San Diego CAPSES Sports League

OFFICIAL Version: 1/10/2014


The Purpose of these rules is to clarify, supplement, and in a few cases, supercede (usually for safety reasons) Standard Boy’s High School Basketball Rules


It is important that all teams and coaches understand the purpose of the CAPSES Sports League; that is to develop skills, sportsmanship and to provide an opportunity for students with special needs to play competitive sports, particularly when many of these students may have been denied such opportunities in the past. When competing in games and interpreting the rules, student achievement and modeling good sportsmanship must always be first and foremost.



Notable Rules/Procedures that were recently Implemented:

I. Ineligible Players – If a student player also plays basketball regularly for another high school team (i.e., gets a lot of playing time), they are Ineligible to play Basketball for a San Diego CAPSES League school.

** see rule #2B. There is some flexibility is this rule; consult with the League Commissioner.


II. “Mercy Rule” Procedure: With the goal of keeping the score of a game from getting out of hand, the Head Coach of the team that is loosing has the option to invoke the “Mercy Rule” procedure (at any time).

** see rules #23 for specifics


Summary of Rules Specific to the San Diego CAPSES Sports League:

  1. Time: Two 20-Minute Periods with a continuous running clock; except for time outs and the last 2 minutes of the 2nd Period. **see Rules #10A and 10B
  2. Backcourt press permitted only in last 2 minutes of only the 2nd Period and during Overtime. ** see Rule #8
  3. Offensive players are allowed 5 seconds in the key before receiving a violation. Rule #16
  4. A player receiving a technical foul must be removed from the game until the next stoppage of play. ** see Rule #21
  5. 4 one-minute timeouts per game + one additional timeout in Overtime. Rule #11
  6. Bonus ~ 1+1 begins on the 7th Team Foul. Double Bonus ~ 2 Free Throws ~ begins on the 10th team foul. ** see Rule #19
  7. No dunking or hanging on the rim. ** see Rule #21
  8. Coaches may ask Officials for a “Rule Clarification.” First they must call at timeout. Rule clarifications involve discussion on specific procedural elements of the game and must be held in an appropriate, sportsmanlike manner by both the Coach and Official. Matters involving a judgment call by an Official are not open to discussion. If the Referee deems Rule Clarification worthy of discussion, then that team will NOT be charged a timeout. ** see Rule #25 – section IV for more specifics
  9. Points scored For and Against have absolutely NO bearing on the Standings. *see Rules #23 & 25

Game Time: Friday’s at 11:00 AM All Games ~ unless otherwise mutually rescheduled.

Changing the date or time of the game is OK only if BOTH Schools agree. The “Home” team is responsible to notify the Officiating Crew Chief of a new date & time.


Home Team Responsibilities:

a)     Arrange (and if needed, pay) for a Basketball Court to play on.

b)    Call the other school that Tuesday or Wednesday to confirm the game time & location.

c)     If necessary, call Bruce (the League’s Officiating Crew Chief), of a Cancellation or Rescheduling of the game. Bruce’s Phone: 619-977-7256, email: bcarvajal5@att.net .

d)    Provide two people to keep the “Official” score of the game, including a providing some type of visual scoreboard & count Player Fouls. **See rule 9B. if using an electronic scoreboard.

e)     After the game, call or email the League Commissioner with the results of the game and the names of the Referees ~ to: Bob Meehan: Cell: 619 415-7785, email: bmeehan@tiee.org


Away Team Responsibilities:

  • Just to be doubly sure, call Bruce (the League’s Officiating Chief) and the League Commissioner to notify them of a Cancellation or Rescheduling of the game.


Officiating Payment & Notification Procedures:

  • There shall be two paid Referees for each Basketball Game.
  • Each Ref. will be paid $40 (cash). Each school will pay one of the Referees.


E. Procedures for Notifying The Officials when a game needs to Forfeited, Cancelled or Rescheduled:

·  Poor Weather: The “Home” Team MUST contact “Bruce” (the Officiating Chief) by 9 AM of the day of the game. **No referee’s fees apply for weather related game cancelations.

·  Rescheduling: The school that is needing to reschedule, MUST contact “Bruce” (the

Officiating Chief) and the League Commissioner -- Bob Meehan, by not later then 4 PM on the Monday before the scheduled game. **Both schools must agree to the rescheduling or the game will be considered a forfeit.

·  Forfeit: If a game is Forfeited, regardless of when, BOTH schools still MUST still pay the Referees. $40.

