Football Game Clock

Chapter 2.5

The game clock is one of two clocks in football. It keeps track of game time displaying how much time is left in the game.


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

The Game Clock

The game clock keeps track of game time in the current quarter. Recall learning about the structure of a football game that there are four (4) quarters of game time in a football game.

Rookie Road Football Game Clock Image

In college (NCAA) and pro (NFL) football, each quarter lasts fifteen (15) minutes. So, the game clock will start at 15:00 tick until it reaches 0:00.

In high school football, each quarter lasts twelve (12) minutes, so the game clock starts at 12:00 tick until it reaches 0:00.

PRO TIP: If the game clock hits zero while the ball is still in play, the quarter or game isn't over until the ball is declared 'dead' by officials.

Temporary Stops

The game clock will continuously count towards zero, but it will temporarily stop for the following reasons:

The clock will continue to count towards zero, once the ball is back in play.


A timeout is an ability a team has to temporarily stop the game clock at will. We will learn more about timeouts shortly.

Rookie Road Football Timeouts Image

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