1.01 The national tournament shall be conducted annually in March.
1.02 There will be two (2) divisions of competition based on age, gender, and current level of education:
Grade School Girls Division
Grade School Boys Division
1.03 The tournament shall be conducted on a single-elimination basis for the national championship. However, a team will continue to play in the consolation bracket after its first loss prior to the semifinal round in the championship bracket. Each team will be guaranteed to play a minimum of two (2) games.
2.01 The tournament directors shall select, or cause to be selected by whatever means in their opinion is appropriate in the circumstances, the best and most representative teams in the United States for participation in each division.
2.02 In determining which applications for invitation are to be accepted, preference may be given to state, regional, metropolitan, and league champions.
2.03 The tournament directors may require local or regional playoffs in circumstances where more than one team from the same city, state, or region is deemed to be equally qualified for the tournament.
2.04 The tournament directors may accept more than one team per state in order to round out the field.
3.01 Teams must be established squads, which have been sponsored by a Lutheran middle school during the current season.
3.02 Any team that has not participated in an established league during the current season must submit an affidavit of explanation on the sponsor’s stationery, signed by a representative of the sponsor.
3.03 A team must have played a minimum of (10) official league and or tournament games during the current season unless an exception is allowed by the Tournament Directors.
4.01 Players must be attending members of the sponsoring church or school and must comply with the eligibility rules of their league, post-season tournament, and national tournament.
4.02 The national tournament directors reserve the right to invalidate any league or post-season tournament eligibility rule if such rule is deemed to be unreasonable or not in the best interest of the national tournament.
4.03 All players must have participated in at least fifty percent (50%) of the team’s total scheduled games. Exceptions may be permitted, provided advance approval is requested in writing and obtained from the tournament directors prior to the application deadline date.
4.04 At their option, the tournament directors may require evidence of player participation during the current season by requesting copies of official scorebooks, sign-in sheets, and similar types of documents if deemed necessary to ensure compliance.
4.05 Teams shall be allowed a maximum of 20 persons on the application with a maximum of 15 players. These additional participants will include coaches, assistants, statisticians, - and may include the Athletic Director, Principal, Pastor, etc.
4.06 At least one (1) staff person must be at least twenty-one (21) years of age and must be responsible for team conduct both on and off the court.
4.07 Each basketball team is allowed to register a uniformed cheerleading team who are students at the sponsoring school. A maximum of two (2) cheerleader coaches/sponsors per school.
4.08 Team members must conform to their state’s laws and regulations regarding age and eligibility for participation. The national tournament rules will not act to make a player ineligible when he or she is eligible to participate in the team’s state.
4.09 The school Principal, in conjunction with the Athletic Director is responsible for certifying that each player conforms to the rules of that team’s state. Their signatures on the application affidavit attest that each player is in compliance with their state’s eligibility requirements.
APPLICATION FOR INVITATION
5.01 The application for invitation must be received by the deadline posted on www.lbaa.org.
5.02 Fees paid by teams to the tournament are not refundable after the brackets are revealed. Fees will be fully refunded to any team not invited or declining the invitation for any reason.
6.01 National Federation High School basketball (NFHS) rules shall govern play except where such rules are specifically superseded by Lutheran Basketball Association of America rules.
6.02 Six-minute quarters will be played in the Grade School Division. Three-minute overtime periods will be played until the game comes to a conclusion.
6.03 All games shall have certified high school or college basketball officials as assigned by the tournament directors.
6.04 If there are changes to the submitted roster/score sheet, those changes must be made prior to the first game.
6.05 A team must be ready to play at the scheduled game time or a game forfeit may be declared.
6.06 Any player or coach ejected from a game shall be ineligible to participate in his or her team’s next scheduled game. Players that receive a technical foul will not be eligible to be on the All-Tournament Team.
6.07 For reasons of practicality and visibility for the table officials, only one coach may stand and coach from the official coach’s box.
6.08 Any protest must be submitted to the tournament directors in accordance with the NFHS rules immediately following the incident being protested. Play shall be suspended while the directors adjudicate the protest, and the judgment rendered may not be appealed once play resumes.
6.09 The Home team will be the bottom team in the bracket.
7.01 Each team is required to supply its own practice basketballs and other game and locker room equipment. The LBAA will provide game balls.
7.02 Each team is required to have two (2) sets of basketball uniforms; each set as specified by the NFHS rules. A team may use the uniforms of another team not participating in the tournament in order to fulfill this requirement. White uniforms will be designated as the home uniform.
8.01 A team trophy will be awarded to each of the first, second, and third-place teams in the championship bracket, and to the first-place team in the consolation bracket. Additional team award(s) may be presented. Participating teams not receiving a place trophy will receive a participation plaque at the tournament.
8.02 An individual award will be presented to each registered player and staff person on each championship team. An individual award will be presented to each player selected for the all-tournament team. A sportsmanship award will be presented to an individual player as follows:
Grade School Girls Division – John Hoban Award
Grade School Boys Division – Jack Fordyce Award
8.03 A team spirit award(s) may be presented, the Mel Doering Award.
8.04 The Tom Schultze Award is for an outstanding coach.
8.05 All individual awards will be presented online, following the tournament, and dates will be posted on lbaa.org as well as social media.
9.01 National tournament rules will not operate to make a player or team eligible when such a player or team is ineligible under the rules of a team’s league or post-season tournament, and the rules of a team’s league and/or post-season tournament will not operate to make a player or team eligible when a such player or team is ineligible under national tournament rules.
9.02 Requests for exceptions to the national tournament rules must be submitted in writing to the tournament directors by the earlier of the application deadline date of fifteen (15) days prior to the date by which a ruling on such a request is required.
9.03 Lodging and travel information will be provided to all teams prior to the tournament.
9.04 Participating teams shall be financially responsible for their own lodging, transportation, and meal expenses with financial aid available upon application.
9.05 Non-commuting teams are required to use lodging accommodations arranged and approved by the tournament directors, or the team will not be permitted to participate in the national tournament. Exceptions are possible but must be approved by the tournament President.
9.06 Teams will be required to provide a scorekeeper for all games to sit with the official scorer and timer at the official table.
9.07 The tournament directors reserve the right to collectively amend, add to, or allow exceptions to the rules of the national tournament when deemed appropriate.
9.08 Christian Sportsmanship is expected of all team members/spectators throughout the tournament. Inappropriate behavior throughout the tournament by team members/spectators may be punishable at levels deemed necessary by the LBAA Board of Directors.
9.09 Participation in the tournament binds all teams to these rules. It is expected that all coaches familiarize themselves with these rules.
Rules updated 1/15/2023, LBAA Board of Directors