§    Officiating Crew Chief: “Bruce” (phone: 619-977-7256) (email: bcarvajal5@att.net)


1. 5 Players on the court -- Unlimited Roster size.


2A. NO longer a Minimum of 5 Student Players rule.


2B. Ineligible Players – If a student player also plays basketball for another high school team (i.e., gets a lot of playing time), they are Ineligible to play Basketball for a San Diego CAPSES League school. Enforcement of this rule will be based on an honor system, but if a school is found to be in violation of this rule, this mater will be handled on a case by case basis with the League Commissioner in consultation with the CAPSES School Directors.


**Forfeited games will not be rescheduled**


Note: In the event of a forfeit at the time of the game, both schools school are still expected to pay the $40 Referee fee if “Bruce” was not notified by 4 pm of the previous day.


3. All Players in uniform are encouraged, but not required to play in the game.


Court Dimensions:

4. It is OK for the court dimensions (e,g., length, width) to vary from court to court.


5A. Though the rim height must be 10 feet and it must have “regulation size keys” at both baskets.

5B. The 3-Point Line is optional. If no 3-point like is marked on the court, then their no 3-point shot.


Game Ball:

6. Basketballs used in games must be an Official, Regulation-sized Boy’s High School Basketball ~ 29.5 inch circumference.


7. The game ball will be provided by the Home team and will be the only basketball allowed for use in the game.


8. Full-Court Press:

§  First Period: No Full Court Press.

§  Second Period: A full court press is only allowed during the last 2 minutes of the game and during Overtime.

§     First Violation is a “Warning” per team. Repeated violations will result in a “Team Foul being called.


9. Starting the Game:

  • The game will begin with a jump ball between players from each team for regulation and overtime periods. 
  • Possession will alternate between teams in held ball situations following the initial jump ball. 
  • The Team with the Possession Arrow will in-bound the ball at the beginning of the Second Period.


10A. Game Length:

  • Two - 20-minute Periods.
  • 5-minute half time.
  • First Period: The game clock will run continuously, stopping only for Timeouts & Injuries.
  • Second Period: Continuous clock for the first 18 minutes ~ last 2 minutes, the game clock will stops for all Referee whistles, out of bounds, and foul violations ~ If the lead score is 15 or more points, the clock will continue to run continuously.
  • 2 minute over-time period if necessary. Overtime clock will stop on all Referee whistles, fouls and violations.
  • NOTE: The game clock still runs even after a basket has been made (this is a standard High School Basketball rule that is different from college rules).


10B. Game Clock & Tracking Fouls:

  • If an electronic scoreboard is available, then the “Home” team will arrange to have a knowledgeable and capable person run the scoreboard. **A second person will be needed at the score table to track fouls.**


  • During the last two minutes of the second period (and during overtime) if an electronic scoreboard is being used, one Referee will be in charge of raising and lowering their arm to signal for the game clock to stop and restart. This referee will also visually check to see if the game clock was stopped and restarted at the correct moment. This Referee reserves the right add or delete game clock time.


  • If no electronic scoreboard is available, one of the Referees will be in charge of keeping the time.


11. Time-outs

  • 4 one-minute Timeouts per game (can be used in the first or second periods)
  • 1 additional timeout during Overtime (unused timeouts can be carried over into OT)
  • A team must have control of the ball to call a time-out.
  • A player or coach from either team can call a time-out immediately after a basket has been made (before possession occurs). Possession occurs when the Referee hands the basketball to a Player to inbound it.
  • The coach or any player on the court may call a time-out when that team has possession.


12. Substitutions

§  Unlimited, but subs must be signaled in before the ball is declared ready-for-play by the official.


13. Scoring

·      A successful try from the field by a player who is located behind the 3-point line counts as 3 points. 

·      Any other goal from the field counts as 2-points for the team into whose basket the ball is thrown.

·      Note: If a court does not have 3-point line, all field goals made will count as 2-points.


14. Delay of the Game

a)     The offensive team has 10 seconds to bring the ball up to half court.


15. Out of Bounds and Inbounding the Ball

A ball is considered out of bounds if:

·      Any part of the ball touches the boundary line.

·      Any part of the player who is controlling the ball touches the boundary line.


Inbounding the Ball:

·      The Referee will spot the ball and give it to the player to inbound the ball at the designated spot.

·      The player who is inbounding the ball can stand as far back from boundary line as space permits, but they cannot move to the left or right.

·      No part of a Defending player’s body may cross the plane of the boundary line. First violation, a delay of game warning. Second violation, a technical foul on the defensive player.

