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Xs & Os: Those black and white stripes

Referee, umpire, linesman, judge...what?  I thought football officials were referees, umpires were in baseball games, a linesman fixed telephone lines and a judge was in the courtroom. Here's the lowdown on the Officials...those gentlemen wearing the black and white stripes:


Referee: in charge of all Officials; wears a white hat; positioned behind the Offense


Umpire: positioned behind the Defensive line


Head Linesman and Side Judge: positioned on one Sideline


Line Judge & Back Judge: positioned on the other Sideline


Field Judge: positioned behind the Defense in the center of the field


Some other little known facts about football Officials:

  • Groups of Officials officiate in "teams", meaning they officiate games together all season
  • An Official is always associated with a conference in college football
  • A letter on the back of the shirt indicates what position they are on the field
  • An American flag was added to the Official's uniform following September 11, 2001




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