3-on-3 Basketball Rules

Any intramural policies not mentioned here may be found in the Intramural Handbook. Unless specifically mentioned below, 3-on-3 basketball play is governed by NFHS basketball rules. By participating in Intramural Sports, the participant agrees to abide by all Intramural rules and policies.

You may suffer physical and/or mental injury from participating in Intramural Sports. There are certain risks of injury that are inherent to participation in sports and recreational activities. These types of injuries may be minor or serious and may result from the actions or inactions of themselves or others. By choosing to participate in Intramural Sports, you do so at your own risk. It is understood that most activities require a certain level of fitness and health, and that each person has a different capacity for participating in these activities. Participants of Intramural Sports are highly encouraged to have a physical examination and procure health insurance prior to play. UC Campus Recreation does not provide health insurance.

Intramural Supervisors undergo concussion recognition training. In the instance a participant is exhibiting any signs or symptoms of a concussion as a result of a head injury sustained during intramural play, he or she will be removed from the activity. This individual must provide a physician’s note clearing the individual to play by a specific date. This note may be e-mailed to intramural@uc.edu or faxed to 513-556-0601.

In order to qualify for playoffs, teams must obtain a 3.0 or higher sportsmanship average during the regular season.

Sportmanship Rating
Score Player & Team Behavior   Penalty
4.0 Always respectful to officials and opposing team.
No complaining or arguing.
No unsportsmanlike penalties.
3.0 Usually respectful to officials and opposing team.
Minimal arguing or complaining about officials.
Maximum one (1) unsportsmanlike penalty.
2.0 Moderately disrespectful to officials and/or opposing team.
Moderate arguing or complaints about officials.
Multiple unsportsmanlike penalties OR Maximum one (1) ejected player
1.0 Frequently disrespectful to officials and/or opposing team.
Frequent arguing or complaints about officials.
Any contact or provocation of officials.
Multiple ejected players or one (1) player involved in a fight.
0.0 Player(s) out of control.
Excessively disrespectful to officials and/or opposing team.
Excessive arguing or complaints about officials.*
Multiple players involved in a fight. Destruction or abuse of property.

* A team that receives a "0" rating will be suspended from competition until its captain meets with the Assistant Director or Coordinator of Intramural Sports. The team may be removed from competition.


To be eligible for intramural sports, each player must possess an active membership to the University of Cincinnati Campus Recreation Center AND be a current University of Cincinnati student (enrolled in at least one (1) credit hour), faculty, or staff member.


Participants may participate on one (1) mixed gender and one (1) non-mixed gender team (i.e. men's, women's, open, Fraternity, Sorority) per sport, per season. Substituting for another team in the same league is prohibited.

3.3 Varsity and Club Sport Rules


Competitive club sport players and former varsity athletes may not participate on an intramural B (recreational) league team in the same or a similar sport as their club/varsity sport.


For sports with five (5) or more players on the playing field at one time, a team is limited to two (2) competitive club sport participants (in the same or similar sport) on its’ roster.


For sports with four (4) or less players on the playing field at one time, a team is limited to one (1) competitive club sport participant (in the same or similar sport) on its’ roster.


Current varsity athletes are not allowed to play on an intramural team of the same or a similar sport as their varsity sport.


Former varsity athletes must sit out 365 days from last appearing on a varsity roster to be eligible to play in the same or similar sport as their varsity sport. Teams are allowed one (1) former varsity athlete (in the same or similar sport) per roster.


Jewelry is prohibited across all intramural sports. This includes, but is not limited to, piercings, necklaces, rings, wrist fitness trackers, watches, and bracelets.


Medical jewelry is allowed but must be taped down.


Billed hats are prohibited in all sports except softball.


Athletic clothing and footwear is required. Prohibited items include, but is not limited to: jeans, cargo pants/shorts, skirts, loafers, open-toed shoes, and boots. Indoor sports require non-marking footwear. For outdoor field sports, detachable or metal cleats are prohibited.


Any casts, braces, or other protective equipment must be padded and secure.

4.5 Sport-Specific Considerations


Flag Football: Articles of clothing with pockets are prohibited (i.e. shorts or pants with pockets, hoodies with pockets, etc.). Pockets cannot be taped shut, zippered, or turned inside out.


Basketball: Mouth guards are highly recommended, but not provided.


Soccer and Futsal: Shin guards are highly recommended, but not provided.


Softball: Gloves are not provided. Bats supplied by teams must be ASA approved.


A team may have up to three (3) players on the court at once. A team may begin play with a minimum of two (2) players. If at any time a team is only able to field (1) one or less, the team will forfeit the game.


