Protecting the integrity of the greatest game.
It's our responsibility to strengthen the sport.
Ensuring a consistent and fair game that is decided on the field, by the players.
Ensuring that players conduct themselves in a way that honors the sport and respects the game.
Knees Bent. Pads Down. Head Up.
The NFL is proud of the HBCU professional football legacy.
Honoring the league’s commitment to serve the communities where the game is played.
Meet the people behind NFL Operations.
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.
Countdown to kickoff: how NFL games happen.
In the NFL, balancing technology with tradition.
How television has changed the game.
Upon further review…
It takes hundreds of computers and four NFL executives to create the NFL’s 256-game masterpiece.
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.
Creating an NFL player: from “everyman” to “superman.”
Supporting the next generation of players and fans.
Preparing players of all ages for success at football’s highest level.
Introducing the next wave of NFL superstars.
A look at the programs the NFL and its partners provide to help every player before, during and after his football career.
Celebrating, educating, embracing and connecting all former NFL players with each other, their former teams and the league.
Discover the evolution of professional officiating, the weekly evaluation process and how the NFL identifies and develops the next generation of officials.
“One thing hasn’t changed: the pressure. It will always be there.”
The latest information from the NFL's officiating command center.
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 an NFL game takes years of training and experience.
NFL Football Operations protects the integrity of the game by ensuring that the rules and the officiating are consistent and fair to all competitors.
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.
The NFL Video Rulebook explains NFL rules with video examples.
Explore the official rules of the game.
The NFL's procedures for breaking ties for postseason playoffs.
The NFL's familiar hand signals help fans better understand the game.
Sharpen your NFL football knowledge with this glossary of the game's fundamental terms.
See where the players line up in pro football's most common offensive and defensive formations.
Understand what the graphics on NFL television broadcasts mean and how they can help you get the most out of watching NFL games.
The NFL’s instant replay review process focuses on expediting instant replay reviews and ensuring consistency. Learn how it works.
Go inside the game with the NFL's official game stats. Sort the stats by season or by week.
Chart and compare the NFL Football Operations stats you're looking for with the NFL's data tool.
Get a snapshot of the current NFL game stats, updated weekly during the regular season.
The National Football League, inclusive of its coaches, players, front office personnel, and owners, sets the standard on sportsmanship. The NFL’s obligation to fans and players of all ages is to establish, teach, monitor, and maintain the standards for sportsmanship because of our unique leadership role in society, and the trust and responsibility that comes with that role. To have respect, resiliency, commitment to team, and integrity, sportsmanship must be present.
After emphasizing the prohibition on fighting in 2015, there were few out-of-control, multiple-player fights. However, other data demonstrates that true sportsmanship was not at an acceptable level. There were 70 unsportsmanlike conduct penalties in 2016, down five from 2015, and compared to an average of 60.3 since 2013. Taunting penalties increased to 37 in 2016 from a three-year low of 29 in 2015. Since 2013, we have had an average of 34.3. Tauntings, ejections, inappropriate celebrations, and abuses of officials, either verbally or physically, have no place in our sport at any level. Thus, sportsmanship will continue to be a point of emphasis throughout our League. The Competition Committee believes that we can always be better, and we will continue to seek to improve sportsmanship. We have made many gains as players continue to learn and adjust at the highest level of competition.
Additionally, we strongly discourage derogatory or threatening statements over social media by players directed at other players, pregame tactics attempting to intimidate an opponent or incite conflict, and acts during the game, either on the field of play or in the bench area, that are contrary to the generally understood principles of sportsmanship. All of these, regardless of the context, have no place in our game.
Criticism of officiating has always been considered conduct detrimental to the League. This past season, we saw an increase in players publicly criticizing officials, in some instances, making personal attacks on individual officials during postgame press conferences. Such criticism is unacceptable in any forum, and calls into question the integrity of, or public confidence in, our game.
The Committee seeks to encourage passionate, competitive play – but not at the expense of exposing players to unnecessary risk and actions that fall below the standards of behavior everyone expects from the NFL. The Committee feels it is necessary to eliminate unacceptable behavior and assist in establishing a standard that sets a good example for young athletes, and portrays the NFL and NFL players in a way that preserves and builds public respect and fan support for the game. Our recommendations do not apply solely to players. As we have seen, coaches and other team personnel are capable of conduct that can fall below the standards we expect.
As in the past, specific acts that are listed in the playing rules and/or specific incidents that occurred during last season will be put on video and shown to players, coaches, and officials before the start of the 2017 season. It is the Committee’s position that players, coaches, game officials, media, and fans will be thoroughly educated about the intents and ramifications of these points of emphasis.