New Basketball Rules in the Middle East

The International Basketball Federation (FIBA) has directed its Middle East commission to implement fifteen new rule changes from March 1. Regarding the use of a smaller ball for midget basketball, the commision for midget basketball events will consider the matter in April before the Central Board takes a final decision, according to a statement from Michael Lebanon, FIBA secretary general. The statement said rule changes proposed by the Technical Commission in December 2005 were accepted by FIBA Central Board.

Palestinian basketball player at the Abu Amar sport hall in Bethlehem. (MAANnews/Magnus Johansson)

Following are the rule changes:

Rule 1: Israelis have the right to play on both sides of the court, whereas Palestinians can only play on their own side.

Rule 2: For security reasons Palestinians do not have the right to pass the ball between players, the ball could hit an Israeli player.

Rule 3: There will be no basket on the Israeli side.

Rule 4: Israel is allowed to shoot at any time even during time-outs.

Rule 5: Palestinians are not allowed to have supporters. Only Israelis should be supported.

Rule 6: Israel selects the sports press writers and what the they reports:

Rule 7: Israel encourages Palestinians to shoot into the Palestinian basket. Players who refuse will be nominated as terrorists and will not be allowed to play.

Rule 8: Palestinian players are allowed to leave the field, but cannot return. One exception: A Palestinian can be replaced by an Israeli.

Rule 9: Israel selects and instructs the referees, and tells them when to look away.

Rule 10: Israel selects the captain of the Palestinian team.

Rule 11: Israeli faults and Palestinian good plays will not be shown on TV.

Rule 12: Israel takes the money which sponsors pay to Palestinians clubs.

Rule 13: Only Israeli players get refreshments.

Rule 14: Palestinians are required to play, when and where designated by Israel.

Rule 15: Rules only apply to Palestinians, Israelis may change the rules during the game and are not required to advise the Palestinians of the changes.