League Rules


Catholic Basketball League Rules 

The Catholic Basketball League (CBL) recognizes three divisions:

A Division

  • This division will consist of primarily 8th graders.  7th graders can participate in this division.  No 6th graders are allowed to play in an A Division game.
  • There will be no limitations on total playing time in this division.
  • Teams will play a 10-game schedule with a post-season tournament at the conclusion of the regular season.
  • Each member school will be allowed multiple teams.
  • Schools may combine players to form a roster.  This will be allowable as a permanent roster and not a game-by-game basis.

B Division

  • This division will consist primarily of 7th graders. 6th graders can participate in this division. 8th graders may participate in this division in extreme circumstances and only with League approval prior.
  • Players in this division will be limited to 3 quarters of total playing time per game (roster size permitting) regardless of which division they are playing in.
  • Teams will play a 10-game schedule with a post-season tournament at the conclusion of the regular season.
  • Each member school will be allowed multiple teams.
  • In the event a school does not have enough players to roster a team in any given division, a team may be comprised of 8th grade, 7th grade, and 6th grade athletes to play in the B Division.  A maximum of three 8th graders will be permitted on this roster.
  • Schools may combine players to form a roster.  This will be allowable as a permanent roster and not a game-by-game basis.

C Division

  • This division will be limited to 6th grade students only.
  • Players in this division will be limited to 3 quarters of total playing time per game (roster size permitting) regardless of which division they are playing in.
  • Teams will play a 9-game schedule with a post-season tournament at the conclusion of the regular season.
  • Each member school will be allowed multiple teams.
  • Schools may combine players to form a roster.  This will be allowable as a permanent roster and not a game-by-game basis.


  • All full-time students of the parish school are eligible to play in the CBL.
  • All students in grades 6-8 that are registered parishioners at a league member parish are eligible.
  • All student athletes are subject to the academic policies of the school.  Scholastic eligibility is always the prerogative of the Catholic school administrator.  Note: A person in a responsible position, such as a principal, athletic director or coach is required to check on academic eligibility of participants.

Outside Participation

The Catholic Basketball League supports the Dowling MAC/MBA club teams.  Coaches of players involved with both should meet to make sure participation in both is maximized.  This rule also implies that an individual player may play in a league sponsored by another organization. MBA/MAC coordinators will work together to ensure that players will be allowed to participate in both organizations.

Conduct Policy

All players, coaches and spectators will be subject to the following Conduct Policy while involved in any CBL game.

Players and Coaches Shall Not:

  1. Disrespectfully address or contact an official or gesture in such a manner as to indicate resentment.
  2. Attempt to influence an officials’ decision.
  3. Use profane or inappropriate language or obscene gestures.
  4. Bait or taunt an opponent.
  5. Intentionally or flagrantly contact an opponent when the ball is dead and such contact is not a personal foul.
  6. Disrespectfully address an opponent.
  7. Incite undesirable crowd reactions.

Penalty:  (Technical Foul) – 2 free throws plus ball awarded for division line throw-in.  The foul is charged to the offender and, if against player on the bench, to the head coach, also.  If illegal act is flagrant, the offender is disqualified.  Squad members so disqualified are banished from the vicinity of the bench.  Adult bench personnel that are disqualified shall leave the gymnasium.

The second technical on any player or coach is considered flagrant misconduct resulting in disqualification.  The third technical against any team is considered repeatedly committing acts which make a travesty of the game and the game shall be considered a forfeit.

