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Huntsville American League

Huntsville American League



To provide professional assistance and guidance to our youth participating in the sport of basketball, in order to promote fair play, fun, and good wholesome sportsmanship while producing better citizens within our communities in the City of Huntsville.


The purpose of the City of Huntsville Parks and Recreation Department Basketball program is to provide a quality youth basketball program for boys and girls ages 5 through 17. Our program places emphasis on the development of basketball skills, building character, promoting positive self-esteem, participation and sportsmanship.

Players must meet the following criteria to participate in the City of Huntsville Parks & Recreation Department’s Basketball Program:

AGE GROUPS (Boys and Girls): 6U, 8U, 10U, 12U, 14U, 17U

CUT OFF AGE CONTROL DATE: Players age prior to
September 1st of current calendar year (2020).

A State Certified or County Certified Birth Certificate must be attached to rosters before the player is eligible. THIS ONLY NEEDS TO BE DONE IF THEY DO NOT HAVE A PLAYER ID NUMBER IN THE CITY’S DATABASE.

• A player participating in an interscholastic program (competition between schools) is not eligible to participate. This means any player that has appeared on the roster, has dressed for any school game or has resigned/placed off the team.

• No player will be allowed to participate on multiple teams sanctioned by ARPA within the same season. This applies to Huntsville area and surrounding affiliates.

• Line-up cards will be pre-printed and given to the scorekeeper prior to game time. No player’s name can appear on the line- up card without player ID information; which references a player’s date of birth, valid address and birth certificate number. Players whose names do not appear on the official line-up card will not be permitted to play.

• It is the coaches’ responsibility to view the line-up card, check the starting line-up, and initial the official line-up card prior to game time. NO WRITE-INS ALLOWED!

• The Parks & Recreation Department has the authority to refuse participation to any player who does not meet the above qualifications.
The City of Huntsville Parks & Recreation Department encourages players to participate in their age appropriate division. However, parents may elect to have their child play in an older age group based on ability, maturity and experience. Be advised that once a child has played on a team in an older division they cannot return to their normal age group.

Players must remain in the same age division through all levels of youth basketball competition (as stated in ARPA guidelines for post-season tournament player eligibility.)


All coaches/bench personnel must submit a City of Huntsville Volunteer Application and be approved through HPD’s background verification process as well as completing all other required certifications.

Head coaches are responsible for conduct of assistant coaches, players and spectators. All coaches must be approved by the leagues Basketball Director and Board Members, and approved through the City of Huntsville Parks and Recreation Department Volunteer Application Form, prior to being permitted to work with the players. One (1) head coach, one (1) assistant, and one (1) bookkeeper are allowed on the bench during the game.

In 17U the head coach must be a parent/guardian of one of the players or he/she must be at least 25 years of age.

The City of Huntsville reserves the right to disqualify any potential volunteer.

• The Parks & Recreation Department shall set boundaries for the youth basketball league.

• Team rosters will consist of no less than seven players and no more than ten players. A team is required to have FOUR players present at a game to start the game.

• Each player must be in a legal numbered uniform. Illegal numbers are any numbers with a 6, 7, 8 or 9 in it.

• League Directors must verify date of birth and proper boundary for all players and turn in team rosters to their designated Zone Coordinator before December 7, 2020 for regular season play.

• No roster modifications after January 8, 2021.

• All players registering with a change of address must submit proof of residence (utility bill, lease, etc.) to your Zone Coordinator.

• Three (3) proofs of residence will be required for post season and rostered ARPA all-star tournament players.

• ALL LEAGUES MUST HOLD A DRAFT EACH YEAR TO FORM TEAMS. Each league will be able to use their own procedure to form        recreational teams as long as the teams are balanced by age and by player talent. No team will be allowed to move from age group to age group intact.
Each league will be required to submit, in writing, its team formation guidelines to be approved by the Zone Coordinator.


