Court Layout
For a visual of the court click here.

Out of Bounds Violation

When holding or dribbling the basketball, the player cannot step on a BASELINE or SIDELINE. Also, if the ball goes out of bounds, the last person who touched the ball is considered to have caused the violation. Therefore, the team who did not cause the violation receives possession of the ball.

Over and Back Violation

Once a player has the brought the ball over HALF COURT towards the basket she is scoring at, her team may not bring the ball "back-over HALF COURT".

3-Seconds in the Key Violation

No person on the team on offense may stand in the KEY area associated with the basket they are trying to score on for more than 3 seconds.

5-Second Violation

When inbounding the ball, (this is when the referee hands the player the ball, the player is standing outside the court and must pass to a teammate who is on the court) the player has 5 seconds to inbound the ball from the time the referee hands the ball until someone on the court has received the ball.

Player has possession of the ball and someone on the other team is playing CLOSE or tough defense. If that player is able to contain the player with the ball for more than 5 seconds (ie: she can't make a pass, take a shot or dribble past the defense) then the offensive team loses possession of the ball. NOTE: referees are usually lenient on this aspect of the 5 second violation.

8-Second Violation

When a team is inbounding the ball from the other team's baseline (also called the endline) or sideline, or have gained possession of the ball from a rebounded shot or interception, the team now has 8 seconds to bring the ball over half court in the direction of the basket they are scoring at.

Inbounding the Ball

When the other team scores a basket, the player inbounding the ball from the baseline is allowed to run along the baseline (out of bounds) holding the ball to inbound it.

If a player is inbounding the ball because it has gone out of bounds (no score) the player may not move their feet. The player also cannot dribble when inbounding the ball.

Foul shot or Free-Throw

Free-throws are unopposed attempts to score points from a restricted area on the court (the free throw line; informally known as the foul line), and are generally awarded after a foul on the shooter by the opposing team. Body contact fouls are awarded free-throws most often only when a team has reached its 7-foul limit. If a person commits a flagrant foul or a technical foul then the other team is usually awarded 2 free-throws. Each successful free throw is worth one point.

Double-Dribble Violation

Once a player stops dribbling the ball and hold the ball, she may not start dribbling again. The only options are to pass or shoot (depending how far from the basket the player is).

A player may dribble the ball with either hand, but only with one hand at a time.

Traveling Violation
If a player is holding (and not dribbling) the basketball, she cannot move both feet. The player must establish a PIVOT foot. The pivot foot must stay anchored on the floor (more specifically, the player may lift the heel but the toe must stay anchored). The player may then PIVOT around the foot that is anchored.

A player must dribble or pass the ball before the pivot foot is lifted. (if the player had previously been dribbling, the player must pass the ball or she will commit a double-dribble violation). Example: If a player is running down the court and someone passes her the ball, she must either dribble immediately upon catching the ball, or she must stop immediately and establish a pivot foot. If she stops, she still may dribble as she has not dribbled yet.

It is legal when a player falls and slides on the floor while holding the ball or, while lying or sitting on the floor, gains control of the ball. It is a violation if the player then rolls or attempts to stand up while holding the ball.

Shooting Fouls
A player on defense may not touch the shooting arm, push or lean against the offensive team. If a team reaches the foul number limit, the other team is awarded a BONUS (2 free throws) upon every foul committed by the team that has reached its limit. The team foul limit is reset at half-time, however an individual's personal fouls are not reset, and accumulate over the 2 halves.

Personal Fouls (when playing defense)
CYLINDER or Personal Space: Each player on the floor is entitled to the space that their own CYLINDER occupies. A player’s cylinder is their own body space encased in an imaginary cylinder, from floor to ceiling (if she can jump that high!). Personal fouls or body contact fouls are usually called when one player infringes on an opponent's space. Example: If a player on Team A jumps up in the air to catch a pass, take a shot, rebound etc., and a player on Team B moves into the space under the Team A player, when A's player comes down and lands on B's player, it is B's foul. The space where A's player left the floor is still within her cylinder. However, if Team A's player jumps up and is carried forward by her momentum, and lands on Team B's player who had already established her position, then it is A's foul.

A player may not obstruct an opponent's pathway by putting her arms into their cylinder area. When the player has her hands up to play defense, her arms cannot be 'circling' the opponent. Generally, the player can have her arms extended as far as she wish, but only in a lateral or vertical fashion. Basically, when playing defense, a player must "keep their hands to herself", allow her opponent their own space, and not obstruct their pathway. BUT, they only have to allow them ONE full step, which means if a player can get to where they are going before they get there and still leave enough space for one step, then she is playing great and legal defense.

Offensive Fouls
A player on offense who is taking a shot or who is dribbling, may not run into or fall on a player on defense who has an established position on the floor. Example: If a player is playing defense and she got to a spot on the floor before the offensive player did (and the defensive player is in control of all parts of her body), if the offensive player runs into her, it is the offensive player’s foul, not the player on defense. However, if the defensive player did not establish a position on the floor first, and the offensive player runs into her, it is considered to be the defensive player’s foul.
*Note: This foul is one of the most controversial calls because it is often a matter of interpretation which player is in control and which one got to a spot first.

Technical Fouls

A technical foul is given to a player for unsportsmanlike behaviour such as swearing, verbal harassment, arguing with the referees or violence. A player is ejected from a game upon receiving 2 technical fouls. Each technical foul also counts as a personal foul. Technical fouls are serious fouls. As a rule, the League does not tolerate the kind of behaviour that warrants a player receiving a technical foul. No matter how frustrated the player may be with a ref's call - or lack thereof – all players are expected to KEEP THEIR COOL at all times. If they are unable to do so, they may be asked to leave the League.

If you have any questions about any of these rules and regulations, please don't hesitate to ask!


back to top


General Rules
1. When a player commits 5 fouls, they must leave the game.
2. When a team has committed 7 fouls, the other team receives a bonus free throw on every foul committed against them for the remainder of the half (four 6-minute periods).
3. Teams are allowed 2 timeouts per half.
4. If your team does not have 5 players ready to play 5 minutes after game time, your team may borrow players from another team as long as there is agreement with the players selected to play.  The game will be scored and refereed as a regular game.

Good Sportsmanship
Rainbow Hoops is a recreational league meant to create a queer-positive environment and allow players of all levels of experience to enjoy the game of basketball. Although it should not have to be said, altercations with other players or referees will not be tolerated. Players are expected to share the ball with their teammates, and be respectful of all players in the league.

Team Reps
Team Reps are players who have volunteered to represent their team. Click here to learn more about Team Rep Responsibilities.

Team reps meet 2-3 times per year with the Collective.

First In - Last Out
Rainbow Hoops is a recreational league meant to create a queer-positive environment and allow players of all levels of experience to enjoy the game of basketball. Although it should not have to be said, altercations with other players or referees will not be tolerated. Players are expected to share the ball with their teammates, and be respectful of all players in the league.


Points are awarded to teams as follows:
Win - 3 points | Tie - 2 points | Loss - 1 point | Default - 0 points | Scorekeeping - Max. of 2 points

Other Incidental Rules
· All earrings, necklaces, and rings MUST be removed prior to the start of games
· Piercings MUST also be removed (not taped – no exceptions)
· No headgear of any kind is allowed. This includes bandanas.


back to top