Playing Rules

Updated June 1, 2023
General Rules

Florida State University does not provide accident insurance coverage for injuries received by Intramural Sports participants. Each participant should make sure that they have coverage either through family policies or the student insurance plan.

Florida State University PROHIBITS possession or consumption of alcoholic beverages on University property. Smoking and the use of smokeless tobacco is also prohibited at Campus Recreation facilities. This includes the Rec SportsPlex, Main Campus Fields, Westside Courts, and Tully Gym. Violators will be asked to leave the area. Failure to do so can result in forfeiture of the contest, suspension of individuals and/or teams, and appropriate action by the Office of Student Conduct & Community Standards and/or the FSU Police.

Sport Rules

Current National Federation (High School) Basketball Rules will govern 5-on-5 play with the following modifications.


1. Participation is limited to currently-enrolled, fee-paying FSU students, faculty members, and full-time staff. FAMU & TCC students and members of the community are not eligible.

2. In order to participate in an intramural contest, each player must present their current, valid FSUCard. Check-in takes place at designated sign-in locations at the facility, not at the fields or courtside.

3. Additional information regarding player eligibility, team rosters, and participant check-in is available in the Seven Principles of Intramural Sports, available online at the FSU Intramural Sports web site and in the Intramural Sports Office in 1035 Tully Gym. Requests for exceptions to any policy must be directed to the IM administrative staff during regular weekday business hours in the Intramural Sports Office. No exceptions are granted at the fields or courts.


1. Players can compete on one men’s or women’s team, regardless of league or division classification.

2. Each team consists of five (5) players, one of whom is captain. Only the captain may address an official on matters of interpretation or to obtain essential information if it is done in a courteous manner.

3. Four (4) players must be present for a game to begin. Players who arrive late may be added to the roster and may enter the game during a dead-ball period when the official summons them to come on the court.

(Co-Rec) For Co-Rec play, each team will consist of five players: three females and two males. Substitutions are allowed on a male-for-male and female-for-female basis only. A team may begin with 4 players: two males and two females. These 2 combinations are the only combinations allowed for playing a co-rec game.

4 . Substitute players reporting into the game should move along the sideline of the court to the scorer’s table. Substitutions are not to be made until acknowledged by one of the officials during a dead ball. Subs must wait by the scorer’s table until summoned to come on the court.

5 . The benches for the players will be on opposite ends of the court. Teams shall warm up and shoot at the end of the court farthest from their own bench for the first half. All spectators must be positioned near or seated in the bleachers on the endlines.


1. All players must wear similar colored numbered jerseys or numbered pinnies. Pinnies are available at the court for each team. Players must wear an undershirt prior to putting on their pinny for the duration of the game. Inappropriate removal of player jerseys during a game can result in a technical foul and a reduction of a team’s sporting behavior rating.

2. Appropriate gym footwear must be worn. Sandals and cleats are not appropriate for basketball.

3. No participants may wear caps or do-rags while playing.

4. Each team is responsible for supplying their own ball for warm-up. Basketballs are available for check-out from the sign-in attendant in the Tully Gym lobby. The game ball will be chosen from the warm-up balls. The referee shall be the sole judge of the legality of the ball and shall select the best ball available. The game ball can not be used by either team during warm-ups or half-time.

5. (Co-Rec) A women’s basketball will be used for co-rec play unless both captains agree prior to the start of the game that a men’s size basketball be used. The same size basketball will be used throughout the game (no changes will be permitted during the game).

6. Jewelry, casts, or any items deemed dangerous by the official MAY NOT BE WORN during the game. This jewelry consists of any visible rings (including wedding bands), watches, necklaces, earrings, studs, bracelets, and any other such similar jewelry. Medical alert bracelets must be taped to the body or secured under clothing such as a wristband or sock to be worn during play. Each team will receive only one warning without penalty. Following the warning, any player from a warned team in the game found to be wearing prohibited equipment (jewelry, cap, etc) will be assessed a technical foul. The opposing team will shoot two free throws and be awarded the ball at midcourt for a throw-in.


1. Game time is forfeit time.

2. Games shall consist of four quarters of eight minutes each with intermissions of one minute after the first and third quarters. The time between halves will be left to the discretion of the game officials/supervisors but shall not exceed three minutes. No shot clock shall be used.

(30 at 4 Mercy Rule) If a team is leading by 30 points or more at the 4:00 mark of the 4th quarter, or a team attains a lead of 30 points or more during the final 4 minutes of the game, the game will end.

3. Intramural basketball games will use a running clock which means the clock will not stop during play, except for timeouts. The clock continues to run on fouls, violations, free throws, and out-of-bounds situations. After a timeout, the clock will start when the ball is touched inbounds, or becomes alive on a free throw attempt (passed to the free throw shooter); if the free throw attempt is unsuccessful time starts when the ball touches or is touched by another player. If the free throw is successful, then play is resumed by a throw-in when the ball touches or is legally touched by a player on the court after it is released by the thrower). The clock will stop and start as in high school basketball during the last two minutes of the game (4th quarter only). The clock continues to run after a made basket.

