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About Football Glossary - Umpire


NFL umpire Darrell Jenkins #76 at Cowboys Stadium

NFL umpire Darrell Jenkins #76 at Cowboys Stadium

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images

Definition: The umpire is the official that lines up approximately five yards off the line of scrimmage on the defensive side of the ball. His duties include:

• Checking the legality of the players' equipment
• Making sure the offense has no more than 11 men on the field
• Monitor the legality of play on the line of scrimmage with a special emphasis on offensive holding and illegal linemen down field
• Assist the referee on decisions involving possession of the ball
• Record all timeouts
• Record all scores
• Record the winner of the coin toss
• Wipes the ball dry between plays on rainy days

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