The following rules apply to the CBL for the 2023-24 season and govern how the games in each division will be officiated and eligibility of players assessed for the games throughout all games from October 2022-June 2023.

Unless specifically stated below, the league adheres to and adopts standard governing body rules as prescribed by Basketball England.

All coaches are required to read these rules in full and be fully aware of the rules and regulations of the league before participating in any CBL competitions. It is the responsibility of the team coach to ensure all participating players understand the rules and play within their boundaries.

Coaches at all levels across the CBL are reminded the league’s primary focus is the development of versatile, skilled, ‘future-proof’ players. As such, coaches are encouraged to focus teaching on ‘positionless’ basketball, developing versatile, multi-skilled players who have a solid understanding of spacing, ball and player movement, while introducing and strengthening fundamental key basketball skills.

CBL U10 & U12 Rules

As an introduction to the sport and youth competitions, the under 12 divisions are where the Community Basketball League and all team coaches should be encouraging as many children as possible to play.

  1. No full court press or full court defence in Division 2(full court defence is permitted in Division 1). If a team continues to press or play any form of full-court defense, officials will give the head coach 1 warning. Any subsequent infringements will result in a free-throw for the opposing team and retention of possession (whether the free-throw is scored or not) at the half-court sideline.

  2. No zone defence – man to man coverage only in both Division 1 and 2. Defensive players must stay within 2 steps of the offensive player they are guarding at all times (distance from offensive player is to be assessed by the game official). While we encourage spatial awareness and ‘help’ defensive principals at the U14 level, at U12 we endorse correct teaching of individual defensive techniques and structure the rules so every player gains experience in learning how to defend as an individual. If a team continues to play any form of zonal defense, or defensive players continually ‘sag off’ the players they are guarding, officials will give the head coach 1 warning. Any subsequent infringements will result in a free-throw for the opposing team and retention of possession (whether the free-throw is scored or not) at the half-court sideline.

  3. Defence may only be played from the half-way line in Division 2 .

  4. All teams should endeavour to provide a minimum of 8 players and a maximum of 12 players per game. Teams who do not provide a minimum of 8 players will be allowed to play their game however will be penalised by their opponents being awarded 2 points for each player less than 8, they may have on their team on the day. For example, a team that shows up with 6 players would start the game with their opponents up 4-0. This rule is in place to encourage coaches to actively increase the number of players on their team, to get more young people playing and also to give the active players a fair chance to compete with other teams in the league without over-exertion. For the avoidance of doubt, if a team shows up with a team of 8-12 players, the game will start 0-0.

  5. Every player submitted onto the scoresheet at the start of a game MUST play. If a team has any player on the scoresheet who does not play, the opposing team will be awarded 2 free-throws for each infringement. For the avoidance of doubt, for example, if 2 players do not get onto the court (barring injury, as assessed by the official and/or commissioner), 4 free-throws will be awarded to the opposing team at the end of a game. Coaches are reminded ALL PLAYERS SHOULD PLAY in the CBL. If you have no intention of playing them, do not de-motivate them by selecting them for a game and not letting them get into the live action.

CBL All Other Divisions

The rules below apply to all other age groups and are subject to change at the discretion of the League Management Committee. Any changes will be confirmed with teams prior to implementation.

  1. Man-to-man defence only for U10, U12 and U14 divisions. All other age groups, defence is at the coaches discretion.

  2. All games in the CBL are played over 4 quarters of 10 minutes running clock.

  3. Clock stops in the last 2 minutes of the 4th quarter.

  4. A one minute time out is allowed per halfper team. In the event of overtime, no additional timeouts are permitted, unless a team has not used their second half timeout allocation during regular time. The clock will not stop during timeouts, unless it falls within the last 2 minutes of the 4th quarter. The clock will stop for timeouts taken in overtime to prevent teams from ‘running the game out’.

  5. 5 minutes for half time (which may be subject to change at the discretion of the game officials and/or commissioner), with 1 minute at the end of each quarter.

  6. In the event of an overtime period being necessary to determine the winner, a shortened extra period will be played at a duration of 2 minutes stopping clock. If the score is still tied after the first overtime period, a second and final overtime period will be played under ‘Golden Basket’ rules.

  7. Golden Basket rules stipulate that the first team to score wins. Winning baskets may come from open play or the free throw line. Every foul in the second overtime period is automatically deemed a shooting foul. There will be no additional time-out for either team in any overtime period, apart from any time-outs saved from the second half allocation.

  8. Each team can have a MAXIMUM of 12 players, per game.

  9. 5 personal fouls per player. Upon a players 5th foul, he/she is disqualified and no longer able to play in the game.

  10. 4 team fouls per quarter. Upon a teams 5th foul in the quarter, the opposing team is awarded a ‘1 and 1’ free-throw opportunity. In this scenario, the opposing team shoot the first free-throw and if successful, are awarded a second. If the first shot is missed, normal play resumes.

  11. In the event of a team turning up late – after a ten minute grace period (i.e. if tip is at 3pm, the team must have 5 players on court and the game must begin by 3.10pm), the game will be forfeit. Teams will still be expected to play a friendly/shortened game within the allocated time remaining.

  12. forfeited game results in a 20-0 win to the penalised teams opponents.

