Rule 3 – Section 3 – Article 2 – Starting and Stopping the Clock
If the margin in the score becomes more than 34 points, a running clock session will start. During a running clock session, the game clock will stop only for reasons marked * below. For other events listed here, the clock will keep running. Competitions may adopt regulations to:
- forgo the running clock rule completely;
- forgo the rule only in the first half of a game;
- limit the running clock rule to use after an elapsed time no later than 2 hours 15 minutes after kickoff, but only in games that are broadcast live;
- reduce the score margin below 34 points.
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:
- Team A is awarded a first down, either through play or by penalty.
- A Team A forward fumble goes out of bounds.
- 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.
- To complete a penalty (Exception: Rule 3-4-5-b). *
- An injury timeout is allowed for one or more players or an official. (A.R. 3-3-5:I-V)*
- An inadvertent whistle is sounded.
- A possible first-down measurement.
- Both teams cause a delay in making the ball ready for play (A.R. 3-3-1:III).
- A live ball comes into possession of an official.
- A head coach requests a conference or video review. *
- The referee grants a media timeout. *
- The referee declares a discretionary timeout. *
- The referee declares a timeout for unfair noise (Rule 9-2-1-b-5).
- An illegal pass is thrown to conserve time (A.R. 7-3-2:II-VII) (Exception: Rule 3-4-5-b).
- The referee interrupts the 40/25-second count.
- A player’s helmet comes completely off through play.
- When either team commits a dead-ball foul.