Basketball Rules in the Philippines


The Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) uses a combination of rules that govern the National Basketball Association (NBA) and rules used in international games governed by the International Basketball Federation (FIBA). The rules are designed to make the Philippine game as interesting as possible. According to an interview PBA Chairman Lito Alvarez did with GMA News, the goal is to avoid long lulls in the games.

Three Point Line

The 3-point line in Philippine games is 22 feet from the basket, according to the PBA rule book. The line was moved back in an effort to force players to become better shooters from longer distances. PBA Chairman Lito Alvarez stressed that shooting skills of the players will have to improve in an interview he did with GMA News.

No Harm-No Foul

The PBA employs the No Harm-No Foul rule because it allows the games to be more physical. If a player, or players, is being physical, but no advantage is gained by either player, there will be no foul called. This rule has a similar philosophy to the rules of the NBA regarding physical play.


PBA rules requires the lane be a rectangle. The current rectangular lane is 16 feet wide throughout and is the same as the lane used in NBA play, according to GMA News. In the past, the PBA followed FIBA rules regarding the lane and employed a trapezoid configuration.


Any shot attempt that hits the backboard will be a live ball until the shot is made, according to PBA rules. This means that the offense can touch a ball once it comes off of the backboard. This rule is in contrast to NBA rules, in which an offensive player is not allowed to touch a ball that hit the backboard without a violation being called.

In an effort to accommodate players, the PBA rules states that players who use the jab step before making an offensive move will be given leeway. The jab step is part of the offensive arsenal of popular Philippine players such as Kerby Raymundo and James Yap.