Coaches shall adhere to the following bench decorum rule:

  1. Coaches will be required to remain seated during a live ball.
  2. Only two coaches from each team will be allowed on the bench
  3. All coaches may stand during a charged time-out or intermission period.
  4. The coach shall not have dialogue with the officials.
  5. The coach may leave the designated six foot area to confer with personnel at the scorer’s table or attend to an injured player only after beckoned onto the court by an official.
  6. Coaches may rise in front of their seats to spontaneously react to an outstanding play by a member of their team or to acknowledge a replaced player, but must always return to their seat.
  7. If a technical foul is assessed to the head coach or an assistant coach, these coaches must remain seated on the bench at all times while the clock is running or is stopped except to:
    1. Confer with bench personnel and players within the confines of the bench area during a charged time-out or the intermission between quarters and extra periods.
    2. Rise and stand in front of their seat to signal players to request a time-out.
    3. Confer with personnel at the scorers’ table to request a time-out for a correctable error.
    4. Confer with personnel at the scorers’ table to request a time-out to prevent or rectify timing or scoring mistake or an alternating possession mistake.
    5. Attend to an injured player when beckoned onto the court by an official.
    6. Replace or remove a disqualified or injured player or player directed to leave the game from within the confines of his bench.
  8. Remove from the game any player receiving a technical foul for unsportsmanlike conduct.  Player may not return to the game until the next dead ball situation
  9. Insure that their team members conduct themselves properly at all times.  This includes while in the gym waiting for their game, locker-room (if available) and parking lot. When games are at Dowling, team members and spectators should remain in the gym area at all times. Roaming through the school is strictly forbidden.

Spectators Shall:

  1. Demonstrate courtesy and respect to opponents and officials.
  2. Show by example the proper ideals of sportsmanship, ethical conduct, and fair play.
  3. It is understood that the coaches and administrators of each team are responsible for the fans and spectators associated with each team to a level that is reasonable.  However it is ultimately the responsibility of the fans and spectators to conduct themselves in a manner that displays respect and good sportsmanship.  The officials may assess technical fouls on either team if its fans act in such a way as to interfere with the proper conduct of the game.  Discretion will be used in calling such fouls, so as not to unjustly penalize a team.

Game Playing Rules

Games are to be played and time kept according to the official IHSAA Rule Book with the following exceptions:

  • Quarters shall be 6 minutes in length for all divisions with 2-minute overtime sessions until an eventual winner.
  • If in the last 4 minutes of a game, one team is ahead by 20 or more points, the game will conclude using a running clock. This will curtail unnecessary or excessive fouling at the end of the games that causes tempers to flare.
  • 5 minutes will be allowed for intermission at halftime.  This is to be enforced strictly by officials and Site Supervisors so that games can stay within a one hour period as much as possible.
  • If a team is behind by 30 or more points, the coach of the trailing team can request that the game score no longer be kept on the scoreboard and a continuous clock be started.  The clock operator should keep the game time but reset the score for both teams back to zero.  The score of the game will continue to be kept in the scorebooks of both teams.
  • 3 Point Field Goal.  A successful try from the field by a player who is located behind the 19-foot, 9 inch line counts 3 points.  Any other goal from the field counts 2 points for the offensive team.  The 3 point shot will only be used at gyms where the 3 point line is marked on the playing floor.
  • Time-Outs.  Each team will be permitted to take three full (1 minute) and two 30 second timeouts during regulation play.  Should a game go in to overtime, each team will be allowed one additional full (1 minute) time-out for each overtime session.  Any timeouts not used during regulation play carry over to the overtime periods.
  • Full Court Pressing.  In the B and C Division, teams will not be allowed to use a full-court press, except in the last 3 minutes of the second and fourth quarters.  Should a game go into overtime, the overtime period is an extension of the fourth quarter, and teams may press throughout the overtime period.  This press rule will be in effect for all regular season and tournament competition.  All other CBL basketball leagues may employ a full-court press throughout each game. In the interest of good sportsmanship, if a team has a 20 point lead over its opponent, it is strongly encouraged that a full court press not be employed.
  • The Alternating Possession Arrow is required and must be placed on the scorer’s table.

