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Torbert, Cheffers, Martin, and Hochuli are Divisional Playoff referees

Football Zebras has confirmed the referees for the Divisional Playoffs. 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.

This year, the NFL has moved to five alternates for the early postseason rounds, up one from previous years. The alternate officials are a referee, an umpire, a line of scrimmage official (down judge or line judge), a deep wing official (field judge or side judge), and a back judge.

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). Also of note, the eventual Super Bowl officials are on the field for this weekend’s games, but not all are from the same crew.

We saw alternates take the field in the Wild Card Playoff round, so as always, scheduled assignments are subject to change due to the pandemic.

Saturday, Jan. 16

NFC Divisional: Rams at Packers, 4:35 p.m. Fox

Ron Torbert is the referee, who is in his 11th season and 7th as referee. This is Torbert’s 8th postseason assignment, including 3 Wild Card Playoffs and 5 Divisional Playoffs.

Yrs2020 crewCollegeOccupation
R 62 Ron Torbert 11   Michigan State attorney
U 131 Mark Pellis 7 Torbert Allegheny financial advisor
DJ 37 Tripp Sutter 2 Clark Nebraska biopharmaceutical rep
LJ 59 Rusty Baynes 11 Boger Auburn-Montgomery general manager, safety services
FJ 95 James Coleman 16 Torbert Arkansas electrical engineer
SJ 120 Jonah Monroe 6 Torbert Arkansas engineer
BJ 38 Greg Yette 11 Torbert Howard defense contractor

  • Replay official: Saleem Choudhry
  • Replay assistant: Dexter McNabb
  • Alternates:
    • Referee: Scott Novak
    • Umpire: Bryan Neale
    • Line of scrimmage: Danny Short (DJ)
    • Deep wing: Terry Brown (FJ)
    • Back judge: Tony Josselyn

AFC Divisional: Ravens at Bills, 8:15 p.m. NBC

Carl Cheffers is the referee, who is in his 21st season and 13th as referee. This is Cheffers’ 14th postseason assignment, including 5 Wild Card Playoffs, 6 Divisional Playoffs, 2 Conference Championships, and Super Bowl LI.

Yrs2020 crewCollegeOccupation
R 51 Carl Cheffers 21   California-Irvine sales manager
U 11 Fred Bryan 12 Blakeman Northern Iowa superintendent, juvenile correctional facility
DJ 134 Ed Camp 21 Hill William Paterson physical education teacher
LJ 24 David Oliver 4 Novak Baker information systems manager
FJ 25 Ryan Dickson 4 Corrente Utah commercial real estate developer
SJ 117 John Jenkins 7 Novak St. Mary’s sales executive
BJ 78 Greg Meyer 19 Rogers Texas Christian banker

  • Replay official: Mike Wimmer
  • Replay assistant: Brian Uhrmacher
  • Alternates:
    • Referee: Alex Kemp
    • Umpire: Paul King
    • Line of scrimmage: Patrick Holt (DJ)
    • Deep wing: Scott Edwards (SJ)
    • Back judge: Rich Martinez

Sunday, Jan. 17

AFC Divisional: Browns at Chiefs, 3:05 p.m. CBS

Clay Martin is the referee, who is in his 6th season and 3rd as referee. This is Martin’s 2nd postseason assignment, and his first as referee. His first assignment, a Wild Card Playoff, was as an umpire.

Yrs2020 crewCollegeOccupation
R 19 Clay Martin 6   Oklahoma Baptist high school administrator
U 81 Roy Ellison 18 Hussey Savannah State IT engineer
DJ 6 Jerod Phillips 5 Rogers Northeastern State elementary school teacher
LJ 84 Mark Steinkerchner 27 Smith Akron vice president
FJ 118 David Meslow 10 Vinovich Augsburg College sales executive
SJ 56 Allen Baynes 13 Hussey Auburn realtor
BJ 12 Greg Steed 18 Hill Howard computer systems analyst

  • Replay official: Matt Sumstine
  • Replay assistant: Chris Scott
  • Alternates:
    • Referee: John Hussey
    • Umpire: Dan Ferrell
    • Line of scrimmage: Mark Perlman (LJ)
    • Deep wing: Boris Cheek (SJ)
    • Back judge: Terrence Miles

NFC Divisional: Buccaneers at Saints, 6:40 p.m. Fox

Shawn Hochuli is the referee, who is in his 7th season and 3nd as referee. This is Hochuli’s 5th postseason assignment, including a Wild Card Playoff and 4 Divisional Playoffs.

