Competition/Playing Rules


1. Games will be 20 minute running halves for grades 9-12 and 18 minute running halves for grades 4/5-8. There will be stop time the last 2 minutes of each half. If the lead reaches 20 or more points, the clock will run through the last 2 minutes of the second half, even if the lead drops below 20 points. If the clock is stopped during a free throw situation, it will restart when the ball becomes live; not when the ball is handed to the shooter.

2. All players suited up and on the bench must play in every game. Failure to do so if challenged will cause you to forfeit that game. Any player unable to compete may not be listed in the official scorebook and may not be on the bench in uniform.

3. No full court pressing by any team that is in the lead once the lead reaches 20 points.

4. Technical, flagrant, and intentional fouls are not shot. They are an automatic 2 points and ball possession for the non-violating team. If a player or coach is assessed two of these fouls, they are removed from the game and must leave the gym. They must then meet with the tournament director before being allowed to coach in subsequent games.

5. Three full time outs per game only. There are no time outs in sudden death overtime. After a time out during a free throw situation, the clock starts when the ball is back in play. This means someone in play must touch the ball after the free throw situation ends for the clock to start.

6. Overtimes are sudden death. First team to score wins. There will be no time put on the clock. There are no time outs in sudden death overtime. The overtime will start with a center jump. Championship and semifinal games will be a 2-minute overtime, with one minute of running clock and one minute of stop time. There is one full time out in championship overtime, and no carryover of time outs from regulation. All fouls carry over from the second half.

7. All other rules that are not stated above will follow the NHSFA (National High School Federation) rules. Any changes in NHSFA rules made by the spring of each year will also be implemented in our program for that summer.

8. Pool play tie breakers if same records:  Tie breakers will be determined by the following methods if records of teams are the same:
     A.  Record of teams head-to-head.
     B.  Point differential from wins and losses will be added together, with a maximum of 15 points being counted from each win, and the full point total of each loss counting.  The team with the greater point differential in total games will be the tie-breaker winner.
     C.  Coin Flip

9. Pre-game and halftime are usually 3-5 minutes, but may be shortened at the discretion of the referees and tournament officials in order to keep games on time. Come stretched and prepared to play by your scheduled time.

10. Spring tournaments are a minimum of either 2 or 3 scheduled games, depending on the tournament location. Check the individual tournament page for the exact minimum number of games. Summer regionals are a minimum of 5 scheduled games. National tournaments are a minimum of either 7 or 9 scheduled games.


1. All teams must have a matching set of jerseys with numbers on both the front and back. Numbers are requested to be in accordance with standard National High School Federation rules if at all possible. This means numbers should begin or end with 0 through 5, such as 0, 1, 2, ...10, 11, 12, ...21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 30, 31, 32, etc...through 55.  Teams are suggested to either buy reversible jerseys or have a home and an away set. NAYS will not provide pinneys. Matching shorts are not necessary.

2. EACH TEAM MUST BRING ONE PERSON TO HELP WITH SCOREKEEPING OR TIMEKEEPING. This person will receive a pass for free entry for the entire tournament. It is prefered that the same person perform these duties at each of the team's games. This person MUST be present to receive this pass when the coach checks in his/her team before your first game. Those teams not providing this person will forfeit that game, all subsequent games, and all fees paid. This person MUST be knowledgable of scoring and time procedures. The same person must be present to score all weekend. Multiple passes for scorers will not be given. Coaches and scorekeepers MUST wear their wristbands or have a stamp at all times. Any that are removed or lost will cause that coach/scorkeeper to have to pay admission each day. NO EXCEPTIONS!!

3. Coaches may not be the scorer/timer and coach on the bench at the same time. No games may begin without a coach!

4. There are no protests. All referee and NAYS staff decisions are final. Any coach/player/parent/fan who berates a tournament official, staff member, other coach, player, parent, referee, or fan will be ejected immediately from the tournament. Those who do not leave immediately will be removed by authorities.

5. Disorderly conduct, damage to facilities, or violations of rules in the opinion of the tournament staff will cause you and your team to be ejected from the tournament. You will immediately forfeit all subsequent games and all fees/admissions paid.

6. DO NOT CALL US WITH ROSTER CHANGES! Make these on your final roster form, which you will present at the check-in table prior to your first game. At this time, your roster will be frozen.

