HOUSE LEAGUE PARTICIPATION RULES
It is a basic premise in VYI Basketball that teams with more players are inherently weaker than teams with fewer players, assuming all draft choices are present at a game. This is because the lower draft choices on one team will have to play against higher draft choices on the other team at some point in the game, thereby giving an advantage.
For 1st thru third graders, the participation rule remains the same as always, that there must be equal playing time for all participants. The best way to do that is to require the kids to play uninterrupted quarters. Since most teams in our Development League should have ten players this rule polices itself.
However, in the new age with lesser numbers of gyms and larger teams in our leagues at higher age levels, when a team with fewer players plays a team with more players in any of our leagues, the old rules break down and we must impose new rules. The new rules now pertain to any team with fewer players present at a game then the team they are playing against.
MANDATORY PARTICIPATION RULE
It is a tried and true rule that ALL PLAYERS MUST PLAY ONE UNINTERRUPTED QUARTER EACH HALF. Anyone violating that rule is in clear violation of the VYI Participation Rules and is subject to forfeit and other penalties when this is appropriately reported.
In situations where both teams have the same number of players, the ONE UNINTERRUPTED QUARTER PER HALF rule applies, but after that rule is satisfied the coach may choose to play his players as he wishes, to maximize the potential of his team. This rule is applied in all leagues (including the ninth grade boys league), except the high school boys and girls leagues, where coaches are given more leeway to play their players as they see fit. We continue to mandate the ONE UNINTERRUPTED QUARTER PER HALF rule as a minimum requirement at all age levels during the full season.
RULE VARIATION FOR DIFFERENT NUMBERS OF PLAYERS
Every registered player who is available at the time of the game must play one uninterrupted quarter per half. There are no exceptions to this rule even if teams are not evenly divided at the start of the game. Every coach has the right, within the strict confines of this rule, to play their best players as much as they can.
"No one plays in four quarters until all players have played three full quarters." A ten player team, by virtue of the rule above, must play each player an equal amount of time in a game. To balance the game, when a ten player team is playing against a nine player, or even an eight player team, VYI Basketball strongly recommends to the commissioner, but it is not mandatory, that NO PLAYER ON A TEAM WITH FEWER PLAYERS PRESENT FOR A GAME MAY PLAY FOUR QUARTERS UNTIL EVERY PLAYER PLAYS THREE FULL QUARTERS. This minimizes the playing time of the top draft choices, usually the dominant players, in a situation where he/she may be playing against a lower round draft choice. This supports the basic participation rule and does not allow a coach to guess at playing time or move players in and out of the game until the rule is completely satisfied.
In any event, coaches at the 8th grade girls level and below and 9th grade boys levels and below, who say they can control playing time in their heads and they don't have to play kids one uninterrupted quarter to make playing time equal, are not to be tolerated. (The coach must teach that player in foul trouble to play with more finesse, and not simply take them out of the game). Referees have been asked to notify the league office of any instance of failure to abide by this rule, but they will not stop the game. It is still the opposing coaches responsibility to report these violations and to ask the commissioner for a forfeit when this rules violation blatantly occurs.
If reported to the commissioner or league office by a referee or parent, the offending coach will be contacted by the league commissioner to make sure this does not happen again. If after counseling, the same coach repeats the violation further action will be taken against the coach to include possible suspension from the league. If reported by an opposing coach, referee or parent to the commissioner, the commissioner must warn the offending coach on the first occasion and impose appropriate penalties if it occurs again.
RULE VARIATION FOR INJURIES
If an injury occurs in the first half of the game and the player has not yet played a full uninterupted quarter, the injured player must re-enter the game at the next dead ball if the player is able to continue play. If the injured player does not return during the first half, the injured player is able to play he or she must play a full uninterupted quarter in the second half.
If an injury occurs in the second half of the game, the player should also return to the game at the next dead ball if the player is able to continue to play.
VYI believes that coaches should take injuries seriously and does not want kids playing hurt. Unfortunately, there have been times when a player left a game with a minor injury and after a brief time on the bench could have returned to the court, yet a coach kept the player out of the remainder of the game. Players should return to the game as soon as possible if they are able to play. Minor injuries must not be used as a reason to keep less-skilled player from playing.
If an opposing coach identifies that a coach is not following the participation rule in the post season, when games mean "one and done", then the coach must approach the referee immediately at the next game stoppage or time out and the situation must be brought to the attention of the referee and opposing coach. If the coach does not correct the situation or violates the rule again during the game, and the violation is reported to the league commissioner, the game may be declared a forfeit. Any playoff game in which a violation of a participation rule has occurred, and is reported during the game, is subject to league review and forfeiture.