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.


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.

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.

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.

Regional Combine Invitational

Unearthing football's hidden gems.

The path to an NFL career is different for each player. For those not invited to the National Invitational Combine — and for those pros with less than three years’ NFL experience who have recently been waived — the NFL hosts the Regional Combine Invitational.
NFL Legends Mentor Chad Pennington will address participants at the Regional Combine Invitational. (Evan Pinkus via AP)

NFL Legends Mentor Chad Pennington will address participants at the Regional Combine Invitational. (Evan Pinkus via AP)

In 2018, the NFL introduced the Regional Combine Invitational, a two-day event that brings together NFL talent evaluators and players looking to showcase their abilities. The Invitational takes place in Tampa, March 24-25, in conjunction with the league’s Annual Meeting.

Similar to the National Invitational Combine held in Indianapolis in February, prospects participate in physical, mental and medical assessments and have their talents evaluated by pro scouts.

Regional Combine Invitational – College Prospects

The first day focuses on the top draft-eligible college players who did not receive an invitation to the Combine in Indianapolis. The prospects — identified by NFL teams and the league’s scouting services — are assessed by pro scouts from all 32 clubs in one location.

Participants must be draft-eligible for the upcoming NFL Draft, have played college football last year and have used all of their NCAA college eligibility.

By restricting the participants to college prospects eligible for the current NFL Draft, teams can focus only on players who could end up on their draft board.

The college prospect portion of the Regional Combine Invitational is a pilot event in its first year. If the league and its clubs determine the event is successful, it may return ahead of the 2019 NFL Draft.

Regional Combine Invitational – Pro Player

The second day focus shifts to the Pro Player Combine. Players with less than three years’ NFL experience who are not currently on a team and whose contracts were waived within the last calendar year can display their talent for pro scouts.

This is the second year of the Pro Player Combine. In 2017, 16 participants out of 93 in attendance signed with NFL teams after last year’s combine.


The Regional Combine Invitational provides an opportunity for the league to test new innovations that may assist pro scouts with evaluating prospects.

Sparta Science tests prospects’ balance and force with their patented force plate technology. Players launch themselves from Sparta’s portable force plate system, which crunches thousands of data points to calculate three actionable variables: Load, Explode and Drive. Data generated in under 90 seconds measure an athlete’s ability to start, transition and finish a movement. Sparta Science’s platform uses this information to predict and optimize outcomes, by comparing prospects to hundreds of NFL players in its database.

Sparta Science's Force Plate crunches data to define an athlete’s ability to start, transition and finish a movement. 

Sparta Science's Force Plate crunches data to define an athlete’s ability to start, transition and finish a movement. 

Fusion Sport’s SMARTSPEED timing system electronically times the 40-yard dash and short shuttle drill. SMARTSPEED uses Fusion Sport’s Error Correction Processing to eliminate errors caused by hands, feet and other equipment. These timing errors can affect the accuracy of the results. In prior events, the times were tracked by hand. At this event, the times are measured and distributed electronically by the Fusion Sport system.

Fusion Sport's SMARTSPEED timing system eliminates timing errors.

Fusion Sport's SMARTSPEED timing system eliminates timing errors.

Wilson X Pro footballs will be used to quantify what was previously measured by the “eye test.” The X Pro measures timing (how long it takes from the snap to release, snap to catch attempt and the time from breaking the hands to release), quality of throws (how fast the ball spins and tightness of the spiral), and arm strength (number of throws and peak velocity). The data evaluate arm health, arm talent and the elements of successful pass plays. 

Bringing Clubs and Prospects Together

The Regional Combine Invitational benefits all participants. Pro scouts from NFL teams can gather information on the prospects in one location; and the players can continue to pursue their NFL dream, show off their skills and try to catch on to an NFL roster.

The night before displaying their on-field skills, each group meets to set the table for their experience. NFL Legend Chad Pennington will address each group, share his combine experience and answer questions the prospects may have. Pennington is an NFL Legends Mentor and assists in preparing prospects for their transition to the NFL. Pennington attended the NIC this year in Indianapolis as a mentor as well. Scouts also can interview the prospects one-on-one.

Also on the night before the physical drills, the prospects take the same aptitude test as the one administered at the Indianapolis Combine. Since 2013, the prospects have taken the NFL Player Assessment Test, which measures competencies that contribute to success in the NFL, including intelligence and personality traits, and had their results shared with all 32 teams. The NFL-PAT test scores significantly correlate with player performance outcomes, and standardize the way that intelligence and personality traits — non-physical, yet football-related characteristics — are measured and combined with physical traits to better predict player performance.

The Regional Combine Invitational is another example of NFL Football Operations’ commitment to exploring ways to enhance player evaluation for NFL teams and giving every deserving player the opportunity to have his talent assessed by pro scouts.