News

More Pac-12 officiating controversy: 3 retired officials blast officiating leadership

Three recently retired Pac-12 Conference officials, who have on field and instant replay experience, made public a letter excoriating the Pac-12 overall and their officiating leadership. Officials Fred Gallagher, Mack Gilchrist, and Chuck Czubin wrote the letter to commissioner Larry Scott, and director of officiating David Coleman. The three officials retired from the Pac-12 in either 2017 or 2018. It is not common for dirty laundry of officiating to be aired; it is extraordinary that there are signatories to it. They wrote the letter Feb. 25, did not receive an answer from the conference, despite several follow-ups. So they sent the letter

Which new rules were passed: Scorecard of the 2019 owners meeting [live updates]

NFL owners are meeting in Phoenix to discuss many items for the 2019 season, including 16 rules proposals, 6 bylaws changes, and 3 policy proposals. Football Zebras will be updating this post as information is reported on the status of individual agenda items. A brief summary of each is listed below, indicating the team that proposed it or “CC” for a Competition Committee proposal and the disposition of each proposal. In order to pass, a proposal needs a ¾-vote of all owners, or 24 voting in the affirmative (abstentions are essentially counted the same as "no" votes; in the unlikely

2018 rule changes

NFL adds approved ruling on fumble/safety reviews to casebook for playoffs

The NFL officiating department took the unusual, but not unprecedented, step of adding an approved ruling to the current casebook, effective for the postseason. Small tweaks have been made in the past entering the postseason, which is deemed to be equitable when everyone's record resets to 0-0. Last season, we noted that the replay standards that were heavy-handed in the regular season showed signs of aligning closer to the expected standard in the Wild Card round. This was even more apparent when a catch was upheld in the Super Bowl that might have been incomplete in the regular season. Last season,

Mechanics

Keeping up with the downs: Referee John Parry uses an old-school method for game administration

http://gty.im/1385217 Officials from pee-wee games to the Super Bowl all use a very simple piece of equipment to keep track of the downs. All officials wear an elastic band around their wrist and a loop attached to the band. The officials move the loop over their finger or fingers to show the down (for instance, according to the photo above, it is second down). Before the elastic band, officials tied two rubber bands together and that acted as a down indicator. Officials had to carry a few spares on the field, because the rubber bands would eventually break due to wear and exposure

Officials used to use a gunshot to signal the end to a quarter or half

It seems strange today, but NFL officials used to fire a starter's pistol to end each quarter. It's a mechanic that dated back to the start of pro football up until the NFL discontinued the practice starting in 1994. When the NFL was in its infancy and up through the 1960s, stadium clocks were not the official time and officials kept time on the field. It used to fall to the back judge to keep time. When the NFL expanded to six-man crews in 1965, the line judge took over timing duties. A member of the chain crew would normally carry

Top