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.

Social Justice

NFL COVID-19 Protocols

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 Draft returns to Chicago on April 28-30, 2016. Following is the process used by clubs to submit their selections and trades to the league.

Player Selection: 

Each club communicates its selection by phone from its Draft room at team headquarters to its representatives on-site in Chicago at Selection Square. The  representatives, seated at team tables, then write the name, position, school, and overall selection number of the club’s selection onto an official selection card. 

For a selection to be made, a completed official selection card is handed to a “runner,” who is stationed at the club’s table while it is on the clock. Upon the “runner’ receiving the selection card, the selection is deemed official and cannot be revoked.

Learn the rules of the NFL Draft.

Upon receiving the card, the “runner” will hold it high in the air, notifying the league official at the dais that the selection has been made. A league official at the head table will then announce, “Club A has made its selection, Club B is on the clock,” while the clock is simultaneously re-set.

A club representative may hand-deliver the selection card to the head table; however, it is far more efficient to hand the card to the “runner,” who will immediately signal to the league official at the dais.


If Club A does not select a player within its time allotment, it is deemed to have passed. A “runner” is also assigned to the table of the club (Club B) that is next in the selection order. If a pass occurs, Club B is permitted to select a player by handing an official selection card to the “runner” at its table.

While Club A has passed, it has not forfeited its right to select a player and may re-enter the Draft at any point. If Club A hands an official selection card to the “runner” who has remained at its table before Club B makes a selection, Club A’s selection is valid. League officials at the head table will watch both tables in such a situation to determine which selection is made first, and the decision of the league officials is final.

If a club representative decides to walk the selection card to the head table, the fact that the representative reaches the head table with a selection card before the arrival of the “runner” is immaterial, since the selection of the club represented by the “runner” was valid as soon as the “runner” received the club’s selection card.


Trade information is communicated to the NFL Player Personnel department by telephone. If the trade involves the selection choice that is on the clock, no selection by the club acquiring the choice is valid until the trade has been approved.

Discover the history of the NFL Draft.

If the trade is not approved within the allotted time, and no selection has been made, the team trading the selection choice will be deemed to have passed. When a trade has been approved, the club acquiring the choice shall have the time remaining on the clock, if any, to make its selection. If no time remains on the clock, the rules related to passing apply.

When league officials at the head table learn that a trade is in progress, a “runner” will be sent to the table of the club acquiring the selection choice.