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. 

Behind the Stripes: Timeline

Starting the next week’s work when this week’s final whistle blows.

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.

NFL Pylon Cameras

Every new NFL technology must integrate smoothly with what is already in place. A perfect example: placing cameras in the end zone pylons.

Two of the league’s broadcast partners — ESPN and CBS — are experimenting with placing cameras in pylons for select Thursday and Monday night games in 2015. The project is still in the research and development phase and it’s up to the home team’s discretion to allow the networks to use the cameras in their stadiums.

The ESPN Pylon Camera during an NFL Monday Night Football game. (Evan Pinkus via AP)

The ESPN Pylon Camera during an NFL Monday Night Football game. (Evan Pinkus via AP)

Testing of the cameras has been ongoing for several seasons, but the technology was unable to meet the league’s requirements for the safety of players and officials, and the NFL’s standards for certifying playing fields. For example, both ESPN and CBS presented hard-wired versions this offseason, but each required a metal plate to be buried under the pylons.

The plate created a hard spot on the field that did not meet the NFL’s standards for certifying playing fields, and the league was concerned the plate may dislodge and injure a player or official. In addition, there was no easy way to bury the plate in domed stadiums with concrete floors.

The NFL, ESPN and CBS worked with groundskeepers from Atlanta, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Jacksonville and Tampa Bay. They devised a way to place the transmitter in a recessed area in the pylon and connect it by wires to a device safely located off the field of play.

The pylons with cameras collapse and dislodge, and the wires disconnect when a player strikes them, just like non-wired pylons. A video technician can reattach the wires during a stoppage in play if they become disconnected.

The new angles mostly enhance the viewer’s experience, but are unlikely to be the panacea some want in the instant replay process. While a player’s feet may be shown or if the football crossed the goal line, the pylons may not do both at the same time, which is what is required in the replay process.

The challenge for NFL Football Operations with pylon cameras is the same with all new technologies, balancing innovation with the game’s traditions, integrity and competitive equity.

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