The basketball tournament is one of the original events of L.E.S.T.. There is a boys tournament and a girls tournament each year, with the number of divisions determined by how many teams submit entries. Schools are asked to commit themselves to repeated participation in the tournament rather than one-time or occasional play.
Team placement into divisions is typically determined by the school’s student enrollment in grades 5-8. Schools may request to have more than one team in the tournament if they have a second team at their school that plays an independent schedule during their season. Schools with a second team cannot have players play on both of their teams. A second team may advance in the bracket unless it is classified as an exhibition team, which is a non-advancing team. It is not the goal of L.E.S.T. Northwest to do intensive seeding and research on teams prior to the tournament. Avoiding having teams play first round games against teams they play during the regular season as well as previous year L.E.S.T. tournament results are taken into account for tournament seeding purposes.
The referees may be volunteers from various referee associations and other places. These individuals come under the supervision of the L.E.S.T. Northwest Director. Full cooperation from all schools and fans during the basketball competition is expected. Schools should specifically address the issue of Christian sportsmanship with their teams and supporters prior to attending LEST Northwest.
The tournament brackets are completed in January, with the final official brackets being published here on the website and shared directly with all registered coaches. Larger, poster-type brackets are posted and filled out during the tournament. Typically the tournament is double elimination, with each team being guaranteed two games.
All games will be regulated by the rules of the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) with the following exceptions:
- Quarters will be 6 minutes long.
- No full court press will be permitted after a 20-point lead is attained. After the first infraction the team will be warned. Every following infraction will result in a technical foul.
Schools are required to bring a scorebook and have their starting line-ups posted in the book prior to the game’s beginning. The designated home team will provide someone to keep the official scorebook and the visiting team will provide someone to run the clock. The home team is responsible for having someone say the opening prayer.
How to Participate
Each school must register their team(s) by indicating a commitment to participate on the L.E.S.T. Registration Form no later than December 16, 2023. A copy of each team roster is to be submitted by January 17, 2024. A draft of the tournament bracket and schedule will be released in late December or early January. Review, input, and feedback by the school’s Athletic Director and/or Basketball Coaches within four days of posting this draft will help improve the final tournament schedule and enhance the experience of all participants.