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.

When the Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots face off Feb. 1 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., for Super Bowl XLIX, they will do so on a field that has been in place for only three weeks.     

The biggest game of the NFL season requires the best possible playing surface. Shortly after the wild-card games were played on Jan. 3-4, the league began the process of replacing the stadium’s playing surface.

The new turf — a hybrid Bermuda grass — was loaded into 30 refrigerated trucks for its nearly 1,700-mile journey from Bent Oak Farm in Foley, Ala. to Glendale. Grounds crews installed the surface on Jan. 9 and 10.

This is the fourth Super Bowl for which Bent Oak Farm has provided the turf, Doug Lipscomb, the farm’s co-owner, told the Alabama Media Group. The last three Super Bowls to be played on a natural surface — Super Bowls XLII (Glendale), XLIII (Tampa, Fla.) and XLIV (Miami) — were played on Bent Oak grass.

The retractable playing field is shown outside University of Phoenix Stadium, Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2011, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)

The retractable playing field is shown outside University of Phoenix Stadium, Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2011, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)

When University of Phoenix Stadium — home of the Arizona Cardinals — was still in the planning stages, the team’s ownership felt strongly that football should be played on grass. Because the facility is used year-round for events other than football, it has a retractable roof that can be shut to allow for air conditioning in hot weather — meaning that when the roof is closed, the field loses access to the sun and water it needs to survive.

The stadium’s designers came up with a unique solution: an 18.9-million-pound tray that rolls the playing surface outside when it’s not being used so it can get maximum sunlight.

The massive tray, which weighs about 19 million pounds, is powered by a 76-horsepower motor, sits on 13 rails and travels at about 1/8 of a mile per hour. It’s 234 feet wide, 403 feet long and 39 inches tall; the 741-foot one-way trip inside or out takes about 75 minutes. (That doesn’t include the time needed to move the end zone stands out of the way when the field is rolled out and then to put them back in place when the field comes back indoors.)

A sophisticated irrigation and drainage system is built into the tray. Water drains through several feeder pipes into a main drainpipe under the tray. Some water remains, so the field has water while it is in use.

The resodded field went through the NFL’s usual field certification process for a natural playing surface before the Pro Bowl. It will be certified again before the Super Bowl.

“Back-to-back games always present challenges,” said Mike Kensil, vice president of game operations. “This field is going through a lot.”

The field was brought inside for the Pro Bowl on the Friday before the game, and a Super Bowl halftime show rehearsal was held on it that evening (two more rehearsals will be held before the game).

The day after the Pro Bowl, the field tray was rolled outside to soak in more of the Arizona sun and get healthier before the big game. It will be rolled back inside on the Thursday before the game.