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.

2017 NFL Rulebook

Explore the official rules of the game.

NFL Video Rulebook

The NFL Video Rulebook explains NFL rules with video examples.

2017 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.

Fines & Appeals

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

The NFL and the NFL Players Association collectively bargain an on-field code of conduct for all teams, players and staff members. The result: a well-defined schedule of infractions and fines.

The NFL uses the fine schedule to outline the league’s and the union’s expectations for players to conduct themselves in a way that honors the sport and respects the game, their fellow players, the fans and the league. The rules are intended to protect the players from unnecessary risk, promote player safety and emphasize sportsmanship and respect of teammates, opponents, coaches, officials and fans.

Player infractions may come to the league’s attention in a variety of ways. The league may respond to an official’s call during a game or to a specific play that a team submits for review. The NFL Officiating Department also reviews every play from every game and refers potential violations to the Football Operations compliance team.

League staff members examine the plays identified as having potential infractions to determine whether there is cause for additional review. 

Players subject to discipline receive a letter informing them of what they did, a video of the play in question, why they are being fined and how much it will cost them. They also receive information on how to appeal the fine. If they choose not to appeal, the fine is withheld from their next game check.

If a player protests a ruling, he schedules a hearing with the NFL, and his case is assigned to one of the league’s current appeals officers, Derrick Brooks or James Thrash, who are jointly appointed and paid by the NFL and NFLPA. Cases are assigned randomly, so neither side in the appeals process knows who will hear a case. The officer assigned to the case reviews the play and hears the league’s case and the player’s defense. The officer’s decision is final, and the ruling is binding.

If the appeal is rejected, the league withholds the amount of the fine from the player’s next check. If the player wins his appeal, he will receive notification of the decision, and no money will be taken from his check.

The fines collected do not go to the NFL, but instead go to programs for former players. The Players Association and the league have agreed to donate fine money through the NFL Foundation to the NFL Player Care Foundation and the Gene Upshaw Players Association’s Players Assistance Trust.

The Player Care Foundation, an independent organization dedicated to helping retired players improve their quality of life, provides programs and assistance with medical, emotional, financial, social and community issues.

The Gene Upshaw Players Assistance Trust assists former players who are facing financial hardship due to unforeseen crisis, unaffordable medical situations and helps those who wish to go back to school to finish their undergraduate degrees.

Since 2009, about $4 million a year has gone to help former players.

VIOLATION

FIRST OFFENSE

SECOND OFFENSE

 

Offense Against Game Official

Physical Contact With Official

$30,387

$60,775

Verbal or Other Non-physical Offense Against Official

$24,309

$48,620

 

Player Safety Rules and/or Flagrant Personal Foul (including, without limitation):

Suspension or fine; severity to be determined by degree of violation
(FINES LISTED ARE MINIMUMS).

Striking/Kicking/Kneeing

$9,115

$18,231

Horse-Collar Tackle

$18,231

$36,464

Face Mask

$9,115

$18,231

Leg Whip

$18,231

$36,464

Late Hit

$9,115

$18,231

Spearing

$24,309

$48,620

Impermissible Use of the Helmet (including illegal launching)

$24,309

$48,620

Hit on Defenseless Player

$24,309

$48,620

Blindside Block

$24,309

$48,620

Roughing the Passer

$18,231

$36,464

Low Block

$9,115

$18,231

Chop Block

$9,115

$18,231

 

Fighting

Fighting

$30,387

$60,775

Unnecessarily Entering Fight Area (active involvement)

$6,076

$12,154

Unnecessarily Entering Fight Area (no active involvement)

$3,037

$9,115

 

Sportsmanship

Excessive Profanity; Other Unsportsmanlike Conduct (e.g., toward opponent[s], game personnel, fans, etc.) 

$12,154

$24,309

Taunting

$9,115

$12,154

Football Into Stands

$6,076

$12,154

 

Uniform

Foreign Substances on Body/Uniform

$9,115

$18,231

Chin Straps

$9,115

$12,154

Personal Messages

$6,076

$12,154

(Additional fines may be imposed on team management and coaching staffs for condoning, permitting, etc., violations in this area)

Other Uniform/Equipment Violations

$6,076

$12,154

On-Field Commercial Logo Violation

Considered violation of official league licensing agreements; suspension or fine; severity to be determined by degree of violation.

Gang Signing

Considered conduct detrimental to the league; suspension or fine; severity to be determined in accordance with provisions of the Personal Conduct Policy.

Starting in 2012, fine minimums will increase by 5 percent each year as stipulated in the NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement. The increases continue throughout the duration of the current CBA.

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