Assignments

Gene Steratore is confirmed as referee for Super Bowl LII

Gene Steratore will be the referee heading the Super Bowl LII officiating team on Feb. 4 in Minneapolis. The assignments were officially given to the crew today, and this will be Steratore’s first Super Bowl assignment. Steratore worked the Divisional Playoff game between the Saints and Vikings, which included a wild finish where Minnesota stole the lead with less than ten seconds remaining. Steratore is also a Division I college basketball official, and worked the University of Minnesota-Penn State basketball game the next day. Officials in the Super Bowl must be ranked in the top tier as determined by the new senior vice-president of officiating, Al Riveron. Accuracy

Clete Blakeman and Ed Hochuli will officiate Conference Championships

Football Zebras has confirmed that Clete Blakeman will lead the crew for the AFC Championship game and Ed Hochuli will be the referee in the NFC Championship. In an interesting development, several officials have received their second on-field playoff assignment for this season. Traditionally, those officials who receive two playoff assignments are the Super Bowl officials, who also work a Divisional playoff. However, in this case, these assignments are the first doubles in a single season, without a Super Bowl assignment, since 2004. There was some indication that the procedures were going to be altered slightly this year, as more than

2017 rule changes

New for 2017: No dawdling

Embed from Getty Images   The NFL, in trying to get all the commercials played yet get off the air in time for 60 Minutes, wants the officials and teams to hustle between the try for point or field goal and the ensuing kickoff and not to wait for TV if there is a replay challenge. In 2014, the average time of a NFL game was 3:06. It creeped up to 3:09 last year. For 2017, the NFL has new mechanics to move the game along. Hustle up After the extra point or successful field goal, the 40-second play clock starts. The officials and teams

Mechanics

Video: Spotting a punt that goes out of bounds

https://youtu.be/PEYznjalDUM When a punt goes out of bounds in the air, officials have to spot the ball at the point where the ball goes over the sideline. How do they determine the spot? It's an officiating mechanic that requires a little teamwork from the crew.

Learning never stops at the top levels for officials

  One of the consistent qualities for top-notch officials is that they are coachable. Coaches love it when one of their star players is coachable, and officials need that same quality. A master learns an early lesson Midway through his Big 10 officiating career, referee Jerry Markbreit learned a lesson. A deep pass went for a touchdown -- or so he thought. As soon as he saw an official go up with a touchdown, he turned to the press box and flashed the signal. When he looked again, he saw that another official over-ruled the calling official, and the play was incomplete. In his

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