7. ALL PLAYERS MUST BRING A COPY OF A CURRENT YEAR REPORT CARD OR STUDENT PICTURE ID WITH GRADE LEVEL FOR GRADE LEVEL & AGE VERIFICATION. If a player in question does not produce a report card when asked, they may not play in any further games until it is produced. If this affects enough of your players where you cannot field at least five on the court, you will forfeit that game and all subsequent games, with a loss of any fees/admissions paid. NOTE: Home-schooled players are not exempt from this rule. If they do not have a report card/grade level verification form with the appropriate grade level and year on it, they will not be allowed to play. The rule for all of our tournamments is GRADE BASED WITH AGE LIMIT...National Sports ID will be taking care of this which will make this a lot easier for all teams going forward.

8. Any challenges of a player's grade level must be made BEFORE game time to a tournament director. A team that challenges MUST have all of their report cards available for their team in order to challenge. The ONLY person who will look at these report cards is the tournament director, not opposing coaches, parents and players. This is due to privacy concerns. THERE IS A CHARGE OF $100.00 TO THE COACH REQUESTING THE CHALLENGE! COACHES are responsible to see that their team meets all eligibility requirements. 

9. Awards are given to 1st place in two, three, and five game minimum spring and summer events, and for a maximum of 12 players.  In national tournaments, awards are given out for a minimum of first and second place.

10. Passes will be issued at the tournament upon check in for a maximum of the uniformed players on the roster, 2 coaches, and 1 scorekeeper per team, not for ballpersons, managers, cheerleaders, etc…Anyone trying to bypass admission will be removed by the authorities.

11. NAYS will not refund any tournament fees paid if a tournament is cancelled for reasons beyond our control including, but not limited to, floods, acts of war, bomb threats, gym reservations cancelled without adequate notice to NAYS, natural disasters, etc…

12. You must bring your own balls for warm-ups. One ball will be chosen from the two teams for a game ball.

13. No tournament flyers may be distributed for other tournaments, camps, or clinics at any NAYS event without permission from the NAYS National Office. Any individual, team, coach, or player caught doing so will be ejected from the tournament.

14. Any forfeits will count as a game towards your two game minimum. Any team which forfeits a game will forfeit all subsequent games and all fees/admissions paid and be removed from the tournament. In case of a first round forfeit in spring tournaments, the team receiving the forfeit may play the next game on the winner's and loser's side of the bracket. However, they may only advance on the winner's side. They may not choose which side they wish to play on. In summer tournaments, tournament directors will try to work with teams receiving forfeits so they may pick up an extra game when possible. This is not guaranteed, however, we will make every effort to do so.

15. NAYS, the host site and all staff members are not responsible for injuries to players, coaches, spectators, or guests. We do not carry health insurance. Injuries are the responsibility of the player's own health insurance.

16. Once the schedule is set or received by you, DO NOT CALL US TO CHANGE GAME TIMES! Do not register if you can't play during the normal tournament hours, which are 5PM-10PM on Friday, 8AM-10PM on Saturday, and 8AM-10PM on Sunday for spring and summer regional tournaments. National tournaments run all day, each day, from 8AM-10PM. NAYS reserves the right to change the schedule at any time. If we need to make changes in your first game time, we will call you. YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR CHECKING FOR CHANGES IN THE BRACKETS OR RULES POSTED AT THE TOURNAMENT AT ALL TIMES! GO BY THE POSTED SCHEDULE….NOT THE BRACKET CHARTS!! NAYS IS NOT RESPONSIBLE IF YOU MISS YOUR GAME TIME! Remember, you can check on Sports Thread for schedule changes right up to the day of the tournament.

17. ALL ENTRY FEES ARE NON-REFUNDABLE once we receive your fee at the NAYS office. If we do not run a bracket and cannot combine brackets, only then will we refund an entry fee. All fees will be refunded via a check in the mail. The checks are mailed out at the end of each month for billing/organizational purposes as well as for bank processing purposes. WE CANNOT REFUND ANY PROCESSING FEES THAT ARE INCURRED WHEN YOU REGISTER ONLINE.

18. Make sure your roster is in agreement with the rules for out-of-season play that are listed by your state athletic association. NAYS is not responsible for your errors if a player loses eligibility.

19. NAYS tournament staff reserves the right to combine brackets for the good of the tournament. We also reserve the right to shorten the length of halves, halftime, or time between games to keep the schedule on time or in cases out of our control such as a power outage at a gym site.

20. NAYS reserves the right to modify all or any of these rules for the good of all teams involved.

21. YOU MUST COMPLETE A FINAL ROSTER FORM AND PRESENT IT UPON CHECK-IN IN ORDER TO RECEIVE YOUR PASSES. This will be e-mailed with your schedule, or you may copy one from the website. We don't accept faxed rosters, and please don't mail the form to us. Do not ask us for a form when you get to the tournament.

