SECTION 3. Timeouts: Starting and Stopping the Clock
Starting and Stopping the Clock
e. Starts on the Referee’s Signal. For each of the following reasons, the game clock is stopped on an official’s signal. If the next play begins with a snap, the game clock will start on the referee’s signal:
1. Team A is awarded a first down, either through play or by penalty with less than two minutes remaining in the 2nd quarter or the 4th quarter.
2. A Team A forward fumble goes out of bounds.
3. Other than with fewer than two minutes remaining in a half, a Team A ball carrier, fumble or backward pass is ruled out of bounds.
5. An injury timeout is allowed for one or more players or an official.
Approved Ruling 3-3-5 I. At the end of a play, with the game clock running, the referee notices that A22 is bleeding. RULING: The referee stops the clock and declares an injury timeout. A22 leaves the field of play or the end zone for treatment by appropriate medical personnel. Unless there is also an injury to a Team B player the play clock is set to 25 seconds and starts on the ready-for-play signal (Rule 3-2-4c-4).
Approved Ruling 3-3-5 II. After being treated for a bleeding or oozing wound, A22 attempts to enter the game before the next snap. RULING: A22 must remain out of the game for at least one play. In any event, he may return only on the approval of his team professional medical personnel.
Approved Ruling 3-3-5 III. B52’s jersey has blood spots on it. RULING: Unless the official determines that the jersey is saturated with blood, B52 may remain in the game. (Note: Saturated is defined as soaked with moisture or drenched. If blood has penetrated through a garment to the skin or can be transferred to another player or game official, the garment is saturated.)
Approved Ruling 3-3-5 IV. An official notices that blood has soaked through B10’s jersey. RULING: B10 must leave the game until medical personnel have determined if the jersey must be replaced.
Approved Ruling 3-3-5 V. B10 tackles A12. An official determines that B10’s jersey is saturated with blood from a cut on A12’s arm. RULING: Both players must leave the game—A12 for treatment of his open wound, B10 for a determination by medical personnel as to whether he has to replace his jersey.
6. An inadvertent whistle is sounded.
7. A possible first-down measurement.
8. Both teams cause a delay in making the ball ready for play.
Approved Ruling 3-3-1 III. Team A fumbles or the ball is loose after a backward pass. Several players dive on the ball, creating a “pile.’’ RULING: The covering official(s) shall stop the clock and the 40-second clock shall start. Upon positive knowledge of who recovered, the referee will point in the direction governed by possession and start the game clock (a) immediately if Team A has recovered short of the line to gain (no first down), or (b) on the snap if Team B has recovered.
9. A live ball comes into possession of an official.
10. A head coach requests a conference or challenges an instant-replay decision.
11. The referee grants a media timeout.
12. The referee declares a discretionary timeout.
13. The referee declares a timeout for unfair noise (Rule 9-2-1b-5).
14. An illegal pass is thrown to conserve time (Exception:Rule 3-4-4c).
Approved Ruling 7-3-2 II. Late in either half with more than one minute remaining, A10 is unable to locate an open receiver. To conserve time, he throws a forward pass that is incomplete where there is no eligible Team A player. RULING: Illegal forward pass, intentional grounding. Penalty—Loss of down at the spot of the foul. The clock will start on the ready-for-play signal (Rule 3-3-2e-14 and 3-4-3).
Approved Ruling 7-3-2 III. On third down near the end of either half, potential field goal holder A4 muffs the snap and A4 or potential kicker A3 recovers the ball and immediately throws it forward to the ground. RULING: Illegal forward pass for intentional grounding; not a valid attempt to conserve time. Penalty—Loss of down at the spot of the foul. 10-second runoff option for Team B (Rule 3-4-4). Clock starts on the ready-for-play signal (Rules 3-3-2e-14 and 3-4-3) if the 10-second runoff is accepted.
Approved Ruling 7-3-2 IV. The ball is snapped over the head of quarterback A12, who is in the “shotgun’’ formation. A12 recovers the ball and immediately throws it forward to the ground. RULING: Illegal forward pass for intentional grounding; not a valid attempt to conserve time. Penalty—Loss of down at the spot of the foul. Clock starts on the ready-for-play signal (Rules 3-3-2e-14 and 3-4-3).
Approved Ruling 7-3-2 V. On third down near the end of the half, A1 muffs the snap. A1 or A4 catches the muffed ball and immediately throws it forward into the ground. RULING: Legal play.
Approved Ruling 7-3-2 VI. On third down near the end of the half, A1—positioned seven yards behind the snapper—catches the snap and immediately throws the ball forward to the ground. RULING: Legal play.
Approved Ruling 7-3-2 VII. With seconds remaining in a half and the ball ready for play, Team A quickly lines up and the ball is legally snapped to quarterback A12, who throws the ball forward directly to the ground. Team A’s formation was not legal at the snap. When the ball becomes dead, two seconds show on the game clock. RULING: Illegal formation. Penalty—Five yards from the previous spot. The clock starts on the snap.
15. The referee interrupts the 40/25-second count.
16. A player’s helmet comes completely off through play.