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.

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. 

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.

NFL Video Rulebook

The NFL Video Rulebook explains NFL rules with video examples.

2018 NFL Rulebook

Explore the official rules of the game.

2018 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.   

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.

Strengthening HBCUs

The NFL is committed to increasing opportunities for students and administrators from HBCUs.

The NFL is proud of its long history with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) and is committed to strengthening the ongoing partnership.

Through programs and initiatives across the country, the league celebrates the impact of HBCUs and their players, and works to increase opportunities for students and athletic administrators from these institutions.

These initiatives honor the rich history of HBCUs and the NFL, while looking towards the future.

Careers in Football Forum 

The NFL launched the Careers in Football Forum in 2016 in partnership with the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) and Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC), and has since expanded to also include the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) and Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) — four preeminent HBCU athletic conferences. The Forum increases opportunities for promising ethnic minorities who want to pursue careers in football administration.

Panel discussion at the NFL Careers in Football Forum.

Panel discussion at the NFL Careers in Football Forum.

The second annual Forum was held in December 2017 at the Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl in Atlanta, Georgia. The event brings together undergraduate and graduate students who are interested in sports management to explore careers and network with industry leaders.

Participants are selected by their institutions through an application-based process, and have the opportunity to: 

  • Attend lectures and panel discussions with NFL leadership and club executives
  • Take part in resume and skill-building workshops
  • Get a behind-the-scenes look at football operations at the Celebration Bowl

“We've teamed up with four preeminent HBCU athletic conferences for the Careers in Football Forum to increase opportunities for the next generation of leaders in football administration,” said Troy Vincent, NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations.

Campus Connection Program

The NFL and Howard University partnered to launch the Campus Connection program.

The NFL and Howard University partnered to launch the Campus Connection program.

The NFL and Howard University launched the Campus Connection program in 2018. The initiative introduces and prepares students for potential careers in professional football administration.

“Campus Connection is part of our ongoing and continuous commitment to celebrating the impact HBCUs have had on the game of professional football, driving awareness around career opportunities, and providing access to the business of sport,” said Vincent.

The NFL’s presence on Howard’s campus extends through several programs, including an executive lecture series, a student-lab case study class partnership, and the Howard School of Business Sports and Entertainment Summit.

The inaugural summit, held at Howard in September 2018, introduced more than 300 young professionals to opportunities in the sports and entertainment industry. Rhoden Fellow and Howard alumnus Paul Holston interviewed Vincent. Other industry leaders from the NBA, MLB and more participated in panel discussions, workshops and networking events.

NFL-Rhoden Fellows

To increase career opportunities for students from HBCUs, the NFL partnered with The Undefeated’s Rhoden Fellows Initiative, a one-year training program for the next generation of sports journalists. Led by Undefeated editor-at-large and former New York Times award-winning columnist William C. Rhoden, the collaboration introduces HBCU undergraduate students to all aspects of sports journalism — beyond the broadcast booth and the traditional newsroom.

HBCU Battle of the Brains Competition

The NFL was the presenting sponsor for the second annual HBCU Battle of the Brains competition held in Austin, Texas in March 2018. Several teams of top STEM and Business students from HBCUs competed for more than $50,000 in college scholarships and bragging rights in the hackathon-style event.

Advocacy in Sport Workshop 

In 2018, the NFL, Morehouse College and the Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality (RISE) hosted the three-day Advocacy in Sport Workshop in Atlanta. Former NFL players, athletes from other sports and select students learned how to develop and implement effective advocacy platforms.

“Athletes have a unique ability to bring people together for solution-driven conversations that can bring about real change.”

RISE CEO JOCELYN BENSON

The Advocacy in Sport Workshop curriculum provided athletes with tools and resources to create positive change, including insight into organizational development, relationship management and media relations best practices.

“Sport has been an international venue for social change since before Jesse Owens swept the 1936 Olympics and opened the world’s eyes to the image of justice and equality,” said Vincent. “This historic workshop is aimed at training the next generation of athletes who wish to use sport as a powerful platform for advocacy.”

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