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.

Return To Play

2020 NFL-NFLPA CBA: Need to know

Key takeaways from the 2020 Collective Bargaining Agreement 

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 and 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.

Game Day Assistants

See the NFL personnel at every game, what they do and you can identify them. 

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 annual 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.

NFL Legends Community

Strengthening the NFL brotherhood.

NFL Total Wellness

NFL Total Wellness assists players, Legends and their families before, during and after their playing experiences.

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 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.

2020 NFL Rulebook

Explore the official rules of the game.

2020 Rules Changes and Points of Emphasis

NFL Overtime Rules

Signals Intelligence

The NFL's familiar hand signals help fans better understand the game.   

NFL Tiebreaking Procedures

The NFL's procedures for breaking ties for postseason playoffs.

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.

The Extra Point

Welcome to the Extra Point, where members of the NFL's football data and analytics team will share updates on league-wide trends in football data, interesting visualizations that showcase innovative ways to use the league's data, and provide an inside look at how the NFL uses data-driven insight to improve and monitor player and team performance.

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.

NFL Next Gen Stats

Balancing innovation with tradition, the NFL has expanded its use of player and ball tracking to capture real-time data for every player — on every play, anywhere on the field.

NFL Next Gen Stats — developed in partnership with Zebra Technologies, Wilson Sporting Goods and running entirely on Amazon Web Services (AWS) infrastructure — provide clubs with data to analyze trends and player performance, while enhancing the fans’ experience in-stadium, online and during game telecasts.

A tracking system is installed in every NFL venue which is composed of:

  • 20–30 ultra-wide band receivers
  • 2–3 radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags installed into the players’ shoulder pads
  • RFID tags on officials, pylons, sticks, chains, and in the ball

Altogether, an estimated 250 devices are in a venue for any given game. A team of three operators is required at every game to confirm that all tracking systems are functioning properly.

The NFL worked closely with team equipment managers to determine the best size and location of the tags in the shoulder pads. Game balls must adhere to the NFL’s specifications. Wilson, the Competition Committee and NFL quarterbacks tested different tracking devices to ensure that the chips would not impact the flight of the ball.

The tracking system captures player data such as location, speed, distance traveled and acceleration at a rate of 10 times per second, and charts individual movements within inches. The raw data is used to automate player participation reports, calculate performance metrics, and derive advanced statistics through machine learning (ML) on AWS. More than 200 new data points are created on every play of every game.

Examples of each are included below:

Performance

Classification

Advanced

Distance Traveled

Formations (offense/defense)

Completion Probability

Max Speed

Coverage

Expected Rushing Yards

Time on Field

Route Detection

Win Probability

Visit the Next Gen Stats glossary for a full overview of our stats collection.

This information has a wide range of applications across the NFL and can be used to make data-driven decisions across football.

The 32 clubs can look for ways to use data to assist in game planning. Football Operations can identify ways to improve the game. Player Health & Safety can use the data to improve the safety of the players. NFL media and its broadcast partners can find new storytelling opportunities beyond the box score.

The NFL’s Next Gen Stats technology, tracking process, and data are the results of years of testing between the league, Zebra and Wilson. In 2017, the NFL and AWS ventured into advanced analytics, leveraging AWS machine-learning technologies.
Here’s a timeline of how the technology has progressed over the years.
NFL Next Gen Stats
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