In sports that use a clock, untimed play is play in which the clock does not tick. In some cases, untimed play can occur at the end of a game following the expiration of the clock, and may even be when a score occurs that decides the outcome of the game.

Gridiron footballEdit

In gridiron football, untimed play occurs in the following situations:

  • Extra points following touchdowns are attempted without the clock ticking (except in arena football, which uses a continuous running clock)
  • If the clock expires while a play is in progress, the play continues untimed until the ball is dead
  • If, at the end of a quarter or a half, a defensive foul occurs, the offense is entitled to an untimed down
  • Specifically in Canadian football, if the clock expires while the ball is dead, play continues with one untimed down. (This is in contrast to American football, where if the ball is dead and time expires, the half or game immediately ends.)

All untimed downs are subject to the play clock and must commence before it expires, or else a delay of game penalty is levied.


In Basketball, untimed play occurs in the following situations:

  • Free throws are shot without the clock ticking, though in the NBA, there is a 10-second clock to shoot a free throw or else it is forfeited
  • At the end of the game, the buzzer automatically ends the game. However, if a player has released the ball from his hands before the buzzer sounds and the ball makes it through the basket, the score counts.

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