NFL announces Bill Vinovich will referee the Super Bowl


Bill Vinovich is the referee for Super Bowl XLIX.

The NFL has announced today that Vinovich will lead the seven-man officiating crew, which also features Bill Schuster (umpire), Dana McKenzie (head linesman), Mark Perlman (line judge), Bob Waggoner (field judge), Tom Hill (side judge) and Terrence Miles (back judge).

Vinovich was the referee for the Patriots-Ravens divisional round game, which became controversial when Ravens coach John Harbaugh complained that Vinovich didn’t do a good enough job of informing his team about the Patriots’ declaration of an ordinarily eligible receiver as ineligible.

The officials who work the Super Bowl aren’t necessarily the ones who graded out as the best over the course of the season, but the NFL does require that they be rated at the top tier of their position and that they have at least five years of NFL experience, including at least one year of working the postseason.

51 responses to “NFL announces Bill Vinovich will referee the Super Bowl

  1. Huge no call when ravens player committed PI against gronk.

    Also questionable holding and PI calls on revis.

    Hope the SB is better officiated

  2. About the deflated balls, are they investigating whether the Colts equipment manager took air out of the ball to frame the Patriots? What are haters gonna say when the Patriots are awarded picks from both the Colts and the Jets (Revis tampering) as penalties?

  3. Seattle will be calling some plays with unbalanced lines and what not like the Pats are doing – they cant resist. Pats will be ready tho, cuz thats how Bellichik thinks.

  4. Well, given that the Seahawks don’t do much pre-snap adjustment in response to the moves of the offense, it shouldn’t matter how much time he gives them after a weird substitution…

  5. At least nobody will be second guessing anything he does or says. It should be one of the most stress free day of his life.

  6. THIS GUY IS AWFUL!!!!!!!!!!! He didn’t make obvious pass-interference calls and then invented multiple fouls against Revis for pass interference. He allowed Ravens players to kick Tom Brady in the knee while he was on the ground and not throw a flag. This guy shouldn’t have a job, but you’re gonna put him in the Superbowl??? What the heck is wrong with the NFL?!?!?!?!?!?!

  7. You mean we won’t see Big Guns Ed Hochuli who screwed the Niners this season in Seattle? I am surprised he loves being on tv. He is a great character but a terrible official..

  8. I know the Pats won the divisional game but honestly no thanks on Vinovich. His calls are wildly inconsistent especially pass interference and defensive contact. I have the feeling that two excellent defenses are going to get screwed one way or another if Vinovich can’t keep it together.

  9. THIS GUY IS AWFUL!!!!!!!!!!! He didn’t make obvious pass-interference calls and then invented multiple fouls against Revis for pass interference. He allowed Ravens players to kick Tom Brady in the knee while he was on the ground and not throw a flag. This guy shouldn’t have a job, but you’re gonna put him in the Superbowl??? What the heck is wrong with the NFL?!?!?!?!?!?!
    Sounds good to me.

  10. Whatever…just call the game honestly and keep an eye out for all those HOLDING calls that Ref’s never seem to see when Seattle is rushing the passer!

    What ever it takes! Go HAWKS!!

  11. Don’t worry too much about the Seahawks becoming victims of Patriots tricks or officiating impropriety. Remember, these are the Seahawks we’re talking about … and they also have been accused of not always doing things the way that they should.

    “I see your deflated game ball … and I raise you Aderrall!”

  12. It would be nice if the people who are complaining about the pass interference calls that were and were not made in the Ravens/Patriots playoff game had an understanding as to what a referee’s responsibility is when it comes to calling those infractions.

    As a referee, Vinovich announced the calls made by other members of the crew. He did not personally make them.

    – Life long Patriots fan

  13. The referee very seldom makes pass interference calls. Those are usually made by the side judge or back judge.

  14. Does he own a pressure gauge? If anyone has Amazon Prime, do us all a solid and order one for him.

  15. To everyone whining about the refs favoring the mean ol’ Pats

    Guess you didn’t bother to learn how much they were penalized this year, ie the most in the league

    And in the divisional game against the Ravens he did not call PI on the Ravens player who literally wrapped up Gronk and was tackling him before the ball got there while calling 2 incredibly ticky tack penalties on Revis.


  16. prepared for Belichick’s little games

    We’ll see.

    The last two teams were total deer in headlights.

