Timeouts are used to stop the game clock from ticking. After a timeout is called, the play clock still ticks and lasts 25 seconds.
Each team is given three timeouts during a half. Timeouts don't carry over to the second half. It is in the team's best interest to use their timeouts before the half ends.
No team can call two timeouts in a row on the same scrimmage down.
Football Timeout Strategy
A team will use a timeout:
- To conserve time
- To change the play design
- To prevent a Delay of Game penalty
- To ice the kicker
Teams call timeouts to stop the game clock from ticking. This is done to save time for a chance to score.
Time is important in football. More time on the clock means more chances to score. Teams will save time, especially when the score is close.
Calling a timeout allows the head coach to change the play design. The head coach may wait to see how a team is positioned on the field before calling a timeout.
Football Delay Of Game
Teams will call a timeout to prevent a Delay of Game penalty. A team will call a timeout if they are not on the field when the play clock nearing 0:00.
Teams will call a timeout to ice a player in hopes of them making a mistake.
The best example of this is when a team ices the opposing team's kicker. Just before a kick is made, a player or coach on a football team will call a timeout. There is a possibility that the kicker will make a mistake on the next play.