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Breaking down the 2022 playoff wild card assignments

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As we tee up “Super Wild Card Weekend” let’s break down some of the wild card officiating assignments.
This weekend sees NFL officials calling their first-ever playoff assignment:

• Mike Carr, down judge number 63 (sixth season, 2021 Pro Bowl)
• Mike Dolce, down judge number 123 (third season, 2021 alternate)
• Tom Eaton, line judge number 87 (third season, 2021 alternate)
• Anthony Flemming, field judge number 90

And, this is side judge Clay Reynard’s first-ever playoff assignment as an alternate.

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Additionally, this is umpire Steve Woods (number 54) first playoff game on the field, although it is not his first assignment. The sixth-year umpire has had two alternate assignments. He was also assigned a 2020 wild card game on the field, but did not officiate that game for unspecified reasons.

The Giants-Vikings wild card game will be the first on-field game for Adrian Hill as a referee. Hill worked two playoff games as a side judge and has been an alternate referee. But this is the first time he’ll toss the coin in a playoff.

One awesome streak

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Long playoff streaks are more rare these days. Heck, even Ed Hochuli and Terry McAulay missed an on-field playoff assignment a year or two.

So, we must take a moment and recognize line judge Mark Perlman. In his 22nd year, this is Perlman’s 20th straight year getting an onfield assignment in the playoffs. The next-closest streak is down judge Kent Payne with a 17-year streak (with a chance to make it 18 this season). To the best of our knowledge, the all-time playoff streak belongs to the late umpire Al Conway, who officiated in the playoffs 23 straight years.

Just a note on two other referee alternates. This is the second straight year Brad Rogers and Land Clark have alternate referee assignments. They haven’t yet gotten an on-field assignment yet as a referee, but both are still in the running for the divisional and conference championship round.

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Mark Schultz
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?"

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One thought on “Breaking down the 2022 playoff wild card assignments

  1. Rough weekend for refs, Shawn Smith with a short fuse, Sarah calling timeout after ball was snapped, and Adrian was better at picking up stray shoes than calling roughing the passer. Not to mention Bosa was not even close to offside. The league should assign their best rather than filling the right slots.

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