Yrs2020 crewCollegeOccupation
R 83 Shawn Hochuli 7   Claremont financial advisor
U 77 Terry Killens 2 Martin Penn State campus security specialist
DJ 53 Sarah Thomas 6 Hochuli Mobile sales representative
LJ 68 Tom Stephan 22 Blakeman Pittsburg State retired business broker
FJ 50 Aaron Santi 6 Wrolstad Southern Oregon middle school principal
SJ 103 Eugene Hall 7 Rogers North Texas federal agent
BJ 105 Dino Paganelli 15 Smith Aquinas College educator

  • Replay official: Roddy Ames
  • Replay assistant: Alton James
  • Alternates:
    • Referee: Jerome Boger
    • Umpire: Bruce Stritesky
    • Line of scrimmage: Mark Stewart (LJ)
    • Deep wing: Rick Patterson (FJ)
    • Back judge: Greg Wilson
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Cameron Filipe
Cam Filipe is a forensic scientist from Massachusetts and has been involved in football officiating for 11 years. Cam is in his third season as a high school football official. This is his eighth season covering NFL officiating for Football Zebras.

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22 thoughts on “Torbert, Cheffers, Martin, and Hochuli are Divisional Playoff referees

  1. Seeing these assignments makes me think that the Conference Championship officials will NOT come from the Wild Card round this year.

    I would be shocked if Tony Corrente, Clete Blakeman and Bill Vinovich all get shut out of an on-field playoff assignment this year.

  2. Seeing these assignments makes me think that Conference Championship officials will NOT be coming from the Wild Card round this year…

    I would be shocked if Tony Corrente, Clete Blakeman and Bill Vinovich all missed out on an on-field playoff assignment.

  3. I agree with you reppertlv. Tony Corrente and Bill Vinovich are the two best referees in the game. Based on these assignments, Tobert or Cheffers will work the super bowl. I am a little concerned that the league loves Shawn Hochuli so much. Not that he is a bad referee—he is not—but he does like to hear himself talk on the mic a little too much in my opinion. I think Tobert is SB favorite, but Carl Cheffers runs a smooth game and could be picked as well. I think CC game will be Corrente, Vinovich (both were alternates in WC Round) with Corrente working the closest to west coast game meaning KC in all likelihood. Vinovich to the GB/NO site or possibly Tampa, and then Torbert in Super Bowl. Good to see Clay Martin healthy and working a game again.

  4. I think that the conference Championship will be Corrente and Blakeman and the Suoerbowl referee might be Cheffers or torbert

  5. Torbert will be the Super Bowl referee. Sarah Thomas will also get a Super Bowl assignment.

  6. According to the unwritten rules:
    1) the Super Bowl white hat works a divisional game
    2) the Super Bowl white has must have previously worked a conference championship game

    Therefore Cheffers is the only one that meets that criteria, even though he recently worked SB LI – four years ago


    These rules mean nothing and they pick who they want to pick.

  7. Given these, if I had to assemble a Super Bowl LV crew guess, it would be:

    Ron Torbert, Roy Ellison, Ed Camp, Mark Steinkerchner, James Coleman, Eugene Hall and Dino Paganelli

  8. My Superbowl prediction is R Carl Cheffers,U Roy Ellison,DJ Jerod Phillips,LJ Rusty Baynes,FJ Aaron Santi SJ Eugene Hall BJ Dino paganeli or R Ron Torbert,U Roy Ellison,DJ Sarah Thomas,LJ Tom Stephan,FJ James Coleman,SJ Eugene Hall,BJ Dino paganelli

  9. Ron torbert is one of the best officials in the nfl. It is wrong to claim he is being pushed for PR reasons.

    Sarah on the other hand has ascended to the level of adequate.

    The white hat should be Torbert or Hochuli. The two best in the game.

  10. I didn’t mean he didn’t deserve it. What I meant is that if all things are equal between he and other, he will get it for that reason. I’m not sure Hochuli has enough experience to qualify. Vinovich would always be my choice, but given that he did last year, I’m sure he’s not a candidate

  11. The only two “tokens” I can think of offhand are Jerome Boger and Sarah Thomas. I wouldn’t want either on my high school crew.

    I see Ron Torbert being mentioned a lot. He is absolutely one of the best referees going today. He’s right up there with Blakeman and Vinovich.

  12. Torbert is a good ref and he will def get it for PR. Thomas will get it for PR, but she is not good.

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