Football Ops

Football Ops

Protecting the integrity of the greatest game.

NFL Ops: Honoring the Game

It's our responsibility to strengthen the sport.

League Governance

Ensuring a consistent and fair game that is decided on the field, by the players.

NFL Rules Enforcement

Ensuring that players conduct themselves in a way that honors the sport and respects the game.

Fines & Appeals

The NFL's schedule of infractions and fines, and a process for appeal.

Economic & Social Impact

Honoring the league’s commitment to serve the communities where the game is played.

The NFL Ops Team

Meet the people behind NFL Operations.

The Game

The Game

Learn about the people, the jobs and the technology that deliver the best game possible to NFL fans across the U.S. and around the world. 

Gameday: Behind the Scenes

Countdown to kickoff: how NFL games happen.

Technology

In the NFL, balancing technology with tradition.

Impact of Television

How television has changed the game.

History of Instant Replay

Upon further review…

Creating the NFL Schedule

It takes hundreds of computers and four NFL executives to create the NFL's 256-game masterpiece.

The Players

The Players

Learn how NFL players have changed over time, how they’re developed and drafted and how the league works with them after their playing days are over.  

Evolution of the NFL Player

Creating an NFL player: from “everyman” to “superman.”

Development Pipeline

Supporting the next generation of players and fans.

Getting Into the Game

Preparing players of all ages for success at football’s highest level.

The NFL Draft

Introducing the next wave of NFL superstars. 

NFL Player Engagement

A look at the programs the NFL and its partners provide to help every player before, during and after his football career.

NFL Legends Community

Celebrating, educating, embracing and connecting all former NFL players with each other, their former teams and the league.

The Officials

The Officials

Discover the evolution of professional officiating, the weekly evaluation process and how the NFL identifies and develops the next generation of officials.

In Focus: History of the Official

“One thing hasn’t changed: the pressure. It will always be there.”

Inside NFL GameDay Central

The latest information from the NFL's officiating command center.

These Officials Are Really Good

Every week, officials take the field ready to put months of preparation, training and hard work on display, knowing that the whole world — and the Officiating Department — is watching.

Officiating Development

Officiating an NFL game takes years of training and experience. 

The Rules

The Rules

NFL Football Operations protects the integrity of the game by ensuring that the rules and the officiating are consistent and fair to all competitors.

In Focus: Evolution of the NFL Rules

The custodians of football not only have protected its integrity, but have also revised its playing rules to protect the players, and to make the games fairer and more entertaining.

2016 NFL Rulebook

Explore the official rules of the game.

NFL Video Rulebook

NFL SVP of Officiating Dean Blandino explains NFL rules with video examples.

2016 Rules Changes and Points of Emphasis

NFL Overtime Rules

NFL Tiebreaking Procedures

The NFL's procedures for breaking ties for postseason playoffs.

Signals Intelligence

The NFL's familiar hand signals help fans better understand the game.   

Stats Central

Stats Central

Go inside the game with the NFL's official game stats.  Sort the stats by season or by week.

Chart The Data

Chart and compare the NFL Football Operations stats you're looking for with the NFL's data tool. 

Weekly Dashboard

Get a snapshot of the current NFL game stats, updated weekly during the regular season.

Economic & Social Impact

Honoring the league’s commitment to serve the communities where the game is played.

The year was 1973. The Miami Dolphins defeated the Washington Redskins in Super Bowl VII, capping a perfect season — an accomplishment unmatched to this day.
Miami Dolphins running back Eugene "Mercury" Morris in action during the Dolphins' 14-7 victory over the Washington Redskins in Super Bowl VII. (AP Photo/NFL Photos)

Miami Dolphins running back Eugene "Mercury" Morris in action during the Dolphins' 14-7 victory over the Washington Redskins in Super Bowl VII. (AP Photo/NFL Photos)

Gallup surveys showed, for the first time, that football surpassed baseball as the country’s most popular sport — a status that continues today, with more than 60 percent of people telling the polling company that they are fans of professional football.

History was also in the making off the field that year. That’s when the league teamed up with United Way, pledging to build stronger, healthier communities. Today, it’s the longest-running partnership between a major sports league and a nonprofit organization.

The NFL’s four decades of work with United Way is just one example of its commitment to public service. Here are other ways the league gives back to the broader community and to those who play, watch, participate in or just love football.

GIVING BACK TO COMMUNITIES AND INSTITUTIONS

The NFL Foundation, a nonprofit organization representing the 32 NFL teams, focuses on the issues most important to the game — youth football, protecting players, and community involvement. Since 1973, the foundation has contributed nearly $370 million to charities and youth football programs.

The NFL continues to make tremendous progress in its efforts to protect our players. Our collaborations on major research puts the NFL on a fast-track toward developing technologies that will benefit football players, the military and other members of our society

  • A four-year, $60 million collaboration with General Electric Co. and Under Armour Inc. to help launch the Head Health Initiative, which aims to improve concussion research, diagnosis, and treatment among athletes, members of the military and society.

The NFL Foundation, a nonprofit organization representing the 32 NFL teams, focuses on the issues most important to the game — youth football, protecting players, and community involvement. Since 1973, the foundation has contributed more than $430 million to charities and youth football programs.

  • A five-year, $45 million commitment to USA Football in 2014 for its Heads Up Football health and safety effort and youth and high school football programs.

  • More than $12.5 million to nonprofit science partners to support NFL PLAY 60, an ongoing national initiative to increase the wellness of young fans.  Since PLAY 60 was launched in 2007, the NFL has committed more than $300 million to youth health and fitness through programming, grants and media time for public service announcements.

  • Millions more in grants for youth sports, after-school and other programs, including support of NFL players’ philanthropic endeavors.

GIVING BACK TO CAUSES

The NFL Foundation raises millions more for prominent causes by lending its support to the nation’s most respected organizations, such as the American Cancer Society in the battle against breast cancer and Mothers Against Drunk Driving to prevent and end alcohol-impaired driving and related deaths. NFL and its teams each year salute the nation’s active-duty service members and veterans by raising millions of dollars for organizations that support them.

The league’s players and 32 teams provide additional resources through their own charitable foundations. NFL players also give back through volunteerism: During the season, many players spend their days off volunteering at local schools, shelters and hospitals and helping out in their communities in other ways.

GIVING BACK TO PLAYERS

The NFL also takes care of its own. Money from player fines is donated through the NFL Foundation to the NFL Player Care Foundation and the NFL Players Association’s Player Assistance Trust, both of which assist former players. Since 2009, about $4 million a year has been used to help former players.

NFL Player Engagement initiatives provide future and former players with career training, health and wellness support, and other resources. Player Engagement Prep stresses education, community service and leadership development to student-athletes in football and other sports to help them succeed on and off the field. NFL Player Engagement Next helps players prepare for their life away from the football field. Retired players can connect with peers and legends and get career training so they can transition into their next careers. They also learn ways to live well long after they leave the game.

And the NFL helps current and former players in times of need. The NFL Life Line gives any NFL players and their family members access to an independent crisis line for confidential assistance. NFL Total Wellness offers former players and their families a comprehensive set of services to stay healthy and live well — physically, emotionally and financially. Eligible players with certain medical or mental health conditions or at retirement age may be eligible for financial benefits, including monthly pensions.

These are just some of the ways the NFL is making a difference on and off the field. As steward of a sport watched and enjoyed by millions of people in America and around the world, the NFL has a special responsibility to further causes that contribute to the health and well-being of its fans and the community. The league looks forward to continuing this long tradition of public service for many years to come.

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