Each summer, the NFL Officiating Department, led by Senior Vice President of Officiating Dean Blandino, gathers all of its officials in Dallas, Texas to prepare for the upcoming season.
The annual NFL Officiating Clinic serves as the final opportunity to ensure that the league and its 124 game officials — including three first-year officials — are on the same page ahead of the 2016 season.
Explore the official rules of the game with this searchable version of the official 2016 NFL Rulebook.
With a focus on the officials’ mastery of their trade, the Texas clinic covers how well NFL officials know the rules of the game, what’s new for 2016, and how they can conduct themselves professionally on and off the field. The clinic builds on the clinic held in May in Newark, New Jersey, which focused on the physical aspects of NFL officiating, including total wellness, endurance, proper stretching techniques, movement skills, nutrition and recovery after games.
In addition to an in-depth review of the 2016 NFL Rulebook, Blandino and his team will cover the 2016 rules changes and officiating points of emphasis designed to protect players from unnecessary risk.
Look back at the NFL’s health and safety rules changes over the years.
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 mastery of the rules — to excel on all three.
Learn more about the 2016 NFL rules changes and points of emphasis.
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 tested in the second week of the preseason. The officials will receive 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.
Learn more about how the NFL develops its officials.