Rulebook Home > RULE NO 3: Players, Substitutes and Coaches
- Each team shall consist of five players. A player is disqualified from the game when he receives his sixth personal foul. No team may be reduced to less than five players. If a player in the game receives his sixth personal foul and all substitutes have already been dis-qualified, said player shall remain in the game and shall be charged with a personal and team foul. A technical foul also shall be assessed against his team. All subsequent personal fouls, including offensive fouls, shall be treated similarly. All players who have six or more personal fouls and remain in the game shall be treated similarly.
- In the event that there are only five eligible players remaining and one of these players is injured and must leave the game or is ejected, he must be replaced by the last player who was disqualified by reason of receiving six personal fouls. Each subsequent requirement to replace an injured or ejected player will be treated in this inverse order. Any such re- entry into a game by a disqualified player shall be penalized by a technical foul.
- In the event that a player leaves the playing court while the ball is in play, play will continue until the next stoppage of play and the player will be replaced if he is not ready to return. No technical foul will be assessed, but the incident will be reviewed by the league office for a possible fine and/or suspension.
- EXCEPTION: Rule 10—Section XV
Section II—Starting Line-Ups
At least 30 minutes before the game is scheduled to begin, the scorers shall be supplied with the name and number of each player who will start the game. Failure to comply with this provision shall be reported to the League Office.
Section III—The Captain
- A team may have a captain and a co-captain numbering a maximum of two. The designated captain may be anyone on the active list who is in uniform, except a player-coach.
- The designated captain is the only player who may ask an official about a rule interpretation during a timeout charged to his team. He may not discuss a judgment decision.
- If the designated captain continues to sit on the bench, he remains the captain for the entire game.
- In the event that the captain is absent from the court and bench, his coach shall immediately designate a new captain.
Section IV—The Coach and Others
- The coach’s position may be on or off the bench from the substitution box line (closest to the coach’s bench) to the baseline. A coach is not permitted to cross the midcourt line and violators will be assessed an unsportsmanlike technical foul immediately. All assistants and trainers must remain on the bench. Coaches and trainers are not permitted to go to the scorer’s table, for any reason, except during a dead ball.
- A player-coach, if permitted under NBA regulations, will have no special privileges. He is to conduct himself in the same manner as any other player.
- Any club personnel not seated on the bench must conduct themselves in a manner that would reflect favorably on the dignity of the game and the officials. Violations by any of the personnel indicated shall require a written report to the League Office for subsequent action.
- The bench shall be occupied only by a league-approved head coach, a maximum of three assistant coaches, players and trainer. During an altercation, the head and assistant coaches are permitted on the court as ‘peacemakers.
- If a player, coach or assistant coach is suspended from a game or games, he shall not at any time before, during or after such game or games appear in any part of the arena or stands where his team is playing. A player, coach or assistant coach who is ejected may only remain in the dressing room of his team during the remainder of the game, or leave the building. A violation of this rule shall call for an automatic fine of $2000.
- A substitute shall report to the scorer and position himself in the vicinity of the 8’ Substitution Box located in front of the scorer’s table. For purposes of this rule, the vicinity of the 8’ Substitution Box means the area from between the 28’ hash mark closest to the bench of the player’s team and the midcourt line. He shall inform the scorer whom he is going to replace. The scorer shall sound the horn to indicate a substitution. The horn does not have to be sounded if the substitution occurs between periods or during timeouts.
- The substitute shall remain in the vicinity of the 8’ Substitution Box until he is beckoned onto the court by an official. If the ball is about to become live, the beckoning signal shall be withheld.
- A substitute must be ready to enter the game when beckoned. No delays for removal of warm-up clothing will be permitted.
- The substitute shall not replace a free throw shooter or a player involved in a jump ball unless dictated to do so by an injury or ejection. (EXCEPTION: Rule 6 -Section VI – b and Rule 9 -Section II – a – (2)) . At no time may he be allowed to attempt a free throw awarded as a result of a technical foul.
- A substitute shall be considered as being in the game when he is beckoned onto the court or recognized as being in the game by an official. Once a player is in the game, he can- not be removed until the ball is legally touched by a player on the court unless: (1) a personal or technical foul is called, (2) there is a change of possession, (3) a timeout is granted or (4) administration of infection control rule.
- A substitute may be recalled from the scorer’s table prior to being beckoned onto the court by an official.
- A player may be replaced and allowed to re-enter the game as a substitute during the same dead ball.
- A player must be in the vicinity of the 8’ Substitution box at the time a violation occurs if the throw-in is to be administered in the backcourt. If a substitute fails to meet this requirement, he may not enter the game until the next legal opportunity.
- EXCEPTION: In the last two minutes of each period or overtime, a reasonable amount of time will be allowed for a substitution.
- If a free throw(s) is awarded, substitutes are only permitted to enter the game prior to the final free throw attempt if the ball will remain in play or following the final free throw attempt if it will not remain in play unless necessitated by disqualification, injury, ejection or any other atypical situation.
- No substitutes may enter the game after a successful field goal by either team, unless the ball is dead due to a personal foul, technical foul, timeout, infection control or violation.
- No substitutes are allowed to enter the game during an official’s suspension-of-play for (1) a delay-of-game warning, (2) retrieving an errant ball, (3) an inadvertent whistle, (4) instant replay review or (5) any other unusual circumstance.
- Suspension of play for a player bleeding. See Comments on the Rules—N.
- Seriously-injured player. Player must be removed and opponent is permitted one substitution.
- A substitute shall not be allowed to re-enter the game after being disqualified. EXCEPTION: Rule 3—Section I—b.
- Notification of all above infractions and ensuing procedures shall be in accordance with Rule 2—Section VII.
Section VI—Uniforms (Players Jerseys)
- Each player shall be numbered on the front and back of his jersey with a number contrasting with the color of the
- Each number must be no less than ¾” in height on the front and 6” on the Each player shall have his surname affixed to the back of his game jersey in letters at least 2½” in height. Some exceptions to the front number height and surname may exist from time to time.
- The home team shall wear light color jerseys, and the visitors dark jerseys unless otherwise For neutral court games and doubleheaders, the second team named in the official schedule shall be regarded as the home team and shall wear the light colored jerseys.