Protecting the integrity of the greatest game.
It's our responsibility to strengthen the sport.
Ensuring a consistent and fair game that is decided on the field, by the players.
Ensuring that players conduct themselves in a way that honors the sport and respects the game.
Knees Bent. Pads Down. Head Up & Out.
The NFL is proud of the HBCU professional football legacy.
Honoring the league’s commitment to serve the communities where the game is played.
Meet the people behind NFL Operations.
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.
Countdown to kickoff: how NFL games happen.
In the NFL, balancing technology with tradition.
How television has changed the game.
Upon further review…
It takes hundreds of computers and five NFL executives to create the NFL’s 256-game masterpiece.
The inaugural analytics contest explores statistical innovations in football — how the game is played and coached.
Promoting the values of football.
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.
Creating an NFL player: from “everyman” to “superman.”
Supporting the next generation of players and fans.
Preparing players of all ages for success at football’s highest level.
Introducing the next wave of NFL superstars.
A look at the programs and services NFL Player Engagement provides to assist every player before, during and after his football career.
Strengthening football and the community.
Strengthening the NFL brotherhood.
Discover the evolution of professional officiating, the weekly evaluation process and how the NFL identifies and develops the next generation of officials.
“One thing hasn’t changed: the pressure. It will always be there.”
The latest information from the NFL's officiating command center.
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 an NFL game takes years of training and experience.
NFL Football Operations protects the integrity of the game by ensuring that the rules and the officiating are consistent and fair to all competitors.
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.
The NFL Video Rulebook explains NFL rules with video examples.
Explore the official rules of the game.
The NFL's procedures for breaking ties for postseason playoffs.
The NFL's familiar hand signals help fans better understand the game.
A quick reference guide to the NFL rulebook.
Sharpen your NFL football knowledge with this glossary of the game's fundamental terms.
See where the players line up in pro football's most common offensive and defensive formations.
Understand what the graphics on NFL television broadcasts mean and how they can help you get the most out of watching NFL games.
The NFL’s instant replay review process focuses on expediting instant replay reviews and ensuring consistency. Learn how it works.
Go inside the game with the NFL's official game stats. Sort the stats by season or by week.
Chart and compare the NFL Football Operations stats you're looking for with the NFL's data tool.
Get a snapshot of the current NFL game stats, updated weekly during the regular season.
The NFL Competition Committee receives and considers input from coaches, general managers, owners, current players and NFL Legends, the NFL Players Association, medical personnel and the media, and conducts hours of discussion and film study before recommending changes to any rule.
During this process, the Committee asks several questions about each potential rule change:
The league reviews changes with players, coaches and officials during training camp and the NFL Officiating Clinic to help everyone adapt to the rule changes and points of emphasis. The Officiating Department also provides training videos for players and coaches with specific examples.
Beginning in 2019, both offensive and defensive pass interference calls are reviewable. Plays can be reviewed whether the penalty was called on the field or not. This rule change is subject to a one-year trial period.
A pass interference ruling will be changed in replay only when there is clear and obvious visual evidence that the on-field ruling was incorrect. To change the ruling on the field, there must be clear and obvious evidence that contact “significantly hindered” or “did not significantly hinder” an opponent. See full details on the 2019 replay rule here.
Owners voted to expand protection of defenseless players by eliminating the blindside block. It is now prohibited for a blocker to initiate forcible contact with his head, shoulder or forearm when his path is toward or parallel to his own end line. The penalty for an illegal blindside block is a loss of 15 yards and an automatic first down.
Owners voted to make permanent the kickoff rules changes that were implemented in 2018. The restrictions resulted in a 35% decrease in concussions on kickoff plays when compared to the 2017 season.
Here are the NFL kickoff rules:
In addition to pass interference, owners voted to expand the number of plays subject to booth reviews to include:
Other rules changes for 2019 include:
Beginning in 2019, only players in uniform may enter the field to celebrate. If anyone other than a player in uniform enters the field, it is a penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct — loss of 15 yards and an automatic first down.
Owners voted to expand the authority of game officials to disqualify players for acts committed during a game. In 2018, designated members of the officiating team could disqualify a player for non-football acts (such as unsportsmanlike conduct) if a flag was thrown related to that act. In 2019, this will be expanded to also include any football act.
The offense may now apply any penalties committed by the defense to either the ensuing kickoff or to the succeeding extra point or two-point conversion plays.
The Officiating Department will continue to emphasize the Use of Helmet rule adopted in 2018.
The officiating standards for the Use of Helmet rule are:
Players can be ejected for Use of Helmet fouls — and all ejections will be reviewed by senior officials in Art McNally GameDay Central in New York. The standards for ejection are, if:
The Committee is in support of issuing warning letters for any Use of the Helmet fouls in the interior line or where there is little space between players.
Offensive holding will be more strictly enforced this season, particularly on the back side of the run play or line of scrimmage. Referees will closely monitor play at the line of scrimmage to ensure that offensive players do not materially restrict opponents or alter the defender’s path or angle of pursuit.
Material restrictions include but are not limited to: