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Youth Basketball Basics

A Basketball Primer for Parents

Rule differences

Parents need to remember that the rules of basketball are often modified from those that govern at the college and professional level in recognition of the lower skill levels of youth players.  Here are some of the major rule differences to watch out for:

  • The number of time outs per half may be less.

  • Zone defenses  (defensive schemes in which defensive players are responsible for an area or zone of the court) may be banned in favor of strict man-to-man defenses in which each player guards a player on the opposing team

  • Pressing defenses and fast breaks may be prohibited, either for the entire game,  or for the first three quarters, requiring the defensive team to set up at half court before the offensive team takes the ball up the court after a made basket, rebound or turnover.

  • Jumping to block a shot may be banned (arms extended straight up okay).
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