Basketball Shot Clocks

basketball equipment shot clock

The basketball shot clock is a countdown timer used for competitive games of basketball. The shot clock indicates how long the offensive team can possess the basketball. It is used to increase the pace and competitiveness of the game. The shot clock is incorporated in competition levels ranging from high school to professional basketball.

What are shot clocks used for?

Shot clocks are pieces of equipment used to time offensive possessions in competitive basketball games. They are used to increase the scoring, pace, and competitiveness of the game.

Basketball shot clocks are a set countdown timer that indicates how long the offensive team has to possess the ball. The offense must attempt a field goal that hits the rim before the shot clock reaches zero and the buzzer sounds. This requires teams to make timely decisions and be mindful of the time remaining on the clock, so they can shoot the ball before the buzzer goes off. The clock resets once the other team gains possession and takes over on offense.

The NBA and FIBA shot clock is set at 24 seconds to keep the game as high-scoring and fast-paced as possible. Other organized athletic leagues like the NCAA and high school basketball play with a 30-second shot clock to keep the scoring and pace of play under control.

Things To Consider

When looking for shot clocks, you'll want to consider the following:

  • What type of shot clock do you need?
  • Is there a certain size shot clock that you are looking for?
  • How much do you have to spend on a shot clock?
  • Is there a certain brand of shot clock you are looking for?


The three different types of shot clocks are table top, single side mounted, and 3 or 4 sided.

Table Top Shot Clock

Basketball Table Top Shot Clock

Tabletop shot clocks are the most affordable and portable type of shot clock. This shot clock typically sits at the half-court sideline. Tabletop shot clocks are predominantly used in youth and amateur basketball competitions. The tabletop shot clock can also display the score, game clock, foul count, period, and bonus.

Single Sided Mounted Shot Clock

Basketball Single Sided Mounted Shot Clock

The single-sided mounted shot clock sits atop each team’s basketball hoop. This shot clock displays the countdown timer for both teams when they are trying to score. This shot clock is typically used for high school and AAU competitions because they are not televised and only the players can clearly see the shot clock.

3 or 4 Sided Shot Clock

Basketball 3 or 4 Sided Shot Clock

The 3- or 4-sided shot clock is the most professional and expensive type of shot clock. It displays the shot clock countdown for both the players on the court and the audience viewing the game. This shot clock requires the most amount of time to mount and set up on the hoop, as it is the heaviest and bulkiest type of shot clock.


The two most popular brands of shot clocks are Champion and Seiko.

  • Daktronics: Daktronics is known for their state-of-the-art scoreboards, shot clocks, and video display technology. They manufacture multiple variations of shot clocks to fit the needs of any basketball gym.  
  • Champion: Champion Sports is a high-quality sports and fitness equipment manufacturer. Champion Sports sells varying styles of tabletop and mounted shot clocks used by competitive basketball leagues.
  • Seiko: Seiko is a sports equipment manufacturer that specializes in sports scoreboards and stopwatches. Seiko sells both tabletop and unmounted portable shot clocks. They also offer shot clock accessories like caster and table stands, carrying bags, and remote controllers.


Some important factors to consider when looking for shot clocks are durability, size, and cost.


In terms of durability, you will want to look at the size, materials, country of origin, and price. Basketball shot clocks are fairly durable and can withstand being hit by basketballs. They can last a long time but may need to have their batteries or lights replaced over time. Tabletop shot clocks tend to be most durable because they have a plastic bumper casing that other types of shot clocks do not have.


Basketball shot clocks can come in different types and formats. The most common basketball shot clocks measure 36 inches tall and 30 inches wide, 24 inches tall and 24 inches wide, and 20 inches tall and 20 inches wide. The shot clock timer digits are commonly 13 inches. 


Shot clocks are expensive pieces of basketball equipment. Tabletop shot clocks are on the cheaper end and cost anywhere from $200-$1,000. Mounted shot clocks are more expensive and professional alternatives that cost in the neighborhood of $2,000-$5,000. Shot clock brands charge similar prices for their products, but the prices increase depending on the type of shot clock.


What are the kinds of shot clocks?

The most common kinds of shot clocks are tabletop, single-sided mounted, and multi-dimensional mounted. Each shot clock is used for different degrees of basketball competition. The tabletop is typically used for youth and amateur basketball because it is portable and less incorporated in the game. The single-sided mounted shot clocks are most commonly used for high school and AAU basketball competitions, so the offense can clearly see the timer on display. The multi-dimensional mounted shot clocks are used for the highest levels of basketball competition like college and professional so both the players and audience can see the shot clock during the game.

How much does a shot clock cost?

Shot clocks are expensive pieces of basketball equipment. Tabletops are the cheapest option and are commonly $500-$1,000. Mounted shot clocks are the more professional and expensive option, and cost anywhere from $2,000-$5,000 because they need to be mounted atop the backboard or along with the scoreboard. This is an advanced piece of basketball equipment that is only used for professional, international, collegiate, or high school competitions.

What are the rules of the shot clock in basketball?

The shot clock starts when the offense gains possession of the ball. This can happen after an inbounds pass, defensive rebound, or any other change in possession. After gaining possession, the offense has 8 seconds to reach the opposing team’s side of the floor. Then, the offense must attempt a field goal before the shot clock expires. If the offense attempts a shot that hits the rim and they get the rebound, the shot clock partially resets. If the offense does not attempt a shot before the shot clock expires and the buzzer goes off, then they commit a shot clock violation and lose possession of the ball.