ABA Rules

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 creator of the 3-Point Shot, which is now a basketball rule everywhere. The ABA’s unique 3-D Rule, focusing on and rewards the defense. Below is a brief explanation of our exciting ABA Rules and how we plan on making the game even 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, as written.”

“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, as we offer a great athletic, fast-paced game at affordable prices.”



There will be consistent and universal enforcement of sporting behavior.

There will be a ZERO TOLERANCE for taunting & baiting.



When the 3-D Rule is in affect, the Official ABA 3-D Light will be turned ON and the Announcer will announce, “3-D is ON!”

The 3-D Rule is ON when the offensive team does not obtain PLAYER CONTROL in their FRONTCOURT. A PLAYER is in CONTROL of the ball when HOLDING or DRIBBLING the ball. So…a pass from the backcourt that only touches the floor, another player, an official or the backboard and then goes out-of-bounds, or stolen by the opponent, will result in turning the 3-D Rule ON, since no PLAYER was ever in CONTROL of the ball in his FRONTCOURT.

When the 3-D Rule is ON…ONE ADDITIONAL POINT is added to the point value of the field goal; 2-Point Goals become 3 points, 3-Point Goals become 4 points and 4-Point Goals become 5 points. (yes…we have a 4-point goal…see below)

The 3-D Rule remains ON until:

The Team Scores

Attempts A Free Throw For A Personal Foul (Other Than Flagrant)

The Other Team Gains Control Of The Ball

If the defensive team commits a FOUL, when 3-D is ON and Free Throws be attempted…the number of free throws will be increased by ONE. If the foul is a Technical Foul or a Flagrant Personal Foul…3-D will remain ON following the free throws.



When a player has committed his 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 EXTRA FREE THROW may be attempted by either one of the five players who was on the court when the foul occurred.



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

Player Must Be Dribbling

Player Must Be Closely Guarde

Player Must Have His Back To The Basket

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 THREE seconds.

The Back-Down count ENDS when ONE of the FOUR factors is missing.

The penalty is a VIOLATION by the Dribbler and results in a Quick Throw-In for the other team. 


OVER-TIME “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 First Overtime Period.

Except Those Disqualified For Unsporting Behavior

6th Foul Player Status Is Cancelled.

NO TIME-OUTS ARE 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. (Two Free Throws)

The Fouled Player Gets Three Free Throws, If NOT Fouled In The “Act Of Shooting.”

If The Fouled Player Is Fouled In The “Act Of Shooting”…And The Shot Is MISSED… The Foul Results In THREE Free Throws.

If The Fouled Player Is Fouled In The “Act Of Shooting”…And The Shot Is SUCCESSFUL…The Foul Results In ONLY ONE Free Throw.

Double Overtime

The Game Clock Is NOT Used.

The Shot Clock IS Used

Begins With A Jump Ball.

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 offensive team has SEVEN SECONDS to get the ball to frontcourt status.

The official’s count shall be VISIBLE.

The Seven Second Count does NOT start over, but resumes from where it was, when:

The Defensive Team Deflects The Ball Out-Of-Bounds.

The Offensive Team Is Granted A Time-Out.


60-Second Time-Outs

Each Team Is Allotted Two 60-Second Time Outs Per Half

No Carry-Over From First Half To The Second Half

The Timer Should Sound Two Horns:

The First After 45 Seconds

The Second After 60 Seconds

Play Should Resume At Second Horn

20-Second Time-Outs

Each Team Is Allotted One 20-Second Time Out Per Half

No Carry-Over From First Half To Second Half

The Timer Shall Sound Two Horns:

The First 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

Two Media Time-Outs During Each Quarter

At Or Below The 8:00 Minute Mark

At Or Below The 4:00 Minute Mark

The Timer Shall Sound Two Horns:

The First After 60 Second

The Second After 75 Seconds (15 Seconds After First Horn)


Four 12-Minute Quarters

24-Second Shot Clock

Penalty Of Two Free Throws On The 8th Team Foul Of Each Quarter (No “One & One”)

Successful Field Goals From The BACK-COURT Are FOUR Points (Must Be Beyond Division Line)


If A Held Ball Occurs In The Back-court And The AP Arrow Favors The Defense, The 3-D Rule apply