To teach kindergartners through high school players the fundamentals and fun of basketball.

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It is a tried and true rule that ALL PLAYERS MUST PLAY ONE UNINTERRUPTED QUARTER EACH HALF. Anyone violating that rule is in clear violation of the VYI Participation Rules and is subject to forfeit and other penalties when this is appropriately reported.

After the ONE UNINTERRUPTED QUARTER PER HALF rule is satisfied the coach may choose to play his players as he wishes, to maximize the potential of his team. This rule is applied in all leagues (including the ninth/tenth grade boys league), except the high school boys 11th/12th grade league and th high school girls league, where coaches are given more leeway to play their players as they see fit. We continue to mandate the ONE UNINTERRUPTED QUARTER PER HALF rule as a minimum requirement at all age levels during the full season.


Moreover, "noone plays in four quarters until all players have played three full quarters."  A ten player team, by virtue of the rule above, must play each player an equal amount of time in a game. When a team has less than 10 players, NO PLAYER ON A TEAM MAY PLAY FOUR QUARTERS UNTIL EVERY PLAYER PLAYS THREE FULL QUARTERS. This minimizes the playing time of the top draft choices, usually the dominant players, in a situation where he/she may be playing against a lower round draft choice. This supports the basic participation rule and does not allow a coach to guess at playing time or move players in and out of the game until the rule is completely satisfied.

In any event, coaches at the 8th grade girls level and below and 9th/10th grade boys levels and below, who say they can control playing time in their heads and they don't have to play kids one uninterrupted quarter to make playing time equal, are not to be tolerated. (The coach must teach that player in foul trouble to play with more finesse, and not simply take them out of the game).  Referees have been asked to notify the league office of any instance of failure to abide by this rule, but they will not stop the game. It is still the opposing coach's responsibility to report these violations and to ask the commissioner to take action (e.g., award a forfeit, replaying a portion of a game or an entire game) when this rules violation blatantly occurs. 

If reported to the commissioner or league office by a referee or parent, the offending coach will be contacted by the league commissioner to make sure this does not happen again. If  after counseling, the same coach repeats the violation further action will be taken against the coach to include possible suspension and/or permanent removal from the league.  Such suspension and/or permanent removal is non-appealable by the coach. If reported by an opposing coach, referee or parent to the commissioner, the commissioner must warn the offending coach on the first occasion and impose appropriate penalties if it occurs again.


If an injury occurs in the first half of the game and the player has not yet played a full uninterupted quarter, the injured player must re-enter the game at the next dead ball if the player is able to continue play. If the injured player does not return during the first half, the injured player is able to play he or she must play a full uninterupted quarter in the second half.

If an injury occurs in the second half of the game, the player should also return to the game at the next dead ball if the player is able to continue to play.

VYI believes that coaches should take injuries seriously and does not want kids playing hurt.  Unfortunately, there have been times when a player left a game with a minor injury and after a brief time on the bench could have returned to the court, yet a coach kept the player out of the remainder of the game.  Players should return to the game as soon as possible if they are able to play.  Minor injuries must not be used as a reason to keep less-skilled player from playing. 


If an opposing coach identifies that a coach is not following the participation rule in the post season, when games mean "one and done", then the coach must approach the referee immediately at the next game stoppage or time out and the situation must be brought to the attention of the referee and opposing coach. If the coach does not correct the situation or violates the rule again during the game, and the violation is reported to the league commissioner, the game may be declared a forfeit.  Any playoff game in which a violation of a participation rule has occurred, and is reported during the game, is subject to league review and forfeiture.