The League shall be managed by the Executive Committee of The Middlesex Basketball League (hereinafter called "the EC").
These Playing Rules (hereinafter called "PR") apply to all competitions organised and promoted by The Middlesex Basketball League (hereinafter called the MBL).
The EC shall set up a Disciplinary Sub-Committee (hereinafter called the "DSC") to be responsible for disciplinary matters.
2. PLAYING SEASON
The year shall be divided into winter and optional summer playing seasons.
The Winter Season shall normally run from September to April, but this may be amended at the discretion of the EC.
With effect from 1st October 2005, all matches played in the Middlesex Basketball League will take place at a Central Venue, comprising two full size courts, namely, Brunel University, Kingston Lane, Uxbridge, Middlesex UB8 3PH.
The Fees payable by the Member Clubs shall be set by the Executive Committee. Fees may, at the discretion of the EC, cover not only entry fees for the League competition but also cover any other Cup Competitions, Tournaments, Play Off Competitions, Provisions of Newsletters or any other event or service that the EC deems appropriate.
5. FORMAT OF COMPETITIONS
The League will be divided into divisions at the discretion of the EC.
In each division comprising NINE or more teams, all teams will play each other at least twice.
The winner of the regular season schedule will be the League Champions for their respective division.
At the end of the regular season, a separate, seeded series of PLAY OFF matches may take place between the top eight teams in each division, to find the Divisional Play-Off Champions, in either single elimination knockout or central-venue Tournament format.
For divisions comprising EIGHT or fewer teams, all teams will play each other THREE times.
Specific tournament rules and costs will be decided from time to time by the EC.
The EC may, at its discretion, suspend Playing Rules 5.4, 5.5 and 5.6 if it deems necessary and reorganise the divisions as it best sees fit.
The League positions shall be determined by awarding points as follows:
WIN 3 POINTS
LOSS 1 POINT
DEFAULT 1 POINT
FORFEIT 0 POINTS
The EC may, in exceptional circumstances, declare a match to be void and award each team such points as it deems to be appropriate.
7. FORFEIT / DEFAULT
When deciding whether a match should be lost by forfeit or default, the EC will take into consideration the provisions of Articles 20 and 21 of the Rules of Basketball.
In the event of a match being lost by forfeit, the team in forfeit will not receive any League Points.
In addition, the score shall be deemed to be 20-0 in favour of the team being awarded the game.
The EC may also, at its discretion, deduct a number of points as it considers being appropriate.
Furthermore, the team losing the match by forfeit may be liable to a minimum fine of £50 (FIFTY POUNDS)in addition to the cost of the match officials, table officials and court costs in each instance.
A team that fails to arrive to play a match fifteen (15) minutes after the scheduled start time will be deemed to have lost the match by forfeit and the provisions of PR 7.2 to 7.5 above will apply.
A team that gives at least 24 hours verbal notice to the General Secretary AND the Technical Development Officer to concede a match will be deemed to have lost the match by forfeit and only the provisions of PR 7.2 to 7.3 above will apply.
In the event of a match being lost by default, the team in default will receive 1 point in the League classification.
If the team to which the game is awarded is not ahead, the score shall be recorded as 2-0 in its favour.
If a team forfeits three matches during the course of the season, the EC may, at its discretion, expel the team from the League. If this action is taken, the team's League record-to-date will be expunged in its entirety.
In addition, the team shall forfeit all its Entry fees and Goodwill fees.
8. COMPLETION OF FIXTURES
If a team fails to complete 75% of its scheduled League fixtures in a season, its League record shall be expunged in its entirety, and the team shall be expelled from all League competitions.
In addition, the team shall forfeit all its Entry fees and Goodwill fees.
9. FIXTURE LIST
The EC will prepare a fixture list prior to the start of the season.
Once published, all MBL fixtures are deemed to be confirmed and shall take place on the appointed day at the appointed time. Postponements and re-arrangements of League or Cup matches will only be authorised by the General Secretary in exceptional circumstances.
MBL fixtures shall take priority above all other external organisation's fixtures.
The General Secretary may however, at his or her discretion, authorise a postponement of an MBL League or Cup match if it coincides with a scheduled (not rearranged) EBBA Cup competition.
Postponement of League or Cup matches will only be authorised by the General Secretary, in exceptional circumstances.
11. LEAGUE TABLE STANDINGS
In the event of a tie in League Points at the end of the regular season, this shall be resolved as follows:
A League table will be compiled taking account only of the matches played between the two teams involved in the tie. The teams are then placed in accordance with League Points gained in this table.
In the event of further equality, the difference between the actual points scored and points conceded in these matches will be taken into account.
