News

6 officials join the NFL officiating roster for the 2019 season

There are six new names on the officiating roster. Senior vice president Al Riveron announced Wednesday that the league has hired six new officials who will work the upcoming 2019 season. The new hires are Dave Hawkshaw, Patrick Holt, Nate Jones, Terry Killens, Jimmy Russell, and Tripp Sutter. All six men participated in the NFL Officiating Development Program. Hawkshaw most recently worked as a side judge in the Canadian Football League since 2005, and is now the fifth active NFL official with experience officiating in the CFL, joining Bill Vinovich, Gary Cavaletto, Tony Michalek, and Boris Cheek, who all worked when

NFL is looking for one more referee

The NFL still has one more referee position to fill after the departure of Super Bowl LIII referee John Parry to ESPN. Referees Walt Coleman and Pete Morelli retired at the end of the 2018 season, and are being replaced with Adrian Hill and Scott Novak. Typically, a successor is named by senior vice president of officiating Al Riveron right away, or as was the case last year when an unprecedented 4 referees retired, no more than a week. Sources say that a decision on who will be promoted is expected on Monday. The selection process has been overwhelmed with the

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

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