Basketball Shot Clock

Chapter 2.5

The shot clock is an important clock in basketball. It limits the amount of time a team can have possession of the ball and keeps the pace of the game.

Introduction

In basketball, all clocks count towards zero. This adds a layer of pressure and suspense for players and fans. There are two clocks you should know:

In this tutorial, we will learn about the shot clock, its rules, and how much time is on it.

The Shot Clock

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

In pro (NBA) basketball, the shot clock lasts twenty-four (24) seconds. In college (NCAA) basketball, the shot clock lasts thirty (30) seconds.

Rookie Road Basketball Shot Clock Image

The shot clock starts ticking immediately when the ball is brought into play.

Stopping The Shot Clock

The shot clock stops ticking whenever the ball is declared 'dead' by officials like when:

The shot clock will resume once the ball is put back into play.

Resetting The Shot Clock

The shot clock will reset if:

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

REMEMBER: It is a big deal when a team resets the shot clock and maintains possession of the ball. This can only happen when the ball hits the rim and a player on the same team catches the rebound, effectively getting another possession. We'll learn more about rebounds in future chapters.

Shot Clock Violation

A shot clock violation happens when the shot clock hits 0:00 and...

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

A shot clock violation results in an immediate turnover of the ball to the other team. We'll learn more about turnovers in future chapters.

PRO TIP: As long as the ball has left a player's hands and is in the air by the time the shot clock hits 0:00 it is not considered a shot clock violation. Although it still needs to either hit the rim or score.

History Of The Shot Clock

The shot clock wasn't always a part of basketball. It was added to the sport in 1954. Before the days of the shot clock, teams could hold onto the ball forever. This resulted in low scoring games and less excitement for fans, so the rules were changed!

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