·      The ball must be inbounded within 5 seconds (once the Referee sets the ball) or the ball turns over to the other team. This includes passing inbounds after a basket has been made and following some types of fouls.


16. The Key

·      An offensive player may only stay in the key for 5 seconds no matter where the ball is in the front court.

·      The 5 second rule stops when the shooter goes into the shooting motion.


17. Types of Fouls:

Following is a break-down of some of the most common basketball fouls ~ in alphabetical order:


1)    Away-From-the-Play Foul - In the last two minutes of the game, illegal contact by the defense, which occurs either deliberately away from the ball, and/or before the ball is released on a throw-in.


2)    Blocking - Physically impeding the progress of another player who is still moving.


3)    Charging - When an offensive player runs into a defender who has established position.


4)    Double Foul - When two opponents commit personal or technical fouls against each other at about the same time.


5)    Elbowing - Throwing your elbows during play in order to hit another player or push him away; it's a basketball foul if contact is made.


6)    Fighting Foul - When two or more players engage in fighting one another.


7)    Flagrant Foul - Unnecessary or excessive contact against an opponent.


8)    Foul - Actions by players which break the rules but are not floor violations.


9)    Hand-Checking - Using the hands to check the progress of an offensive player when that player is in front of the defender who is using the hands.


10) Holding - Restricting the movement of an opponent.


11) Illegal Blocking - Illegal contact which impedes the progress of an opponent.


12) Illegal Screen - A form of blocking in which the player setting the screen is still moving when the defender makes contact.


13) Loose Ball Foul - A basketball foul committed while neither team has possession of the ball (such as when going for a rebound).


14) Offensive Foul - Illegal contact, committed by an offensive player, after the ball is live.


15) Over-the-Back - Infringing on the vertical plane of, and making contact with, a player who is in position and attempting to rebound.


16) Personal Foul - Contact with an opponent after the ball has become live that may result in injury (including a push, hold, trip, hack, elbow, restrain or charge).


17) Punching - Personal foul where one player punches another.


18) Pushing - Impeding the progress or otherwise moving a player by pushing or shoving.


19) Reaching In - Extending an arm and making contact with a ball handler in an attempt to steal the ball.


20) Team Foul - Each personal foul committed by a player is also counted against their team; when a team goes over the limit, its opponent is awarded free-throw opportunities.


21) Technical Foul - Misconduct that officials believe are detrimental to the game; can be assessed against team members on the floor or seated on the bench. This is penalized by a free-throw opportunity to the other team; also called a "T".


22) Tripping - Extending a leg or foot and causing an opponent to lose balance or fall.


18. Traveling

  • A Player who receives the ball while he is progressing or upon completion of a dribble, may take two steps in coming to a stop, passing or shooting the ball.  
  • 2 or more steps will be called "Traveling" and result in a turnover.


19. Foul Procedures

Any player charged with a Fifth Personal Foul or a Second Technical Foul will be disqualified from the game.


a)     For all 2-point shooting fouls, the player will be awarded 2 free throws (if the basket is not made). If the basket is made on the foul, that player is awarded 1 free throw.


b)    For all 3-point shooting fouls the player will be awarded 3 free throws (if the basket is not made). If the 3-point basket is still made despite the foul, that player is awarded 1 free throw.


c)     All non-shooting fouls: take the ball out of bounds and pass in.


d)    Bonus ~ 1+1 ~ begins on the 7th Team Foul. Double Bonus ~ 2 Free Throws ~ begins on the 10th team foul.


e)     Team fouls from the second half will carry over into overtime (if overtime occurs).


20. Technical Foul Shooting/Free Throws


When taking a Free Throw:


  • 4 defensive and 2 offensive players are lined up along the lane lines during free throws. The first spot above the block MUST be occupied by defensive players. All remaining players much stand behind the 3-point line.
  • The player who had the foul committed against them will take the free throw. 
  • No defensive player may yell or otherwise distract the foul shooter in anyway. If violation occurs, the shooter may elect to re-shoot the free throw.
  • The foul shooter’s feet must clearly be behind the foul line when shooting the ball. Violation results in a turnover.
  • If a Technical Foul is called, the coach can designate any player on their team to take the free throw. During a Technical Free Throw, all players will stand behind the 3-point line.


Rebounding a Free Throw:

§  The free thrower or any player beyond the three-point arc may not enter the free-throw lane until the ball touches the rim or backboard. All the players who are lined up in marked lane spaces may only enter the lane once the ball has hit the rim or backstop.

