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NFL testing officials’ physical fitness


It’s Ed Hochuli’s favorite day of the year: Physical fitness testing for NFL officials.

Dean Blandino, the league’s V.P. of Officiating, posted on Twitter that the league is putting its officials through a variety of physical tests today. All officials must pass the tests before they can officiate a game in 2016.

Among the tests is a functional movement screening, a test of flexibility and a test of strength, in which Hochuli undoubtedly puts his fellow officials to shame. The officials also get information about proper nutrition and take an endurance test in which they have to run 13 40-yard dashes, with 35 seconds between each sprint.

NFL officiating has come in for plenty of criticism recently, but the fitness of the officials themselves isn’t the issue. Officials generally do a good job of getting themselves into position to see the play. A bigger problem is that the NFL’s rules are so byzantine that even the best officials can’t enforce them consistently. No amount of physical fitness testing will fix that.