Six NFL officials – an increase from four in the first year of the program in 2016 – will work as part of CFL crews during preseason and regular-season games in June and July, prior to starting their NFL season at the league’s annual officiating clinic in late July.
In addition, six CFL officials – up from three in 2016 – will join the NFL’s Officiating Development Program, which is designed to train top officials in all aspects of NFL officiating. Elements of the program include attending NFL minicamps and training camps, officiating preseason games, studying position-specific film with veteran NFL officials, reviewing mechanics and analyzing rules differences between the NFL and other leagues, including the CFL and college football.
“Working together to develop a sustainable pipeline of highly qualified and experienced officials is in the best interest of both of our leagues,” said NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations TROY VINCENT. “We continue to explore how to collaborate on providing more on-field experience for our officials as well as developing a broad range of football personnel. This is a partnership that makes good sense.”
The NFL officials that worked in the CFL in 2016 were deep wing officials – side judges and field judges – to minimize the impact of some of the rules differences between the two leagues. This year, the program will also include a back judge – a deep official positioned in the middle of the field.
“The CFL officials that participated in the development program last year benefited greatly from it,” said CFL Senior Vice-President, Football GLEN JOHNSON. “We’re excited that the NFL saw enough merit in it to want to expand the program. This will give more of our officials the opportunity for enhanced professional development activities in order to continue to improve their performance on the field.”