Tournament Rules.doc
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Tournament Rules

The California Thunder Hoops Tournament Series consists of multiple tournaments held at facilities in our local area.  Tournaments offer a variety of play options 10U through Varsity, AAU basketball teams.  Your team and players must be AAU Members in good standing to participate.

California Thunder Hoops reserves the right to refuse entry of any team into a tournament, for any reason, in order to maintain the integrity and sportsmanship of the California Thunder Hoops tournament.

Game Play Formats

We offer the following game playing formats:

  • 1 Day Tournaments (3 Games-Per-Team Guarantee)
  • 2 Day Tournaments (3 Games-Per-Team Guarantee)
  • League Play & Spring and Fall only

Brackets can be configured as Pool play, bracketed play, or “challenge bracketed play” (which can consist of one game with a team from the next division).

  • Game Clock:  8-minute running clock, starts when ball handed to a player inbounds.
  • Timeouts:  2-Full and 2-30 Second total timeouts per game and 1 Full timeout during overtime. In overtime you lose any timeouts from the game.
  • Only TWO coaches allowed on the bench.
  • Teams are NOT ALLOWED to have a Scorekeeper at the Scorers table, unless the tournament does NOT provide an official scorekeeper.  
  • Official ball size 28.5” (Boys 9U thru 12U), 29.5” (Boys 13U and older), 28.5” (All girls sizes).
  • 10 Second Back Court Violation, No Shot Clock.
  • Players cannot enter the key on free throws until ball contacts the rim, defensive players move above the block beginning in 2008/2009 with new high school rules.
  • Technical fouls on coaching staff result in TWO shots, and the ball is awarded to the opposing team.  Two technical fouls results in coaches eject tournament.
  • Players are not allowed to wear jewelry on the court (medical bracelet may be worn, but must be taped).
  • Teams may play with 4 players when necessary (late player, or foul trouble).  
  • Standings Tiebreakers:  Determined by (1) Head-to-Head, (2) total points (Total points scored less points given), (3) Points (max of 15 per game), 4 total points, then (5) total points allowed.  
  • Overtime:  There will be a 2-minute overtime period, follow up with jump ball to begin the period and possession arrow determined sudden death.
  • Full Court Press:  For teams 12U thru varsity, full court press must be off when the team leading has a 20-or-more point lead.  For 9U thru 11U, the full court press must be removed when the team leading has a 15 point more.
  • Violations of full court press rules incur one warning and sustaining a technical foul.
  • Protests require a $100 cash deposit to be heard by the tournament director favorable ruling results in a refund of the $100 deposit.  A team forfeits deposit if the protest results in an unfavorable ruling.
  • Any team that does not show up for a game will be obligated to pay the tournament director $100 in financial compensation.
  • All teams must check-in 30-minutes prior to their first scheduled first game of the day; teams must arrive no later than 15 minutes prior time.
  • Teams arriving more than 10 minutes late shall forfeit the game but are allowed to play the game with any remaining time, up until game time.
  • Games will be started early if the tournament gets ahead of scheduled.
  • The tournament director reserves the right to change the official time rules to a 20-minute running half clock at any time, in order accommodate tournament schedule.  If this occurs, the game clock will continue during games, until the tournament is back on schedule, at which time normal clock rules will be re-implemented.
  • Game clock will continue to run during the second half when one team has a 10-point or greater lead.

Tournament Schedules

Preliminary Schedules are posted to our website the Wednesday or Thursday of each tournament.  Final schedule changes are posted on the Friday evening prior to the tournament.  It is each team’s responsibility to verify your schedule and become aware of any Friday changes.  No compensation or makeup games teams that miss a scheduled game for any reason.


Admission is charged at the door each day of the tournament.  Fans wear a band upon payment of admission which must be worn at all times.  No one is allowed without a valid wrist band.  There are no refunds.  The amount varies depending on the number of days and venue.  California Thunder Hoops provides admission fees on the tournament’s FINAL schedule.

ONE coach per team will be provided with free admission at time of entry.  Additional coaches will be required to pay the price of admission, no exceptions.

Snack Bar, Food & Beverage

A Snack Bar will be in site at each tournament with a variety of different items for sale. 


All players MUST have an AAU membership card to be eligible to play tournaments.  All players MUST have an AAU “AB Benefit” membership for non-sanctioned tournaments, which provides your player with insurance when playing in non-AAU Sanctioned events.  Most of our tournaments will be sanctioned, but some of them may not.  More information on the AAU Membership can be found on the AAU website.

Rules & Regulations

AAU Eligibility

All players must meet eligibility for AAU age requirements.  You can use the age/grade Eligibility Calculator. All players will be required provide proof of AAU Membership, birth certificate, and grade exception forms at the time of tournament check-in.  This will ensure that all players are eligible, and eliminate the need for protest based on player age/grade eligibility. Players that cannot be age/grade certified will not be allowed to play.  Teams found to have players ineligible for the bracket in which they are entered shall forfeit all games in which an ineligible player was on the bench.

Rules, Regulations & Exceptions

National Federation of State High School Association rules shall apply with the following exceptions;

Unsportsmanlike Conduct

California Thunder Hoops strives toward, and is designed to provide a competitive and first class environment for the players.  Unsportsmanlike conduct is not tolerated.  Un-Sportsman-like conduct includes, but is not limited to violence, verbal abuse, profanity, provocative behavior, and “hard” intent behavior (at the discretion of the officials on the floor).  Abuse of our coaches, players or fans will not be tolerated.  Determination of unsportsmanlike conduct applies to coaches, players and fans attending the games.  Officials have the sole discretion to call Technical Fouls when coaches, players, or fans exhibit unsportsmanlike conduct.  Any coach or player who is assessed TWO Technical Fouls shall be ejected for the remainder of the Tournament, and any further California Thunder Hoops tournaments.  If the clock runs for more than two minutes during this time period, coach or player’s team shall automatically forfeit the game, and Law Enforcement will be called to the scene. California Thunder Hoops wants to build a reputation for running well organized tournaments and reserves the right to put out any person within the facility for violating and/or displaying derogatory sportsmanship.



Officiating Policy

Officials for the California Thunder Hoops Tournament Series are high school certified EXPERIENCED extensive high school and/or AAU experience. Abuse of our officials will not be tolerated.  Complaints must be submitted in writing to the Tournament Director by the end of each Tournament.  Complaints will be logged (by official) and forwarded on to the Association for discussion and action.


Individual Player Awards (Trophies, Medals and/or Ribbons) shall be given at a minimum, to 1st Place teams. Awards are at Tournament Director and/or California Thunder Hoops discretion.  Additional awards are offered for 2nd through 6th place, at the discretion of California Thunder Hoops.  Additional awards may be represented at the Tournament Director and/or California Thunder Hoops discretion and are given out at the conclusion of the tournament. It is the responsibility of the team to collect their awards from the Tournament Director.  If a team is unable to remain at a tournament to collect their awards, they can be shipped (at the team’s expense via US Postal Service.  Awards can vary by tournament, so check with the director.   


There will be no refunds of Tournament Fees, Admission Fees, or Other Fees, under any circumstances.


California Thunder Hoops reserves the right to modify tournament rules and regulations at any time (including during a tournament) to best meet the needs of all teams participating in our tournaments, in the judgment of the tournament director.