NFL selects Gene Steratore as referee for Super Bowl LII

Gene Steratore will be the referee for Super Bowl LII, the league announced Wednesday. It will be the first Super Bowl for the veteran official, who joined the NFL in 2003 as a field judge and has been a referee since 2006.

Steratore has been in the middle of some of the NFL's most high-profile officiating moments in recent years. Two of them have involved the catch rule, in 2010 with Detroit Lions receiver Calvin Johnson and in the 2014 playoffs with the Dallas Cowboys' Dez Bryant.

Most recently, Steratore created a stir by using an index card to help measure a first down during a Week 15 game between the Cowboys and Oakland Raiders.

The NFL said Steratore's method in that game was "very unusual." Afterward, senior vice president of officiating Al Riveron asked referees to refrain from using foreign objects when measuring ball placement.

Still, Steratore had an excellent year based on the NFL's play-by-play grading system. Super Bowl referees must rate in the top tier of their position to be eligible, as well as have at least five years' experience, for selection. Steratore also worked last Sunday's divisional playoff game between the Minnesota Vikings and New Orleans Saints.

The full crew of Super Bowl officials:

  • Referee: Gene Steratore

  • Umpire: Roy Ellison

  • Down judge: Jerry Bergman

  • Line judge: Byron Boston

  • Field judge: Tom Hill

  • Side judge: Scott Edwards

  • Back judge: Perry Paganelli

  • Replay: Paul Weidner