Wires and gadgets are part of the NFL official’s uniform

NFL officials wear several pieces of equipment out on the field, draped around their neck, wrapped around their wrists and fingers and hooked on their belt. In the last 10 years, NFL officials are hooked up to several wireless devices to help them do their jobs. Every NFL official takes the

Most officials don’t watch the ball during a play

If you want to watch, buy a ticket. -- back judge Stan Javie to rookie official Jerry Bergman Sr., in 1966.   You might be surprised how little time NFL officials spend watching the ball during a play. When the offense snaps the ball, where do non-officials' eyes go? The camera, announcers and

Does the offense get a delay of game fudge factor?

Several times a season, we get fans asking us about delay of game. The play clock on the TV screen hits :00, and an instant later the quarterback snaps the ball. It certainly looks like the offense is guilty of delay of game, but there is no flag. Why? Officiating mechanics build

A slow flag is not always a bad flag

http://gty.im/869156920 If you watch a game, there are times you may notice that officials take a few extra moments to throw a flag after the infraction takes place. Sometimes people comment that "the flag was pretty late." But many times the official throws a late flag because they are weighing the impact

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

3 observations from the Hall of Fame Game

Embed from Getty Images It is hard to watch a preseason game from start to finish, but the Hall of Fame Game is a chance to welcome the NFL back after a six month hiatus. After a turbulent off-season that saw many rule changes and other officiating challenges, here are three

5 observations from Super Bowl LII

Another season is in the record books, capped off by one of the best Super Bowls ever. Here are five officiating takeaways from the big game. Communicate! Twice we saw very close touchdown catches and twice we saw field judge Tom Hill and back judge Perry Paganelli communicate before going up with

Which comes first: Time out or delay of game?

Some times, the most frantic time on a football field is the last two seconds of the play clock. Sometimes the offense is milking the clock, other times the coach sees something and calls an audible. Sometimes the quarterback snaps the ball when the play clock hits zero or the