Should a tie still exist, the difference between the actual points scored and points conceded in ALL matches in the League will be taken into account.
Should a tie be partially resolved by the application of some, or all of these rules, the rules will then be re-applied from 11.1.1 on the remaining part of the tie.
12. PROMOTION AND RELEGATION
The teams finishing in the last two places of a division shall be relegated.
The teams finishing in the first and second positions shall be promoted to the next highest division.
Under exceptional circumstances, a team may be invited to join the next highest division, at the discretion of the EC.
New teams entering the League shall apply for a specific division but will only be entered into a division at the sole discretion of the EC.
It is not usual practice for Clubs with two or more teams to field more than one team in any one Division of The League. However, this situation may be allowed by the EC, solely at its discretion, and without precedent.
If there are insufficient (at least 8) teams in any one division, and a team which is due to be relegated from a higher division wishes to stay in the higher division and providing that a team which is due to be promoted from a lower division wishes to stay in the lower division, the EC may, at its discretion and without precedent, allow the teams concerned to remain in their divisions of choice.
Notwithstanding PR 12.6, if either the team in the higher division or the team in the lower division finishes the ensuing consecutive season in the same relegation or promotion position, then they will not be eligible to apply for the provisions of PR 12.6 to come into effect.
In the event of a colour clash, the second-named team shall change to colours that provide a suitable contrast to those worn by the first-named team.
Teams are required to wear matching uniforms.
T-shirts are not permitted to be worn under playing shirts, unless a specific player has express written medical permission. The club concerned should then apply to the General Secretary to request a formal League dispensation notice.If such permission is duly granted, the T-Shirt must be of the same dominant colour as the playing shirt. All players (male and female) shall wear their playing shirts tucked into their shorts. Under-shorts may be worn provided they are the same colour as the shorts.
Only playing numbers 4 – 15 will be permitted. Shirts should be numbered on the front and back in a solid contrasting number with the shirt.
In the event of an infringement of PR 13.1 to 13.4, the match Referee shall indicate this on the relevant form.
For each player who infringes one of the above-mentioned rules, the team will be fined £5 (FIVE POUNDS) per player in breach of this particular rule.
Any Club that intends participating in any MBL competition or that has registered for the MBL Referees Appointments Service (and that has not affiliated to England Basketball via any other source) must affiliate to England Basketball online via the MBL website.
An exception to this rule is those Clubs who play in the EBL and would therefore have already affiliated their Club nationally to England Basketball. Note, clubs who do not participate in the EBL but who may participate in other local or regional leagues must affiliate to England Basketball online via the MBL website.
Prior to playing any player in any MBL game, a Club must ensure that an individual player has registered with England Basketball online via the MBL website.
Any player who may have already registered with England Basketball directly (because they play in the EBL) but who wishes to participate in the MBL must still register online via the MBL website so that they can obtain a valid MBL License number, but will need to provide proof of their EB registration.
It is each Club Secretary’s, and each Team Coach’s, responsibility to ensure that their players have registered online via the MBL website and that they have obtained a valid MBL License number.
All Coaches, Referees and Table Officials who have not registered with England Basketball directly but who wish to participate in the MBL must register online via the MBL website so that they can obtain a valid MBL License number.
All Coaches, Referees and Table Officials who have already registered with England Basketball directly but who wish to participate in the MBL must still register online via the MBL website so that they can obtain a valid MBL License number, but will need to provide proof of their EB registration.
Before any player, referee or table official may participate in an MBL League or Cup match, he or she must be registered with England Basketball and be licensed by the MBL.
Any Club in breach of PR 15.1. shall be deemed to have forfeited the match and the provisions of PR 7 shall apply. In addition, the matter shall be considered further by the Disciplinary Sub-Committee.
A player may be licensed for the MBL for one Club only, irrespective of other national registrations. This rule applies to all divisions of the MBL.
At the time of online registration, each participant must provide a current digital passport-style photo (head and shoulders only) via email to the MBL, in order for the MBL Licensing System to be completed.
Each participant's MBL Licence number (taken from the MBL Licence Card) must be shown on the score sheet PRIOR to the start of the match.
For each player's licence number not shown on the score sheet, an automatic fine of £5 (FIVE POUNDS) per player shall apply.
It is the responsibility of the appointed referee to check MBL Licences of all players entered on the score sheet at the start of each match.
16. CLUBS WITH TWO OR MORE TEAMS
In the event of a Club entering two or more teams in the MBL, each player must initially be licensed for one team only.
However, if the Club provides a ranked list of the top 10 players in their 1st team prior to the first game of the season, then TWO NAMED players who have been ranked 9 and 10 may also play for their Club's lower division team for a MAXIMUM of TWO games during the course of the season.
