Football 101 - Football Officials And Their Duties (Bryan's Crew)

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Football officials. . . The men on the field we all love to hate and complain about. But without these keepers of the rules, a football game could not progress with any sort of structure or sanity. Officials play a very important role in the game, from keeping the game rolling along and calling penalties when a rule is broken, to making sure the athletes don't unnecessarily hurt each other. Officials are responsible for monitoring the game clock and play clock, enforcing the rules of the game, and recording all rule infractions. This quiz is designedf to Read moretest your knowledge of footbal officiating facts.

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Questions and Answers
  • 1. 

    Because the referee is responsible for the general supervision of the game, the position is sometimes referred to as:

    • A.

      Umpire

    • B.

      Scorer

    • C.

      Head Referee

    • D.

      None of the Above

    Correct Answer
    C. Head Referee
    Explanation
    The referee (R) is responsible for the general supervision of the game and has the final authority on all rulings. Thus, this position is sometimes referred to as head referee and is considered to be the crew chief.

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  • 2. 

    In college football, the NFL and other professional leagues, and in some high school games, the referee announces penalties and the numbers of the players committing them (college and professional), and clarifies complex and/or unusual rulings over a wireless microphone to both fans and the media.

    • A.

      True

    • B.

      False

    Correct Answer
    A. True
    Explanation
    In college football, the NFL, and other professional leagues, as well as in some high school games, referees do announce penalties and the numbers of the players committing them. This is done to ensure transparency and clarity in the game. Additionally, referees may use a wireless microphone to communicate complex or unusual rulings to both fans and the media, further enhancing the understanding of the game. Therefore, the statement is true.

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  • 3. 

    The ___________stands behind the defensive line and linebackers observing the blocks by the offensive line and defenders trying to ward off those blocks — looking for holding or illegal blocks. Prior to the snap, he counts all offensive players.

    • A.

      Referee

    • B.

      Umpire

    • C.

      Head linesman

    • D.

      Line judge

    • E.

      Field judge

    Correct Answer
    B. Umpire
    Explanation
    The umpire (U) stands behind the defensive line and linebackers, observing the blocks by the offensive line and defenders trying to ward off those blocks — looking for holding or illegal blocks. Prior to the snap, he counts all offensive players.

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  • 4. 

    A three-official system uses only the referee, head linesman, and scorekeeper.  It is common in junior high and youth football.

    • A.

      True

    • B.

      False

    Correct Answer
    B. False
    Explanation
    A three-official system uses only the referee, head linesman, and line judge, or in some cases, referee, umpire and head linesman. It is common in junior high and youth football.

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  • 5. 

    _________ is used to mark various spots that are not fouls. For example, it is used to mark the spot of a fumble or where a player caught a punt. It is typically colored white, blue, or orange, depending on the official's league, college conference, level of play, or weather conditions.[4]

    • A.

      Whistle

    • B.

      Penalty Marker or flag

    • C.

      Bean Bag

    • D.

      Down indicator

    • E.

      Game data card and pencil

    Correct Answer
    C. Bean Bag
    Explanation
    The Bean Bag used to mark various spots that are not fouls. For example, it is used to mark the spot of a fumble or where a player caught a punt. It is typically colored white, blue, or orange, depending on the official's league, college conference, level of play, or weather conditions.[4]

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  • 6. 

    A four-official system uses the referee, the umpire, the head linesman, and the line judge. It is primary used at lower levels of football, including junior varsity and some high school varsity.

    • A.

      True

    • B.

      False

    Correct Answer
    A. True
    Explanation
    The given statement explains that a four-official system is used in lower levels of football, including junior varsity and some high school varsity. This suggests that the statement is true.

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  • 7. 

    The _____________ stands at one end of the line of scrimmage (usually the side opposite the press box), looking for possible offsides, encroachment and other fouls before the snap.

    • A.

      Head linesman

    • B.

      Umpire

    • C.

      Line judge

    • D.

      Field judge

    • E.

