Rules and Regulations


Sydney Basketball League (SBL) competitions follow all FIBA approved rules with a few exceptions and SBL specific rules as listed below:

15 Minute Fully-timed Halves

In SBL games the clock stops for violations, free-throws and time-outs. The clock does NOT stop between a score and the ball being inbounded until the last minute of the game. The clock will run during the last minute of the game if the points difference is over 11 points.

Half Time

Teams will be given a 1 minute half-time each game.


Teams are allowed one time-out (1 minute duration) per half.

Late Starts

A team can only start a game with at least 4 players on the court. If a team is running late then for every minute after 3 minutes from when the game was supposed to start (when the clock hits 12 minutes) the team will be penalised 2 points. If a team is more than 15 minutes late, the game will be declared a forfeit (The team will lose three competition points and a forfeit fee will be issued).


If the score is even at the conclusion of the game a 1 minute break will occur. The overtime period ensues and consists of 3 minutes (2 minutes running clock with the last minute fully timed). Your team’s time-outs roll-on from the second half of the game and no extra time-outs are given. Your team’s fouls and personal fouls DO NOT reset at the beginning of overtime and stay as they were in the second half of the game.

If a winner has not been declared after the first overtime then consecutive 1 minute overtimes will be played until a winner is declared.

In semi and grand final matches the 3 minutes overtime is fully timed.

20 Point Mercy Rule

If a team is losing by 20 or more points the clock will become a running clock for the remainder of the game.

Jump Balls

Unlike FIBA rules, there is no possession arrow in SBL. A jump ball will be played at every jump ball situation and will be done at the nearest circle. The two players involved in the held ball situation will be the ones who have to partake in the jump ball.

Player Registration

All players need to set up their account/profile before taking the court. This is vital for your individual player stats.

We recommend all new players register at least 48 hours before their first game.

Player Attendance at Games

We understand that there will be times where you may be delayed (work commitments, traffic, etc) to get to the start of your game.

However, to be able to be a part of the game you must take the court by half time.

Exceptions to this are if you are a regular player for the team. Please ensure you check with the Venue Manager on the night before taking the court.

This rule has been put in place to ensure teams are not disadvantaged by fill-in guest players who are helping the team out, say for example if one of their 5 players on the night foul out.


Forfeits in SBL are unacceptable.

A forfeit is called if a team cannot start the game (min requirement of 4 players) by the end of the first half. By forfeiting this game, the team will lose three (3) competition points and a forfeit fee of $150 will be issued.

If a team fails to notify SBL office of a forfeit ( or 0414 866 647) within the below specified timeframe, the team will lose three (3) competition points and a forfeit fee of $150 will be issued.

  • Sunday game - team must notify SBL office by 5pm the Friday before your competition game.
  • Monday game - team must notify SBL office by 5pm the Friday before your competition game.
  • Tuesday game - team must notify SBL office by 4pm the Monday before your competition game.
  • Wednesday game - team must notify SBL office by 4pm the Tuesday before your competition game.
  • Thursday game - team(s) must notify SBL office by 4pm the Wednesday before your competition game.

If a team forfeits multiple times in a single season they may be subject to being removed from the competition.

The offending team must pay the applicable forfeit fee prior to their next competition game. Failure to make payment will result in team suspension until fees are paid in full.


At the end of the regular season the top 4 teams will participate in the playoffs.

  • Semi finals are made up of the final four from total competition points (1v4, 2v3).
  • If two teams finish on equal points then the result will be based on “For and Against” pts. Points For= the total number of points your team has scored in all games in the season. Points Against= the number of points scored by all opponents against your team in the season. This for/against differential +/- is listed on the competition ladder. The team with the better points for/against differential will be higher placed. 
  • Competition points are awarded as follows: win- 3 points, loss- 1 point, forfeit- minus 3 points.

Player eligibility in finals:- All players must be registered and must be regular players (played at least 33% of the season’s games) to participate in the finals.

There are some exceptions to this rule e.g. if players have been part of the team for some time prior to the current season, have had an injury, and also will not make an unfair impact on the game. Each situation will be dealt with on a case by case basis. This needs to be reviewed and approved by SBL HQ prior to the game taking place.

Uniform Rules

Uniforms are a very important factor for not only the players, referees and bench but also for building the reputation and look of SBL.

  • All teams must wear matching colour/pattern singlets with matching coloured numbers. No players can have the same two numbers and only ONE player on a team can use the number 0 (this includes people with no number).
  • Players who have the same numbered singlets will share personal fouls. Once they reach 5 personal fouls (collectively), all players with the same numbered singlet are considered to have fouled out and can no longer take part in the game.
  • Numbers must be easily visible on the front and back of singlets. This usually means that drawn on numbers and crest numbers are not accepted.
  • Players can still wear shorts of their choice; however they must not be dangerous or offensive, nor have pockets.
  • After WEEK 3 (week 4 and on) any player(s) not playing in the correct uniform will cause their team to be penalised 5 points at the start of the game or on arrival.
  • NEW players to your team are allowed to wear a matching colour shirt or singlet as close to your team as possible for the first two weeks they play in the competition. After this time your team will be penalised for uniform violation. This only applies to NEW players. If you are a player that is a regular in the competition this does not apply to you.
  • If a team does not make an effort to have correct uniforms over the course of a season the team may forfeit their position in the competition to new teams wanting to join. This is up to the discretion of SBL staff and SBL HQ.