The spirit of Rule 16.2 is to enable those Clubs with two teams, (who may, on occasions, be unable to field 5 players for their lower division team), to play a game rather than forfeit it. It is not meant to be used as a rule to regularly bolster the strength of the lower division team.
A Club is NOT allowed to keep changing the TWO NAMED PLAYERS during the course of the season, except in exceptional circumstances, for example serious injury ruling one or both of the players out for a long period of time, and in any case only with the written confirmation of the MBL.
If any new players join a Club's higher-ranked team mid-season, then a Club may, with the agreement of the MBL, provide a new ranking list for their 1st-named team.
In the same way, so that a game can be played rather than forfeited, a Club may provide TWO NAMED lower-division players that it may use to play in a MAXIMUM of TWO games for the higher team, without it affecting their status as a lower-division player.
However, any player under the age of 18 as at 1st September 2006, who has met the provisions of Article 14 above, may play in a higher Club team without restriction.
17. DURING THE EVENT
All matches shall be played in accordance with FIBA rules of play as interpreted by the EBBA and in accordance with these Playing Rules.
It is the intention of the MBL that, wherever possible, a match should take place, and officials are requested to keep this in mind when making decisions.
For all games, the first team named in the schedule shall have the team bench and its own basket on the left side of the scorer’s table, facing the playing court.
During a game, the only persons permitted to sit on a team bench are the coach, assistant coach, the substitutes and a maximum of 5 team followers with special responsibilities (see Comment to Article 12 of the Rules of Basketball).
Referees should ensure that spectators (i.e. those who do NOT hold a current MBL photo licence AND who do not meet the provisions of Article 17.4 above) occupy a separate seating area to the team bench, on the opposite side of the court.
18. STARTING TIMES
All matches shall start at the scheduled start time as published on the League website.
The actual starting time should be inscribed on the score sheet by the scorer and checked by the referee.
If a team fails to have 5 players changed and ready to play 15 minutes after the scheduled start time, the match shall be awarded by forfeit to the team which is ready to play. The provisions of PR 7 will also apply.
19. MATCH REFEREES
At the start of each playing season, the League shall establish an Officiating Panel. Membership of the MBL’s Officiating Panel shall be open to any qualified referee whose application is accepted by the TDO.
All prospective referees must make a separate application to join the MBL's Officiating Panel. Only approved referees will be permitted to officiate at matches, notwithstanding the provisions of PR 21.
It shall be a condition of joining the MBL Officiating Panel that every referee shall be available to officiate on at least one Sunday in each month of the League programme.
It is a condition of entry into the MBL that at the time of entry, each Club MUST provide a minimum of TWO active, qualified referees who shall be available to officiate on at least one Sunday in each month of the League programme and also on at least two weekdays, irrespective of the nominating Club’s playing commitments. This official shall undertake a minimum of six appointments during the League playing season.
Thereafter, each Club shall either provide an active, qualified referee for each team entered in the League, or make a £150 default payment for each referee it fails to provide. Each other referee shall be available to officiate on at least one Sunday in each month of the League programme and also on at least two weekdays, and shall undertake a minimum of three appointments during the League playing season.
The EC may, at its discretion, impose financial or other penalties on Clubs who fail to comply with PR 19.
Any referee who fails to turn up to three matches without valid reason, may, after an email warning from the TDO, be removed from the MBL's Officiating Panel.
If the referee concerned has been nominated by a club, then it will be the responsibility of the relevant Club Secretary to submit another suitably qualified referee for consideration to the TDO.
Both match referees are required to submit a written report on the relevant electronic League Disciplinary Report Form on the MBL website to the Chairman of the Disciplinary Sub-Committee in the event of a disqualification of a player, coach or team follower. This report must be submitted within 48 hours of the match being played.
For all matches in the Men’s Premier Division and Women’s First Division, the appointed referee shall, where possible, be of at least Level 3 (formerly Grade 2) standard.
The approved dress for match referees shall be: MBL-branded Referees Jacket, Referees shirt, long black trousers, black socks and black basketball shoes. Please note, match referees who fail to meet these dress standards may be removed from the MBL Officiating Panel, and any resulting effect this may have on a Club’s commitment to providing referees shall be rectified within 14 days.
Match referees shall be reimbursed expenses in accordance with the following scale:
Levels 4 & 5(FIBA/Grade 1)£30
Level 3(Grade 2)£25
Level 2(Grade 3)£20
All Under 19 Junior Men’s games will be paid a standard rate of £15 per game.
All other Junior games will be paid a standard rate of £12.50p per game.