    And if the Pats get a lead, they won’t be shutting it down like the mighty Pack did.

  17. @stataddict

    Oh don’t get me wrong buddy, I want EVERY official that worked the Patriots-Ravens divisional-round playoff game fired. Hell, I want most of the officials that weekend fired. It was RIDICULOUS! No saying Vinovich is the worst, I’m just saying he’s not good.

  18. Vinovich said he expects no problems with replay reviews. He is going to ask God to decide, for the sake of the Seahawks.

    And the Seahawks fans are going to start calling themselves the 12 Apostles.

  19. I don’t really care about Vinovich one way or another, what bugs me is 3 of the other officials also worked Superbowl XL. Somehow I’m guessing it’ll be a tainted Patriots victory.

  20. Dogsweat says:

    New England 33 Hawks 10
    Yeah the Seahawks haven’t lost by more than one score in the last 58 games but the gummy bear soft Patriots are gonna beat them 23. Riiiiiiiigggghhhttttt…..

  21. Bill Vinovich’s Sports Illustrated interview seems to suggest he doesn’t understand — and didn’t properly enforce — the rules governing the reporting of eligibility in the Patriots-Ravens game. It’s important because it may have given the Patriots a 20-yard advantage on a scoring drive.

    “Basically it was just a brilliant play on Bill Belichick’s part and it caught them off guard,” Vinovich told SI. “That’s why you have to be able to think quickly. Not only did I say he’s not eligible, I said, ‘Do not cover 34 [Vereen].’ But the DBs were obviously confused. What’s going through my mind is, Can he do this legally? Was Vereen in the previous play? All these different things start going through my mind. Then I realize that going from eligible to ineligible, you don’t have to be out one play before. The other way, coming back ineligible to eligible, you have to be out of play. Now he can’t go back to eligible without going out for a play, which he did. Some of the stuff they throw at you, you just go, whoa. That’s the great part of officiating—it’s always changing. Someone’s gonna think of something different to do. But the play was legal, totally legal.”

    There has been a lot of discussion of what Vinovich, Blandino, Harbaugh and Dungy think about this. But what they think is irrelevant because the rule articulated in the 2012 NFL Points of Emphasis addresses the exact scenario that unfolded in the Ravens-Patriots game.

    Three simple facts and one extrapolation:
    1. FACT: It was widely reported that Shane Vereen on at least one play reported his ineligibility just before the snap.
    2. FACT: The rule requires the ineligibility report be made “BEFORE ENTERING THE HUDDLE” and says failure to report is “A 5-YARD PENALTY FOR ILLEGAL SUBSTITUTION.”
    3. FACT: The rule requires the referee and umpire to report the ineligibility to the defense concurrent with the beginning of the huddle.
    4. EXTRAPOLATION: If the refs had thrown the flag for illegal substitution, Harbaugh would not have gotten the 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct. That’s the 20-yard swing.

    Here is the exact wording of the 2012 Points of Emphasis regarding deceptive substitutions:

    “The committee also reviewed the procedures for an offensive player who comes into the game wearing a number that does not qualify him for the position he takes. These players must report to the referee, before entering the huddle. The referee and umpire will then report the same to the defensive team.

    This rule prevails whether a player is already in the game or is an entering substitute and whether it is a play from scrimmage, an attempted field goal, or a try after a touchdown. If a player fails to report his change in eligibility, it will result in a 5-yard penalty for illegal substitution.”

    Vinovich said 7 seconds is enough time to adjust. Where did he get that?

    It seems like the pre-huddle report requirement – both of the eligibility change by the player to the refs and by the refs to the defense — would suggest 15 seconds or 20 seconds.

    Vinovich is focused on the people coming in and out of the game, which appears to be irrelevant, and on telling the DBs not to cover Vereen — as if that improvisation was adequate. But he doesn’t say anything about the pre-huddle notification requirement (both on the player to the ref and on the refs to the defense). This suggests he has no knowledge of the rule.

    Vinovich also said he doesn’t know how else he would have handled it. If he knew the rule, he would have thrown a 5-yard flag on the Patriots when Vereen reported his eligibility status AFTER THE HUDDLE. Or he would have known that the defense is supposed to get huddle-equivalent time to adjust.

    He says the play caught the Ravens off guard. And it did. But it also caught him off guard. And it may have cost the Ravens the game.

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