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3 officials audition for referee position

Three NFL officials will get a chance to wear the white hat in the hopes of a promotion.



Football Zebras exclusive

Updated Aug. 13, 2014

The NFL will audition three officials at the referee position this week in the second preseason week.  Three current NFL officials will don the white hat for at least one preseason game where the NFL will scout them as potential future referees.  Last year, the NFL auditioned four potential officials and two of them, Ronald Torbert and Craig Wrolstad, were assigned to the referee position this year.

It is not clear if the tryouts will be for an entire game or for only the first or second half.

Given the dearth of opportunities for NFL officials to prove themselves as potential referees, these auditions are important both for the NFL officiating office and for the official who hopes to be made a crew chief.

The NFL this year has broken a nearly 50-year tradition and has hired a Brad Allen straight out of college as a NFL referee.  Since several current NFL referees could retire in the next one to three years, expect the NFL to intensely scout its officials and develop a short list of future white hats.

bandersonBarry Anderson

Barry Anderson has been a side judge and a field judge since joining the NFL in 2007.  He has collegiate experience at the referee position. Outside of the NFL, Anderson is a builder and developer. He was seen and heard in the NFL Network’s SoundFX last season when he issued a sideline warning on the Raiders bench when they encroached onto the sideline border during the game.

Anderson is scheduled to work with Bill Leavy’s crew for the Ravens-Cowboys game on Saturday night airing on the NFL Network.

john-husseyJohn Hussey

John Hussey has been a line judge since joining the league in 2002. He officiated in Super Bowl XLV. Hussey has previous experience as a referee in an NFL preseason game a few years ago. Last season, Hussey was on the line of scrimmage for the AFC Conference Championship. Hussey also works as a sales representative for a retail logistics group.

Hussey is scheduled to work with Walt Anderson’s crew on the Saturday afternoon NFL Network game between the Packers and the Rams.

Scott Helverson

helversonScott Helverson has been a back judge since joining the NFL in 2003.  Helverson has worked Super Bowls XLII and, with Hussey, XLV. In addition, Helverson has worked in the 2001 Bowl Championship Series title game, 3 Arena Bowls, and the 2002 World Bowl of the defunct NFL Europe. Helverson was at last season’s Pro Bowl in Hawaii. When not on the field, Helverson is a sales representative for printing and promotions.

Helverson is scheduled to work with Tony Corrente’s crew on Saturday’s Giants-Colts game.

Clarification [8/13/14]: Our original post indicated that the auditions were in the first preseason weekend, but it apparently was intended for the upcoming week. Our sources backed that up, and we believe the three referee candidates were still assigned to the crew, but did not appear on field in those games. They are all assigned to the same crew we indicated last week, and we have updated the entries above to reflect the scheduled assignments. This is correct to the extent we can verify this information; we will update again if warranted.

Images: NFL Films, LinkedIn, Dallas Cowboys photo

Mark Schultz is a high school football official, freelance writer and journalist. He first became interested in officiating when he was six years old, was watching a NFL game with his father and asked the fateful question, "Dad, what are those guys in the striped shirts doing?"