The people who bet on sports will be able to tell you what a back judge’s job is, in large part because football is the most popular sport to bet on in the United States, and because we’ve just concluded another wild weekend of action in both college football and the NFL.
Those who monitor college football betting know that a back judge is responsible for action that occurs in the secondary. While the referee focuses on the offensive backfield and the umpire sets his sights on the action in the trenches near the line of scrimmage, the back judge must reserve his attention for the open-field dimensions of each and every football play. When a receiver not only breaks past the line of scrimmage but works his way into the middle third of the field on a vertical passing route, the back judge is the person who needs to be in position to make a ruling on that post or deep crossing pattern. It is the back judge who will regularly make pass interference calls. He must emerge from his initial position at the start of a play and move in a direction that will enable him to contain the action in front of him. He will either move toward the middle of the field or to the sideline, depending on the flow of a passing play. This is the kind of stuff that a bodog review would offer when explaining a back judge’s most important responsibilities.