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 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.


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 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.

Youth Football Events

Youth and high school football players share the limelight at the NFL’s biggest events.

The spotlight shines brightly on youth football during the NFL’s biggest events.

The year-round celebration — from Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Week through the NFL Draft — honors all levels of the football community, provides kids and their families with once-in-a-lifetime experiences, and spreads the values of football.

Hall of Fame Week

As the incoming Pro Football Hall of Fame class is enshrined forever in Canton, Ohio, the NFL also celebrates the next generation of football players. Hundreds of youth and high school football players share the spotlight with Hall of Famers during Enshrinement Week each August. The events spread the values of football and kick off Play Football Month.

First Play

The celebration of youth football continues throughout Hall of Fame Enshrinement Week in Canton, Ohio.

The celebration of youth football continues throughout Hall of Fame Enshrinement Week in Canton, Ohio.

Nearly 3,000 kids help kick off Enshrinement Week festivities every year with the “First Play.” The event starts in downtown Canton, Ohio — where the NFL was founded in 1920 — and features children passing a football to the next person along a three-mile route that ends at the front steps of the Hall of Fame. 

Special guests have included the reigning NFL Don Shula High School Coach of the Year, the NFL FLAG champions, members of the NFL Play Football Coaches Council and David Baker, Pro Football Hall of Fame President and CEO.


The NFL and Hall of Fame host nearly 300 kids at the annual Play Football Skills Camp. Hall of Famers such as Mel Blount, Eric Dickerson and Marshall Faulk join local high school players in mentoring and encouraging camp participants. The skills camp is followed by a panel discussion about the important values learned from the game.


The annual preseason game kicks off each season and is an opportunity to highlight those who share the values of football. Pre-game on-field ceremonies from 2018, highlighted the Don Shula Coach of the Year and the members of the NFL Play Football Coaches Council.

Pro Bowl Week

The NFL’s biggest stars share the spotlight with the next generation of football players and highlight youth football during the week-long celebration of football at the Pro Bowl in Orlando, Florida. 

NFL FLAG Championships

Played year-round by more than 450,000 participants across the country in 2018, the NFL FLAG fall season culminates with NFL FLAG Regional Tournaments. Winners in all four age groups — 9-10 coed, 11-12 coed, 13-14 girls and 14 boys — advance to Orlando for the NFL FLAG Championships at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports Complex.

Hundreds of players compete at the championships during Pro Bowl Week in Orlando, Florida. Players and coaches are celebrated throughout the week while Pro Bowl players and NFL Legends serve as guest coaches and cheer on the teams as they compete for a national title. 


Members of the NFL FLAG Championship teams bask in the spotlight during NFL FLAG Opening Night. Current Pro Bowlers, NFL Legends and media members interview players before the tournament, and participants get to walk the red carpet just like the game’s biggest stars.


Today’s best high school football players meet the next generation of players during Play Football High School Skills Showdown. Fifty high school seniors from around the country will participate in position-specific drills, viral challenges and celebration dance-offs. NFL Club Coach of the Year winners from all 32 markets select one player from their team to take part in the Skills Showdown. The remaining spots are held for local players from the Orlando and South Florida regions.

Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year

The Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year Award — named after Pro Football Hall of Famer Don Shula, the winningest coach in NFL history — recognizes high school coaches for their character and integrity, leadership, community service, commitment to player health and safety and on-field success. 

“The Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year Award honors coaches that display the skills demonstrated by Coach Shula — integrity, leadership and achievement,” said Troy Vincent, NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations. 

The 32 nominees, recognized by their local NFL team, are invited to the celebration of football during Pro Bowl Week. Coaches receive VIP access at Pro Bowl practices, the Play Football High School Skills Showdown, Play Football Celebrity Flag game and the Pro Bowl. Two finalists earn $15,000 from the NFL Foundation, $10,000 of which is donated to their high school’s football program. The winner receives an additional $10,000, $5,000 of which goes to their football program and an invitation to the Super Bowl.

Super Bowl Week

Youth football is front and center during the NFL’s biggest week of the year — the Super Bowl. Events celebrate the football community at all levels, while providing kids with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to attend the event and share the values of the game.

Play Football Family Festival

Each year, the Play Football Family Festival celebrates youth football in the Super Bowl host city. Players, parents and coaches can attend panel sessions and photo opportunities with current players and NFL Legends.

Play Football Middle School Developmental Camp

The NFL celebrates Play Football High School Day by providing free Super Bowl Experience tickets to more than 500 high school football players and their coaches

The NFL celebrates Play Football High School Day by providing free Super Bowl Experience tickets to more than 500 high school football players and their coaches

More than 250 players from all skill levels participate in the annual Play Football Middle School Developmental Camp where kids participate in drills and learn football skills and values associated with the game.


The Play Football Stakeholders Breakfast allows the league to thank key partners who are committed to growing the game for their work in the football community. Participants can network and take part in an open forum on the youth and high school football landscape.


The NFL celebrates Play Football High School Day by providing free Super Bowl Experience tickets to more than 500 high school football players and their coaches. Attendees take part in a skills and drills session on the Play Football field and breakout sessions led by current players, NFL Legends and leaders in the sport. 


One lucky local football team gets the once-in-a-lifetime chance to take the field at the Super Bowl host stadium to help the broadcast network test its cameras. The team gets to take the field before fans arrive and run a few plays before Sunday’s game.

NFL Draft Week

From Chicago and Philadelphia, to Dallas, Nashville and beyond, each NFL Draft host city puts on events highlighting local youth and high school football teams and kicking off the Play Football Summer Season.

NFL Draft Week events connect football’s next generations with the newest members of the NFL family.


During the NFL Draft Play Football Camp, NFL Draft prospects instruct more than 100 local middle school students on technique and non-contact football skills, including passing, receiving and agility.


Parents of NFL Draft prospects join local high school football players and their families for a brunch that recognizes the prospect’s accomplishments and creates an opportunity for the parents to network and discuss the values associated with football with NFL Legends.


A series of free, public non-contact football camps for local kids on day two of Draft weekend kicks off the Play Football Summer Season. These clinics are led by USA Football-certified coaches and feature appearances by NFL players and Legends.

Local high school football players help announce a pick at the 2019 NFL Draft in Nashville.

Local high school football players help announce a pick at the 2019 NFL Draft in Nashville.


Local high school football teams get time in the national spotlight when they announce picks throughout the NFL Draft alongside Commissioner Roger Goodell and NFL Legends.


The “Thank You, Coach” event allows prospects that attend the NFL Draft to give back to the leaders who had an impact on their lives by inviting one of their high school coaches to the Draft. Each coach receives an equipment grant to support his football program, a welcome reception and a behind-the-scenes tour of the Draft.