  13. All named head coaches for all CBL games are responsible for ensuring they and all assistant coaches, all players, club officials, parents of players and club supporters are all aware of and adhere to the CBL Code of Conduct. Any team found not to be in adherence with the Code of Conduct, will be subject to in-game disciplinary actions from the officials and disciplinary proceedings from the League. After 1 warning from an official, in-game disciplinary actions may range from penalising the offending team/coach with a technical foul with 2 free-throws and possession back to the opposing team – through to game abandonment and awarding the game to the opposing team (in the case of severe breaches of conduct).

  14. Player Eligibility. Division 1 (or equivalent) teams may play National League players with no limit. Division 2 teams may play a maximum of 2 National League players in any single game. Teams with more than 2 National League players on a Division 2 roster may rotate National League players game by game, providing all players are licensed with the league. Players are not permitted to play for two different teams within the same division competition. In the advent of a club having two teams within the same division, players must be assigned to each team separately and are not permitted to play for both teams within the same division. In the event of a player’s age or eligibility being questioned by an opposing coach under protest, the coach or team manager will supply the League Commissioner with valid membership number for said player. If a valid CBL Player License cannot be produced or a protest is found to be valid and upheld, the game in question will be awarded to the challenging team.

  15. Changing Teams. If a player wishes to leave one team and transfer to another during the season, he/she will be permitted to do so providing a transfer agreement has been signed by the player’s parent and both coaches and a transfer fee of £10 is paid to the league to change license assignment. Teams are reminded that the CBL does not condone ‘player poaching’ in any shape or form and will levy fines of £100 towards teams/coaches who are found to be enticing players to leave one club and join another during the CBL season. Repeat offenders will be suspended from the league, pending official review, heavier fines and a possible full-season ban from all coaching and club related involvement with the CBL.

  16. Disputes. All disputes will be resolved by the League Commissioner or Lead Official on the day, in line with the Rules & Regulations. Resolutions reached by the Commissioner/Lead Official are final.

  17. Licensing. All coaches and players MUST be registered and licensed with the league and Basketball England prior to playing their first fixture.  A list of all team players and personnel (using the CBL Team Player & Coach Licensing form) must be completed by every team, in every division, within the CBL. The licensing form can be found here: When registering with Basketball England, the CBL affiliated league membership number to reference is CA5032.

  18. Postponements. All matches are confirmed as shown on the website. Teams can make an application to have a particular tip off time amended and where possible, the League will look to accommodate. However wherever this is not possible if a team cannot attend at the listed time/date, the game will be awarded to the opposing team by a score of 20-0.

  19. Playing Kit. Each team playing in the Community Basketball League must have a matching kit to include vests and shorts. Vests should be numbered front and back and visible to the officials. Both vests and shorts must be consistent throughout all players and matching in colour. Teams who do not field teams with matching uniforms and numbered vests will be fined £50 per game for a maximum of 3 games and automatically reward their game opponent with a 10 point advantage at the start of the game. Teams who exceed 3 games of non-compliant kit infringement will forfeit games by a score of 20-0 for each subsequent game. Undergarments that are visible such as T-shirts are not permitted (unless it is part of the uniform, and the same colour as the playing vest and worn by the whole team). The league makes exceptions for supportive compression shirts, shorts or ‘tights’ or additional garments worn for religious purposes. All Jewellery must be removed prior to the start of the game. There may be situations where jewellery and adornments cannot be removed. Please ensure that these situations are brought to the attention of the League Commissioner or lead game official prior to tip off. The Commissioner and Officials will then decide if the jewellery or adornment can be worn if properly covered up. The Commissioner/Officials decision is final.

  20. Disqualifications. In the unlikely event of a player being disqualified from a game other than for a 5th foul violation, the offending player will be automatically suspended from his/her next match. The suspension will take effect from the next match. In the event of a coach disqualification, the coach is suspended for 1 game and fined £25. The suspension will take effect from the next match. Coaches will not be permitted to coach any more games until the fine is paid in full. Players or coaches who are disqualified for disciplinary reasons 3 times within any single CBL season are automatically barred from participating in any CBL competitions for the remainder of the season. The league reserves the right to refuse future entry to barred players if no remorse or behaviour change is exhibited by the offending player or coach. Teams wanting to make an appeal against a suspension must make their appeal in writing within 24 hours to The league will review any appeal with a minimum of 3 committee members. Upon review, any subsequent decision of the review committee is final. Any appeal must be accompanied by an appeal fee of £50. The fee is refundable if the decision is overturned by the committee. If the decision is upheld no refund will be due.

Hereafter, all Basketball England rules apply.




The Community Basketball League (CBL) is the most coveted grassroots basketball competition in London with over 2,000 registered players representing North, East, West, and South London. Our league provides organised competitions and playing opportunities for a wide range of abilities from early-stage beginners through to the future stars of our game!  We strive to drive excitement and character-building playing experiences for young people across our league, while promoting the values of positive sports competition so our players develop lifelong healthy habits and an appreciation and love of the game. 


The London School of Basketball (LSB) is London's biggest and most exciting basketball development organisation, who focus on teaching the game from the grassroots up. The LSB specialise in basketball coaching for players of all abilities through a quality-assured, expansive network of qualified coaches and clubs throughout the capital. We also facilitate educational programs and competitions to develop new and improved coaches, stronger clubs and remain committed to creating more opportunities for young Londoners to LEARN, PLAY, DEVELOP & PROGRESS within the game, all across the city.

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