BENCH PERSONNEL shall consist of no more than - ten (10) players, two (2) coaches and one (1) bookkeeper.
Note: All bench personnel must have completed all requirements set forth by COHPAR and the State of Alabama to be eligible to coach, bookkeep, etc...

TIME OUTS: Three (3) full time outs and two (2) 20-second time outs PER GAME will be in effect.

Boys & Girls – 6U Junior (250/27/27.5) 8 FT 11FT
Boys & Girls – 8U Junior (250/27/27.5) 9 FT 13FT
Girls – 10U Intermediate (28.5)    10 FT    13FT
Boys – 10U Intermediate (28.5) 10 FT 15FT
Girls – 12U, 14U, 17U Intermediate (28.5) 10 FT 15FT
Boys – 12U, 14U, 17U  Official (29.5) 10 FT    15FT

Note: The free throw line will be set at a distance of 11 feet for 6U (4 feet less than regulation), 13 feet (2 feet less than regulation) in the boys and girls 8U and girls 10U divisions.

6U & 8U divisions will use the junior size ball. The 10U boys and all girls divisions will use the intermediate or “women’s” ball. All others will use an “official” or regulation size basketball.

*Leagues must provide a minimum of two (2) officials per game for all age groups. Exception: 6 and under.

8-minute quarters on a running clock (substitutions made at the 4 minute mark.) Clock stops for timeouts and injuries only.

8U, 10U, 12U, 14U
6-minute quarters (substitutions made at the 3 minute mark,) otherwise the clock operates per AHSAA regulation basketball rules.

20 minute halves on a running clock (no minimum play requirement.) Clock stops for timeouts and injuries only. EXCEPTION - The game clock will operate per AHSAA rules for the LAST MINUTE of the 1st and 2nd halves.

During the first three quarters of the game, substitutions will be made at the midpoint of the quarter.

At exactly the midpoint of the quarter, the horn will sound to stop play at which time all substitutes must enter the game. This is not a time-out. Any basket made at the substitution buzzer will be allowed. During the fourth quarter, substitutions may be made at the discretion of the coach.
Any starter (game/quarter) that has fulfilled his minimum play rule requirement may reenter the game during that quarter for any other starter that has fulfilled their minimum play requirement. A starter may not reenter the game for a substitute that has not met his minimum play requirement, unless the substitute has an injury.

The team having possession of the ball at the substitution break will retain possession when play is resumed with a free inbound pass at mid -court.

Will be observed for all levels of play. “At any time during the fourth period of any basketball contest where one team gains a 30 point advantage, the timing rules will be set aside for the remainder of the contest and a “continuous clock” will be used. When the use of the “continuous clock” begins, the clock will be stopped for time-outs or injured participants only. This rule will not be reversed regardless of
the point differential.”

No player will be allowed on the playing floor with his/her shirttail out or without socks; he/she must be dressed in proper uniform presented to him by his coach.
Proper uniform is defined as the shirt and shorts issued by the League.

Any alteration or addition to the proper uniform (warm-ups) must be approved by the gym manager.
Home team will dress in light colored jerseys; visiting team will dress in dark colored jerseys.
GAME TIME: Game time is forfeit time. A team must have a minimum of FOUR eligible players to begin a game. If additional players arrive after the game has begun, minimum play rules still apply. No game will start prior to scheduled game time without the consent of both coaches.

The score portion of the scoreboard will be turned off when one team has a lead of 20 points, and remain off until the deficit is reduced to 10 points. The official score will be recorded in the official scorebook for the entire game.
There will be no full-court press in the 8U division until the last 2 minutes of the 4th quarter. There will be no full-court press in the 10U and 12U age groups until the 4th quarter. Teams will be given two warnings concerning backcourt pressure.

If a violation occurs after the second warning, a team technical foul will be assessed to the coach. No pressing allowed in any age division at any time if you are ahead by 15 points.

Referees will ensure that the offense can establish front court position.

