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 and services NFL Player Engagement provides to assist 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.

College All Star Games

Strengthening football and the community.

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.

NFL Next Gen Stats

Continuing to balance 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.

These “Next Gen Stats” — developed in partnership with Zebra Technologies and Wilson Sporting Goods — provide clubs with data to analyze trends and player performance, while enhancing the fan experience in-stadium, online and during game telecasts.

“We have a rich history of innovation in the game of football and working closely with the NFL to advance and enhance the game for players and fans alike,” said Kevin Murphy, general manager of team sports at Wilson.

The tracking process begins in the summer, when all pads are tagged with radio-frequency identification (RFID) chips. RFID tags are embedded on every player, official, game ball, pylon and first down chain. Each stadium has between 20 to 30 ultra-wide band receivers throughout the venue to capture the data.

Altogether, an estimated 250 devices are in a venue for any given game. Each week during the season, player tracking representatives at every stadium confirm that all tracking systems are functioning properly.

The NFL worked closely with team equipment managers to determine the best size and location for the tags in the shoulder pads. Game balls must adhere to the NFL’s specifications, and 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 like location, speed, distance traveled and acceleration at a rate of 10 times per second, and charts individual movements within inches. Raw data is provided to all 32 clubs, giving each team the flexibility to develop custom analytics and proprietary statistics.

New performance measures derived from Next Gen Stats data include: 

  • Time to throw — the average amount of time elapsed from the time of snap to throw on every pass attempt for a passer.
  • Average separation — distance measured between a wide receiver/tight end and the nearest defender at the time of catch or incompletion.
  • Aggressiveness — the amount of passing attempts a quarterback makes into tight coverage (where there is a defender within 1 yard or less of the receiver at the time of completion or incompletion).

Visit the Next Gen Stats glossary for a full overview.

The NFL’s Next Gen Stats technology wasn’t built overnight. The tracking process and data is the result of years of testing between the league, Zebra and Wilson. Here is a quick timeline of how the technology has progressed.
NFL Next Gen Stats
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