An official is responsible for interpreting the rules of the game and enforcing them on the football field.
There are seven officials in an NFL game:
- The Referee
- The Umpire
- The Down Judge
- The Line Judge
- The Field Judge
- The Side Judge
- The Back Judge
The referee is the head official and has the final say with all rulings on the field. If there is a disagreement between officials, the referee will step in and make the decision.
A flag in football is a yellow flag that is thrown onto the field by an official if a rule is broken.
Football Flag Throw
If a flag is thrown onto the field in football, fans and players refer to this as: A flag was thrown on the play.
A challenge is a way for a coach to ask for an official to review the previous play with instant replay. To ask for a challenge the coach will throw a red flag on the field after a play.
Football Referee Signals
A referee signal is a way that the officials communicate with teams and fans during a game. After a flag is thrown, officials will signal the reason for the flag. The referee will use his hands to define the penalty as he makes an announcement.