A third player may be added until the start of the second half.


A team may have up to six (6) players on its’ roster.


Mixed gender team requirements:

  • If playing with two players on the court, there can be no more than one player of a gender.
    • Legal examples
      • One male + one female
      • One female + one non-binary
    • Illegal examples
      • Two males
      • Two females
  • If playing with three players on the court, there can be no more than two players of a gender.
    • Legal examples
      • One male + two females
      • One male + one female + one non-binary
    • Illegal examples
      • Three males
      • Three females


Each player is required to wear a numbered jersey or t-shirt, which is not duplicated on her/his team, during the entire game. Teams are encouraged to provide their own jerseys or shirts. Numbers must be at least five (5) inches in height on the front and back of the shirt.


If both teams have similar color jerseys, the visiting team is required to wear the UC IM-issued jerseys.


Substitutions may enter the contest after during any dead ball, after a time-out, or halftime.


Substitutions must notify the closest official prior to entering the game.


A game consists of two (2) 18-minute halves. Halftime will be two (2) minutes.


The clock stops in the last minute of the second half for all fouls, violations, out-of-bounds, whistles, team time-outs, official time-outs, and injuries.


The clock will not stop in the last minute of the second half if a team is up by 20 points or more.


The winner of the coin toss will determine if his or her team will receive initial possession at the start of the first or second half.


Each team will receive three (3) 30-second timeouts per game.


Time-outs may only be requested by the team in possession of the ball or during a dead ball situation.


Only players on the court may request a time-out. Bench players and coaches may not request a time-out.


Field goals on or inside the arc are worth two (2) points. Field goals from outside the arc are worth three (3) points. Each free throw is worth one (1) point.


Dunking is only permitted in-game. A technical foul will be issued if a player dunks prior to the game, half-time, or during any break.


After scoring, the defensive team gains possession of the ball. The non-scoring team must check the ball in from the top of the check line (see Check Line in section 9).


The game shall be considered final if a team leads by 30 or more points in the last five (5) minutes of the second half or 20 or more points in the last two (2) minutes of the second half.


If regulation ends in a tie during the regular season, there will be no overtime.


If regulation ends in a tie during playoffs, a three (3) person free throw shootout will occur in the following manner:


Each team will select three (3) members of its’ team to shoot a free throw.

For coed teams, a team may not select three (3) members of the same gender.


A coin toss will be conducted. The winner will decide if his or her team will shoot first or second.


Each player will shoot one (1) free throw. Shots will alternate.


If the game is still tied after three (3) shots by each team, the shooting order will begin at the top and continue in sudden death format.


Intramural officials reserve the right to issue technical, flagrant, or intentional fouls and to immediately remove disruptive players, coaches, or spectators.


The division line (half-court line) and all other boundary lines shall be considered out-of bounds.


An out-of-bounds ball will be put in play at the spot after the defense has checked the ball.


A ball that goes out-of bounds at the division line (half-court line) shall be put into play on the nearest sideline.


The check line is the three-point arc.


The ball must be passed in after being checked.


A player may not dribble the ball in or shoot immediately after being checked.


The defense is not allowed to hold the ball prior to checking for longer than two seconds.


Deliberate stalling or attempts to freeze the ball by either team shall result in loss of possession.


A five (5) second stall count will begin once the ball has been checked.


On defensive rebounds or steals, the possessing player must travel beyond the check line with at least one foot prior to attempting to score.
Afterwards, the player with the ball may retain possession and attempt to score immediately.


A player must get both feet and ball beyond the arc for a legal check.


After a basket, the defensive team gains possession of the ball.


An offensive rebound may be immediately shot.


Jump balls shall result in a change of possession. The first jump ball will result in possession for the team who did not have possession to start the


The three-second rule shall apply to all offensive players.


Any personal foul shall result in loss of possession for the offending team.


Any player control foul shall result in disallowing a converted basket and loss of possession.


Before the bonus, any shooting foul with a missed basket shall result in retained possession.


Before the bonus, any shooting foul with a converted basket shall result in the basket being awarded and a change of possession.


The bonus will start on the seventh team foul in each half and will result in free throws following a foul.


All players except for the shooter must be outside the 3-point line during and after the free throw attempt.


After all free throws are attempted, the offending team will take possession.


The double bonus will start on the tenth team foul in each half.


A player will be disqualified upon committing his or her sixth personal foul or a second technical foul.


Both common fouls and technical fouls count against the personal foul limit.


Personal and technical fouls will be combined for the team foul total.