Diocese of Pittsburgh Boys Basketball 2023-2024 Season
Rules and Code of Conduct

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1. Before Play Begins

A complete Player Elegibility Roster form (signed by the pastor or principal), a complete Team Data Sheet form, and a check for the league fee for each Varsity team must be mailed or given to your Section Representative. Your section representative will submit all of the information to the Diocese Boys Basketball Sports Coordinator for the Junior Varsity or Varsity division.

2. League Fees

  1. The league fee is $75 per team. For Varsity teams make the check payable to the "The Diocese of Pittsburgh" and mail it to your Section Representative. For Junior Varsity teams make the check payable to "Mickey McGrane" and mail it to:

Mickey McGrane
4623 Carlton Street
Pittsburgh, Pa. 15201

All fees must be paid no later than the first league game.

3. Eligibility

  1. Varsity - 8th grade students and under.
    Junior Varsity (JV) - 6th grade students and under. It is not required to include JV players on the Varsity roster. Any player on the JV roster may play for the Varsity team.
  2. No player can be 15 years of age for Varsity and 13 years of age for JV before October 1 of the current school year. (Exceptions can be requested through appeal to the League Director.)
  3. Each player must be enrolled in the sponsoring school, or Diocesan approved sports mergers.
  4. Players cannot play on high school junior varsity teams. A student may participate on an outside team if given permission by the Catholic school coach. When there is a conflict in practice or games, the student must participate in the Catholic school event.
  5. A player can participate four years in grades 5 through 8. Special cases are referred to the Diocese Athletic Director.
  6. Class A is determined by 25 or more boys enrolled in grades 7 and 8. Class B is determined by 24 or less boys enrolled in grades 7 and 8.
  7. Students may play for another school in their Deanery when their school does not have a team. The total 7th & 8th grades boy's enrollment for both schools will determine Class A or Class B.
  8. A school electing to play up in classification must remain up for 2 years. 

4. Equipment


  1. Players must have numbered jerseys of the same color. (There shall be no penalty for illegal numbers or different style shorts of the same color.)
  2. Undershirts of any type must be similar in color to the jersey. Example: light green colored undershirts under dark green jerseys are not legal. Black undershirts are only legal with black jerseys. Only compression garments are legal beneath shorts, and must be the same color as the shorts.
  3. Arm sleeves must be white, black or beige, and all players on the same team must have the same color.

Game Clock and Official Book

  1. The Home Team must provide the time clock and should have a back-up clock available.
  2. Clocks are to be operated by adults where possible. An adult shall be considered a high school sophomore or above.
  3. After the start of the game, no protest will be honored regarding the qualifications of the clock operator.
  4. The Home Team will keep the official clock and official book.
  5. The Home Team will make space available for the opponents next to the official clock and book.

5. New Players

During the first four weeks of the season, new players may be added to the roster by notifying the Diocese Boys Basketball Sports Coordinator by mail. After this period the Diocese Boys Basketball Sports Coordinator will consider each individual case.

6. Games

  1. All games being played on week days (M-F) should not start before 6:00 PM.
  2. Sunday games cannot begin before 1:00 PM.
  3. Multiple games (JV and Varsity) are to be scheduled at one (1) hour and fifteen (15) minute intervals.
  4. If a team refuses to play a league game, that team will be barred immediately from the league for that season.

7. Boys’s Varsity and JV Grade School Basketball Rules

Official PIAA High School Basketball Rules shall apply with the following exceptions:

