There is no crystal ball drop. The year doesn’t switch. There are no confetti guns. But for NFL officials, May 15 is a New Years celebration.
This year’s off-season was a little different, as this was the first one that featured full-time officials. Those full timers participated in some off-season programs, but the rest of the officials enjoyed a “dark period.” The NFL does not communicate with non-full-time officials from the end of the season until May 15.
Well, May 15 is here and it is time for all the officials to start the season. The NFL will conduct a mini-clinic this month in New York where they will go over general human resources housekeeping, cover rule changes, get new uniforms for 2018, take a physical and take an agility test. The officials will also find out the crew assignments. Also, beginning on May 15, NFL officials may not talk to the media without permission from Al Riveron, vice president for officiating.
For the new officials, this is an overwhelming time. But the NFL has a program in place to bring the officials along and make sure they are ready for their first kickoff in August.
We know that seven officials have retired from the NFL. There may be more roster changes that will come out once we know the crews.
Be sure to check back here for the latest pre-season NFL officiating news and then we tee it up for the Hall of Fame game August 2.
Happy NFL Officiating New Year!