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2016 Wild Card Playoffs

Torbert, Allen, Wrolstad, and Hochuli are Wild Card referees

Football Zebras has confirmed the referees for the Wild Card weekend.



Football Zebras has confirmed the referees for the Wild Card weekend. Officials are listed with their uniform number, years of NFL experience (including this season), the crew each official worked with in the regular season (by the referee’s name), college, and outside occupation.

All times are Eastern.

Three alternates are assigned to each game: generally, one is designated for the offensive backfield (a referee or umpire), one is on the line of scrimmage (head linesman or line judge), and one is a deep position (side judge, field judge, or back judge). When alternates are listed, their position during the regular season is also given. The prior playoff experience that is listed for the crew chief includes his service as an NFL official, including as referee and any other crew position (excluding alternate assignments).

Interestingly, the Wild Card weekend features a referee getting his first postseason assignment and concludes with the referee who has the most postseason games of any active referee with 25.

Saturday, Jan. 7

AFC Wild Card: Raiders at Texans, 4:30 p.m. ESPN ABC

Ron Torbert is the referee for the Raiders-Texans game, and is in his 7th season and 3rd as referee. This is his 5th postseason assignment, including 3 Wild Card Playoffs and 2 Divisional Playoffs; he has received a playoff assignment in every year he was eligible.

      Yrs 2016 crew College Occupation
R 62 Ron Torbert 7   Michigan State attorney
U 40 Butch Hannah 18 Anderson Middle Tennessee State retired federal probation officer
HL 74 Derick Bowers 14 Coleman East Central sales representative
LJ 68 Tom Stephan 18 McAulay Pittsburg State business broker
FJ 33 Steve Zimmer 20 Wrolstad Hofstra attorney
SJ 56 Allen Baynes 9 Hussey Auburn realtor
BJ 83 Shawn Hochuli 3 Allen Claremont financial advisor
  • Replay: Billy Smith
  • Alternates: Fred Bryan (U), Walt Coleman IV (SJ), Greg Meyer (BJ)

NFC Wild Card: Lions at Seahawks, 8:15 p.m. NBC

Brad Allen, who is in his 3rd season, is the referee for the Lions-Seahawks matchup. This is Allen’s first playoff assignment in his second year of eligibility. Allen was hired directly to the referee position from the NCAA in 2014. 

      Yrs 2016 crew College Occupation
R 122 Brad Allen 3   Pembroke State non-profit CEO
U 44 Jeff Rice 22 Coleman Northwestern attorney
HL 134 Ed Camp 16 Boger William Paterson physical education teacher
LJ 18 Byron Boston 22 Anderson Austin tax consultant
FJ 103 Eugene Hall 3 Boger North Texas federal agent
SJ 73 Joe Larrew 15 Blakeman St Louis attorney
BJ 46 Perry Paganelli 19 Parry Hope College retired high school administrator
  • Replay: Jim Lapetina
  • Alternates: Walt Anderson (R), Jeff Lamberth (SJ), Mike Weatherford (FJ)

Sunday, Jan. 8

AFC Wild Card: Dolphins at Steelers, 1:05 p.m. CBS

Craig Wrolstad is the referee as the Dolphins visit the Steelers. He is in his 14th season, and this is his 3rd as referee. This is his 11th postseason assignment, including 5 Wild Card Playoffs, 3 Divisional Playoffs, 2 Conference Championships, and Super Bowl XLVII. His Super Bowl assignment was as a field judge.

      Yrs 2016 crew College Occupation
R 4 Craig Wrolstad 14   Washington athletic director
U 31 Barry Anderson 10 Wrolstad North Carolina State builder/developer
HL 91 Jerry Bergman 15 McAulay Robert Morris sales executive
LJ 101 Carl Johnson 13 Morelli Nicholls State full-time official
FJ 15 Rick Patterson 21 McAulay Wofford banker
SJ 120 Jonah Monroe 2 McAulay Arkansas systems engineer
BJ 119 Greg Wilson 9 Anderson USC law enforcement
  • Replay: Larry Nemmers
  • Alternates: Jeff Triplette (R), Gary Arthur (LJ), Jabir Walker (FJ)

NFC Wild Card: Giants at Packers, 4:40 p.m. Fox

Ed Hochuli is the referee for the Giants-Packers game. Hochuli is in his 26th season and 24th as referee. This is Hochuli’s 25th postseason assignment, the most of any active official, which include 10 Wild Card Playoffs, 5 Divisional Playoffs, 8 Conference Championships, and Super Bowls XXXII and XXXVIII.

Hochuli and his crew worked a Sunday night game between the Giants and Packers in week 5 at Lambeau Field.

      Yrs 2016 crew College Occupation
R 85 Ed Hochuli 27   Texas-El Paso attorney
U 19 Clay Martin 2 Hochuli Tulsa high school basketball coach
HL 13 Patrick Turner 3 Corrente Cal State-Long Beach plant manager
LJ 59 Rusty Baynes 7 Hochuli Auburn-Montgomery general manager, safety services
FJ 86 Jimmy Buchanan 8 Hussey South Carolina State insurance agent
SJ 125 Laird Hayes 22 Anderson Princeton owner of football camps for high school and youth
BJ 17 Steve Patrick 3 Blakeman Jacksonville State owner, supply company
  • Replay: Earnie Frantz
  • Alternates: Bryan Neale (U), Ron Marinucci (LJ), Adrian Hill (FJ)


Ben Austro is the editor and founder of Football Zebras and the author of So You Think You Know Football?: The Armchair Ref's Guide to the Official Rules (on sale now)

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