      Side judge

    Correct Answer
    A. Head linesman
    Explanation
    The head linesman (H or HL) stands at one end of the line of scrimmage (usually the side opposite the press box), looking for possible offsides, encroachment and other fouls before the snap. As the play develops, he is responsible for judging the action near his sideline, including whether a player is out of bounds. During the start of passing plays, he is responsible for watching the receivers near his sideline to a point 5-7 yards beyond the line of scrimmage.

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  • 8. 

    The ____________ is used to signal that the play has ended.

    • A.

      Stop Watch

    • B.

      Game Data Card

    • C.

      Down Indicator

    • D.

      Whistle

    • E.

      Penalty Marker or flag

    Correct Answer
    D. Whistle
    Explanation
    The whistle is used to signal that the play has ended. This is a common practice in sports, especially in games like football or basketball. When the referee blows the whistle, it indicates that the play has come to a stop and that the next action or decision can be made. The whistle's loud and distinct sound makes it easy for players, coaches, and spectators to recognize the end of a play.

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  • 9. 

    Shortly after the September 11, 2001 attacks, an American flag was added to the shirts of NFL officials.

    • A.

      True

    • B.

      False

    Correct Answer
    A. True
    Explanation
    After the September 11, 2001 attacks, the NFL officials showed their support and solidarity by adding an American flag to their shirts. This gesture was a way to honor the victims and show patriotism during a challenging time for the nation.

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  • 10. 

    Officials' hats are also occasionally used as additional equipment.

    • A.

      True

    • B.

      False

    Correct Answer
    A. True
    Explanation
    Officials' hats are also occasionally used as additional equipment. If a player not carrying the ball steps out of bounds (a wide receiver running a deep passing route or a player running downfield on punt coverage, for example), the official will drop his hat to mark the spot of where the player went out of bounds. The hat also is often used to signal a second foul called by the official on a play (by those officials that may carry only one flag); to indicate unsportsmanlike conduct committed against the official himself (as when a player shoves an official); or when some other situation requires a physical mark and the official has already used the ordinary item on the play.

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  • 11. 

    The ____________  works downfield behind the defensive secondary on the same sideline as the line judge. 

    • A.

      Side Judge

    • B.

      Umpire

    • C.

      Referee

    • D.

      Back Judge

    • E.

      Field Judge

    Correct Answer
    E. Field Judge
    Explanation
    The field judge (F or FJ) works downfield behind the defensive secondary on the same sideline as the line judge. He makes decisions near the sideline on his side of field, judging the action of nearby running backs, receivers and defenders. He rules on pass interference, illegal blocks downfield, and incomplete passes. He is also responsible for counting defensive players. He has sometimes been the official timekeeper, and in a number of leagues will run the game clock on a six-man crew.[10][11]
    With the back judge, he rules whether field goal attempts are successful.

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  • 12. 

    • A six-official system uses the seven-official system, with the back judge. It is used in some high school and small-college games.

    • A.

      True

    • B.

      False

    Correct Answer
    B. False
    Explanation
    A six-official system uses the seven-official system, without the back judge. It is used in some high school and small-college games.

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  • 13. 

    The referee wears a ______ hat (which now includes the NFL logo, first added for Super Bowl XXXIX), and the other officials wear _____ hats.

    • A.

      Referee: white hat; Other Officials: black hats with white stripes.

    • B.

      Refereree: Black hat with white stripes; Other officials: white hats

    • C.

      All officials wear white hats

    • D.

      It doesn't matter what hat you wear, as long as youn make the right call.

    Correct Answer
    A. Referee: white hat; Other Officials: black hats with white stripes.
    Explanation
    For several decades, all NFL officials wore white hats. In 1979, the referees changed to black hats with white stripes, while the other officials continued to wear white ones. Finally, in 1988, the NFL switched to the high-school and college football style: the referee wears a white hat (which now includes the NFL logo, first added for Super Bowl XXXIX), and the other officials wear black hats with white stripes.

