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.

NFL Rules Enforcement

Ensuring that players conduct themselves in a way that honors the sport and respects the game.

Fines & Appeals

The NFL's schedule of infractions and fines, and a process for appeal.

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. 

Gameday: Behind the Scenes

Countdown to kickoff: how NFL games happen.

Technology

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 four NFL executives to create the NFL's 256-game masterpiece.

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 the NFL and its partners provide to help every player before, during and after his football career.

NFL Legends Community

Celebrating, educating, embracing and connecting all former NFL players with each other, their former teams and the league.

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 command 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.

2017 NFL Rulebook

Explore the official rules of the game.

NFL Video Rulebook

The NFL Video Rulebook explains NFL rules with video examples.

2017 Rules Changes and Points of Emphasis

NFL Overtime Rules

NFL Tiebreaking Procedures

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

Signals Intelligence

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

Stats Central

Stats Central

Go inside the game with the NFL's official game stats. Sort the stats by season or by week.

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 roster of 124 game officials for the 2017 season includes eight first-year NFL officials.

Line judges Brian Bolinger (Big Ten), Mike Carr (Big Ten) and Danny Short (ACC), side judge Ryan Dickson (Pac-12), down judge David Oliver (SEC), field judges Mearl Robinson (Pac-12) and Brad Rogers (SEC) and umpire Steve Woods (Big Ten) will make their NFL officiating debuts this season.

All 17 referees from 2016 will return to lead seven-person on-field officiating crews again in 2017, led by the dean of NFL officials, Walt Coleman, who enters his 29th season.

An instant replay official will work as part of each of the 17 officiating crews, including Terri Valenti, who becomes the first female replay official in NFL history. Valenti has worked in instant replay for the NFL for the past five seasons, serving as a replay communicator from 2012-15 and a replay assistant in 2016 before being promoted to her current position. Prior to turning her focus to replay, Valenti was an on-field official at the high school, collegiate and professional level (Arena Football League, United Football League), as well as in various international football leagues.

Five officials will not be assigned to crews and will work with different crews throughout the season. In addition to these five officials, more officials will rotate among crews to ensure the most consistent officiating across the league.

Twelve officials will work at new positions this season to capitalize on the particular strengths of each official and to balance the needs of the overall officiating staff.

Starting in 2017, the “head linesman” position will be called “down judge” to more accurately depict the primary responsibility of the role — ensuring the correct down and distance — and to eliminate the gender-based classification of the position.

Three sets of fathers and sons are among the roster of officials — Coleman and his son, Walt IV; Ed Hochuli and his son, Shawn; and Steve Freeman and his son, Brad. — and four sets of brothers – Allen and Rusty Baynes; Jeff and Jerry Bergman; Carl, Dino & Perry Paganelli; and Gene and Tony Steratore.

Steve Freeman and Phil McKinnely are the only current game officials to have played in the NFL. Freeman played for 13 seasons, including 12 as a defensive back with the Buffalo Bills from 1975–86. McKinnely played seven seasons as an offensive lineman from 1976–82, including five seasons with the Atlanta Falcons from 1976–80.

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