– Ben Martens

NFL Clock Stoppage

refereeconfusionI’ve watched a lot of NFL games in my life, but I still don’t understand when the¬†clock keeps running and when it stops, especially related to players going out of bounds. I finally remembered to look up the answer:

The game clock stops when a ball carrier goes out of bounds maintaining forward momentum. The game clock continues if the ball carrier’s forward momentum is stopped in bounds before he goes out of bounds. For most of the game, the clock is restarted when the line judge resets the ball and whistles play to continue. The exception is in the last 2 minutes of the first half or the last 5 minutes of the second half. In those cases, the clock does not start again until the offense snaps the ball.

Ok, maybe that wasn’t as complicated as I thought it was, but while I was reading through the rule book, I came across this rule:

When, in the judgment of the Referee, the level of crowd noise prevents the offense from hearing its signals, he can institute a series of procedures which can result in a loss of team time outs or a five-yard penalty against the defensive team.

Huh? How are the Seahawks not hit with that at every home game? It turns out that the rule is officially not enforced as of 2007. I don’t understand why there is such a thing as official rules that officially aren’t enforced but I’ll save that internet rat hole for another day.