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.

In its continuing efforts to protect players and officials from unnecessary risk and better position officials to make the right call, the NFL’s Competition Committee is changing where the umpire lines up on certain plays. For the 2015 season, the umpire will remain in the offensive backfield any time the offense snaps the ball inside the defense’s 5-yard line moving toward the end zone. 

Umpire Carl Paganelli takes his position in the offensive backfield during a 2014 NFL game between the San Diego Chargers and the New York Jets. Starting in 2015, umpires will remain in the offensive backfield on plays inside the defense’s 5-yard line moving toward the end zone. (AP Photo/Tom Hauck)

Umpire Carl Paganelli takes his position in the offensive backfield during a 2014 NFL game between the San Diego Chargers and the New York Jets. Starting in 2015, umpires will remain in the offensive backfield on plays inside the defense’s 5-yard line moving toward the end zone. (AP Photo/Tom Hauck)

Until now, the umpire has lined up in the offensive backfield opposite the referee on most plays. However, during the last two minutes of the second quarter and the last five minutes of the fourth quarter, and any time the ball is snapped within the 5-yard line, the umpire has moved to the defensive backfield.

The new placement of the umpire applies only to plays within the 5-yard line. It is designed to protect the official from unnecessary risk of injury, will have no effect on the hurry-up offense, and will put the umpire in a better position to make the right call on plays near the goal line. It specifically addresses game action when the offense gets close to the goal line — which effectively shrinks the field, giving the umpire less room to maneuver among the players and increasing the chances of the official getting hit.

With the new PAT rules, the Committee also expects an increase in two-point conversion attempts, creating even more opportunities for umpires to be vulnerable and out of position. By moving them to the offensive backfield, they can focus on effectively officiating their position and worry less about getting caught in the action. 

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