NFL Video Rulebook

The NFL Video Rulebook explains NFL rules with video examples.

Play Clock

Rule Summary View Official Rule

When is the play clock set to 40 seconds?

The play clock is set to 40 seconds immediately after a play ends (unless it follows one of these scenarios). If the ball is not snapped before the play clock expires, it is a delay of game.

When is the play clock set to 25 seconds?

The play clock is set to 25 seconds after certain administrative stoppages, including:

  • Change of possession
  • Charged timeout
  • Two-minute warning
  • End of a quarter
  • Penalty enforcement
  • Extra-point of two-point conversion attempt
  • Punt

The Referee can reset the play clock to 25 seconds by pumping one hand vertically.

When does a 10-second runoff occur?

When there is a 10-second runoff, the clock starts on the referee’s signal. A 10-second runoff occurs when a team commits any of these acts after the two-minute warning with the clock running:

  • An offensive foul that prevents the snap (e.g., false start)
  • Intentional grounding
  • Illegal forward pass thrown from beyond the line of scrimmage
  • Throwing a backward pass out of bounds
  • Spiking or throwing the ball in the field of play after the down ends (except after a touchdown)
  • Any other intentional foul that causes the clock to stop

There is a 10-second runoff if a replay review of a play after the two-minute warning results in the on-field ruling being reversed and the correct ruling would not have stopped the clock.

This runoff only applies to the offense. The defense always has the option to decline the 10-second runoff and have the yardage penalty enforced, but if the yardage penalty is declined, the 10-second runoff is also declined.

 

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