Tournament Rules

Tournament Format

1.01    The national tournament shall be conducted annually beginning in March. The tournament dates shall be made by the Board no later than 5 years prior to each tournament.

1.02    There may be two (2) divisions of competition based upon age, gender, and current level of education. (also see INDIVIDUAL ELIGIBILITY rules):

  • Grade School Girls Division
  • Grade School Boys Division

1.03    The tournament shall be conducted on the single-elimination basis for the national championship. However, a team will continue 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.

Team Selection Criteria

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 form the same city, state, or region are 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.

2.05    Announcement of the teams selected will be as quickly as possible after the application deadline pending state tournaments. (The selection committee may choose to ignore any tournaments concluded after the application deadline.)

Team Eligibility

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.

Individual Eligibility

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 the 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 score books, sign-in sheets, and similar types of documents if deemed necessary to insure compliance.

4.05    Each team is allowed a maximum of fifteen (15) players. No exceptions!

4.06    Each team is allowed a maximum of three (3) staff persons, such as coaches, managers, statisticians, athletic trainers, athletic directors, chaperones, etc.  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 of the court.

4.07    Each team is allowed uniformed cheerleaders who are students at the sponsoring school. A maximum of two (2) cheerleader coaches/sponsors per school.

4.08    The following age restrictions apply to the national tournament:

  1. Middle School Division – Without exception, a player must not have reached the age of fifteen (15) prior to the first day of September that precedes the national tournament.  If a player is fifteen (15) years old at the time of the tournament, an affidavit signed by the school principal must  be submitted certifying that that player is a full-time enrolled student for the entire academic year.

4.09    A Middle School Division player must be able to prove his/her birth date with a copy of his/her certified birth certificate. Birth certificates should be presented during tournament check in. To safeguard individuals identities please DO NOT fax or email birth certificates.

4.10    Passports, social security cards, driver’s permits, traffic tickets, work permits, baptismal certificates, or any other documents other than those specified above in Rules 4.09, as applicable, such fact must be communicated in writing to the division chairperson prior to the tournament in order that the directors might determine what alternate documents, if any, will be accepted as proof of identity and birth date.

4.17    Identity and birth date, must be proven at least sixty minutes (60) prior to a player’s first tournament game.

4.18    Any individual unable to comply with the rules of this section, as applicable, will not be permitted to participate in the tournament under any circumstances.

Application for Invitation

5.01    The application for invitation must be received by March 1.

5.02    Fees paid by teams accepted to the tournament are not refundable. Fees will be fully refunded to any team not accepted to the tournament.

5.03    The application for invitation must be certified by the academic administrator of the sponsoring school.

5.04   The application for invitation also must be certified by a director of the team’s league. (See Rule 3.02 for exception.)

5.05    A league director may not certify the application from any church or school of which he or she is a member, or of any team with which he or she has an affiliation. If a conflict of interest exists, certification must be provided by another league officer who is totally independent of the team and church or school.

5.06    The application for invitation must be complete in all respects before a team will be awarded a berth in the national tournament.

Playing Rules

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 (6) minute quarters will be played in the Grade School Division. Three (3) 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    The official roster score sheet must be approved at time of registration.

6.05    A team must be ready to play at the scheduled game time or a game forfeit may be declared.

6.06    Any person ejected from a game shall be ineligible to participate in his or her team’s next scheduled game.

6.07    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.


7.01    Each team is required to supply its own practice basketballs and other game and locker room equipment.

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 trophy.

8.02    An individual award will be presented to each registered player and staff person in attendance on the first, second and third place teams. An award will be presented to each player selected to the all-tournament team. An individual award will be presented to the Most Valuable Player. Sportsmanship awards will be presented to an individual player as follows:

  • Middle School Girls Division – John Hoban Award
  • Middle School Boys Division – Jack Fordyce Award

A school spirit award(s) may be presented – Mel Doering Award


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 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.

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.

Applications will be automatically sent to the selection committee. Any additional information should be sent to the Division Chairman, Michael Morgan via email: or fax: 1-877-865-2318

To request a financial aid application contact