League Policies


Children May Play Up, Never Down

Rostered NBL players within the same school may ONLY play UP on a school team in a grade division older than their current grade, but never DOWN. This is allowed at the coaches discretion during regular season and playoffs.



Please print the scoresheet via the link below and fill in your player roster before each game.  Each team is responsible for appointing a score keeper (age 16 years or older) to sit at the scorekeeper's table during each game to track 1.) the score and 2.) team and player fouls independently for your team to avoid any final scoring conflicts. The scoreboard and clock are best run by a third volunteer. Children should not be tasked with keeping score because it can put them in a difficult situation if there is a disagreement about the score or about player fouls or team fouls. The scorekeepers should work together quietly and should not coach or cheer from the table. 

NBL Scoresheet

FINAL SCORES should be emailed by COACHES ONLY to the division scheduler each week, after each game, to keep standings up to date online.


Missing Referees

An IHSA-certified referee is assigned to *each game. In the unusual circumstance that an IHSA-certified referee is not on the court before game time, please do not begin the game until you contact the Director of Referees, Josh Locks, at 773-519-0721.  Often, a referee can be reached to in time to make the game. Please attempt to reach Josh at least two or three times via phone call and text before moving on to the next step.

 If Josh is unavailable, each coach may designate an adult from the stands or a fellow coach to help officiate the game with the Junior ref. In the event that this occurs, coaches and fans need to recognize that there are two or three potentially inexperienced officials on the court and arguing calls is inappropriate.
*The only exception to this protocol is 4th Grade Girls' games for which an individual Junior referee is often assigned.                        


Multi-School Teams are STRICTLY PROHIBITED

(A multi-school team is a team comprised of children attending different schools.)

If you had a multi-school team in the league during the 2018 season, you may submit a request for approval to the league directors. Requests for approval must be received by September 15th, prior to the season. The league will still give priority to teams from a single school. Your request must be submitted via email and include the following:

  • Written explanation of justification for multi-school team
  • Full roster of players for team, including full name, child’s school, and child’s grade for each player.  Rosters for multi-school teams, once finalized, will be enforced without changes throughout the season

Any team that does not abide by the Multi-School Team policy will be immediately dismissed from the NBL for the remainder of the season and season fees will not be refunded.


NBL Game Blowouts

When an NBL team is up by 20 points or more, the public score of the game on the scoreboard may be turned off at the discretion of the coach of the losing team.  The ACTUAL score of the game continues to be tracked by each of the team scorekeepers.  If the scoreboard has been turned off and the point spread comes within 20 points at any point during the remainder of the game, the score can be returned to the scoreboard.  Otherwise, it can remain off.  The winning side of the blowout STILL MUST EMPLOY some of the suggestions below to slow the game down.

  • Bring defense behind 3 point line; if you usually play zone, play man-to-man or vice versa.
  • Pull starters out
  • No fast breaks (if you see your team going for one, call out “slow down”)
  • Have each player on your team score a basket before any player shoots to score a repeat basket
  • Have your players pass the ball 5 times before anyone attempts a shot (don’t have them count out loud, that is just as embarrassing); you can make this even more effective by telling them they can only take layups, forcing them to pass the ball effectively until a layup is available.
  • Only shoot left hand layups
  • Switch roles. In other words have your center play point guard, have your guards in the post. The center learns how to dribble better and the guards learn how to box out more.
  • No steals from a dribbler (in other words players can only intercept passes, not reach in to steal the ball)
  • Ask your team what they think the other team is feeling. Then you can explain why you are having them do any of these things and teach them what sportsmanship is.
  • If a player violates any of these, you can pull them out for a play, explain why you are asking them to do it and then put them back in.

Thank you for your support of this policy to help us maintain integrity of the game while still ensuring a fair, fun experience is had by all participants!


NBL Code of Conduct

NBL promotes fair, fun, safe, and competitive play. We insist on good sportsmanship and have a zero-tolerance policy for questioning ref calls.

We ask NBL participating teams (coaches, parents & kids) to set a positive tone at games to model for our children.

The NBL Code of Conduct:

  • Be respectful to the referees, coaches and players
  • Do not argue a referee's call
  • Applaud good play for both teams
  • Display sportsman-like conduct at all times
  • Read and adhere to the league's rules and blowout guidelines

Thank you for your help and support! You make NBL a great league!