Playing Time

The CBL believes that all participants, regardless of their skill level, should be given the opportunity to play a reasonable amount of time in every game.  When a child signs up for the CBL program they expect and have the right to play in all the games.  Coaches should respect all the young athletes if they are to have a rewarding experience in sports. Each school is responsible for implementing a playing time policy.  The CBL strongly recommends that equal playing time is encouraged in the B and C Divisions.

Management of the amount of time each player is on the court is the responsibility of the teams coaching staff.  The CBL believes that coaches, fans and school personnel are capable of enforcing this policy.

Game Day

  • Games are to be played according to the schedule.  Teams will be given a maximum of 5 minutes warm-up between games and during the half-time intermission.  If games are running ahead of schedule, the Site Supervisor may require a game to start early but no earlier than 10 minutes prior to the scheduled time.  In all cases, good discretion should be used.
  • No team will be allowed access to a gym earlier than 30 minutes before the first game of the day at the gym.
  • The CBL will charge admission to spectators, however; players, coaches, and cheerleaders will be admitted free of charge.  The admission prices are not to exceed those set by the CBL Board.
  • With the safety of players and spectators in mind, Site Supervisors will ensure that adequate and safe provisions are provided.
  • An adult must be with the players at all times when they are inside the gym.  This rule is to be strictly followed to prevent abuse of the facilities and personal properties.
  • The Site Supervisor has the authority to stop a game if, in the opinion of the Site Supervisor, a situation is developing. The Site Supervisor should consult with the officials and the two head coaches before taking any action.
  • Site Supervisors will report all unsportsmanlike acts, unethical behavior, and ejections from games or violations of the rules to the CBL president.  Reports of such incidents will also be filed by the game officials.


  • No School has the right to postpone a game.  The schedule is to be strictly followed, except when extremely bad travel conditions prevail.  We urge you to not request a schedule change.  Game changes may be allowed when an unforeseen parish or school event is scheduled at the same time. A reasonable notice must be given to the league president to accommodate a request for change. The CBL Board must always give permission.
  • A legal game may start with four players.  This will make it possible for a game to be played rather than forfeited if a team is short players due to illness, injury, absenteeism or the loss of players due to issues involving classroom performance.
  • Teams are expected to be on time for game.  15 minutes of grace time is to be given the offending team before a forfeit is claimed unless previous arrangements have been made.  Every effort must be made to play a game before a forfeit is declared. Schedules will be posted on the league website www.catholicbasketballleague.com
  • All teams must compete in their respective postseason tournaments.


  • Team jerseys shall be of the same solid color front and back.  Undershirts must be similar color to the jerseys.
  • Shorts designed for gym activities, only, are permitted.  It is recommended that the shorts be a solid color with all team members wearing similar shorts.  Absolutely no torn, ripped or cut-off pants are permitted. No shorts with college/pro logos allowed.
  • Compression shorts which are of a single color similar to the pre-dominate color of the pants may be worn.
  • All uniforms must have a visible CBL logo on them.
  • Uniform jerseys must be tucked in.
  • The officials or Site Supervisor shall not permit any player to wear equipment that, in his or her judgment, is dangerous or confusing to other players or is not appropriate.
  • The wearing of jewelry by players on your team is prohibited.  This includes, but is not limited to; plastic or metal hair or head accessories, earrings, or jewelry of any kind.


1st, 2nd, and 3rd place teams in each division shall be awarded a trophy.  Final standings shall be determined by best winning record.  If 2 or more teams are tied for best record, tiebreakers shall be as follows; a) best head to head record, b) total margin of victory, c) coin flip.  T-shirts will also be given to members of the tournament champions of each division.


Pre Season – Schools may participate in pre-season tournaments sponsored by member parishes. The CBL organizes and sponsors the post-season championship tournament only.

Post Season – All teams must compete in their respective postseason tournaments.  The tournament shall be organized in a bracket system.  Seeding for the post season tournament shall be determined by final standings of the regular season play.  Teams finishing the tournament in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place shall be awarded a trophy.  T-shirts will also be given to members of the tournament champions of each division.