(20 at 2 Clock Rule) A running clock will be used during the final 2 minutes of the 4th quarter if a team is leading by at least 20 points.

4. Each team receives three (3) timeouts per game. All timeouts are 1 minute in length. Only those players in the game may call a timeout. Substitutes and coaches may not call timeouts.

5. Regular season games can end in a tie.

6. Playoff games that are tied at the end of regulation will proceed to an overtime period.
1. There will be a two-minute overtime with the clock stoppage signaled by the officials whistle during violations, out of bounds and fouls throughout the overtime period.
2. A jump ball at center court will be used to start each overtime period. Teams will continue to shoot at the same basket as in the second half.
3. All timeouts and fouls will carry over from the second half and each overtime period. Each team receives an additional timeout for each overtime period.
4. If a second or subsequent overtimes are necessary, the same format will be used until a winner is determined.


1. Two point field goals and three point field goals will be used.

2. A jump ball will occur only at the beginning of the game and any overtime periods. The team not gaining possession on the initial jump ball will be awarded the ball when the next held ball situation arises. Thereafter on held balls and to begin the 2nd half, teams will alternate possession.

(Co-Rec) Female players will participate in the jump ball in a co-rec game.

3. Dunking is prohibited at all times in all leagues.
(a) Any shot in which the shooter touches the rim with their hand or arm shall constitute a dunk attempt. For any dunk attempt, the violator shall be charged with a technical foul (blatant violations will also result in ejection). The opposing team will receive two free throw attempts and possession of the ball at midcourt for a throw-in. Points for a successful dunk will not be scored.
(b) Grasping of the rim by a player of either team shall also result in a technical foul assessed to the violating player. Blatant violations will also result in ejection.

4. (Co-Rec Modification) The following rule modification applies to all teams in the Co-Rec Recreational division. Teams participating in a Co-Rec Competitive division will not have any rule modifications applied.
A male player may not attempt to block a female player’s shot; however a male who is standing flat-footed with his arms strait in the air is NOT considered to be attempting a block.
For the purposes of this rule, a male player is considered to be blocking a female player’s shot when:
(a) a male player’s arms are in a swinging motion toward a female shooter, or
(b) a male player positions himself in such a way that, in the official’s opinion, any part of his body intentionally disrupts a female player’s shot.

A violation will be called when a female player takes a legitimate shot attempt and that ball contacts the male player’s arms or other part of his body when illegally positioned as described above. A violation can still be called even if there is no contact with the ball and male player as long as it matches the criteria listed in (a) and (b). A violation results in automatic points (2 or 3 points, depending on the location of the shot attempt) for the offended team and possession for the defense via a spot throw-in nearest to where the violation occurred. There are no restrictions on female players guarding or blocking the shots of male players. There are no restrictions on male players guarding female players.


1. Violations include traveling, double dribble, carrying / palming the ball, intentionally kicking the ball with the leg, excessively elbow swinging (without contact), five-second closely guarded count in the frontcourt, ten seconds in the backcourt, three seconds in the lane, basket interference, and goaltending.

2. After any violation, the ball is awarded out of bounds for a throw-in at the spot nearest to where the violation occurred. Two or three points are also awarded on goaltending depending on the position of the shooter at the time of the shot.

3. After any called time-out, the ball is awarded out of bounds for a throw-in at the spot nearest where the ball was on the court at the time the time-out was called.

4. The throw-in count ends when the ball is released by the thrower. It is a violation if the thrower does not release the ball within 5 seconds.


1. A personal foul is a player foul which involves illegal contact with an opponent while the ball is live, which hinders the opponent from performing normal offensive or defensive movements. A personal foul also includes contact by or on an airborne shooter when the ball is dead. Illegal use of the hands, holding, illegal blocking, illegal screening, pushing, and charging are examples of personal fouls.
A. Hand checking is not permitted in intramural basketball. The penalty is a personal foul (illegal use of the hands or arms).

2. A player control foul occurs when a personal foul is committed by a player in possession of the ball or while in flight as an airborne shooter. A team control foul occurs when a person on the team in control of the ball commits a personal foul. There are no free throws for the offended team following a player or team control foul. Additionally, no basket will be scored when an airborne shooter is charged with a player control foul or if a team control foul occurs prior to the ball leaving the shooter’s hands.

3. After a non-shooting foul (common foul before the bonus or any player/team control foul), the ball is awarded out of bounds for a throw-in at the spot nearest where the foul occurred.
(a) Simultaneous personal fouls, double fouls, and double technical fouls against opposing players (1 against a player from each team) result in no free throws for either team and a spot throw-in for the team in possession at the time of the fouls. If neither team is in possession (after a missed shot), alternating possession will determine the team to throw-in the ball.

4 . Fouls against the shooter will be shot throughout the game. Except in the final two minutes of the 2nd half and any overtime, the clock will not stop during free throw attempts.
(a) An airborne shooter who is fouled by an opponent while in the air, but after the ball is released on a try, is considered to be in the act of shooting until both of the airborne shooter’s feet return to the floor.

