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

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.

Jerry Seeman

Jerry Seeman

NFL Director of Officiating, 1991–2001
NFL Official, 1975–1990 

Succeeding a legend is never an easy task. For Jerry Seeman, stepping into Art McNally’s shoes as director of officiating meant the first change at the top of the Officiating Department in almost two decades. 

Seeman was determined to make his mark, and he did: During his tenure, he oversaw the removal — and the return — of instant replay review and devised the most thorough evaluation process that football officiating had ever seen.

His appointment to the top job, after 15 years on the field, was the culmination of his steady climb up the officiating ladder from line judge to head linesman to referee. He was the referee in two Super Bowls (XXIII and XXV) and also worked 15 playoff games and two Pro Bowls over his career.

Seeman was equally devoted to officiating as he was to the men who wore the stripes.

“There’s a lot of satisfaction for me in seeing people grow and become the best they can be,” Seeman said. “That’s why I’ve dedicated myself to this.”

The beginning of Seeman’s tenure as director of officiating coincided with the opening of a centralized NFL officiating command center — a technology upgrade that helped make his exhaustive evaluation system possible. Seeman set out to create the ultimate grading process, and the new facility made it much faster and easier for Seeman and his team to review and organize every play of every game.

“It’s true that the evaluations are microscopic, but that’s what makes our officials so great,” Seeman told Referee magazine in 1993.

Officials' hat with a patch of Jerry Seeman's initials. (Pro Football Hall of Fame)

Officials' hat with a patch of Jerry Seeman's initials. (Pro Football Hall of Fame)

Seeman demanded excellence, not perfection, with his officials. He recognized the reality of human error, but didn’t accept mistakes due to unpreparedness. He set up rigorous clinics to keep crews at the top of their game.

He worked to revamp the instant replay review system, which had been scrapped in 1992, shortly after he took over, because it was cumbersome and ineffective. Under his leadership, the Officiating Department improved the process enough for the league’s owners to reinstate instant replay review in 1999.

After a lengthy battle with cancer, Seeman died in November 2013 at age 77. His jersey number, 70, was the first official’s number to be retired by the NFL. In addition, NFL officials honored him by wearing a patch with his initials on their hats for the remainder of the 2013 season, including in Super Bowl XLIII.

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