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  • 14. 

  • A five-official system is used in arena football, most high school varsity football, and in most semi-pro games. It adds the back judge to the four-official system.
    • A.

      True

    • B.

      False

    Correct Answer
    A. True
    Explanation
    A five-official system is used in certain football leagues such as arena football, high school varsity football, and semi-pro games. This system includes an additional official called the back judge, who joins the four-official system. Therefore, the statement is true.

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  • 15. 

    The Down Indicator is a specially designed wristband that is used to remind officials of the current time.

    • A.

      True

    • B.

      False

    Correct Answer
    B. False
    Explanation
    The Down Indicator is a specially designed wristband that is used to remind officials of the current down. It has an elastic loop attached to it that is wrapped around the fingers. Usually, officials put the loop around their index finger when it is first down, the middle finger when it is second down, and so on.

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  • 16. 

    During each play from scrimmage, the _______ positions himself behind the offensive team, favoring the right side (if the quarterback is a right-handed passer). He also counts offensive players.

    • A.

      Line Judge

    • B.

      Umpire

    • C.

      Side Judge

    • D.

      Back Judge

    • E.

      Referee

    Correct Answer
    E. Referee
    Explanation
    During each play from scrimmage, the referee positions himself behind the offensive team, favoring the right side (if the quarterback is a right-handed passer). He also counts offensive players.

    On passing plays, he primarily focuses on the quarterback and defenders approaching him. The referee rules on possible roughing the passer and, if the quarterback loses the ball, determines whether it is a fumble or an incomplete pass.

    On running plays, the referee observes the quarterback during and after he hands off the ball to the running back, remaining with him until the action has cleared just in case it is really a play action pass or some other trick passing play. Afterwards, the Referee then checks the running back and the contact behind him.

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  • 17. 

    Officials write down important administrative information, such as the winner of the pregame coin toss, team timeouts, and fouls called on this item:

    • A.

      Scratch pad

    • B.

      Blackberry

    • C.

      Game Data Card

    • D.

      Note cards

    • E.

      None of the Above

    Correct Answer
    C. Game Data Card
    Explanation
    officials write down important administrative information, such as the winner of the pregame coin toss, team timeouts, and fouls called. Game data cards can be disposable paper or reusable plastic. A pencil with a special bullet-shaped cap is often carried. The cap prevents the official from being stabbed by the pencil while it is in his pocket.

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  • 18. 

    In response to scrambling quarterbacks, namely Fran Tarkenton, the line judge was added in 1965 to watch the other side of the line of scrimmage.

    • A.

      True

    • B.

      False

    Correct Answer
    A. True
    Explanation
    When the NFL began play, only three officials (referee, umpire, and head linesman) were used. The field judge was added in 1929 and the back judge in 1947. In response to scrambling quarterbacks, namely Fran Tarkenton, the line judge was added in 1965 to watch the other side of the line of scrimmage. The side judge was added for 1978, as the NFL included new rules to open up the passing game.

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  • 19. 

    What is the total number of football officials that may be utilized in a given NFL game?

    • A.

      3

    • B.

      5

    • C.

      7

    • D.

      None of the Above

    • E.

      All of the Above

    Correct Answer
    C. 7
    Explanation
    The NFL and College Football primarily use a seven-official system. On the other hand, Arena football, high school football, and other levels of football have other officiating systems.

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  • 20. 

    What is the total number of football officials that may be utilized in a given footbal game?

    • A.

      3

    • B.

      5

    • C.

      7

    • D.

      All of the Above

    • E.

      None of the Above

    Correct Answer
    D. All of the Above
    Explanation
    Review Your Officiating systems Answers

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Our quizzes are rigorously reviewed, monitored and continuously updated by our expert board to maintain accuracy, relevance, and timeliness.

  • Current Version
  • Mar 22, 2023
    Quiz Edited by
    ProProfs Editorial Team
  • May 31, 2010
    Quiz Created by
    AROBERTSON
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