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.


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

The NFL Video Rulebook 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.

The NFL Careers in Football Forum

The NFL’s Careers in Football Forum brings together students and entry-level athletic department administrators from MEAC and SWAC schools so that they can explore potential careers in professional football administration and to network with industry leaders.

The first forum, held on December 16, 2016 as part of the Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl in Atlanta, included lectures and panel discussions with NFL leadership and club executives, resume and skill-building workshops, a behind-the scenes look into football operations at the Celebration Bowl, and the opportunity to work with the event operations team on game day.

The forum is part of an NFL partnership with two preeminent Historically Black College and Universities (HBCU) athletic conferences — the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) and Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) — and is designed to increase opportunities for promising ethnic minorities who are interested in pursuing careers in football administration.

The partnership prepares both professionals and students with the skills necessary to successfully secure employment in professional football administration.

“Our partnership with the HBCUs is not only important for our pipeline of qualified individuals at all levels of football, but also to improve the NFL’s goals for diversity and inclusion,” said NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations Troy Vincent. “With our HBCU partnership, we are making steady progress in developing future coaches, officials, scouts, managers, front office personnel and others through effective football resources, educational programs and internships.”

In addition to the NFL providing much-needed support to HBCU academic and athletic endeavors, MEAC and SWAC personnel will benefit from programs that include internships at the club and league level, integration of HBCU football operations staff — including athletic trainers, video directors and equipment managers — into existing NFL platforms such as the Regional Combines, and networking and mentorship opportunities.

“We are elated to continue our partnership with the National Football League, which includes our current officiating involvement, to advancing the NFL's diversity and inclusion initiatives with a strategic plan to increase diversity in all areas of employment at the league office and the clubs,” said Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Commissioner Dennis Thomas. “The MEAC is pleased to work collaboratively with the NFL to achieve its diversity and inclusion goals.”

A summit at the Celebration Bowl — the annual bowl game between the champions of the MEAC and SWAC, won by North Carolina A&T last season — featured panel discussions for the student-athletes who competed in the game from NFL and club personnel who have played college football and introduced the players to non-playing opportunities in pro football.

Top sports management students from the competing universities and entry-level athletic department administrators were permitted to attend a separate NFL-themed panel.

“The Southwestern Athletic Conference is excited to partner with the NFL and MEAC to ensure that our student-athletes and students have exposure to superior professional development and the different career contingencies that the NFL and professional sports have to offer.” said SWAC Commissioner Duer Sharp. “The NFL-HBCU Partnership is cutting edge and will allow our stakeholders and respective organizations the opportunity to foster long term relationships that will ultimately increase our visibility from campuses to corner offices. We are grateful that the NFL has taken such a profound stance in recognizing the potential of our student athletes, administrators, coaches and officials.”

The NFL has a long association with HBCU institutions, which have helped mold and shape some of the greats of the game, including Pro Football Hall of Famers Walter Payton (Jackson State), Jerry Rice (Mississippi Valley State), Bob Hayes (Florida A&M), Shannon Sharpe (Savannah State) and Aeneas Williams (Southern).

“The partnership between the NFL and the HBCU conferences will be outstanding,” Williams said. “Many students, executives and other talented individuals who may not have known about all of the avenues available to them in the NFL off the field, will have more of a chance to engage in activities and opportunities that will prepare them for a rewarding career in the game that we all love.”

Each MEAC and SWAC school may send up to four participants (two students and two administrators). Participants apply for the forum and are selected by their institutions.

Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference
Bethune-Cookman Daytona Beach, FL
Coppin State Baltimore, MD
Delaware State Dover, DE
Florida A&M Tallahassee, FL
Hampton Hampton, VA
Howard Washington, DC
Maryland Eastern Shore Princess Anne, MD
Morgan State Baltimore, MD
North Carolina A&T Greensboro, NC
North Carolina Central Durham, NC
Norfolk State Norfolk, VA
Savannah State Savannah, GA
South Carolina State Orangeburg, SC
Southwestern Athletic Conference
Alabama A&M Huntsville, AL
Alabama State Montgomery, AL
Alcorn State Lorman, MS
Arkansas-Pine Bluff Pine Bluff, AR
Grambling State Grambling, LA
Jackson State Jackson, MS
Mississippi Valley State Itta Bena, MS
Prairie View A&M Prairie View, TX
Southern Baton Rouge, LA
Texas Southern Houston, TX