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.

NFL Way to Play

Knees Bent. Pads Down. Head Up & Out.

The NFL and HBCUs

The NFL is proud of the HBCU professional football legacy.

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. 

Game Day: 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 five NFL executives to create the NFL’s 256-game masterpiece.

Big Data Bowl

The inaugural analytics contest explores statistical innovations in football — how the game is played and coached.

Youth Football

Promoting the values of football.

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 and services NFL Player Engagement provides to assist every player before, during and after his football career.

College All Star Games

Strengthening football and the community.

NFL Legends Community

Strengthening the NFL brotherhood.

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.

NFL Video Rulebook

The NFL Video Rulebook explains NFL rules with video examples.

2019 NFL Rulebook

Explore the official rules of the game.

2019 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.   

NFL Rules Digest

A quick reference guide to the NFL rulebook.

Football 101

Football 101

Terms Glossary

Sharpen your NFL football knowledge with this glossary of the game's fundamental terms. 

Formations 101

See where the players line up in pro football's most common offensive and defensive formations.

Quick Guide to NFL TV Graphics

Understand what the graphics on NFL television broadcasts mean and how they can help you get the most out of watching NFL games.

NFL Instant Replay Process

The NFL’s instant replay review process focuses on expediting instant replay reviews and ensuring consistency. Learn how it works.

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/NFLPA'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 players. 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 accountability measures 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/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 discipline is upheld, the league withholds the amount of the fine from the player’s next check. If the player’s fine is rescinded, 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 been used to assist former players.

Violation First Offense Second Offense
 
Offense Against Game Official
Physical Contact with Official $35,096 $70,194
Verbal or other Non-Physical Offense Against Official $28,075 $56,156
 
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 $10,527 $21,056
Horse Collar Tackle $21,056 $42,115
Face Mask $10,527 $21,056
Leg Whip $21,056 $42,115
Late Hit $10,527 $21,056
Spearing $28,075 $56,156
Impermissible Use of the Helmet (including illegal launching) $28,075 $56,156
Hit on Defenseless Player $28,075 $56,156
Blindside Block $28,075 $56,156
Roughing the Passer $21,056 $42,115
Low Block $10,527 $21,056
Chop Block $10,527 $21,056
 
Fighting    
Fighting $35,096 $70,194
Unnecessarily Entering Fight Area (active involvement) $7,017 $14,037
Unnecessarily Entering Fight Area (no active involvement) $3,507 $10,527
 
Sportsmanship
Excessive Profanity; other Unsportsmanlike Conduct (e.g., toward opponent(s), game personnel, fans, etc.) $14,037 $28,075
Taunting $10,527 $14,037
Football Into Stands $7,017 $14,037
 
Uniform
Foreign Substances on Body/Uniform $10,527 $21,056
Chin Straps $10,527 $14,037
Personal Messages $7,017 $14,037
(Additional fines may be imposed on team management and coaching staffs for condoning, permitting, etc., violations in this area)
Other Uniform/Equipment Violations $7,017 $14,037
 
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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