First-down spots limit the necessity for too many measurements

We have published stories over the years concerning the first down chains and how the chain crews work the equipment. While the chain gang is very competent, officials want to avoid bringing the chains in for a measurement whenever possible. They want to keep the game moving and sometimes measurements cause

Listen when crew mates want to talk about a call

Embed from Getty Images Pete Morelli's crew appeared to break down during a call in Week 4, as side judge Boris Cheek threw a flag for a horse collar tackle, that simply wasn't there. After a lengthy and sometimes animated discussion with his crew mates, Morelli announced the 15-yard penalty. First of

NFL trying out two new kicking game mechanics this preseason

The NFL is using two new kicking mechanics this season on field goal and extra point attempts and on free kicks (kickoffs).  Football Zebras contacted the NFL officiating office to see if these changes are a preseason experiment or will be permanent; however the NFL did not respond to our request at

No eight-person crew experiments this preseason

For the past several preseasons, the NFL has experimented with eight-person crews. Football Zebras has learned that experiment is on hold this year. Eight-person crews started in the NCAA. In college, the eighth official is the center judge, who lines up in the offensive backfield with the referee. NCAA umpires stay in their

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