What is Clock Management in Football?
Clock management in football highlights the need for a team to play the game at a certain speed or by using a specific strategy in order to use the clock to that team's advantage. It is particularly important at the end of the first half and the game.
The Game Clock
The game clock stops for a number of reasons during a football game, and coaches can take advantage of that fact by running certain kinds of plays depending on the score. Some instances that can be exploited include the ball going out of bounds, an incomplete pass, the two minute warning timeout, or a timeout of any kind, though the clock does stop for other reasons.
Strategies For Clock Management
If a team is losing and the game clock is running low, that team will employ a hurry up offense, a much faster-paced offense than it would normally use. In order to do this, players should run as quickly as they can to where they need to be, punt the ball in a manner that it will go out of bounds, use a no-huddle offense if they can, and run passing plays near the sideline that allow players to get out of bounds, in addition to using other tactics. Many of these strategies are used in the two minute drill in which the team will attempt to score within two minutes, or as fast as possible.
Clock management is still a very important aspect of the game for a team that is ahead. In this case, a team will want to run out the clock as much as it can to give the other team as little time to score as possible. Strategies here include getting in and out of the huddle slowly, running the ball, which keeps the clock moving, rather than passing, refraining from using timeouts, using the entire play clock before snapping the ball, and keeping the ball from going out of bounds.