Official Rules and Guidelines

Please read the following rules and guidelines carefully before participating in your first game. Rules can vary from league to league, and we have a unique set of rules and guidelines for how teams are managed in The Dynasty League.

If you have any additional questions after reading the regulations and guidelines below, please email TDL Commissioner, Mike Lee, via e-mail at:


ALL PLAYERS MUST BE AT LEAST 18 YEARS OF AGE. All players must have a signed waiver / media release form on file from the current season to play.

If any player has a league fee balance from any previous season, they may be barred from playing, even if the current season is paid in full. Any players who have engaged in fighting, or who have purposefully broken or stolen equipment belonging to the league, or any venue used by the league, may be barred from playing at the league’s discretion.

All divisions of The Dynasty League are open to players of any gender, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, sexual identity, education, and/or national origin.


Please be advised that all our games are played in New York City public schools, so we must adhere to state and city guidelines for the building. There are no exceptions or negotiations. Vaccinations are a personal choice, but so is rec league basketball.

FEELING SICK? PLEASE STAY AT HOME. If you’re experiencing flu or cold-like symptoms, please don’t risk it all! Do this for yourself and for the league’s players and staff. We want to keep everyone in the league healthy, and the games running.


REGULAR SEASON ROSTERS ARE ADJUSTABLE THROUGHOUT THE SEASON. However, depending on the division, additions may be subject to approval. The roster limit recommendation is (10) players for standard 5-on-5 teams. We provide up to ten (10) league shirts per team. Additional shirts may be purchased for $10 each.

All players must wear THE DYNASTY LEAGUE t-shirts, jerseys, or matching custom team jerseys on a case-by-case basis (no branding from any other league will be allowed). Players not wearing official THE DYNASTY LEAGUE jerseys or appropriate matching and non-repeating numerated jerseys at the opening tip off will each be issued a team “technical foul,” though exceptions can be made on a season-by-season basis at the discretion of the Commissioner.

It is the captain’s responsibility to inform TDL and officials before the game if a team has players without official jerseys.

WE TRY TO AVOID FORFEITS WHENEVER POSSIBLE, but sometimes nothing can be done. If a team fails to show up or provide enough players for their game, the team with the most players present will be awarded the win. Anyone who is present may use the court to play pick-up or a workout.

FORFEIT PENALTY: All teams who forfeit a game will take a -20 deduction in their POINTS FOR total and HEAD-TO-HEAD point total vs the opponent to which the team forfeited. Be advised that this may have an adverse affect on playoff qualifying down the line. Please try not to forfeit games.

DISQUALIFICATION: If a team forfeits two (2) games in a season, they will receive a warning. If a team forfeits a third game in one season, they will be automatically disqualified from the playoffs. Please be advised that NO REFUNDS will be given for forfeited games or for disqualification.


PREMIER DIVISION: Unlimited division. This is our highest level of competition. Players generally have at the bare minimum, HS Varsity experience. Most have D2 or D3 college exp, some D1, some overseas professional exp.

1ST DIVISION: Advanced intermediate division, HS Varsity and small college exp. The skill level in D1 is a half-step down from the Premier Division, but rosters are smaller in overall height with generally no players over 6-6. Players at 6-7 or above in height are generally asked to play in Premier Division. All rosters and subsequent roster additions are subject to league approval.

2ND DIVISION: Intermediate division, the skill level generally caps at HS varsity. This division is for not-yet-ready-for-prime-time players or serious competitors past their best years. D2 is usually a guard-oriented division with few players over 6-4 in height. Rosters and subsequent roster additions subject to approval.

3RD DIVISION: Advanced recreational division for semi-casual players, the skill level caps at HS varsity or intramural. There is no strict height limit, but teams generally have no players over 6-3 in height. Rosters and subsequent roster additions subject to approval.

THE OCHO: Recreational division for casual players, the skill level caps at some HS or intramural. For competitors way past their prime, or younger players looking to learn the game. There is no strict height limit, but teams generally have no players over 6-3 in height. All rosters and subsequent roster additions are subject to approval..


“NBA-MODIFIED”: TDL rules and regulations are “NBA-modified,” meaning we use mostly rules and regulations from the NBA rulebook, with some key adjustments that we believe make more sense for this league:

– (NEW! 2022-02-01) On the seventh (7th) team foul, teams will be in the BONUS – two (2) free throws.
– No defensive three seconds. Zone is allowed.
– Teams are allowed to inbound the ball into the back court at any point during the game
– Shot-clock will reset to :24 when ball hits the rim.

