NEW YORK - The NFL will hire full-time game officials for the first time this season, the NFL and NFL Referees Association announced Wednesday.
The NFL and NFLRA agreed to experiment with full-time officials as part of the last Collective Bargaining Agreement. The decision to hire between 21 and 24 full-time officials from its current roster of 124 is intended “to promote the common goal of enhancing all aspects of NFL officiating – scouting, training and mentoring, better understanding of current game trends, game preparation, and increased input on rules relating to player safety and game administration,” the two groups said.
"We believe this is a great development for NFL officiating overall and ultimately the quality of our game," said Troy Vincent, NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations.
"NFL officials are always looking to improve, and we believe that additional time, particularly in the offseason, will be positive," said NFLRA Executive Director Scott Green.
Full-time officials will be hired at each of the seven officiating positions and may serve on each of the 17 officiating crews. They will work collaboratively with their assigned crews, the league officiating staff and the NFL's football-related committees during the offseason.