Nfl RefereeFri, 19 Sep 2008 23:14
NFL games are among the most-watched sports games in the United States. This is because football has become one of the most popular sports in the country. NFL players and teams receive much publicity and have huge salaries. Quarterbacks are also prone to becoming popular in the eyes of the masses, especially football fanatics. Nevertheless, it's not only the teams, players, and coaches that keep the game going. NFL referees also contribute to the game, although the crowd may disagree with the decisions and calls made by the referee from time to time. Just like every profession has its elite levels, so does football refereeing. Being an NFL referee is considered the highest level a football referee can achieve.
What is an NFL referee?
The officials in American football are often called as referees, although there is only one referee in the game. The other positions also termed as referee are line judge, head linesman, referee, back judge, side judge, field judge, and umpire. Each of these officials have their own duties and responsibilities to fulfill. The referee is the one who is in charge of the general supervision of the game, which is why this person can also be called head referee. This official also has control of the game and is typically the final authority when it comes to all decisions.
How can I determine which among the officials is the referee?
When you watch an NFL game, you're most likely going to notice the officials in the field. They all have the same uniform, but it's easy to tell the referee apart from all the others. This is because the referee is the one who wears a white hat, while all the other officials don black caps.
What does an NFL referee do?
A referee is responsible for announcing all the penalties and explaining these penalties to the captain of the offending team. It's also the duty of a referee to explain these penalties to the offending team's head coach and tell him who caused that penalty. Referees also take note of illegal hits on the quarterback and illegal blocks near the quarterback. Aside from that, a referee also decides whether yardage chains are needed on the field for making measurements. A referee typically uses equipment such as a whistle, bean bag, penalty marker or flag, down indicator, game data card and pencil, and stopwatch. This official also brings a coin along to conduct the pregame or overtime coin toss.
The referee observes the players on the field and looks out for play action passes or trick passing plays. When instant replay reviews are going to be made, the referee goes to a replay official, who is situated in the press box above the field. The referee then announces the result using the wireless microphone. During NFL replays, the referee views the game using a monitor located near the sidelines. He then makes the final judgment. For college football games, though, it is the replay official who makes the final decision.