Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

How do refs get selected to work the Super Bowl?

How+do+refs+get+selected+to+work+the+Super+Bowl%3F
Kara Lee

You might not realize it, but referees play a much bigger role in the Super Bowl than you think. They are responsible for calling penalties that could kill a play on offense and defense. Referees also have to make sure they make the right call. Last year in Super Bowl LVII, referee Carl Cheffers called the defensive holding call on Eagles cornerback James Bradberry that ultimately set up the game-winning touchdown for the Chiefs. But, how exactly do referees get selected to make calls in these historical games?

Referees and officials selected for the Super Bowl must have enough experience calling games in the NFL, needing to be an official for at least five seasons. They also have to be one of the top officials to work the Super Bowl. The NFL grades all of the officials and they choose the ones with the highest grades to work not only in the Super Bowl but all playoff games as well. There is also a crew of alternate officials just in case one were to get injured or leave unexpectedly.

It is not just the people in the zebra outfits, though. The line judge, umpire, down judge, side judge, field judge, back judge and the replay official all get different grades based on their experience and performances in the regular season. In short, the referees and officials who are the best at their job get selected to work the Super Bowl. 

The NFL likes to choose officials who have been in the league for over five seasons and have worked playoff games but haven’t gotten the chance to work the Super Bowl to allow more officials to do so. Some officials could work for over a decade and not get to work the Super Bowl, while another official who has worked for half the time could get a shot at the Super Bowl, it is all based on performance. Once these officials get selected for the Super Bowl, they all have to make sure they are disciplined with the penalties they choose to call during the game so that they are not the main discussion over the teams that are playing.

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About the Contributors
Michael Rios, Staff Writer
Michael (He/Him) is a second year communication major at UTSA. He plans on looking for a sports journalist job after graduation. He loves sports such as basketball, football and baseball. When he is not watching sports, Michael enjoys watching TV shows, movies, playing basketball and hanging out with his friends. 
Kara Lee, Graphic Editor
Kara is a communication major on track to graduate in 2025. After graduating they hope to work for non-profits that specialize in environmental concerns so they can give back to the planet that provides so much for us. When Kara is not in school or working they can be found either drawing or hiking.

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