Shot Clock Guidelines
By NFHS on July 16, 2021
In accordance with Rule 2-14, each state association may adopt a procedure by which it implements a 35-second shot clock effective with the 2022-23 season. The following are the guidelines to be implemented for those states choosing to adopt the shot clock.
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- A shot clock is one of the two official visible timepieces one at each end of the court.
- The shot clocks shall be recessed and mounted on the backboard supports behind each backboard.
- An alternate timing device or procedure shall be available when a visible shot clock malfunctions.
- LED lights located around the shot clock may be used, but the lights shall only be activated for a shot-clock violation.
- Nothing shall be attached to the mounting mechanisms of the shot clock that affects the visibility of the shot clock.
GAME AND TABLE OFFICIALS
A shot clock operator will be located at the scorer’s and timer’s table. It is recommended that the timer and shot clock operator be seated next to each other.
OFFICIALS' GENERAL DUTIES
Use the shot clock to administer the 10-second backcourt count (9-8). Use a silent, visible 10-second count when there is no shot clock visible.
To indicate a shot clock violation the official will give the stop clock signal followed by the tapping of the head and giving a directional signal.
To indicate a shot clock reset the official will use a rolling motion of a pointed index finger above the head.
THE SHOT-CLOCK OPERATOR SHALL:
- Use a 35 second shot clock in accordance with Rule 2-14.
- Use the shot clock the entire game, including extra periods, except when there is less time remaining on the game clock than on the shot clock or in cases where 5-5-3NOTE has been implemented. In these cases, the shot clock shall be turned off.
- Control a separate timing device with a horn that shall have a sound that is distinct and different from that of the game-clock horn.
- Have an alternate timing device or procedure available in the case of failure or lack of availability of the electronic clocks.
- Start the shot clock when:
A player inbounds legally touches or is touched by the ball on a throw-in; or
A team initially gains control after a jump ball or unsuccessful try for goal; or
Control of a loose ball is gained after a jump ball; or
Unsuccessful try for goal.
- Stop the timing device and reset to full amount:
When team control is again established after the team loses possession of the ball. NOTE: The mere touching of the ball by an opponent does not start a new shot clock period with the same team remains in control of the ball.
When any of the following occur:
- A single personal foul,
- A single technical foul assessed to the defensive team,
- During team control, a defensive player causes a held ball, and the alternating possession arrow favors the defensive team,
- When a try for goal strikes the ring of flange and then possession is gained by either team,
- When a violation occurs,
- After a held ball occurs during a throw-in, and the alternating possession arrow favors the team that did not make the throw-in,
- After a held ball occurs during after an unsuccessful try that does not contact the ring or flange, and the alternating possession arrow favors the non-shooting team,
- After the ball goes out of bound and was last touched simultaneously by two opponents, both of whom are either inbound or out of bounds or when there is doubt as to who last touched the ball and the possession arrow favors the defensive team,
- When there is an inadvertent whistle and there was no player or team control at the time of the whistle.
- Stop the timing device and continue time without a reset when play begins under the following circumstances:
- The ball is deflected out of bounds by a defensive player,
- A player is injured or loses a contact lens,
- A charged timeout has concluded,
- During team control as defined in NFHS 4-12-1, a defensive player causes a held ball, and the alternating possession arrow favors the offensive team,
- After any double personal or technical fouls or simultaneous personal or technical fouls when there is team control unless the penalty for the foul results in a change of possession,
- After an inadvertent whistle when there is team control.
- After any technical foul(s) is assessed to a team in control of the ball, or to the team entitled to the ball before it is at the disposal of the thrower-in, or to bench personnel,
- After a held ball occurs during a throw-in, and the alternating possession arrow favors the team that made the throw-in.
- After a held ball occurs during after an unsuccessful try that does not contact the ring or flange, and the alternating possession arrow favors the shooting team.
- After the ball goes out of bounds and was last touched simultaneously by two opponents, both of whom are either inbounds or out of bounds or when there is doubt as to who last touched the ball and the possession arrow favors the offensive team.
NOTE: The offensive team, upon regaining possession of the ball for the throw-in, shall have the unexpired time on the shot clock to attempt a try.
- Re-setting the shot clock not to the full shot clock amount: Reset the shot clock to 20 seconds when there is an intentionally kicked or fisted ball with less than 19 seconds on the shot clock. State associations may determine, if there are other instances where the clock is reset, but not to the full shot clock amount.
- Sound the shot-clock horn at the expiration of the shot-clock period. This shot-clock horn shall not stop play unless recognized by an official’s whistle. When the shot clock indicates zeroes, the shot-clock time has expired.
- Turn off the shot clock when a reset situation occurs, and the game clock shows less time than that of a shot-clock period.
- Allow the timing device to continue during loose-ball situations when the offense retains control or when a field-goal try is attempted at the wrong basket or when a field-goal try has failed to hit the rim or flange.
- Allow the game officials to make the final decision when there is doubt as to whether a score was made within the shot-clock period or whether a try for goal contacted the ring or flange.
- The officials shall make the final decision when there is doubt as to whether a score was made within the shot-clock period or whether a try for goal contacted the ring or flange.
- When an obvious mistake by the shot-clock operator has occurred in failing to start, stop, set or reset the shot clock, or when a shot clock has malfunctioned, the mistake or the malfunctioning problem may be corrected in the shot-clock period in which it occurred only when the official has definite information relative to the mistake or malfunctioning problem and the time involved.
SHOT CLOCK VIOLATION
- A shot-clock period is the period of time beginning when the ball is legally touched on a throw-in or when team control is established or re-established after loss of team control and the shot clock is properly started. The shot-clock period ends when the shot clock is properly started for the next shot-clock period.
- A shot-clock try for field goal is defined as the ball having left the shooter’s hand(s) before the sounding of the shot-clock horn and then striking the ring or flange or entering the basket.
- The team in control must attempt a try for a field goal, within the 35 second shot clock period.
- It is a violation when a try for field goal does not leave the shooter’s hand before the expiration of the allotted shot-clock time (as indicated by the sounding of the shot-clock horn) or when it does leave the shooter’s hand before the expiration of the allotted shot-clock time and the try does not subsequently strike the ring or flange or enter the basket.