National Football League will have full-time officials for first time

Ross Houston
August 11, 2017

According to a release from the league and the NFL Referees' Association, the NFL will hire up to 24 full-time officials from the 124-official roster now available to the league.

At the NFLRA's request, the league committed to hiring officials from all seven on-field positions rather than just referees, as the NFL initially proposed.

The NFL is making a major change in a critical area to the game.

The new positions come after the National Football League experienced a ratings slump previous year caused by competition from the presidential election, poor match-ups and an oversaturation of games. That's despite their accuracy rate of over 97%.

Based on the league's release, it sounds like the NFL will attempt to weave these full-time officials into the regular rotation of officiating crews throughout the season. The full-time officials will be able to have other jobs, per Breer.

In a statement, the league said implementation of full-time status "will provide the NFL officiating department, in consultation with the NFLRA, the opportunity to identify the most effective ways to utilize the off-field time for full-time officials throughout the calendar year". As it stands now, officials are currently off from February after the Super Bowl until April when they have their health physicals. Doing that job when it's an, ahem, side hustle, is even more hard. The full-time officials will come from the current pool of referees.

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