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.
The NFL/NFLPA's schedule of infractions and fines, and a process for appeal.
The NFL strives to cultivate a qualified and diverse workforce.
Honoring the league’s commitment to serve the communities where the game is played.
The NFL is proud of the HBCU professional football legacy.
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 four NFL executives to create the NFL’s 256-game masterpiece.
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 the NFL and its partners provide to help every player before, during and after his football career.
Celebrating, educating, embracing and connecting all former NFL players with each other, their former teams and the league.
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.
Explore the official rules of the game.
The NFL Video Rulebook explains NFL rules with video examples.
The NFL's procedures for breaking ties for postseason playoffs.
The NFL's familiar hand signals help fans better understand the game.
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 controversial ruling in last season’s playoff game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Green Bay Packers has led to a clarification of the NFL’s rule defining a catch to convey more clearly the element of time required for completion of a catch.
At this week’s NFL annual meeting in Phoenix, NFL Vice President of Officiating Dean Blandino announced the Competition Committee’s revision of the language describing what constitutes a catch.
There are three requirements. The receiver must:
The new language specifies that for a catch to be considered complete, either the player must establish himself as a runner or, if he goes to the ground in the act of catching a pass before establishing himself as a runner, he must retain control of the ball when he contacts the ground.
“If he can clearly establish himself as a runner, then he’s not going to the ground to make the catch,” Blandino said. “If he hasn’t clearly established himself as a runner prior to going to the ground, then he has to hold on to the ball until after his initial contact with the ground.”
The new language wouldn’t change the ruling in the Dallas-Green Bay game, made after instant replay review, that a catch that appeared to have been made by Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant was actually an incomplete pass. Discussing that ruling during the news conference, Blandino said: “Bryant is going to the ground, he’s falling to the ground to make the catch. He has not clearly established himself as a runner prior to going to the ground, so he has to hold onto the ball until after that initial contact with the ground. If the ball touches the ground and comes loose, it’s an incomplete pass. You’ll see the ball hit the ground, and then it pops loose.”
“The committee looked at the language and made several changes. In order to complete a catch, the receiver has to have control, both feet on the ground, and he has to have it after that long enough to clearly establish himself as a runner,” Blandino said. “This would fall directly in line with our defenseless player rule, where we say a receiver is protected until he can clearly establish himself as a runner. And what does that mean? That means he has the ability to ward off and protect himself from the impending contact.”
Contact with the ground can cause an incomplete pass for the same reason that contact with an opponent can cause an incomplete pass: The ball is dislodged from the receiver’s grasp before he has completed the time requirement for a catch.
Consistent with its comments on the same issue in 2010, the Competition Committee noted: “The Committee wants to emphasize that playing rules are written to be officiated on the field. The rules regarding a catch are often scrutinized with the benefit of replay or slow motion, and the review may be inconsistent with officiating the play at full speed in live action. Instant Replay should only reverse an incorrect call on the basis of ‘indisputable visual evidence.’”
“If you’re going to the ground, hang on to the ball. It’s really pretty simple,” said Jeff Fisher, St. Louis Rams head coach and Competition Committee co-chairman.