  1. Clock
    • Six (6) minute periods.
  2. Catholic school playing floors will have a three point shot line.
  3. An official leather ball will be used in all league games.
  4. Two certified officials are assigned to each game. However, the game may be played as a league game with only one certified official if both coaches agree before the game starts. A game will be forfeited if the attending official(s) is not certified.
  5. The Home Team is responsible for:
    • Appointing a building manager for each game
    • Crowd control. The Home Team must remove a disruptive person that is requested by a referee.
    • Referee safety. The Home Team is responsible to ensure that the referees has the ability to enter and exit the gym without interference from fans, coaches, players, etc. (Note: failure to adhere to this rule will be reported to the Diocese Boys Basketball Sports Coordinator and can result in disciplinary action.)
  6. Practice shall not begin before October 15 of the current school year.
  7. A team shall play no more than 26 games, plus tournaments games and Diocesan Playoff games. Four scrimmages are allowed. A scrimmage is defined as any competition with another team.
  8. A team is permitted to play only one game each day.
  9. A player is allowed to play six quarters of organized basketball in one day, with overtimes excluded. Any participation during a given quarter counts as a quarter played. This rule is waived if a Varsity team has 9 or less players.
  10. A student transferring from one Catholic school to another is not eligible to play basketball for the remainder of the school year unless parents change residence. Transfers from a public school to a Catholic school will be approved by the Diocese Boys Basketball Sports Coordinator and Diocese Athletic Director, and a decision rendered within ten days.
  11. Beginning with the 2021–2022 season, schools may enter more than one team to compete in the Diocesan League at both the JV and Varsity level. Each competing team must have a separate roster and players may not participate on more than one JV or Varsity team. Teams will be assigned to compete in a section (Class A or Class B) determined by the enrollment of the school. As in previous seasons, schools not wanting to enter more than one team to compete in the Diocesan League as stated above, may enter additional teams to play in an assigned Class B section and all games will be played as exhibition games. The rosters of these teams may be flexible, and schools may use players from the other teams in accordance with good sportsmanship.
  12. Teams are not permitted in the locker rooms without an adult chaperon of the same gender.
  13. Head Coaches are permitted to stand.
  14. A team may have 1 Head Coach and up to 2 Assistant Coaches on the bench during a game.
  15. Proven violation of the above rules will result in the immediate termination of the coach for that basketball season.

8. Officials and Fees

  1. Officials are scheduled by Tim Bielewicz (412-628-4555 (c), timbielewicz@hotmail.com) .
  2. For double header games distribute fees before the 2nd game.
  3. A representative of the school should greet the officials at the door, and introduce the building official. (Note: If problems occur during the game the referees will advise the building official.)
  4. Fees:
    • Two games, two officials - $90.00 each official - $180.00 for the 2 games
    • One game, two officials - $45.00 each official - $90.00 for the game
    • Two games, one official - $135.00 for the 2 games
    • One game, one official - $68.00 for the game
  5. The Home Team must notify their Official (Referee) Representative if 2 officials do not show for each game.
  6. Officials are assigned by the assigning secretary for the following areas/divisions:

9. Cancellations

  1. Inclement weather: Games may be canceled because of inclement weather only with the mutual consent of both coaches. School policy will prevail regarding extracurricular activities. However, the principal(s) may waive their school policy. Proposals for cancellations must be made 4 hours before game time the day of the game for weather reasons only.
  2. For all cancellations the Home team will call their Officials Representative to cancel the referees. Referees will receive their FULL fee if not notified 4 hours prior to the game.
  3. Cancellation make-up games - Both teams must agree as soon as possible after the cancellation (preferably on the day of cancellation) so a new game can be set and officials notified.
  4. All league games must be completed the Sunday prior to the playoffs.

10. Forfeit

  1. A game is subject to forfeiture if a team has not taken the floor within one-half (1/2) hour after the scheduled time.

11. Protests

  1. All protests are to be submitted in writing by the coach to the Diocese Boys Basketball Sports Coordinator.
  2. All protests must be accompanied by a $50.00 fee. The fee will be returned if the protest is upheld.
  3. The protesting coach must notify the official and opposing coach at the point of discussion with his/her intention to protest.
  4. No protests on "Judgment Calls" by officials.
  5. Time allowed for filing protests:
    • On player eligibility - until end of season.
    • On game itself - within three (3) days.
  6. The Diocese Boys Basketball Sports Coordinator and the Diocese Athletic Director will rule on protests after consultation with schools/coaches involved

12. Withdrawal From League

  1. A school that withdraws from the league does so under the following conditions:
    • The withdrawing school may not apply for re-admission until one (1) year has elapsed. Eligibility will not take place in less than two (2) years after withdrawal. Special cases may be acted upon by the Diocese Boys Basketball Sports Coordinator.

13. Play-Offs, Section Ties, Admission Price

  1. The person from each school responsible for the conduct of students and adults must introduce themselves to the person in charge of the playoffs (usually the Diocese Boys Basketball Sports Coordinator).
    • All Pom Poms are prohibited.
    • Artificial noisemakers are prohibited (including, but not limited to air horns and plastic bottles containing beans).
    • Fans in the BOTTOM row of bleachers at playoff games must remain seated during play.
    • Personal basketballs are prohibited (please leave basketballs in your vehicle)
  2. Details of playoffs will be determined by the Diocese Boys Basketball Sports Coordinator for the Junior Varsity teams and the Diocese Boys Basketball Sports Coordinator and the section representatives for the Varsity teams.
  3. In the event of a tie for 1st place in a section (Class A or Class B):
    • One game will be played in the event of a two team tie.
    • In the event of a three way tie a draw will be held to give one of the three teams a bye.
    • Site and specifics of tie breaker games will be determined by the Section Representatives. A team refusing to play on the selected floor will forfeit the game.
    • Additional playoff information will be provided during the season.
  4. The price of admission for the post season Diocese Playoff games will be set annually.

14. Trophies

Trophies will be awarded to Class A and B teams as follows:

  • Varsity
    • Section Champion - One (1) team trophy
    • To both the First and Second place teams in the post-season playoffs - One (1) team trophy and fifteen (15) individual trophies
  • Junior Varsity
    • Section Champion - One (1) team trophy and fifteen (15) individual trophies
    • Section Runner-Up - One (1) team trophy
    • To both the First and Second place teams in the post-season playoffs - One (1) team trophy and fifteen (15) individual trophies

Rules updated Friday, March 01, 2024, 7:01:35 AM



1. Offensive Actions

No coach or player is to:

  1. Refuse to abide by official’s decision or ejection from a game.
  2. Use profane language or gestures which results in a technical foul.
  3. Exhibit objectionable behavior, (e.g. throwing equipment or any other forceful action).
  4. Verbally abuse an official for any real or imagined unjust decision or judgment, or verbally abuse a Player, Opposing Coach, or Spectator.
  5. Physically touching, pushing, shoving, striking, attacking or threatening to strike or attack any Official, Coach, Player, Score/Time Keeper or Spectator.

For any of the above occurrences, a written report will be submitted to the League Director by the game officials, Athletic Director, or coach. Once this report is received, the school’s principal will be notified by the League Director.

2. Penalties

Penalties for the above Offensive Actions include:

  1. Violation of Articles A, B, C or D:
    • One (1) to five (5) game suspension
    • No one may serve as a coach in a different class (varsity or junior varsity) of the same sport while under suspension.
    • Nor are they permitted access to gym facilities.
    • If a coach is ejected from a game the coach must leave the premises.
    • If ejected from a game a player may remain on the team bench. (This is for safety reasons)

    (Note: Clarification of the above suspensions: one (1) technical foul - League Director will contact offending coach to give warning. Two (2) technical fouls which result in a coach being ejected from a game/gym - Penalty as follows: 1st offense is a one (1) league game suspension with letters being sent to School's principal and Dr. Bowes; 2nd offense is a five (5) league game suspension; 3rd offense is a one (1) calendar year suspension. If a person coaches both JV and Varsity teams the suspension goes for both teams.)

  2. Violation of Article E:
    • By a coach - suspension of offending coach or player for one full calendar year.
    • By a player - suspension for 3 to 5 games accompanied by a letter defining the meaning of sportsmanship as well as an apology to team member and offended individual that is to be sent to their school’s principal, and copies sent to offended individual and League Coordinator.

    If suspended coaches, players or parents disregard stated penalties, when properly notified by the League Director, the team is to be permanently suspended from league competition for one full calendar year beginning immediately after the violation.

    If necessary, suspensions will carry over into the next season.

  3. A player ejected from a game for any reason is not permitted to play in the next Diocesan league or playoff game. This includes (but is not limited to) 2 technical fouls, a flagrant foul, etc.

3. Use of Tobacco, Alcohol or Illegal Drugs

Smoking, drinking alcoholic beverages and using illegal drugs are strictly forbidden and are grounds for immediate termination.

4. Parent or Fan Behavior

  1. Any parent or fan whose behavior is deemed objectionable (i.e. offenses similar in nature to those in the coaches and players code of conduct) by any game official, pastor, school principal, or appointed person in authority at that event, shall be escorted from the premises. In severe instances, the Pastor/Athletic Director/Coach/Principal of the school(s) involved should then make a further determination as to whether or not the individual(s) should be banned from additional games.
  2. If objectionable parent or fan behavior becomes a continuing occurrence it can result in the league director having the offending team(s) conducting their games with a closed gym. This means that only team members, their coaches, and school officials are permitted on the premises.

Code of Conduct updated Thursday, January 14, 2021, 10:52:44 AM

Complaints - Any complaint against a school, coach, fan or official is to be written and forwarded to the Diocesan Athletic Director only after exhausting all local attempts to solve the problem.

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