Basketball 24-Second Violation Rule

Basketball 24 Second Violation

In basketball, there are several rules designed to keep the game competitive and fast-paced. The 24-second rule is intended to force players to shoot instead of playing keep-away and slowing down the game. Keep reading to find out how the 24-second rule works and what happens when teams and players break it.

What Is a 24-Second Violation in Basketball?

A 24-second violation, also called a shot clock violation, occurs when a basketball team fails to shoot the ball before the shot clock runs out. In the NBA, there is a 24-second shot clock that resets every time a new team touches the ball. If the shot clock runs out and the ball hasn’t hit the rim, then it results in a turnover.


Before the shot clock was introduced in 1954, teams could run out the clock if they had possession. This lack of rules was heavily criticized because it led to endless passing and no change of possession. This made the game much less entertaining to watch and slowed down the pace of the game. As a result, the league finally decided to add a shot clock to keep the pace of the game fast.

Defensive Strategy

A very strong defense can deny a shot within 24 seconds and force a violation resulting in a turnover. They can also force a low percentage shot towards the end of the shot clock by playing hard on the ball defense and not letting the offense have any room.

Offensive Strategy

The offense can use the shot clock to their advantage to make sure they get the last shot of the game, also called a two-for-one. For example, if there are 35 seconds left in a game, a team will shoot the ball early in the shot clock, so the other team will get the ball with more than 24 seconds left in the game. This ensures that the original team will get the ball back for a final shot because once 24 seconds are up, the other team will have either shot the ball or committed a 24-second violation.

Recent Changes

In the mid-2010s, aspects of the shot clock rules for both the NBA and NCAA were permanently changed. In 2015, the NCAA decreased its shot clock time from 35 seconds to 30 seconds. Three years later, the NBA changed its rule about shot clock resets. This new rule stated that the shot clock reset to 14 instead of 24 when an offensive rebound occurred to make the pace of play faster.

Shot Clock Reset Times

NCAA3030* (mens), 20 (womens)

Although the shot clock reset time for Men’s NCAA basketball is 30 seconds, if the defense commits a foul and the shot clock is below 20 seconds, then the shot clock is reset to 20 seconds.


What is the 24-second rule in basketball?

In professional basketball, the 24-second rule states that a team must shoot the ball within 24 seconds. A 24-second violation is also known as a shot clock violation. The shot clock counts down the 24 seconds, starting from the instant that a team gains possession. If the team fails to shoot the ball before the clock reaches zero, a turnover will result. In college basketball, a 30-second shot clock is used.