The shot clock in lacrosse is a clock that tracks how much time the offensive team has remaining to take a shot on goal. It is intended to keep the flow of play fast and to encourage a frequent change of possession. Without a shot clock, one team would be able to play keep-away in their offensive area and not attempt any scoring chances. The shot clock operators sit alongside the game clock operator at the scorer's table on the sideline. In this tutorial, we will cover the rules of the shot clock.
In men's field lacrosse, the shot clock is 80 seconds from the time the offensive team gains possession of the ball, and the offensive team must have the ball within their offensive half within the first 20 seconds of the 80-second shot clock. In indoor lacrosse, the shot clock is 30 seconds from the time the offensive team gains possession. There is no shot clock in women's lacrosse.
The shot clock operator starts the shot clock once clear possession is gained after a face-off, a live ball turnover and a loose ball. The shot clock operator stops the shot clock when the official stops play, a ball travels out of bounds, or for a timeout or injury. When the shot clock is reset, it resets to the full 80 seconds. The shot clock resets after a change of possession.
For timeouts or injury timeouts, the shot clock continues for the remaining time if the offense calls a timeout and resets to 80 seconds if the defensive team signals for a timeout. This rule gives an advantage to the offense and discourages the defense from calling a timeout simply to disrupt an offensive set.