20. PROCEDURE IN THE EVENT OF ABSENCE OF MATCH REFEREES
If the referee or umpire has failed to arrive at the appointed venue 15 minutes before the scheduled starting time, and if no communication has been received by the Match Day League Commissioner, as to the reason for late arrival, the Match Day League Commissioner shall take necessary steps to ensure that a substitute official is found in order that the match can take place.
If another suitably qualified referee is at the venue or in the immediate vicinity, he or she shall be informed that their services may be required.
If there are no suitably qualified referees available, the Match Day League Commissioner should follow the above pattern of substitution of referees as far as possible in order for the match to take place.
If only one match referee is available, all efforts should be made to play the game and that referee will be entitled to claim an EXTRA match fee of £15 (FIFTEEN POUNDS).
For certain matches, the MBL may appoint on its own behalf, or at the request of one or both competing teams, a Match Day League Commissioner.
During the match, the Match Day League Commissioner should be seated at the Scorer's Table, in such a position as to easily view the score sheet and the game clock.
The Match Day League Commissioner should see to it that the event is conducted in accordance with the spirit and letter of the Playing Rules.
He or she will be expected to convey to the MBL any claim or protest received from one of the teams taking part, adding any information that he or she may deem relevant. A team must inform the Match Day League Commissioner, via the referee, if it intends to sign the score sheet "Under Protest".
The Match Day League Commissioner should report all instances of the failure to produce a valid licence number for a player, coach or team follower taking part in the match.
The Match Day League Commissioner's report should contain reference to:
The general conduct of the participating teams, including disqualifications.
The general performance of the referees (including table officials) and to support his or her impressions by completing the report forms on the referees so provided.
22. TABLE OFFICIALS
At the start of each playing season, the League shall establish an Officiating Panel. Membership of the MBL’s Officiating Panel shall be open to any qualified table official whose application is accepted by the TDO.
It shall be a condition of joining the MBL Officiating Panel that every table official shall be available to officiate on at least one Sunday in each month of the League programme.
For all League matches, there must be a minimum of two Table Officials.
At least one Table Official MUST be qualified to NATO Two standard or above.
If only one qualified Table Official is present, then he or she shall be the Scorer.
The League shall appoint neutral Table Officials.
Table Officials shall be reimbursed expenses in accordance with the following scale:
Levels 3 & 4(NATO GRADE ONE)£15 (£25 for MBL double-headers)
Level 1 & 2(NATO GRADE TWO)£10 (£15 for MBL double-headers)
23. DISCIPLINARY ACTION
At the start of each playing season, the League shall establish a Disciplinary Sub-Committee (DSC), of which only the Chair DSC shall be an EC Member.
The DSC appointed by the EC is responsible for disciplinary matters relating to all competitions organised and managed by the MBL.
Clubs, players, coaches and team followers or officials may be fined and/or suspended for any matter as decided by the EC or its DSC. A fine up to £500 may be imposed for any single offence. Instead of, or in addition to fines and/or suspensions, the EC or its DSC, may take such action in respect of the outcome of a match (e.g. order replay, deduct league points, declare void etc.) as it sees fit.
In the event of a player, coach or team follower being disqualified or expelled from a match, the matter will automatically be referred to the DSC. The match referees are required to submit a written report in such instances. Similarly, where the match referees consider misconduct not involving any disqualification to be of sufficient gravity to warrant consideration by the DSC, a report must also be submitted. In such instances, the Club concerned should also be notified accordingly. Clubs and individuals may also submit written reports if they so choose.
Disciplinary reports MUST be submitted by BOTH REFEREES USING THE ONLINE DISCIPLINARY REPORT FORM (DRF), and sent to the Chair of the Disciplinary Sub-Committee within 48 hours of the match having being played. Match referees are advised not to make any recommendation or comment, either on their report or otherwise, as to the disciplinary action that they consider to be appropriate.
The EC may refer any matter to the DSC that it considers to be liable to bring disrepute to the MBL or to the sport.
Normally, disciplinary matters occurring during the course of a calendar month will be considered on the first Thursday of the following month. The Chair DSC may however, alter this timescale at his or her discretion, but in any case, the Chair DSC will advise Team Secretaries whose Team or player(s) are involved in such disciplinary matters at least 7 days in advance of the relevant DSC meeting.
If a Team Secretary wishes to submit supporting evidence on behalf of their Team or player(s) under possible disciplinary action, this should be done in writing to reach the Chair DSC at least 48 hours prior to the date of the DSC meeting.
It is not the normal practice for a personal hearing to be given by the DSC. A personal hearing may, however, be requested in the case of an appeal, but this must be requested at the same time as applying for leave to appeal.