5. Bonus free throws are awarded to the offended team following common non-shooting personal fouls on and after the 7th team foul of the half. No bonus free throws are shot following a player control foul or a team control foul.
(a) For 7th, 8th, and 9th team fouls committed in the half, the shooter will shoot the bonus (1-and-1).
(b) For team fouls 10 and above, two shots will be awarded to the shooter for any common, non-player control foul.

6. During free throw attempts, a maximum of six (6) players are permitted to line up along the lane for rebounding.
(a) a maximum of four (4) defensive players and two (2) offensive players.
(b) The bottom spaces (below the block) will remain vacant at all times.
(c) The defense must occupy the first space on each side above the block. Players may NOT position themselves on the block separating the lane spaces.
(d) The offense has the option to occupy the next lane space on each side.
(e) The defense has the option to occupy the top lane space (closest to the shooter) on each side.
(f) Players shall be permitted to move along and across the lane to occupy a vacant marked lane space within the limitations listed in this rule.
(g) A player, other than the free thrower, who does not occupy a marked lane space, may not have either foot beyond the vertical plane of the free throw line extended and the three-point line which is farther from the basket until the ball touches the ring or backboard or until the free throw ends.
(h) A player occupying a marked lane space may not break the vertical plane of the outside edge of any lane boundary until the ball is released.
(i) The ball becomes live when it is placed at the disposal of the free thrower.
(j) The free thrower shall not fake a try.
(k) No opponent shall distract the free thrower
(l)The free thrower shall not have either foot beyond the vertical plane of the edge of the free-throw line which is farther from the basket or the free-throw semicircle line until the ball touches the ring or until the free throw ends.


1. An intentional foul at any time during the game results in two free throws and possession of the ball out-of-bounds at the spot nearest to where the foul occurred. Two free throws are awarded regardless of if a basket is scored on the play.

2. A technical foul at any time during the game results in two free throws and loss of possession. The opposing team will receive a throw-in at mid-court opposite to the scorers table. Upon the 2nd technical foul charged to an offender, that same person is ejected from the game. If one team receives 4 unsporting technical fouls in a game, the game will be ended and declared a forfeit.
(a) Simultaneous technical fouls against opposing players (1 against a player from each team) result in no free throws for either team and a throw-in at midcourt for the team to be awarded the next alternating possession.
(b) Unrelated technical fouls against opposing teams (1 against a player from each team not in the same incident) result in penalties assessed in order of occurrence with free throws shot for each foul.

3. Any profanity or degrading of the officials will result in a technical foul. Continued verbal harassment will result in a 2nd technical foul and expulsion from the game. Anyone expelled from a game must leave the facility. Failure to comply results in forfeiture of the game.

4. Anyone who directs any form of verbal threat at either IM personnel or other participants will be charged with a flagrant technical foul and expelled from the game.

5. Altercations involving two or more players will result in flagrant technical fouls.
(a) The offending players will be expelled from the game.
(b) They must meet with the appropriate Intramural staff member before they may participate again.
(b) Outright fighting will result in expulsion and suspension from further Intramural participation for one year and charges may be filed with the University Judicial Office and Campus Police.

6. All unsporting and contact technical fouls count toward a player’s five fouls for disqualification and toward team fouls in reaching bonus free-throw situations.

7. Ejected players must leave the game site and may not return for the remainder of the night.


1. The mission of Intramural Sports is to provide a recreational environment for the University community which is safe and enjoyable. While the game atmosphere is often competitive, ensuring participant safety, providing a fun, social atmosphere, and promoting sporting behavior among participants, spectators, and team followers are our primary concerns. The game atmosphere should remain good-natured at all times. Participants shall maintain good sporting behavior throughout their participation in all facets of the intramural program.

2. The Sporting Behavior Rating System is intended to be an objective scale by which teams’ attitude and behavior can be assessed throughout the intramural sports league and playoff seasons. Behavior before, during, and after an intramural sports contest is included in the rating. The team captain is responsible for educating and informing all players and spectators affiliated with their team about the system.

3. A team is responsible for the actions of the individual team members and spectators related to it. Additionally, FSU Intramural Sports does not recognize the use of coaches. Only the team captain shall speak to the officials regarding administrative matters (protests, ejections, disqualifications, etc). Furthermore, the team captain’s efforts in assisting officials/staff to calm difficult situations and to restrain troubled teammates are key to controlling team conduct.

4. Sporting behavior is vital to the conduct of every Intramural contest. In order to encourage proper conduct during games, officials, administrative personnel, and supervisors shall make decisions on whether to warn, penalize or eject players or teams for poor behavior. These decisions are final. The Intramural Sports administrative staff will rule on further penalties as a result of unsporting conduct.

5. Each participant should choose their team members carefully, as all team members will suffer the consequences of any disciplinary action taken by the Intramural Sports staff against that team for violation of the intramural rules and sporting behavior guidelines. Protests or appeals of sporting behavior ratings will not be recognized. The Intramural Sports administrative staff reserves the right to review any rating given to a team.

6. Additional information regarding team and participant sporting behavior including the rating method, factors, and scale is available in the Sporting Behavior Principle of the Seven Principles of Intramural Sports, available online at the FSU Campus Recreation web site.