All other procedures, restrictions and exceptions are explained in the following regulations:


GAME CLOCK (NEW! 2022-02-01): Games will be played in TWO 24:00 MINUTE HALVES (regulation play) with running time. If the game is tied at the end of regulation play, a 1:00 min overtime period will be added (time permitting) until a winner is decided. More on overtime periods below.

“Stop Clock”: All games are running time with the following exceptions: the game clock will stop during timeouts and the last :10 seconds of the 1st half. The game clock will also stop during the last 1:00 minute of regulation and each overtime period. The clock may also stop on an extended dead ball at the discretion of the scorekeeper or referee.

Mercy Rule:: If a team is winning by 20 points or more in the final 1:00 minutes of the game, the clock remain at running time until the losing team reduces the deficit to less than 20 points. For the purposes of safety and respect for players, the captain of the losing team will be given the option to call the game under the “Mercy Rule,” unless game officials perceive risk of impending physical harm to players on either team.

SHOT CLOCK: All leagues use a :24 shot clock when available. If physical shot clocks are not available, referees will keep track of the shot-clock and call out when there is :10 seconds remaining to shoot. The shot clock will reset to :24 on any contact with the rim, even incidental. Additional resets:

– If a player is fouled in the back court, the shot clock will reset to :24.
– If a player if fouled in the front court with more than :14 seconds remaining on the shot clock, it will NOT reset.
– If a player is fouled in the front court with less than :14 seconds remaining on the shot clock, the clock will reset to :14 seconds.
– Shot clock resets on all change of possession.

TIMEOUTS: All timeouts are 30 seconds in duration. Each team receives THREE (3) TIMEOUTS during regulation play. Overtime: Each team will be given one (1) timeout per overtime period. Timeouts from regulation play will NOT carry over.

Ball Advance on Timeout: In the last 1:00 minute of the game and in overtime, if a team calls a timeout during a dead-ball situation during inbounds or after a change of possession without advancing the ball, they can advance the subsequent inbounds to half-court at the discretion of the team that called the timeout was called. If the ball was advanced before the timeout was taken, the ball will be taken out out-of-bounds nearest to the spot from where the timeout was called.

OVERTIME: If the score is tied at the end of regulation play, there will be a 1:00 MINUTE OVERTIME (OT) PERIOD (time permitting) to be played immediately. Fouls will carry over, but NOT time-outs. Each team will receive ONE time-out per OT. All OT periods will operate with “stop clock” in effect. If the score is still tied at the end of the first OT period, there will be a 2ND 1:00 MINUTE OT (again, time permitting). If the game is not resolved within two OT periods, a sudden death period may have to be added at the discretion of the TDL game staff.

SUDDEN DEATH: The first team who scores, wins. This could be an actual FG or a FT. Again, only if time permits. If it is a regular season game and we must end the game in a draw due to time constraints, we will. But this has never actually been an issue.


PERSONAL FOULS: Each player receives SIX (6) PERSONAL FOULS for the game. We operate under NBA guidelines on what constitutes a personal foul. Those guidelines can be found here (pg 44).

“Clear Path Fouls” are in effect and explained here. Fouls away from the play, or “Hack-a-Shaq” fouls are also regulated per NBA guidelines, described here.

FLAGRANT FOUL GUIDELINES (Updated 2023.03.08) – Flagrant fouls are determined by the officiating crew (who may confer with staff as needed). We aim to provide a safe physical and mental game environment, but we do not have the capacity to follow the same criteria as the NBA. The following guidelines, however, are in place to promote clean play: Players will be warned after a flagrant foul and if there is a second, that player will be ejected for the game and issued a one-game suspension (think RED CARD in soccer). But if the first flagrant is deemed egregious enough (per officials and staff), it may also result in ejection and suspension. If a 3RD FLAGRANT FOUL is issued at any point during the season, it will be an automatic ejection and will be reviewed by league staff for possible multi-game suspension or for the remainder of the season. ANY PARTICULARLY EGREGIOUS FLAGRANT FOUL will be reviewed likewise for possible multi-game or season-long suspension.

“SUSPENSION OF PLAY” RULE (Updated 2023.03.08) – Please be advised that going forward, league staff and officials will be working together to pinpoint any unnecessarily physical or hostile play. IF tempers are flaring, the scorer’s table will SUSPEND play while the clock RUNS until both sides have cooled down in a manner sufficient to the officials and scorer’s table. If both sides cannot resolve their issues, the game will be called.

TECHNICAL FOULS: Technical fouls are issued for unsportsmanlike conduct at the referee’s discretion. Each referee is different so the standard for what qualifies as unsportsmanlike may be slightly different in each game, but for a general idea of what constitutes unsportsmanlike behavior, click here.