Disciplinary action as a result of a decision by the DSC will be advised to the Team Secretary concerned and will normally come into effect 48 hours after the relevant meeting of the DSC.
In exceptional circumstances, the EC may, at its sole discretion, withdraw a player's MBL License Number (not EB License Number) temporarily until such time as the DSC convene. This means that a player will be temporarily suspended from participation in the MBL but it will NOT prohibit the player from participation in basketball elsewhere. There is NO right of appeal to this rule.
24. APPEALS PROCEDURES
Application may be made for leave to appeal against any decision of the DSC involving disciplinary action against the team or individual making the appeal.
To be valid, an application must be received by the GS within 48 hours of the decision being made known to the Club or individual concerned, and, a deposit of £50 must accompany any such application.
If the appeal is upheld, a refund will be made accordingly.
The application, and any consequent appeal, will be considered by the full Executive Committee of The Middlesex Basketball League.
No new information or evidence may be introduced at the appeal stage, except that which could not have been available at the time of the original hearing.
In the event of an application for leave to appeal being successful, any decision or penalty imposed shall be suspended pending the appeal, unless the EC decides otherwise. If the application for leave to appeal is unsuccessful, the EC may refund the deposit in whole or in part at its absolute discretion.
Final right of appeal may be made to the Chief Executive of the national governing body of the sport, the English Basketball Association, in writing, together with all the relevant reports and accompanied by a deposit of £100 (ONE HUNDRED POUNDS).
By entering and licensing to participate, clubs and individuals must accept these Playing Rules regarding disciplinary action and appeals.
The Provisions of Section C – Protest Procedure of the Official Rules of Basketball shall apply, with the following amendments for MBL purposes:
Paragraph 3 of C.1: A brief verbal explanation must be given by the Team Captain to the Match Day League Commissioner (or Referee in the absence of a Match Day League Commissioner), who shall record the matter, prior to signing the score sheet Under Protest.
Paragraph 4 of C.1: The club in question must submit a brief report on the relevant online form on the MBL website within 48 hours of the match being played. A security deposit of £100, payable to the MBL, must be received by the MBL within 72 hours of the game being played in order for the Protest to be considered valid.
The deposit will be returned if the complaint is considered by the EC to be valid.
A copy of any complaint lodged under this PR must also be sent by the Club concerned to the opposing Club and to the match officials.
UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES can the result be protested on the grounds of the quality of, or the performance of, the match referees.
If either team, or the match referees, has any reason to consider the circumstances may be such as to invalidate a match, this should be stated at the earliest opportunity, and reported to the EC by the Match Day League Commissioner (or Referee in the absence of a Match Day League Commissioner). A match shall then take place under the existing conditions and the score sheet and all reports should be completed on the MBL website.
If a team signs the score sheet "Under Protest", it must then adopt the procedure indicated under PR 27.1 to 27.3 to ensure that the protest is valid.
Regardless of subsequent actions, by signing the score sheet "Under Protest", a team becomes automatically liable to pay the deposit of £100.
All trophies remain the property of The Middlesex Basketball League. When the winning teams have been ascertained, the MBL will present the appropriate trophy to that Club, who will be responsible for its safe return to the GS by 1st April of the next season.
Should a trophy be lost or damaged whilst under the care or custody of a Club, the Club may be required to refund to the MBL the amount of the present value of the trophy, or the cost of thorough repair.
The MBL will present individual mementoes as follows:
Winners of each Division-13 each
Runners-up of each Division-13 each
Winners of each Tournament-13 each
Runners-up of each Tournament-13 each
27. WITHDRAWAL OF CLUBS
Clubs who withdraw one or more teams after their entry has been accepted to the MBL will forfeit their entry fees and will be liable to pay the full fees for the season. In addition, the matter may be considered for further disciplinary action.
28. INDIVIDUAL CLUB DEBTS
All individual participants of the MBL are reminded of their financial responsibilities to their own Clubs.
MBL Member Clubs may, at their discretion, provide the EC with names of MBL-registered participants who are deemed to be Bad Debtors within their own Clubs so that the MBL may take further action until such time as the debt is cleared to the Member Club's satisfaction.
In the first instance, on receipt of such request from one it's Member Clubs, the EC will not issue an MBL License Number to the individual participant concerned until such time as the Member Club has confirmed that the individual's financial debt has been cleared.
The same action may be taken against any participants who were individual members of a Member Club which has failed to settle its financial debts to the MBL itself.
29. POWER OF INTERPRETATION
The EC shall have sole power of interpretation of the PR and to make decisions on any matter not directly covered in these PR.