team wishes to do a "pink event".



A daith piercing would be considered jewelry and needs to be removed prior to competition unless a waiver is requested and granted from the WIAA. In order to get a waiver, a medical statement from a licensed doctor would need to be submitted to the WIAA. Coach will be provided with a waiver to show to officials prior to the game if approved.  Piercings must be taped/covered.


Headbands:  Wrap Around w/Knot

Specific procedures have been established for allowing a head covering to be worn for medical reasons.  A player who is required to wear a head covering for medical reasons must provide a physician statement or appropriate documented evidence to the WIAA for approval.  If approved, the WIAA shall provide written authorization to the school to be made available to officials.

Wrap-around headband with knot - Illegal.  Skylar Diggins-type headband - illegal.

Pink Events

In basketball, not much is allowed when it comes to pink events.  If one team wears pink uniforms, the other team must wear white.  

Otherwise, the only things allowed would be:  1) pink socks, 2) pink shoe laces, and/or 3) pink warmups/t-shirts.   Pink wristbands or headbands are not allowed — unless the jersey is pink.  

A pink ball is not allowed.

Officials may use a pink whistle.

Q & A

November 2023

QUESTION:  Are there any rules that would prohibit a basketball staff from using an iPad on the bench during games?

ANSWER:  NFHS Rule 1-19 ELECTRONIC DEVICES:  The use of electronic devices is permitted during the game.

January 2121

QUESTION:  Is it mandatory to exchange the COVID Verification form before each game?

ANSWER:  Yes, mandatory.  If one team does not have the form, and cannot produce it by game-time, the game can result in a forfeit.

QUESTION:  Has there been a change to the Sectional Semifinal and Sectional Final sites?

ANSWER:  Yes.  All Sectional games will be played at the home of the higher seed.  This change was made due to the many cancellations by neutral sites and the inability to get all of these sites replaced.  This model was utilized in volleyball in the Fall.  In order to move forward in this manner, a re-seeding will occur on the Sunday after the Regional Finals.  We need hosts for these seeding meetings.  


December 2020

Question:  When can my team play games after quarantine?

Answer:  Use the following chart:

Missed Days of Practice Practices before competition
7 - 13 3
14+ 5
  • Count all calendar days
  • Practice on the day of a competition does not count
  • Practices must be in-person for acclimatization purposes
  • Socially Distanced practices in the gym with a coach DO count.

November 2020

Question:  If my team is unable to play a full schedule of games, could we replace the game with local scrimmages? And, do scrimmages have to be in the beginning of the season?

Answer:  Currently, basketball is allowed 24 games and 1 scrimmage.  Games can be “traded” for scrimmages.  In other words, if you are unable/prefer not to fill the 24 game maximum on your schedule, you may replace games with scrimmages.  A scrimmage may be played at any time during the WIAA basketball season (regular season or WIAA Tournament Series) provided:

  • Three different days of practice have elapsed
  • Does not count in either team’s win/loss record
  • No loss of academic class time
  • All athletes participating, meet all WIAA and school eligibility requirements (exceptions:  students ineligible due to academic deficiency, cod of conduct violations, or those required to miss the next competitive event, due to being ejected from their last competitive event, may participate at the discretion of the school)

April 2019

Question:  Can Middle Level Coaches use the 28-foot coaching box?

Answer:  Only High School Coaches are given the opportunity to use the coaching box.  This applies to grades 9-12, and all levels (i.e. Freshmen, JV, Varsity, etc.)

Question:  Team A is behind late in the game.  They have no time outs.  The shoot and make a shot.  After the ball goes through a player from team A immediately grabs the ball and throws it into the crowd.  It was an intentional act to stop the clock and to set up their press. 

Answer:  Refer to the NFHS Basketball Case Book (Page 77, Rule 10.2.1 Situation D)

Immediately following a goal by A1, A3 slaps the ball away so that Team B is unable to make a quick throw-in.  RULING:  The official shall sound his/her whistle and go to the table to have the scorer record a team warning for delay.  The warning shall then be reported to the head coach of Team A.  Any subsequent delay by Team A shall result in a team technical foul charged to Team A (4-47-3)

Question:  Towards the end of the game (say under 2 minutes), the coach for the defensive team is yelling and telling the players to foul, foul, foul - to stop the clock and maybe give their team a chance to get the ball back​. What is the ruling?  Please let me know the rule or case book ref, and follow-up on this situation.  I thought this was not legal.  Some coaches use a code word (red or similar) to indicate the team should foul, but I did not think it was ok to yell, foul, foul, etc. to stop the clock.

Answer:  Refer to the NFHS Basketball Case Book. (Page 28, Rule 4.19.3 Situation D)

Late in the fourth quarter Team B is trailing by six points.  Team B’s head coach begins to yell to his or her player to ‘foul, foul, foul!”  B1 responds by (a) grabbing A1 from behind, or (b) reaching for the ball but illegally contacting A1 on the arm.  RULING:  In (a), an intentional foul shall be ruled.  In (b), a common foul shall be ruled as B1 was making a legitimate attempt to ‘play the ball’.  COMMENT:  Fouling near the end of a game is an acceptable coaching and playing strategy.  Officials must determine if a foul is intentional by judging the fouling act itself, not wheter or not the coach instructed a player to perform the act.

