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.

In over a month’s time since the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics announced that women’s flag football would be its newest sport, it has grown exponentially and was recently voted as the newest sport to receive emerging status by the NAIA National Administrative Council.

The start of women’s flag football, a joint effort with the NAIA and NFL, has been on a rapid ascent within the NAIA. Member institutions quickly pledged their schools to become one of the first to establish a team at their institution. This high level of interest allowed the NAIA governing bodies to recently grant the sport emerging status, which will put it on track to continue growth toward becoming a full championship sport over the foreseeable future.

“As anticipated, many NAIA member schools have quickly taken advantage of the opportunity to add women’s flag football for 2020-21,” said Jim Carr, NAIA president and CEO. “The financial assistance provided by the NFL has had a significant impact on participation, and the NAIA is grateful for the league’s support in this joint venture.” 

Before becoming a championship sport, the NAIA has two status levels. This gives a timely approach for the sport to find success and interest amongst NAIA membership. Emerging is that first step, which requires 15 schools to establish a program and declare intent to participate the following year. The next step for women’s flag football would be invitational status, which requires 25 schools to declare such intent. The final stage is becoming a championship sport, which requires a minimum of 40 schools and final approval from the NAIA.

Each of the 15 schools that have declared intent to participate in 2020 have been granted a $15,000 stipend from the NFL to aid the on-boarding process of the sport. Three of these schools are Historic Black Colleges and Universities, which were a key component to have involved from day one. Xavier University of Louisiana, Florida Memorial University and Tougaloo (Miss.) will be the three HBCUs that will lead the charge in women’s flag football beginning in the 2021 campaign.

“Adding women's flag football to the list of sports that we offer here at Florida Memorial University means that the amount of lives that we get to impact as an institution of higher education grows,” said Florida Memorial Athletic Director Ernest T. Jones. “More young women will have the opportunity to pursue their academic and athletic goals and potentially change their lives and their families' lives. We look forward to building a [women’s] flag football program that follows in the footsteps of all our other sports programs – one that chases academic excellence and championships.”

Kansas Wesleyan was one of the first institutions to announce they would create a women’s flag program, a distinction that director of athletics, Steve Wilson, was excited to have.

"Through everything we have experienced in collegiate athletics the last few months, being able to be on the front end of something so special for women's sports and the NAIA, as a whole, has been a welcome relief,” Wilson said. “Talking sports and planning can re-center you, at times. More importantly, though, the decision to be part of this was strategic. I firmly believe women's flag football will be an extremely high-profile offering, and we are excited to be able to help shape the initial steps of the sport within our organization. Working with the NFL is icing on the cake. There are just so many bright aspects of this sport's future."

The NAIA is finalizing the creation of the rule book and will be releasing information for potential hosts of the inaugural 2021 NAIA Women’s Flag Football Jamboree. Since its inception, the NAIA has worked with Reigning Champs Experiences, which operates the NFL Flag initiative for the NFL and has been instrumental in the process of bringing women’s flag football to the NAIA.

For more information on women’s flag football in the NAIA, click here.

NAIA Schools Committed to Women’s Flag in 2020-21

Cottey (Mo.)

Florida Memorial

Kansas Wesleyan

Keiser (Fla.)

La Sierra (Calif.)

Midland (Neb.)

Milligan (Tenn.)

Ottawa (Kan.)

Reinhardt (Ga.)

St. Thomas (Fla.)

Tougaloo (Miss.)

Saint Mary (Kan.)

Warner (Fla.)

Webber International (Fla.)

Xavier (La.)