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.

Return To Play

2020 NFL-NFLPA CBA: Need to know

Key takeaways from the 2020 Collective Bargaining Agreement 

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.

Game Day Assistants

See the NFL personnel at every game, what they do and you can identify them. 


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 annual 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.

NFL Legends Community

Strengthening the NFL brotherhood.

NFL Total Wellness

NFL Total Wellness assists players, Legends and their families before, during and after their playing experiences.

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.

2020 NFL Rulebook

Explore the official rules of the game.

2020 Rules Changes and Points of Emphasis

NFL Overtime Rules

Signals Intelligence

The NFL's familiar hand signals help fans better understand the game.   

NFL Tiebreaking Procedures

The NFL's procedures for breaking ties for postseason playoffs.

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.

The Extra Point

Welcome to the Extra Point, where members of the NFL's football data and analytics team will share updates on league-wide trends in football data, interesting visualizations that showcase innovative ways to use the league's data, and provide an inside look at how the NFL uses data-driven insight to improve and monitor player and team performance.

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.

The NFL today announced the launch of the second annual Big Data Bowl, calling on college students and experts to devise innovative approaches to analyzing rushing plays. The NFL captures real-time data for every player, on every play, in every situation, and by crowdsourcing insights into this data, the Big Data Bowl aims to analyze and rethink trends in player performance and innovate the way football is played and coached.

Data and analytics are the underpinning of the NFL’s work, including in the creation of rules changes and in monitoring player and team performance. Through two upcoming crowd-sourcing initiatives, the league is calling on enthusiastic fans and data scientists to participate in its annual Big Data Bowl and 1st & Future competitions, both hosted on Kaggle.

Beginning today, participants can sign up for the Big Data Bowl here. Analysts are challenged to devise an algorithm to predict how many yards a ball carrier will gain on rushing plays, using game and play characteristics, as well as Next Gen Stats player tracking data from the moment a handoff is made. New this year, during Weeks 13 through 17, participants will be a part of a live leaderboard posted on Kaggle that scores competitors each week based on how accurately their algorithm predicted the ball carrier performance. The top three submissions on Kaggle will share $75,000 in prize money.

In addition to the open contest, undergraduate and graduate student participants are also eligible to participate in an additional competition in which they share their methods and results with NFL team analytics staffers. The top collegiate finalists will be chosen based on a combination of innovation, accuracy, relevance and clarity. This portion of the competition will culminate with in-person presentations at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis in February 2020.

“The NFL uses data and analytics across all aspects of our business,” said Natara Holloway, NFL Vice President of Football Strategy and Business Development. “While teams may use data to help improve their playbooks, we use it to track trends and develop insights to improve and monitor on-field performance. The Big Data Bowl allows us to find new ways of using football data and create a pipeline of talent for the next generation of industry leaders.”

Following the 2019 Big Data Bowl, eleven participants were later hired by NFL clubs or affiliate vendors and similar opportunities for participants are expected this year.

Next month, the league will announce the opening of the fifth annual 1st and Future, part of the league’s annual Super Bowl pitch competition designed to spur innovation in athlete safety and performance. Last year’s event also featured the NFL Punt Analytics Competition, which gave participants access to exclusive NFL injury data to inform creative ideas for rule changes that, backed by data, could reduce player injury during punt plays. These proposals were shared with the NFL’s Competition Committee and this year’s challenge will again give data scientists and fans the chance to help drive advancements in the way the game is played.

For more information on how to sign up for the 2020 Big Data Bowl, click here.