One technical foul will result in one (1) free throw by any shooter on the court that the awarded team chooses. The ball will then be given to the team which possessed the ball at the point of interruption to resume play. Two (2) technical fouls will result in disqualification of the offending player. Players ejected for technical fouls may also face possible suspension at the discretion of the Commissioner. Please note that NO refunds will be given to players suspended for unsportsmanlike conduct.

Any team charged with multiple technical fouls for unsportsmanlike conduct may forfeit the game at the discretion of the league staff.

FIGHTING: Absolutely no fighting will be tolerated during TDL games. Any player who engages in a fight, whether as the instigator or in self-defense, will be immediately ejected from the game. Officials may end a game at any point at their discretion if there is evidence of any player being put in imminent danger or if one or both teams cannot control themselves. Players ejected for fighting may also face suspension at the discretion of the Commissioner. Please note that NO refunds will be given to players suspended for unsportsmanlike conduct. Please also note that TDL records most if not all games on digital video, and if any party involved in any altercation seeks to press charges, we will turn over video evidence to the proper authorities.


NO JEWELRY is allowed on the court during play. If you can not remove the jewelry (such as a new piercing), you must cover the item of jewelry with tape.

A MINIMUM OF 8 TOTAL PLAYERS players (4 FROM EACH TEAM) must be physically present at the start of regulation in order to begin any game. It is strongly recommended that each team arrives to the gym at least 20 minutes before the posted game time.

If a team has less than four players available, it is declared a forfeit unless the opposing captain agrees to allow the team to pick substitutes. Each team is given a 5:00 MINUTE GRACE PERIOD to allow late arriving players if they do not have enough players to begin. After 5:00 minutes from the scheduled game time, the clock will begin and the team present and ready to play will be awarded two (2) FTs per: 24 seconds until the other team shows up. Teams may use their time-outs buy :30 seconds of time between free throws.

Any player checking into the game must report to the scorer’s table and wait for the officials to call him in for substitution. Failure to do so will result in a “delay of game” violation. IF BOTH OFFICIALS FAIL TO SHOW and if both teams are present at tip-off, the scheduled teams may decide whether to furnish their own officials or let TDL staff officiate.


The number of teams that qualify for playoffs will vary from season to season. But generally, if there are (8) teams, at least (5) teams will qualify for the playoffs. If there are (10) teams, (6) will qualify for the playoffs. If there are (12+) teams, (8) teams will make the playoffs. And, so on. This structure may change at the discretion of the league.

All playoff games will be played with the same RULES & REGULATIONS provided for regular season games unless otherwise instructed by the Commissioner.

PLAYOFF ELIGIBILITY requires that every player on the submitted roster must have played at least :01 second in (3) REGULAR SEASON GAMES in order to qualify (or, if injured, they must show up for the game). This requirement may be changed at TDL’s discretion taking into consideration the length of each season and other reasonable factors. Any changes to these regulations will usually be decided on and announced by mid-season.

INJURY EXCEPTION: If a player has been lost for the season due to injury, and a team can’t add a replacement player with enough eligible games, an injury exception may be added if approved by ALL league captains. An exception may also apply for players that simply will not be available during the playoffs–but this must also be approved by league captains. ANY PLAYER THAT HAS BEEN OFFICIALLY REPLACED MAY NOT RETURN FOR THE REMAINDER OF THE SEASON.

FORFEIT EXCEPTION: If your team has been involved in a FORFEIT WIN, then all players on your roster automatically receive a game played. This will NOT be updated on your team pages because added game will affect player statistical averages.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Any team that uses an ineligible player without league approval MUST FORFEIT any playoff game in which the ineligible player participated.


Playoff seeding is determined by overall league record. If teams have identical records at the end of the regular season, the following regular season tie-breakers will apply (in order of priority):

  1. Head-to-Head Record
  2. H-2-H Point Differential
  3. League Point Differential
  4. Most Points Scored
  5. Fewest Points Allowed
  6. Quality of Wins (best record against top half of standings)
  7. 3-Point Shootout (match-game, teams may choose their champion)

A tie-breaker between two teams with the same overall record goes to the team who has won more H2H match-ups. If two teams have won an equal amount of H2H match-ups it goes to #2 H2H Point Differential, then #3, and so on.

If there is a tie between 3+ teams… the team with the best H2H record among all involved teams wins the tie-breaker IF all teams involved in the tie-breaker have played each other. If teams in a 3+ team tie-breaker have an equal amount of H2H wins among all involved teams, the tiebreaker goes to #2, then #3 and so on.

If any team in a 3+ team tie-breaker has not played one of the other teams involved, then the tie-breaker will automatically drop to #3 and so on.

PLEASE NOTE: The acting commissioner may make reasonable adjustments to tie-breakers at their discretion to accommodate the unique differences of each season.