Basketball Etiquette Memo

Etiquette Memo


This is by no means exhaustive, but rather a quick note on what the basketball community would like to see on the court between teams.

The vast majority of our competitions are competitive, thus we expect to see the better performing team on the day walk away with a deserved win. Some examples of poor sportsmanship we wish to avoid going forward.

  • Overuse of a full court defence (zone press, or man) is a common example of what we wish to avoid. As a coach (or team) realises that the opposing team has no chance to win, pressure should not be extended throughout the full court. “Rubbing it in” is not only embarrassing for the opponents, but should be for the pressing team too.


  • Playing your bench – these players should all be important parts of your team (without them you will struggle to have good practices!) If your starters are too much for your opponent to deal with in a particular game, your bench players should be given the opportunity to perform in a real game. (This applies to all our age group competitions and high school ones).


  • Running up the score – younger teams can be preoccupied with getting to the “magical 100” point threshold – this could be the underlying cause of starters not wanting to come out, or extended pressure on the other team. A coach should be aware of this and point out why the bench is playing/press is called off.


  • Excessive Timeouts – nobody likes watching a game that stops and starts all the time (see NBA games that are close in the last few minutes!) If your team is well ahead, calling timeouts can also be viewed as a show of poor sportsmanship. (This is a pretty rare occurance anyway, but listed in case).


The potential downfalls of not playing the right way are too big to ignore (frustrated opponents, or bench players drop out of the sport, ultimately meaning less teams to play) so please make sure your coaches have thought about this, and had the discussion if necessary with their team.

We quite often see MU23 teams (and older) holding the ball at the end of the game when the shot clock can be fully run down. This is a good example of showing respect for your opponents, and needs to be congratulated when it occurs (the opposing team should recognize this and refrain from stealing the ball in this instance).


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