§  If offensive violation: ball turns over to the other team.

§  If defensive violation: other team may elect to re-shoot the foul shot.




**When is comes to the safety and sportsmanlike behavior of a player or coach and when trying to determine if a they should continue to participate in a game, it is MUCH more desirable and appropriate for their own school personnel to be the first ones to manage problems in these areas. When evaluating if a player should continue to participate in the current game or in future games, School Staff should consider the severity of the incident(s), what is the likelihood of student escalating to a higher unsafe level, has this occurred in previous games, and the overall safety of everyone in the league. When in doubt, error on the side of caution and REMOVE that student from the game.


21A. Technical and Flagrant Fouls result in the offended team receiving 2 free throws and ball possession.


A Technical Foul will be called against any Player or Coach (even if on the bench) for the following:


Unacceptable Behaviors by a Player or Coach:

·   Excessive intentional physical contact with another player.

·   Swearing (or other inappropriate Language)

·   Kicking and or throwing the ball (or any other object) in anger

·   Name Calling

·   Taunting

·   “Mad Dogging” (i.e., staring someone down)

·   Teasing or making fun of a player (from either team)

·   Criticizing the other team or excessive criticism their own team members

·   Excessive use of foul language.

·   Making threats (including posturing, gesturing with a fist…)

·   Flashing Gang Signs

·   Arguing with the Referee.

·  Publicly complaining about the officiating in a voice level that can be heard by others.


·   Verbal or Assaultive Behavior after a game. Potential suspension from the next game played will be decided on a case-by-case basis after review by the League Commissioner. Rule 22B. No appeal of suspensions- see the last paragraph of the rules,


* The first technical foul on a player will result will require them sitting out of the game until the next stoppage of play.

** The second technical foul on a player or coach will result in that player or coach being Ejected from the game.

***NOTE: The Referee Reserves the right to eject a Player or Coach even after just one Technical if they determine the foul is serious enough (e.g., excessive foul language, fighting, making threats…)


22. Ejection:

§ If a Player or Coach is ejected from a game, the League Commissioner will need to be notified.

§ Like it says above, it is much more desirable for a School to manage behavioral issue for their own Students and Staff. In very rare circumstances, the League Commission, with consultation with CAPSES School Directors, may get involved to evaluate if a full or partial suspension for the next game scheduled is warranted.

§ If a full or partial game suspensions are not honored and that Player or Coach is determined to have participated in a game while under Suspension, that Team is no longer eligible for the post-season.

§ Repeated violations will put the Team's participation in the League in jeopardy and will be addressed at

the next San Diego CAPSES Director's meeting.


23. The “Mercy Rule” Procedure:

With the goal of keeping the score of a game from getting out of hand, the Head Coach of the team that is loosing has the option to invoke the “Mercy Rule” procedure (at any time).

NOTE: Point Scored For and Against have absolutely NO bearing on the standings



a) Before the start of game, the Two Head Coaches & Two Referees will briefly meet to talk about strategies (see below)) IF the Mercy Rule Procedure is need to invoked.

b) At any point during the game, the Head Coach from the team that is behind can discretely let a Referee know they want to invoke the “Mercy Rule”.

c) The Referee will then discretely let the other Head Coach know that the “Mercy Rule” has been declared.

d) At this point, the Team that is ahead is guaranteed the win.

e) Also, at this point, both Coaches are expected manage their players in such a way so the game is more competitive, an opportunity to learn the game, and fun for ALL those involved.


         Possible Mercy Rule Strategies:

§ No Full Court Press during the last 2-minutes

§ Only Defend the Key.

§ Take out players who might have difficulty holding back.


It is expected that both Coaches will actively try to implement and enforce all aspects of this “Mercy Rule” procedure. Failure to do so on any school’s any part, will be handled on a case by case basis with the League Commissioner. It is not the Referee’s responsibility to enforce this rule.


24. Officiating

I. Rules Are Written To Be Followed


II. The Referees- things to keep in mind:

§ Like our players, Referees are human too and may make mistakes from time to time.

§ Even though we pay our Referees, they have volunteered to work our league games instead of officiating someplace else for more money. For this reason, it is necessary to pay the Referee Fee when a game was cancelled after notification deadline.

§ Everyone needs to accept that there will always be a human aspect to the games on the part of players, coaches and referees.


