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 COVID-19 Protocols

Social Justice

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. 

Impact of Television

How television has changed the game.


In the NFL, balancing technology with tradition.

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

NFL Tiebreaking Procedures

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

NFL Rules Digest

A quick reference guide to the NFL rulebook.

Signals Intelligence

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

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 annual NFL Officiating Clinic takes place July 17–19 in Irving, Texas. The three-day meeting is the culmination of the league’s summer clinics and serves as the final opportunity to ensure that the league and its 122 game officials — including 10 first-year officialsare on the same page going into the 2015 preseason.

NFL Vice President of Officiating, Dean Blandino, begins a training session during the 2014 Annual NFL Officiating Clinic in Irving, Texas.

NFL Vice President of Officiating, Dean Blandino, begins a training session during the 2014 Annual NFL Officiating Clinic in Irving, Texas.

In May, the league’s Officiating Department, led by Vice President of Officiating Dean Blandino, brought the officials to Newark, New Jersey, to focus on the physical aspects of officiating. This weekend, the officials have gathered to focus on what’s new for 2015, how well they know the rules of the game and how to conduct themselves professionally on and off the field.

New this year: the medical time-out. The Competition Committee voted to allow the ATC spotter — the independent certified athletic trainer located in the press box — to contact an on-field official to stop the game and make sure that a potentially injured player receives treatment. The medical time-out will only be called if the game officials and team trainers fail to notice a potential injury.

Blandino and his team will also outline rule modifications designed to protect players from unnecessary risk. These include:

  • Giving additional protection to the intended receiver of a pass following an interception or potential interception
  • Extending the prohibition for an illegal peel-back block to all offensive players.
  • Eliminating all chop blocks involving a back
  • Prohibiting defenders from pushing teammates into the offensive formation on punt plays
  • Moving the snap for an extra point kick to the 15-yard line

Each season, the league focuses on points of emphasis to address and stem undesirable trends in the game. This year, these include:

  • Eliminating abusive, threatening or insulting language directed at opponents, teammates, game officials or league representatives, including racial slurs, comments regarding sexual orientation or other verbal abuse
  • Eliminating fighting
  • Prohibiting players from pulling opponents off a pile following a loose ball
  • Understanding the language that provides more clarity to the rule pertaining to what constitutes a catch

The officials will take three tests over the weekend: an individual written exam, an individual video exam and a collaborative exam with the other members of their crew. Each official needs to possess a total mastery of the rules — to excel on all three.

To further reinforce their on-field responsibilities, the officials will participate in a series of breakout sessions by position that will emphasize mechanics — including new mechanics for eight-member crews, an experiment that will be tried in the second week of the preseason. They’ll get hands-on experience with new instant-replay hardware and software. Also to be discussed is the need for improved communications during the game, both between each member of the officiating crew and with coaches on the sidelines.

Finally, the officials will go over the results of their exams and revisit the performance and wellness topics covered in May. NFL Player Engagement’s Director of Transition and Clinical Services, will lead a session on domestic violence and sexual assault awareness to give officials the same education and training that all NFL players and employees of the league and each club receive on these issues.

While the NFL Officiating Department evaluates and provides feedback to its officials throughout the season, the annual NFL Officiating Clinic enables both groups to get in synch before the season begins.

Learn more about how the NFL develops its officials.