Basketball Shot Clock

What is the shot clock in basketball? How long does the shot clock last in the NBA, college basketball, and in youth games? Get ready to learn about the shot clock rules in basketball.

Shot Clock

The shot clock in basketball keeps track of how long a team can have the ball.

Basketball Shot Clock

NBA Shot Clock

In the NBA, the shot clock lasts 24 seconds.

Basketball NBA Shot Clock

College Basketball Shot Clock

In college basketball, the shot clock lasts 30 seconds.

Basketball NCAA Shot Clock

Shot Clock Stops

The shot clock stops ticking when the ball is declared dead by referees. Here are some of the reasons the shot clock stops:

The shot clock will resume once the ball is put back into play with a jump ball or a throw in.

Shot Clock Resets

Sometimes the shot clock will reset back to its original amount of 30 seconds or 24 seconds. Here are some of the reasons the shot clock resets:

  • teams change possession of the ball
  • the ball hits the rim
  • a score is made

Offensive Rebounds

An offensive rebound happens when the team on offense recovers the ball after a shot. If the ball hits the rim, then the shot clock resets. The offense gets another chance at making a basket.

Shot Clock Violation

What happens if the shot clock reaches zero? A shot clock violation is a type of turnover that results in the other team getting the ball. A shot clock violation will be called on a team if the following does not happen when the shot clock reaches zero:

  • the ball has not hit the rim
  • a score has not been made
  • a change of possession has not been made

A shot clock violation results in a turnover, meaning the ball is given to the other team. We'll learn more about turnovers in future tutorials.

IMPORTANT: As long as the ball has left a player's hands and is in the air by the time the shot clock hits zero it is not considered a shot clock violation. Although, the ball still needs to hit the rim.

Shot Clock History

The shot clock wasn't always a part of the sport. The shot clock rule was added to the sport in 1954. Before the days of the shot clock, teams could hold onto the ball forever with no time limit. The lack of a shot clock resulted in low scoring games and a lot less excitement for fans. As a result, the rules were changed!

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