Extra periods will not be played. Games will end in a tie score.

If the Huntsville City School system dismisses classes or cancels after school events due to severe or inclement weather, Parks & Recreation youth basketball games and practices will also be canceled for that day.
PROTEST: Protest on matters of judgment as rendered by an official will not be considered. Any game protested because of an ineligible player must be protested before the end of that game in writing to the Zone Coordinator. Proof of eligibility must be shown to the Zone Coordinator by the protesting coach and accompanied with a $100.00 non-refundable cash fee within 24 hours for the protest to be considered.

Harassment of a sports official is a CLASS B misdemeanor.

Players are increasingly directing their celebratory actions toward opponents, which should be interpreted as taunting and baiting, and penalized accordingly. Further, our administration is concerned with the trend toward players “playing to the crowd,” attempting to increase attention and praise for their own individual accomplishments rather than toward the game itself and team achievements.
While many of these actions are not specifically illegal by rule, extreme behaviors could and should be considered taunting and baiting of the opponents. Officials should remind captains and coaches at the pre-game conference that all actions and reactions should demonstrate appropriate sporting behavior.
Players or coaches receiving two technical fouls or an UNSPORTSMANLIKE FLAGRANT technical foul during a league game shall be ejected from the game. This person(s) will be suspended the rest of that game and the minimum of the next game scheduled for their team.
Players or coaches suspended/ejected from a game for any reason shall be placed on probation for the remainder of the season. Any future acts of unsportsmanlike behavior that results in an ejection from a game will result in suspension for the season.
Any coach who pulls his/her team off the court will be permanently dismissed from coaching another basketball team in the City of Huntsville Parks & Recreation program.
Any coach proven to have deliberately violated the minimum play rule will be suspended for the next game. Recurring violations of this rule will result in the suspension of the coach for the season.
Coaches receiving a suspension for any reason may be required to appear at a conference along with his/her league basketball director at a date, time and place designated by their Parks & Recreation Zone Coordinator before they may resume coaching. Failure to appear at the designated meeting will result in a suspension for the remainder of the season.
Head Coaches are responsible for the conduct of their players, assistant coaches and fans. The Parks & Recreation Department disapproves of unsportsmanlike conduct by team players, bench personnel and/or spectators. Such conduct may result in a conference with the head coach, league basketball director and the Parks & Recreation Zone Coordinator to rectify the problem.
Coaches who deliberately change player jerseys before or during a game in order to conceal a player’s identity will automatically be suspended for the remainder of the season.

Demonstrations of unsportsmanlike behavior by coaches returning from a previous suspension will be dismissed for the remainder of the season (with the right to appeal).
Sanctions may continue into future seasons depending on the time and severity of the infraction.
A protest committee of three (3) league basketball directors will be established to hear all grievances and appeals.


The game will consist of four eight-minute quarters with a continuous running clock that will only stop for time-outs and injuries. Ball possession at the beginning of the game will be determined by a coin toss.

Teams must play defense inside the three-point arc with the exception of the last minute of the 4th quarter. Teams may not cross the half court line. Defensive players may play a loose ball outside the arc. During this last minute of the game, teams may play defense at the half court line. Referees will ensure that the offense can establish front court position.

Each available player must play half the game with substitutions being at the four-minute mark of each quarter (Exception: 4th quarter will be free substitution). At exactly the four-minute mark of each quarter, the horn will sound at which time the substitutes will enter the game. This is not a time out. Any basket made at the substitution buzzer will count. The team having possession of the ball at the substitutions break will retain possession when play is resumed with a free inbound pass at half court.

The free throw line will be set at 11 feet.

Extra periods will not be played for ages 6U.

The Alabama High School Basketball Rules (AHSAA) will address any rule or regulation not covered by this document.


Huntsville American League
Fern Bell Park, P.O. Box 4327
Huntsville, Alabama 35815

Email: [email protected]

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