22. Players may not be more than 2 years older than the age of the players in that typical grade level. For example, 12th grade players are typically 18 years old. A player who has reached the age of 20 cannot play. An 8th grader is 14 years old. A 16 year old 8th grader cannot play in the 8th grade bracket.

23. CALL 1-866-352-5915 IF YOU WILL MISS YOUR SCHEDULED GAME!! If you must leave the tournament early, please notify the tournament director. This allows us to give your games to others who wish to play, and helps avoid forfeits.

23. Players may play on more than one team in the tournament, so long as they are in different grade level divisions. They must be on the roster of both teams.

24. The 4th-5th grade boys brackets will use the ball size (either regular mens or the womens 28.5" ball) that is typically used in their region of the country. This decision will be made by the tournament director. In case of conflicts between coaches about which ball should be used, the NAYS national policy of using the 28.5" womens ball will go into effect. This ball will be used then by the entire bracket for the entire tournament.

25. Players MUST be wearing their jerseys to be admitted to the tournament at all times. We have no other way of distinguishing who is and is not a player.

26. Teams MUST bring their own medical supplies. This includes ice, bandages, tape, etc….DO NOT ask us or the concession stand to supply these! These supplies cost money, and we do not get them for free. As a coach, please be responsible and bring a medical kit for your team's protection

27. NAYS cannot be responsible for teams that do not show at tournaments or fail to call in advance to cancel. ALL BRACKETS AND SCHEDULES WILL BE POSTED ONLINE THE WEEK OF THE TOURNAMENT! These scheduled games do count toward your guaranteed amount of games. All NAYS tournament directors will work with you to try to make up these games. If NAYS is unable to supply you with a tournament by not having enough teams at the entry deadline, you will receive a full refund. Under no other circumstances are refunds awarded once a tournament schedule is released. If you have any complaints please put them in writing and send them to the national office. Only written complaints will be taken from this point forward. We will review all complaints and follow-up with you via mail.

29. If the team fees are paid by check and the check does not clear, your team may not participate until NAYS has received a cashiers check for that amount plus an additional $30 for the expenses incurred by NAYS.

30. If your credit card is declined, you will be charged a $10 credit card fee per entry as that is imposed on us by our bank. Also, your team will not be put into the schedule until that credit card or a new card is accepted.


1. We DO NOT take requests for specific game times, as we have different limited amounts of courts and hours available at each event. You may pay $25 to opt out of games on Friday if the tournament is a 3-day event. We charge this fee because gym rental rates are higher on weekends and we still need to pay rent even if teams don't play Fridays. ALL SCHEDULES ARE DONE RANDOMLY BY COMPUTER TO ELIMINATE THE HUMAN ELEMENT AND CREATE FAIRNESS FOR EVERYONE!

2. Our scheduling program has been tweaked so as to minimize the times between games on the same day when at all possible. Understand that sometimes based on available court hours or number of teams in an event, this gap may vary but we try to do the best we can to keep games no more than 4 hours apart. There are no more 8 hour or more gaps in almost every instance.

3. You will typically play at least 2 days during an event, or all 3 in large brackets (unless paying the no Friday $25 fee.) Smaller brackets (3-4 teams) MAY play all games on one day, but this is not guaranteed. It is all based on space availability and scheduling restrictions.

4. If you register in the wrong bracket or make a mistake in your entry that causes the tournament to have to be changed AFTER IT HAS BEEN SCHEDULED, NAYS will require a fee of $50 to be paid via credit card (Mastercard or Visa) via our website. This fee is necessary as additional staff will need to be brought in to make these changes. Additional charges may apply if your error causes us to have to add games/referees to the event.

5. Sometimes, we may be able to get you into a tournament in a LATE FEE situation if court hours are available after a tournament is scheduled. If so, there will be a minimum late fee of $25 per team, which may be higher depending on the scheduling difficulty/staff time of adding teams or cost of courts. All teams wishing to enter after the tournament has been scheduled must be approved by the NAYS national office at 866-352-5915, at which time we will inform you of the exact late fee. All approved late teams MUST register online with a credit card on our website on the day they are approved. We do not accept checks for late teams.

6. If you are going to cancel out of an event, you MUST CALL us at 866-352-5915. An e-mail cancellation WILL NOT suffice. Due to the nature of e-mail and the possibility we may not receive it, important matters such as these must be done by phone. Claiming you sent an e-mail will not get you a refund or a transfer to another event and if you call after the event has been scheduled, you will still lose your entry fee.

Thanks for your help and understanding of these issues!