Question:  Team A has the ball on the base line and inbounds it, touched by Team A then goes in the backcourt and is again touched by Team A.  This is over and back call - violation, is this correct?

Answer:  This would not be an over and back situation. There is TEAM control when the ball is in possession out of bounds.  There is not PLAYER CONTROL until the ball is entered.  Therefore, if PLAYER CONTROL has not been established, there cannot be an over and back.

Rule Reminders

WI Adaptations to NFHS Rules

WIAA Adaptations to NFHS Rules - Please print and place in your rules book for reference.


Rules Interps

THROW-IN LOCATION November 16, 2023

Question:  Team A has the ball in the front court, they call timeout.   Does the ball go to one of the 4 inbound spots or does it go to the spot where the ball is? 

Answer:  The ball goes to one of the 4 inbounds spots, because a timeout falls under “the ball becomes dead.” 

The throw-in procedure for front-court violations was simplified in Rules 7-5-2 through 7-5-5. When the ball is in team control in the offensive team’s frontcourt and the defensive team commits a violation, a common foul prior to the bonus, or the ball becomes dead, the corresponding throw-in by the offensive team will be at one of four designated spots determined by where the infraction took place. The designated spots are either the nearest 28-foot mark along each sideline or the nearest spot 3 feet outside the lane line on the end line. The one exception is when the defensive team causes a ball to be out of bounds, the throw-in shall be the spot where the ball went out of bounds.

DOUBLE FOULS November 13, 2023

Question:  A common foul is committed by Team B, and team A is in the bonus. After this, a technical foul is given to a player on Team B, and then during the same dead ball period before the free throws, a technical foul is given to the coach of Team A.  Does this scenario with the technical fouls fall under the false double foul rule, in which we would enforce both (Free throws to both teams), or do the technical fouls offset, and we continue with the bonus free throws?

Answer:  Team B will shoot two free throws for the Team A Technical, then Team A will shoot two free throws for the Team B Technical, the players will line-up for Team A shooting the bonus free throws.


Question:  We were looking at the Case Book p. 70, 9.3.3 Situations A-B-C.  All was good.  Then we talked about the Inbounding play where the Player from Team A inbounds the ball from the baseline, then goes across the lane before returning to the court.  According to the new rule this is legal as long as he is not the first to touch the ball.  But we came across Case Book p. 80, 10.4.2 Situation A.  This play calls it a Technical Foul, as this play always used to be.  Is this the way to call it, or is this a leftover from the older ruling?

Answer:  9-3-3 refers to a player leaving the court to avoid a violation or on their own, but then be the first player to touch the ball.  10-4-2 refers to a player purposefully or deceitfully delaying returning after legally being out of bounds (ex: inbounding the ball).


9-3-3: Establishes that a player may step out of bounds without penalty unless they are the first player to touch the ball after returning to the court or if they left the court to avoid a violation.  Rationale: Allows a player to step out of bounds if they gain no advantage and penalizes a team only if they gain an advantage by leaving the court and returning to avoid a violation or to be the first to touch the ball.


Section 4 Player Technical  10.4.2 - Delay Returning to Court.  Purposely and/or deceitfully delaying returning after legally being out of bounds.


Question:  if a shooter is in the act of shooting (airborne shooter) and if fouled after 0.00 and did not get the ball off before 0.00 but still has not come back to the ground, how would we adjudicate that.  Would we ignore the foul since after 0.00 or since we must bring a shooter up and down would we still call a foul there and give them 2 free throws with no time on the clock to determine if OT is needed.   There are several rules that bring us back and forth including the definition of an airborne shooter and then personal foul.  Airborne shooter must shoot the ball to be an airborne shooter per definition, but personal foul says you can foul a dead ball airborne shooter.   

Answer:   You do not ignore the foul, the airborne shooter is protected, regardless of time.  However, depending on whether the ball was out of the hands of the shooter prior to or after the expiration of time will determine next actions taken.  Free throws are to be administered for the personal foul committed, unless they will not have a bearing on the outcome of the game and since no time remains.

 4-19-1 & Note states a personal foul includes contact on an airborne shooter when the ball is dead; contact after the ball has become dead is incidental unless it is committed on an airborne shooter.




Consideration for this situation of when the ball is dead as defined in 6-7-5,6,7 & Exception "The ball does not become dead until the try or tap for field goals ends until the airborne shooter returns to the floor."



5-6-2 Exception 3 is relevant regarding the ending of a quarter, and whether free throws shall be attempted.




A foul was called on an airborne shooter, so with that information and your questions about time expiring:

  • If time had expired before the shot was released from the hands, then no goal could count, and depending on the location, either 2 or 3 free throws are awarded.
  • If time had not expired before the shot was released from the hands, then the goal could count, and depending on that result, the appropriate free throws are awarded.
  • However, free throws are awarded depending on whether they will impact the outcome of the game.

Casebook 5.2.5 Situation C may be helpful to review.

Casebook 5.6.2 Situation D addresses your question as well.  Ignoring the layer of a technical, A1 is awarded two free throws due to being fouled as time expired even though the ball wasn’t out of A1’s hands. 










NFHS Rules