NFL changes rules regarding umpire’s positioning

Getty Images

The NFL has tweaked once again the rules regarding the pre-snap positioning of the official in charge of keeping his eyes on the trenches.

The league has announced that the umpire will remain behind the offense with the referee when the football moves inside the defense’s five yard line.

Previously, the umpire moved from behind the offensive line to a position behind the defensive line except during the final two minutes of the second and fourth quarters, and when the offensive had moved inside the five. Now, the umpire will be behind the defensive line only in the final two minutes of either half.

The change also applies to the two-point conversion attempt, and the release from the league acknowledges that an increase in two-point tries is expected given the move of the one-point kick to the 15.

“It specifically addresses game action when the offense gets close to the goal line,” the league said, “which effectively shrinks the field, giving the umpire less room to maneuver among the players and increasing the chances of the official getting hit.”

Five years ago, the league moved the umpire to the offensive backfield to take him out of the zone of potential accidental contact. It was noted then that changes of this nature can be made at the direction of the Commissioner and without ownership approval.

15 responses to “NFL changes rules regarding umpire’s positioning

  1. This should prevent Revis getting picked by the umpire on a short touchdown in the Super Bowl next time. Wait.. He plays for the Jets now.. Retraction!!

  2. I was hoping the rule change would involve moving the position of the umpire’s head out of their posterior.

  3. Can anyone answer this: I think it was in the SB where the Seahawks used one of those Zebra stripes to post up a Pats player…… Will these changes negate that play by the depositing of these Refs?

  4. oiler1980 says:
    Jul 17, 2015 5:43 PM

    This should prevent Revis getting picked by the umpire on a short touchdown in the Super Bowl next time.

    **************************************************

    Yeah, its almost like the NFL is pulling its pants down and laying an egg on Doug Baldwin or something…

  5. We want holographic virtual reality officials all over the place. They will see all. Nothing will hurt them. They can even crawl under the scrum and see who really has the ball.

  6. As an official (not NFL), this isn’t good – there’s a reason the Umpire is best behind the linebackers…especially on goalline plays. Often, our wing officials need to race in when there’s a pile up from a dive play at the one…and there’s 22 players piled up, it’s hard to see where the ball/knees/goal line is in relation to each other. The Umpire has a great view and will often signal to the wings (e.g., thumbs up/down, etc.) The other officials have responsibility for the end lines and passing routs and can’t just run watch the ball carrier – as they have keys to watch… anyway – not in favor of it.

  7. “We want holographic virtual reality officials all over the place. They will see all. Nothing will hurt them. They can even crawl under the scrum and see who really has the ball.”

    Save me Ed Hochuli, you’re my only hope.

  8. Electronic monitoring of the goal line to verify if the ball broke the plane. Technology has been there for 20 years. Just do it.

  9. I’m really glad that according to the rule, the change can be made at the direction of the commissioner without the owners approval. I can’t wait until Roger shows up at a Yankees game and moves the umpire
    from behind the plate. Roger will then argue it is solely his decision ..
    Then the NFLPA will file a lawsuit seeking court intervention

  10. a072455 says:
    Jul 17, 2015 5:52 PM
    Can anyone answer this: I think it was in the SB where the Seahawks used one of those Zebra stripes to post up a Pats player…… Will these changes negate that play by the depositing of these Refs?

    no, the refs are still apart of the field, if they get in the way you have to look out for them.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.