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Hochuli and Vinovich lead the pack for Super Bowl LVIII referee assignment



As the Divisional Playoffs continue, officiating fans keep throwing names into the ring for who they believe will be on football’s biggest stage in a few weeks. The eventual Super Bowl LVIII officials are working this weekend, and even though the league won’t send an full Divisional Playoff crew to the Super Bowl, up to 5 officials from one Divisional Playoff game can advance to the league championship.

Over the past few seasons, postseason assignment patterns have become clear which makes it possible to make a prediction for this season’s top white hat. All four referees working this weekend, Shawn Hochuli, John Hussey, Alex Kemp, and Bill Vinovich, are eligible to work the big game. However, based on assigning trends and Divisional Playoff crews for this weekend, we believe that either Hochuli or Vinovich will be assigned to Super Bowl LVIII in Las Vegas.

Shawn Hochuli

Shawn Hochuli, in his 10th season and 6th as referee, has become the face of the “new wave” of NFL referees — those promoted in 2018 or later. He has made his own image and has successfully filled the shoes of his father, and with a Divisional Playoff assignment in each of his eligible seasons as a referee, he has the chance to elevate to the Super Bowl in the first decade of his career.

Hochuli, 45, would be receiving his first Super Bowl ring if assigned.

Bill Vinovich

Bill Vinovich, in his 18th season and 15th as referee, has already established himself as one of the league’s top officials, if not, at the very top. His game management is well-respected by even casual fans, and is no stranger to top-tier postseason games.

Vinovich, 62, was the referee for Super Bowl XLIX and Super Bowl LIV, and would become the 8th referee in league history to work at least 3 Super Bowls at the referee position.

Hochuli and Vinovich are the frontrunners since referees John Hussey and Alex Kemp were both assigned as a Divisional Playoff on-field referee and a Wild Card Playoff alternate referee. Officials will not be assigned to more than 2 total postseason assignments, and therefore, this would take them out of the running for Super Bowl honors.

We expect the Super Bowl assignments to be distributed to the officials by Tuesday.

Cam Filipe is a forensic scientist and has been involved in football officiating for 12 years. Cam is in his fourth season as a high school football official. This is his ninth season covering NFL officiating for Football Zebras.

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  1. Anonymous

    January 22, 2024 at 12:42 pm

    What about blakeman?

  2. Anonymous

    January 22, 2024 at 5:18 pm

    blakeman is in san fran next week. You have to work the divisional round to get assigned to the superbowl

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