Sporting Charts

Play Clock

What does Play Clock Mean?

This is the timer used in football which counts down the amount of time the offensive team has to begin the play by hiking the ball. After a play is finished and the ball has been placed in its new location, the referee will start the play clock. In the National Football League, the offense has forty seconds to hike the ball. This includes time for the offense to huddle up and call a play, substitute one or more players, take their positions in the decided formation, and hike the ball. If the offense is unable to hike the ball prior to the play clock expiring, they will be called for a delay of game penalty and be penalized five yards.


Sporting Charts explains Play Clock

The play clock is an important part of football because it keeps the game moving along at a steady pace. Without the play clock, winning teams could stall the game. In fact, teams with a lead will typically try to use as much of the play clock as possible, especially if the game clock is also running. Time management is an important part of football, and managing the play clock is part of that. It is one of the responsibilities of the quarterback to ensure that the ball is hiked prior to the play clock expiring. If clock is about to expire, a team will call timeout to prevent the penalty.

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