Have you been asked to work on the score bench at a Junior game and not been sure what the rules are with timing? Well here are some guidelines from Barb Rowe (who sits on the score bench during NBL games).

Barb is a wiz at this, so if you ever have a question, she is the one to ask!!

This one is about FULLY TIMED GAMES.


The rules state the home team does the sheet; the away team does the clock. But if you prefer one or the other, often people from other clubs will swap. 
The main job of the person on the clock is to time the game and call subs and time outs. The official score is the one on the sheet. If the sheet has a different score to the one displayed, the sheet is the one the umpire will take.
A game phase starts, therefore the clock starts, when a player on the court touches the ball. At the jump ball at the start of the game, that means when a player legally taps the ball. At any other time after the clock has been stopped, the clock does not restart until a player on the court touches the ball. So if the ball is passed in, and goes the length of the court and is not touched by a player, the clock does not start. In fully timed games the clock stops on every whistle. If you hear the umpires whistle, you stop the clock and restart it when a player has touched the ball on the court.
In the Free throw situation, the clock has stopped and there are 2 possible situations. 1. The last, or only, free throw is successful. In that case the clock does not start until a player on the court touches the ball from the throw in. 2. if the last or only free throw is not successful, the clock starts as soon as a player on the court touched the ball.


It is the timekeeper's job to call the subs. A player must come to the bench and ask to be subbed into the game. Either team can have a substitution on any whistle (after a violation by either team, or a foul by either team, or in a jump ball situation.) The timekeeper must get the attention of the umpire by using the buzzer and indicating that a sub is required. If a foul has been called, there is no need to ring the buzzer as the umpire will be looking at the bench to indicate who has committed the foul. As soon as the umpire has finished his bit, do your bit.


It is the responsibility of the time keeper to call timeouts. Coaches should indicate to the bench they would like a time out. At the next time out opportunity, the timekeeper should,
- stop the clock, - sound the buzzer - indicate to the umpire which team has called the time out. The time keeper then starts the time out timer on the clock to time the break. After 50 seconds, the time keeper should again sound the buzzer and indicate to the umpire that there are 10 seconds remaining. 
Time out opportunities. Either team can call a time out on any whistle. (After any violation, any foul or at a jump ball situation). Team A can also have a time out after team B puts up a successful shot, provided the request has come before the player from Team A has the ball in their hand ready to pass it back into play. 
Foul Lights - It is the timekeeper's job to make sure the foul lights go on when a team foul count has exceeded the limit. The foul light should not go on until the ball is back into play after the fourth foul. When the umpire is calling the fifth foul on a team, remind them that 2 penalty shots should be awarded. Try to remember to turn the lights off at the breaks. 
Make sure to check the sheet at the end of the game, that the final scores are entered correctly, and sign it before you leave the bench.


The arrow (alternating possession). The arrow is the responsibility of the bench. Please discuss it before the game starts and work out who will be responsible. 
At the beginning of the game, the arrow points away from the bench, towards the centre circle. After the jump ball, one team will gain control. The arrow is pointed in the direction the other team is shooting. 
At each alternating possession situation (jump balls and the start of the 2nd, 3rd and final quarters) the arrow is turned after the ball successfully returns to play. 
Please remember the arrow also needs to be changed during the half time break, because the teams change ends. 
The most important aspect of sitting on the bench is communication with the person from the other club. It is a good idea to check the score constantly to avoid any misunderstandings. After every successful shot, just a simple "that makes 15" or just "15", Check the team fouls as well, to make sure no free throws arc missed.

The best thing about scoring is you get to catch up with people from other clubs and have a chat.


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