The Professional Indoor Football League (PIFL), along with officials from the National Football League, converged on the Atlanta suburb of East Point, Ga. this weekend to kick off the upcoming season with the 2013 PIFL Rules Clinic. Representatives from the NFL included Director of Recruiting Ron Baynes; NFL officials Allen Baynes and Tom Symonette; and NFL officiating supervisor Johnny Grier, who was a pioneer in his field as the NFL's first African-American referee. Other members of the clinic's instructional team included PIFL Director of Officiating Dan Blum and Conference USA referee Ed Ardito. The instructional team and league officials reviewed mechanics, penalty enforcement and rules, timing, and other subjects, including an intensive video review and breakdown of plays from the 2012 PIFL season. Over 35 returning and first-time PIFL officials were in attendance.
upcoming campaign marks the second season the NFL is using the PIFL as a
training ground for prospective officials. Officiating supervisors from
the NFL will grade PIFL officials' performance for each game of the
2013 season. The PIFL is the only pro football league in the country
with an affiliation agreement with the NFL to cultivate and develop
promising NFL officials.
thought it was as professionally done in a 10-hour timeframe as clinics
in major college conferences," Blum said of the clinic. "The fact we
looked at a lot of video is a positive thing; seeing it instead of just
talking about it is much more meaningful and beneficial to our
officials. I think we have a good group, and we will build on last
year's experiences and only get better. The system in place proved
itself to work last season."
feel privileged to be the only indoor football league to have an
affiliation with the National Football League," said PIFL Compliance
Director Jeff Gonos. "They are a tremendous group of officials with the
vast majority having prior experience in indoor football. I am confident
the PIFL will set the bar in terms of officiating in indoor football
this upcoming season."
PIFL kicks off its sophomore season in less than three weeks with seven
teams in the league: the Alabama (Huntsville) Hammers; the Albany (GA)
Panthers; the Columbus (GA) Lions; the Knoxville (TN) NightHawks; the
Louisiana (Lake Charles) Swashbucklers; the Richmond (VA) Raiders; and
the expansion Lehigh Valley (Bethlehem, PA) Steel Hawks.