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FOOTBALL OFFICIALS HAND SIGNALS

A picture guide and description to help you understand
the various signals used by officials in NFL games.
Their individual duties are listed below.


NFL Officials - Signals they use.

In the NFL, there are seven officials:

Referee: The head of the team, he is the one you see on TV, he is in control of the game, gives signals and is the final authority. He lines up behind the offense 10-12 yards, watches the snap, motion, blocks and passes. Sets final position of the ball at the end of the play.

Umpire: Lines up 4-5 yards behind the defensive line, watches blocking, players equipment, player conduct and actions at the line of scrimmage.

Head Linesman: Lines up outside the offensive formation at the line of scrimmage (to the quarterback's right side) watches for off-sides, encroachment, etc. Rules on out of bounds on his side of the field. Helps the Referee with the final spot of the ball and rules on pass completions.

Line Judge: Lines up outside the offensive formation at the line of scrimmage (to the quarterback's left side) watches for off-sides, encroachment, etc. Rules on out of bounds on his side of the field. Watches anything that happens on the Umpire's blind side.

Back Judge: Lines up 17 yards downfield of the Line Judge. He watches the receivers on his side of the field, makes rulings on down field blocks, catches, illegal touching, interceptions, pass interference and down field loose balls.

Side Judge: Lines up 17 yards downfield of the Head Linesman. He watches the receivers on his side of the field, makes rulings on down field blocks, catches, illegal touching, interceptions, pass interference and down field loose balls.

Field Judge: Lines up 25 yards downfield (in the center of the field). He watches the tight end, runs the play clock, makes rulings on down field blocks, catches, illegal touching, interceptions, pass interference and down field loose balls.


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