Basketball Rules - 5v5

Any intramural policies not mentioned here may be found in the Intramural Handbook. Unless specifically mentioned below, 5-on-5 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 or faxed to 513-556-0601.


Following each game, teams will receive a sportsmanship rating between 0.0 and 4.0.


In order to qualify for playoffs, teams must obtain a 3.0 or higher sportsmanship average during the regular season based on the table below:

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.


In addition to team ratings, any unsportsmanlike actions may be forwarded to Judicial Affairs and may include but is not limited to revocation of Intramural Sports and/or Campus Recreation privileges.


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.


Uptown, full-time UC students receive a Campus Recreation membership through full payment of the Campus Life Fee. All other populations will need to purchase a membership in order to be eligible to play.


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.


Every game, each participant must check in with the intramural official with a valid Bearcat card


Intramural particpants must additionally meet all requirements of Section 3.4:


Teams are limited to two (2) competitive club sport participant (in the same or similar sport) on its roster.


Current varsity athletes and professional athletes are not allowed to play on an intramural team of the same or 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 not allowed during intramural play. This includes earrings, bracelets, necklaces, and fitness trackers, among other things.


Medical jewelry is allowed but must be taped down.


Headwear is not permitted during intramural play. This includes hats and bandannas among similar items.


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. 


Non-marking footwear is required to participate.


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


Mouth guards are recommended, but not provided.


Jerseys are available for use at the playing location. Teams are not required to bring their own.


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


Prior to registration close, a team must have at least five players confirmed on its IMLeagues roster. Teams that fail to do so may not be included in the league.


Once playoffs begin, players may not be added to the roster without direct approval of the Coordinator and/or Assistant Director of Intramurals.


Teams may have up to twenty (20) players on its roster.


No team shall participate with less than four (4) players at any time


If injuries or ejections cause a team to drop below minimum players required, the team may continue, as long as they started with the minimum number of players.


At the approval of the supervisor and opponent, teams may participate below the minimum number of players needed to start a game if deemed competitive by the staff and the opponent agrees to waive protest rights under Section 5.4


Mixed gender teams may not have more than three players of one gender on the court


Mixed gender teams must adhere to section 5.5 regardless of injury or ejection - even if it results in a short handed scenario


Teams are permitted one (1) checked-in coach on the bench. 


Substitutions may enter the contest during any dead ball. Subs must report to the score table and remain on a knee until beckoned in by an official on the court.


Entering the playing area prior to being beckoned may result in a technical foul and/or ejection.


The length of the game is two 20-minute halves. Halftime will be three minutes, time permitting


The clock stops in the last two minutes of the second half for all fouls, violations, officials/team time-outs, and injuries. [Exception: Section 7.1.2]


The clock will not stop in the last two minutes of the second half if a team is up by 15 points or more.


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


All checked-in players and coaches have the authority to call timeouts on behalf of their team. These timeouts can only be called by the team in possession or during a dead ball.


Teams that arrive late to games and/or are not ready with the minimum roster by start time will receive the following penalty:


1-4 minutes late = Other team starts up 4-0 and gets possession to begin both halves


5-9 minutes late = Other team starts up 8-0 and gets possession to begin both halves


10+ minutes late = Game is forfeited.


Teams that forfeit must pay a $20 non-refundable reinstatement fee prior to the end of the regular season to be eligible for playoff consideration [Refer to Section XII of the Intramural Handbook for more information]


In order to prevent forfeits, teams may also default once per season. Teams must give a minimum 48 hour notice of default to qualify by emailing [Refer to Section XII of the Intramural Handbook for more information]


There is no overtime during the regular season.


During playoffs, overtime will be a three-minute period with a stopped clock for all fouls, violations, officials/team time-outs, and injuries for the duration of the period.


Teams will be given one (1) full timeout for the duration of overtime regardless of how many timeouts were used/saved during regulation.


If a game is tied at the end of the first overtime, one (1) minute overtimes will be played until a winner is determined. There will be no timeouts during these overtime periods.


A tipoff will occur to start every game, including playoffs


Scoring shall be two's & three's as in traditional 5v5 Basketball


Each foul shot will be worth one (1) point.


Jump balls shall result in a change of possession in alternating fashion, with first jump ball being awarded to the team who did not start the game with possession


The three-second rule shall apply to all offensive players


Officials retain the power to impose a 8-second shot clock at their judgement of stalling at any point in the game


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


Mercy Rule – A game will be considered final if:


A team leads by 35+ at any point in the second half


A team leads by 30+ inside the final five (5) minutes of the second half


A team leads by 20+ inside the final two (2) minutes of the second half


Dunking is permitted in the game, however hanging on the rim unnecessarily during may result in a technical foul and/or ejection.


Bonus shall be formatted under all aspects of Section 10.2:


7+ Fouls in a half: 1-and-1


10+ Fouls in a half: Double Bonus


All players outside the 3-point line must be above the free-throw line extended during the free throw attempt(s)


Player control fouls do not result in bonus but do result in possession change


A player will be disqualified upon committing their fifth personal foul or second technical foul


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


All technical fouls will result in the non-offending team receiving two (2) free throws and possession.


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