NFL takes a hit after four referee retirements

Embed from Getty Images Every generation of NFL officiating gives way to the next. This past offseason, we saw, very quickly and dramatically, one generation give way to the next. Referees Ed Hochuli, Gene Steratore, Terry McAulay and Jeff Triplette represent 88-years of experience at the referee position. That is 88-years of institutional knowledge, rule expertise and mentoring. It is time for the next generation of referee veterans to step up and into the void left by the four departures. Nothing new There is a long history of referees stepping into the void. In the 1970s, top-notch referees Norm Schachter and Tommy Bell retired.

Officials are back: 2018 clinic begins in Dallas The NFL officials are gathering in Dallas for a weekend clinic as they prepare for the upcoming season, which allows senior vice president of officiating Al Riveron to have his entire officiating staff together prior to the start of the preseason games in August. This is the first and only time all 121 of the league's officials will be together to learn about new mechanics and discuss new rules for the new year. The officials will take part in breakout sessions by position, where specially-designed discussions and workshops will take place for things to look for in 2018. Among these, which

2018 rule changes

Snow-clearing penalty drifts into the 2018 rulebook

Embed from Getty Images It's a cold December day, the snow is falling, and a winning field goal attempt is about to take place. But now, don't ask the grounds crew to come out and shovel the snow out of the way for the kicker. In the recent release of the 2018 NFL rulebook, a note has been added to Rule 13-1-1 that prohibits clearing of snow by non-players prior to any kick play: It is impermissible for the grounds crew or other team personnel to clear away snow for a Try kick, field goal, punt, or kickoff. The new rule appeared without


Video: Spotting a punt that goes out of bounds 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