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Inside the American Basketball Association League

January 2, 2012



The ABA continues to be innovative in its approach to bring fast-paced, fan-friendly, exciting basketball to true fans. The game has evolved and so has the rules. The ABA combines NCAA, FIBA and NBA rules to create the best show for the fans. The ABA was the creators of the 3 point shot (now used by the NBA and other leagues). The ABA now has a rule focusing on defense called the 3D. Learn about our unique rules here and how we plan on making the game more fun and exciting. In the ABA we’re “Havin’ a ball”


  • “Every ABA game should be a fan-pleasing entertainment experience.”
  • “League play will emphasize pure basketball skills, while eliminating rough style of play.”
  • “Officials should set a new and refreshing example by enforcing the rules of the game.”
  • “Players are expected to sign autographs and interact with fans after each ballgame”
  • “Players are expected to demonstrate professional conduct at all times.”
  • “ABA basketball can be a fun and exciting experience for the fans. We offer a great athletic, fast-paced game at affordable prices.”


  • There will be consistent & universal enforcement of sporting behavior
  • There will be ZERO TOLERANCE for taunting & baiting


  • The 3-D Rule light is On when…
    • The offensive team loses possession of the ball while the ball has backcourt status
    • The ball goes out-of-bounds after touching the frontcourt (or a player or official in the Frontcourt)
    • If the offensive team does not establish ball control in the frontcourt, the 3D Light will remain in effect.
  • When the 3-D Rule is on, an additional point is added to the point value of the field goal. (i.e. two point (2pt) baskets count as three, three point (3pt) baskets count as four)
  • 3-D Rule remains on until the team scores, attempts a free throw for a personal foul; or the other team gains control of the ball.
  • When the defense commits a foul with in 3D, the number of free throws will be increased by one.
  • When the defensive team receives a technical foul in 3D, the 3D light remains on following the Free Throws


  • When a player has committed a 6th Foul (combination of personals & a direct technical); he may continue to participate in the game as a 6th Foul Player.
  • When a 6th Foul Player commits a Personal Foul, the penalty is One Free Throw (or one additional free throw) for the offended team, plus the ball for a throw-in at a designated spot, nearest the foul.
  • The 6th Foul Player Rule allows the extra free throw attempt by either one of the five players of the offended team.


All FOUR of the following factors must be Present for a violation to occur:

  1. Player must be dribbling
  2. Player must be closely guarded
  3. Player must have his back to the basket
  4. Player must be below the free throw line extended
  • The covering official shall use a visible count.
  • The offensive player may NOT continue his dribble for more than Three seconds.
  • The Back-Down count ENDS when ONE of the four factors is Missing.
  • The penalty is a VIOLATION by the Dribbler and the team loses possession.

“3-10 &OUT”

  • All Overtime periods begin with a jump ball.
  • The length of the first overtime period is 3 MINUTES
  • All Team Members are allowed to play during the Overtime period.
    • 6th Foul Players status is cancelled.
    • Players who have been disqualified are not eligible
  • There are NO TIME-OUTS ALLOWED during the Overtime period(s)
    • During the first Overtime Period, the clock is used the same as during regulation play.
  • Fouls in the Overtime period:
    • A player fouls out on his 2nd Foul (could be only his 2nd foul of the game)
    • A Bonus situation occurs on the 4th Foul of the Overtime period
    • The fouled player gets Three (3) Free Throws. If fouled in the “Act of Shooting” and the shot is missed, the shooter will receive three free throws. If the shot is made…just one free throw is attempted.
  • Double Overtime: There is no clock involved
    • The Game Clock is NOT used.
    • The Shot Clock IS used.
    • Team members who fouled out during the first overtime period are NOT allowed to return to play in the 2nd Overtime period.
    • The first team to score 10 points is the winner.


  • The count shall be Visible.
  • If the defensive team deflects the ball out of bounds, the 7-Second count does not start over when play resumes.
    • Official shall inform the in bounding player of the remaining time to get the ball in the frontcourt.
  • If the offensive team is granted a time-out, the count does not start over when play resumes.
    • Official shall inform the Head Coach of the remaining time to get the ball in the frontcourt.


  • 60-Second Time-Outs
    • Each team is allotted Two (2) 60-Second time outs per half.
    • No carry-overs from first half to the second half
    • The timer should sound two horns: One after 45 seconds & one after 60 seconds
    • Play should resume at second horn
  • 20-Second time-outs (players may sit)
    • Each team is allotted One 20-second time out per half
    • No carry-overs from first half to second half
    • The timer shall sound two horns: The First Horn after 5 Seconds & the Second Horn after 20 Seconds (15 Seconds After First Horn)
    • Play should resume at second horn
  • Media time-outs
    • 75 seconds in length
    • There are two media time outs during each quarter
    • At or below the 8:00 minute & 4:00 minute marks
    • The timer shall sound two horns: The First Horn after 60 Seconds & the Second Horn after 75 Seconds (15 Seconds After First Horn)


  • Four (4) twelve (12) minute quarters
  • 24-second shot clock
  • No “One & One” free Throw Situations
    • Penalty of two shots on the 8th team foul of each quarter
  • All successful field goals from the backcourt are FOUR points
    • Must be BEYOND the division line (Foot Cannot Be On The Division Line)


  • If a held ball occurs in the backcourt and the AP arrow favors the Defense, the 3D Rule is in effect and the 3D light is on.

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