III. No Arguing a Referee’s Judgment Calls:

Referee Judgment calls, such as foul calls for traveling, out of bounds… are considered Judgment Calls and CANNOT be Argued or Challenged by Players and/or Coaches. Doing so may result in a “Technical Foul” Penalty being called and can include that Player or Coach being ejected from the game.

Referee judgment calls cannot be argued or challenged.


IV. Rules Clarification Conference Procedure for Basketball:

If Coach feels the Referee is incorrect or not following a “Procedural” aspect of the rules, they can call a timeout* and request a “Rules Clarification Conference” with the Referee.

*Note: If the Referee deems the request for a “Rules Clarification Conference” worthy, then that team will NOT be charged a timeout.


NOTE: All Coaches are prohibited from talking to their players during this “Rules Clarification


The Coach must refer directly to this set of written rules. Procedural Topics for a “Rule Clarification

Conference” MUST be from the list below:

§    Basketball Hoop Height & Key Dimensions

§    The circumference of the Game Ball (29.5 inches, official high school basketball)

§    Management of The Game Clock (e.g., clock was not stopped or restarted at the correct moment)

§    The Full Court Press Rule

§    Procedure for inbounding the ball

§    Foul Shooting Procedures

§    Over-Time Procedure

§    A Referee calling a foul for something that is not stated in the Rules


V. Hierarchy to Settle Disputes:

If the League Commissioner is NOT present at a game and/or his/her own school is playing in the game, then the two Head Coaches from each team can consult with the Head Referee/Umpire about the enforcement of procedural aspects of the rules (i.e., must be about a topic from the designated list). This consultation will be based on the interpretation of the written rules. Hopefully, after this consultation, everyone will come away agreeing. However, if needed, the Head Umpire/Referee and the two Head Coaches will vote about what should be decided. The majority vote wins. Then ALL Referees/Umpires and Coaches will need to abide by what was decided in that vote.


If the League Commissioner is present at a game and can be considered neutral (i.e., their school is NOT playing the game ~ mostly likely only during playoff games), the Commissioner can consult with the Referees/Umpires about the enforcement of Procedural Aspects of the Rules (i.e., must be about a topic from the designated list). This consultation will be based on the interpretation of the written rules. Hopefully, after this consultation, everyone will come away agreeing. However, if needed, the League Commissioner will make a final decision about the dispute. The Referees/Umpires and Coaches will need to abide by the League Commissioner's decision.


All Referee’s and/or League Commissioners decisions are final as soon as a game resumes.


It is the responsibility of the League Commissioner to act in the interests of the CAPSES Sports League as a whole to ensure that games are played with sportsmanship and within the rules, including rules of conduct.

League Commissioner decisions regarding rule violations and consequences are final.

The directors of the local CAPSES member schools constitute a Board of Directors for the CAPSES Sports League. This Board of Directors reserves the right to determine which schools/teams shall be members of the Sports League and provides oversight and direction to the League Commissioner. Due to the infrequent nature of the CAPSES meetings, there is no appeal to the Board of disciplinary or other decisions made by the League Commissioner.


25. Playoff Format for 2014:

§  National Conference: The 1st and 2nd place Teams will play each other in the championship game.

§  American Conference: The top 4 teams will play in a semi-final and championship game format.


§  Standings and Playoff seedings are determined by the teams with the Most Wins.


§  If two or more teams are tied in the win column, then Head-To-Head Results will used as tie-breaker.


§  If Head-To-Heads results cannot be used as a tie-breaker (e.g., there is a 3 or 4 way tie in head-to-head results), then a special play in games will be needed:


·      A 4 team tie – two full regulation games will be played; with the winners advancing to the playoffs or championship game

·      A 3 team tie – play two 20 minute games (1. the bye team is chosen by picking from a hat 2. The winner of the first game plays the Bye team in the second game. The winner of the second game advances the to the playoffs for championship game.


*In tie standings and it is just matter of a playoff seed order, then a coin flip will be used to figure out the Seed order.


§  SPECIAL FACTOR: Since the number of regularly scheduled games could vary from school to school (e.g., some schools having bye weeks or due to weather cancelations), when a playoff spot is at stake and it was deemed that a particular school had an advantage or disadvantage with playing an extra game or one less game on their schedule in comparison to another school, a play-in game may be needed to be played.


§  FYI: Point Scored For and Against have absolutely NO bearing on the standings


§  The 3/14 Semi Final Playoff games will be played at Alliant Unv. The 3/21 Championship Game Site is still TBA. Each school will be responsible for paying $27.50 per each playoff game court fee.


§  The $40 Referee fee for each team still applies for all playoff games.