BIG3 Basketball 2017: League Rules and Scoring Format

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistJune 25, 2017

Former NBA player Allen Iverson listens during a press conference launching BIG3, a new 3-on-3 professional basketball league, in New York, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017.  (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)
Bebeto Matthews/Associated Press

The inaugural season of the BIG3, Ice Cube's premier three-on-three basketball league, will tip off Sunday at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, with four games featuring all eight teams in action. 

But before some of the NBA's stars of yesteryear get ready to lay it all on the line in a half-court setting, we're here to provide an overview of the BIG3's rules and scoring procedures so fans can familiarize themselves with the setup.

According to the league's official website, BIG3 games will include conventional two- and three-point shots. However, an added wrinkle is the four-point shot, which can be attempted from one of three designated circles 30 feet from the basket:

Under those scoring parameters, games will hit halftime when one team reaches 30 points. A winner is declared once a team reaches 60 points, with the win-by-two rule in effect.

As far as foul shots go, any shooting foul on a two-point attempt will yield a conventional free-throw attempt, worth two points, from 15 feet. 

On a three-point shooting foul, players will attempt a freebie worth three points from the top of the arc. The same logic applies for fouls that occur in the four-point shooting circle. 

Speaking of fouls, there are no personal fouls in BIG3 play. Rather, all fouls are credited to the team. Once a team reaches five fouls in a half, all additional fouls will yield two free throws and the ball to the opposition.

When it comes to the flow of the game, fans will notice a general pickup game vibe. 

For example, say Team A scores on Team B. At that point, Team B will return to the top of the key and switch to offense. In other words, it follows the losers-take format, not the winners-take version. 

When shots are missed, the ball must be cleared to the top of the key. The only exceptions for not clearing the ball come when a shot doesn't hit rim and is rebounded by the defense or when the defense steals the ball.

On clearances, players must make sure they have both feet behind the three-point line before initiating a new offensive possession. 

It's stressed that when a defensive rebounder clears the ball, he's required to "clear the lane and re-establish himself before his team's shot or pass hits the rim."

There are also penalties when offensive players linger in the lane for at least three seconds. However, those rules don't apply for defenders like they do in the NBA. 

Sunday's action will start with the Ghost Ballers (Mike Bibby, Ricky Davis) taking on the 3 Headed Monsters (Rashard Lewis, Jason Williams) before Tri State (Jermaine O'Neal, Bonzi Wells) takes on Power (Corey Maggette, Cuttino Mobley). 

The final two games will feature Allen Iverson's 3's Company against Brian Scalabrine's Ball Hogs before the Killer 3s, led by Chauncey Billups and Stephen Jackson, clash with Kenyon Martin's Trilogy. 

The games will be televised Monday at 8 p.m. ET on FS1.