Basketball 3v3 Rules

3v3 Basketball Game Rules

Our basketball game rules are specific to Brisbane City Indoor Sports, though they are fundamentally structured around the Official Basketball Rules of FIBA.

The emphasis on our social competitions is enjoyment and respectful social play. While competitiveness is not discouraged, please note that a ‘win at all costs’ attitude is not appropriate for BCIS competitions.

All players are assumed to have read and understood these rules, and the BCIS Player Code of Conduct, prior to playing in competitions at Brisbane City Indoor Sports.


  • Each team consists of 3 players on the court and up to 4 substitutes.
  • The game is played on a half court with 1 basket.
  • The game is started with a ‘Scissors, Paper, Rock’ to determine which team starts with possession, and for the following sets starting possession will alternate.
  • In a ‘held ball’ situation possession is granted to the defensive team.
  • There is no ‘3 seconds in the key’ rule, but you must clear the key if instructed to do so by the referee.
  • Team uniforms and shirt numbers are not mandatory, you are encouraged to wear matching coloured shirts if possible. Bibs are provided in the event of a colour clash with both teams.
  • Jewellery, watches, smart watches, fitness bands are not permitted during games due to player safety requirements.


  • The game will consist of 3 periods of 12 mins with 1 min between periods and 2 mins between games.
  • The timer does not stop for any reason during the game
  • There are no time-outs during the game
  • Every successful shot from inside the arc will be awarded with 1 point, while every successful shot from outside the arc will score 2 points.
  • Successful Free Throws are worth 1 point.
  • Each period is scored separately. To win the match, a team must win two of the three periods.
  • In the event of a tied game at the end of a period, play will continue into ‘Golden Point Time’ without the ball being checked – play carries on ignoring the buzzer until the next point is scored.


  • Game play starts with ‘checking the ball’, whereby the offensive team exchanges the ball with the defensive team behind the arc.
  • During this exchange, the defensive player must remain one metre away from the offensive player until the ball is back in play.
  • If the defending team gains possession of the ball within the arc by a steal, block or rebound the ball must be moved behind the arc (clearing the ball) before shooting can take place.
  • If the defending team does not clear the ball before losing possession, the initial offensive team may shoot without clearing the ball.
  • If the defending team is awarded a free throw from the base line the ball must still be cleared before shooting can take place.
  • The ball must be passed to the referee (bounce pass) before shooting free throws
  • After receiving the ball for a free throw, the player must take their shot within 5 seconds
  • After a made goal or free throw, play restarts with a player from the non-scoring team checking the ball from behind the arc.
  • If the ball goes out of play, the team who last touched the ball loses possession, and play restarts with a throw in from where the ball went out of play.
  • If the ball goes out of play over the halfway line, play will be restarted with by checking the ball to minimise disruption to the other court’s game.


  • Players may substitute at any time without play stopping.
  • Players coming on to the court must not enter until the player coming off has left the playing arena.
  • Players must enter and leave the court at the same point and ‘tag’ the incoming player. Teams may not sub on from one part of the court while their teammate subs on from another part.
  • There are no limits to how many substitutions a team makes.

Injured players

  • Play should only stop play if a team is going to be disadvantaged by an injured player, or if there is danger to a player injured.
  • The game should not be stopped for minor injuries.

Blood Rule

  • Open or wet wounds must be covered.
  • Any player that is bleeding must leave the court and be directed to the first aid area at the front counter.
  • The referee should check the cover before allowing the player to continue the game.


  • Violations of the rules, e.g. travelling or personal fouls, will result in throw-in from the place nearest to the infraction, or a checked ball, except for:
  • Fouls during the act of shooting inside the arc will result in 1 free throw.
  • Fouls during the act of shooting outside the arc will result in 2 free throws.

Personal Fouls

  • Individual fouls are not recorded therefore players will not be disqualified based on personal fouls.
  • However, if the referee deems that a player is persistently or carelessly fouling, they may be warned that further fouls will result in a technical foul.

hnical & Unsportsmanlike Fouls

Technical fouls are non-contact behavioural fouls which include, but are not limited to:

  • Disregarding warnings from referees
  • Disrespectfully communicating with referees, opponents, or spectators
  • Baiting and taunting opponents
  • Excessive swinging of elbows
  • Faking fouls or ‘flopping’
  • Hanging onto the net (dunking is permitted)
  • Excessive personal fouls by a player

Technical fouls will result in 1 free throw to the opposition plus possession

An Unsportsmanlike foul is a player contact foul which, in the judgement of an official is:

  • Not a legitimate attempt to directly play at the ball within the spirit and intent of the game.
  • Excessive, hard contact caused by a player attempting to play the ball.
  • An unnecessary contact caused by the defensive player to stop the progress of the offensive team.

A foul deemed by the referee to be a deliberate attempt to delay the game and / or waste time. Unsportsmanlike fouls will result in 1 free throw to the opposition plus possession A player shall be disqualified for the remainder of the game when he is charged with 2 technical fouls, or 2 unsportsmanlike fouls, or with 1 unsportsmanlike foul and 1 technical foul. Disciplinary action may follow at the discretion of management.

Late Game Fouls

  • During the last minute of any period, all fouls will be deemed a ‘shooting foul’ to avoid time wasting fouls.
  • 1 free throw will be awarded if the foul is committed inside the arc.
  • 2 free throws will be awarded for fouls outside the arc.
  • Off the ball fouls will result in1 free throw and possession retained by the offensive team.
  • Late Game Foul rules apply in Golden Point time.

PLAYER BEHAVIOUR AND DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURES In rare occasions, players may be suspended or permanently excluded from competitions for repeated and/or extreme cases of behavioural issues, disrespectful communications to opponents or staff, or dangerous play. Violence, whether it be actual, intended or threatened is not tolerated for any reason and will result in a significant suspension or permanent ban from the centre. This will be entirely at the discretion of BCIS Management and all decisions are final.