|Written by Bill Hanks|
When an individual is asked to run a scoreboard at a basketball game, their first thought is "no way".¬† For an individual that has never done it before, I can understand that feeling.¬† However, running the clock is easier than keeping a score book.¬† This article will give you some tips on how to master this task.
1.¬† Arrive early.¬† Get to the gym at least one hour ahead of time.¬† Ask the athletic director to have the clock set up so that you can practice.
2.¬† Jump right in and practice on it.¬† Get familiar with the basics of the clock.¬† All clocks are different.¬† However, they are all set up to make it easy to do.
3.¬† Don't fear a mistake.¬† The thing that freaks people out is a mistake.¬† An inadvertent horn, points on the wrong side, wrong team fouls being posted¬†are all there to be seen by everyone.¬† A score book doesn't show that.¬† That reason alone can keep a person from wanting to run the clock.¬† Keep in mind, all errors are correctable.¬† I have even seen outcomes of games decided by a correctable error, after the game was over.
4.¬† Clock Operation.¬† Game times are established in advance.¬† They can be by quarter, half and skill level.¬† The officials make the final decision on what time to place on the clock.¬† Your job is to operate it.¬† On timeouts, there are two types a 30 and a 60 second time out.¬† You begin the timeout, once the official tells you to and not before.¬† For a 30, blow the horn with 10 seconds to go in the time out.¬† With a full time out, blow it 15 seconds before it is over.
There is one minute between quarters and usually 10 minutes at half time.¬† Once again the officials can add or subtract this time.
5.¬† Listen to the scorekeeper.¬† They should always tell you loudly who the foul was on, number of them and number of team fouls.¬† The two of you should sit next to each other and as close as possible.¬† this is for better communication.¬† Remember at the half to clear everything off the clock except the score and running time between halves.¬† Fouls for teams start over.¬† But, fouls for players are accumulative and stay the same.¬† The person on the score book is in charge of this.
6.¬† The most important tool on your clock is the start and stop switch.¬† Usually this is in your hand.¬† Never start a clock until the official signals by moving their arm in downward motion to start the clock.¬† Do not go by the ball.¬† Go by the official.¬† You don't have to worry about the final horn.¬† It will go off by itself.
Finally. always blow the horn for a substitution.¬† Only do this, when the clock is dead.¬† Players can only enter the game, while the clock is stopped.
Once you become proficient at this job, there is money to be made.¬† You will be in high demand as a timer.¬† Most schools are clubs pay you for your service.¬† You will get better every time out.