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League Rules



There has been a significant update to the Rule concerning half-court zone and pressing for the 2015-2016 Season:  The GNBL has always had limitations in 5th and 6th grade meets on the use of zone defenses and pressing (both are permitted in 7th and 8th grade meets and entirely prohibited in 4th grade meets).  For 5th and 6th grade meets the Rules on zones and presses remain relatively unchanged for 2015-2016.  For 5th grade teams, this means that teams are allowed to press in the fourth quarter and are not allowed to use half-court zone defenses at any time.  For 6th grade teams, pressing is allowed in the second half (third and fourth quarters) and half-court zone defenses are not allowed at any time. 


In past seasons, 5th and 6th grade teams were able to designate their interest in possibly having the option of playing a zone or pressing for the entire game, which was to result in a discussion between the two coaches and if both agreed, a conversation with the referees.  This didn’t work well in game situations, because too often one of the coaches changed their mind about playing these defenses, or didn’t fully understand the question on the Team Playing Date Preference Form (in some cases, this question was answered by someone other than the actual head coach of the team).  As a result, for the 2015-2016 season, we are making two important adjustments to these Rules:


  • We are getting rid of the zone/press designation at the time of registration.  Instead, in every game the coaches of the two teams will have the option of discussing the use of either or both of these defenses being used for the entire game (rather than pressing only in the fourth quarter and no half-court zones) and will communicate that decision to the referees.  That decision must be made before the game begins and will remain in place throughout the entire game, even if one or both team’s coaches change their mind during play.


  • In past seasons, the majority of coaches conscientiously followed the rules on the limitation of zones and presses; however, a handful would blatantly violate the rule and tell the opposing coaches or referees who confronted them that the League wouldn’t do anything about it.  While we have kicked some coaches and teams out of the League in past seasons, we did require multiple complaints about the same team before we took action.  Often we couldn’t act because the vast majority of opposing coaches didn’t file a complaint with the League.


In 2015-2016, when we receive the first complaint concerning a coach/team violating the rule prohibiting half-court zones or pressing beyond the fourth quarter of a game, the coach complained about will receive one warning.  Depending on that coach’s attitude and team’s future conduct in games, the coach and/or team will be removed from the League for the remainder of the 2015-2016 season, and possibly future seasons if he/she continues to violate these Rules.


It is, therefore, critical that coaches who feel an opposing coach is using a press or zone at a time they were prohibited from doing so, file a complaint by the Monday following the meet (not during the game).  We will then call the other teams that played the accused team at the meet for their input as well.  If opposing coaches do this, the violators will stop what they were doing – either because they are now following the Rules, or because they have been removed from the League.  (See Appendix 4 of the Rules for how to expose a team playing a zone.)