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6 CFL officials to take part in NFL preseason



The Canadian Football League is sending six of its officials to learn NFL officiating this preseason, in exchange for at least 5 NFL officials to work the Canadian preseason. This is the second year of the NFL-CFL Officiating Development Program. 

The CFL officials taking part in the NFL preseason are (with CFL jersey number and CFL position):

  • 30 Dave Foxcroft (pictured above), referee
  • 67 Justin McInnes, head linesman
  • 23 Dave Hawkshaw, side judge
  • 73 Brian Chrupalo, field judge
  • 37 Jason Maggio, field judge
  • 68 Rob Hand, side judge

This is the second year Foxcroft, McInnes and Hawkshaw will work NFL preseason games. 

In an interview with the National Post, Foxcroft commented about his experience on a NFL preseason crew last year.

I got to see everything that happens pre-game as officials prepare to go out on the field, and that was very beneficial to me. Also to learn what the head referees do. I was able to learn from my referee on how he handles his crew. Myself being a head referee in the CFL, that was very beneficial for me. 

The NFL has sent six officials north of the border to work CFL games. Although the NFL hasn’t announced the list, sources tell Football Zebras that Terry Brown, Jim Quirk, Alex Kemp, Brad Rogers and John Jenkins are working CFL games. Our sources also tell us the NFL officials will work the deep positions, which will certainly test their field presence on a field that is 10 yards longer and has 20 yard end zones.

The NFL officials will attend clinics and training camps and officiate at least one pre-season game. Due to the earlier start of the CFL season, the NFL officials will also officiate some regular season games.

Baseball, basketball and hockey have long seasons with well established minor leagues. This gives aspiring pro officials many games to hone their craft. Unfortunately, the football season has precious few snaps for officials to improve their game. Officials can go to only so many seminars, view so many videos and take so many rules tests. Eventually, they have to go on the field and learn through live play.

The CFL officials are in full-blown preseason mode with games this week (NFL and NCAA fans are jealous!). It will be interesting to see this zebra cross-pollination in its second season of action.

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?"