Officials used to use a gunshot to signal the end to a quarter or half

It seems strange today, but NFL officials used to fire a starter's pistol to end each quarter. It's a mechanic that dated back to the start of pro football up until the NFL discontinued the practice starting in 1994. When the NFL was in its infancy and up through the 1960s,

4 officiating observations from Super Bowl LV

We made it. No canceled games (although we did have Tuesday and Wednesday Football this year!). While Super Bowl LV was far from a classic, competitive game, fans of the zebras can stayed engaged until the final gun. Here are my officiating thoughts, written even before the vaccum sucked up all the

Gerald Austin is out as head of Conference USA officiating

Football Zebras has confirmed that former NFL referee Gerald Austin has left his post as coordinator of football officials for Conference USA. The conference posted the job opening to their website today. "Gerald's role is going to change, but he will continue to work with Conference USA," said Russ Anderson, assistant

Happy birthday, Ed Hochuli!

On this Christmas Day, 2020, we wish former NFL referee Ed Hochuli a happy 70th birthday. Hochuli was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on Christmas Day, 1950. His family moved to Arizona when he was eight, and he has called Arizona home ever since. In high school, Hochuli played football, basketball, wrestling and

Dissecting blindside blocks: when is it legal or illegal?

Analysis by Rich Madrid There has been a great deal of confusion among fans as to what constitutes a blindside block. Part of that confusion stems from the fact that in 2019, the NFL competition committee changed the rules on blindside blocks. Originally, the rule covered only forcible contact to the

What’s to come in the 2020 offseason?

Embed from Getty Images The confetti is cleared. The countdowns have reset. Tampa is already beginning their preparation to host Super Bowl LV. This means that the NFL offseason has begun, and there are several items on the agenda for the officiating department, both in terms of rules and personnel. The

6 officiating observations of Super Bowl LIV

The centennial NFL season is in the books. Wasn't the Hall of Fame game like a month ago? As we bring the curtain down on Super Bowl LIV, here are six officiating observations. 1. Bill Vinovich ran a good coin toss What is it this year with captains and coin tosses? San

Special rules in place for the 2020 Pro Bowl

The NFL has furnished Football Zebras with the rules modifications in place for the Pro Bowl. For player safety and exhibition purposes, there are restrictions on formations, pass coverage, and rushing the quarterback or kicker. In addition, there are some rules and procedures in place to test for a possible

NFL100: Why did officials use a pistol to signal the end of the quarter?

It seems strange today, but NFL officials used to fire a starter's pistol to end each quarter. It's a mechanic that was first used in 1924 and lasted until the NFL discontinued the practice starting in 1994. In the 1920s, procedures were standardized that the referee was the only official that