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 is welcoming nine first-year game officials for the 2015 season. The nine are graduates of the NFL Officiating Department’s Officiating Development Program, which trains top college football officials in all aspects of NFL officiating. They will start their NFL careers on the field at upcoming organized team activities.

“Our incoming officials have all demonstrated that they are among the best in college football,” said Dean Blandino, the NFL’s senior vice president of officiating. “We are excited about having them join us.”

Meet the new officials:

Kevin Codey, Line Judge #16
Kevin Codey, a middle school physical education teacher from Pittsfield, Mass., started officiating high school football in 1992. His Division I career began in the Big East, where he worked from 2006 to 2011. He spent the last two years calling games in the American Athletic Conference. Postseason games he has worked include the 2011 Gator Bowl, the 2011 Gildan New Mexico Bowl, the 2013 Outback Bowl, the 2013 Chick-fil-A Bowl, the 2014 Idaho Potato Bowl and the 2015 Senior Bowl. Codey graduated from Western New England College in Springfield, Mass., where he played basketball and baseball.

Walt Coleman IV, Side Judge #87
Walt Coleman IV, a financial advisor from Dallas and the son of referee Walt Coleman, started as a college flag football official. From there, he earned a spot as an official in the Big XII Conference from 2006 to 2014. His postseason experience includes the 2011 Champ Sports Bowl, the 2013 Capital One Bowl, the 2015 Outback Bowl and the 2015 Senior Bowl. Coleman is a graduate of Southern Methodist University.

Hugo Cruz, Head Linesman #94
Hugo Cruz, an investment manager from San Antonio, began his officiating career in 1995. He worked as an official in Conference USA from 2009 to 2014. Among the postseason games he has worked are the 2011 Sun Bowl, the 2012 East-West Shrine Game, the 2013 Conference USA Championship, the 2014 Miami Beach Bowl and the 2015 East-West Shrine Game. Cruz, a graduate of the University of Texas – Pan American, also has experience as a minor league baseball umpire.

Bart Longson, Head Linesman #2
Bart Longson, the co-founder and CEO of a digital finance company in Salt Lake City, started officiating at the age of 25. He officiated in the Mountain West Conference from 2005 to 2009, the Big XII Conference in 2010 and 2011 and the Pac-12 conference from 2011 to 2014. His postseason experience includes the 2011 Pac-12 championship, the 2011 Insight Bowl, the 2012 Pinstripe Bowl, the 2014 Capital One Bowl, the 2014 East-West Shrine Game, the 2014 Pac-12 championship, the 2014 Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl, the 2015 Sugar Bowl (national semifinal) and the 2015 NFLPA Game. Longson is a graduate of Brigham Young University.

Clay Martin, Umpire #19
Clay Martin, a high school basketball coach in Jenks, Okla., began his football officiating career at the high school level in 2005 and began calling college games in Conference USA in 2007. His postseason experience includes the 2011 Conference USA championship, the 2011 Outback Bowl, the 2012 Holiday Bowl, the 2013 Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl, the 2014 Conference USA championship and the 2015 East-West Shrine Game. Martin initially attended the University of Tulsa on football and basketball scholarships and transferred to Oklahoma Baptist University to concentrate on basketball, helping his team reach the NAIA championship game in 1997.

Aaron Santi, Side Judge #50
Aaron Santi, a middle school principal from Medford, Ore., followed his father — a Division I-AA official — into officiating football and has called games in the Pac-12 Conference since 2003. His postseason experience includes the 2004 MPC Computers Bowl, the 2006 Sugar Bowl, the 2007 Chick-fil-A Bowl, the 2009 Cotton Bowl, the 2010 Sugar Bowl, the 2010 Hawaii Bowl, the 2011 Liberty Bowl, the 2013 Discover BCS National Championship Game, the 2014 Gator Bowl, the 2015 Gator Bowl and the 2015 Medal of Honor Bowl. Santi is a graduate of Southern Oregon University.

Shawn Smith, Field Judge #14
Shawn Smith, an internal auditor from Southfield, Mich., got started as a flag football official at Eastern Michigan University. He went on to officiate in Conference USA in 2009, the Mid-American Conference from 2009 to 2012 and the Big Ten Conference from 2012 to 2014. His postseason experience includes the 2011 Armed Forces Bowl and the 2015 Senior Bowl. Smith was recruited to run track and play football at EMU before transferring to Ferris State University.

Sarah Thomas, Line Judge #53
Sarah Thomas, a pharmaceutical sales representative from Brandon, Miss. began officiating high school football in 1996. She moved up to Conference USA in 2008 and has worked three postseason games: the 2013 Fight Hunger Bowl, the 2014 Conference USA championship and the 2015 Medal of Honor Bowl. Thomas played basketball at University of Mobile.

Jabir Walker, Side Judge #26
Jabir Walker, a math teacher from Louisville, Ky., is a former Canadian Football League and Arena Football League player. He officiated in Conference USA from 2009 to 2011 and the Southeastern Conference from 2010 to 2014. Postseason games he has worked include the 2011 Pinstripe Bowl, the 2012 East-West Shrine Game, the 2013 New Mexico Bowl, the 2014 SEC championship, the 2014 Senior Bowl and the 2015 Senior Bowl. Walker is a graduate of Murray State University.

The complete roster of NFL officials for the 2015 season, including crew assignments, will be announced in the coming weeks.