American Football Database
Ron Winter
Nationality United States
OccupationNFL official (1995–present)

Ronald J. "Ron" Winter is an American football official in the National Football League (NFL). Winter previously served as a football official for the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).

Winter has officiated in the NFL since the 1995 season; he wears uniform number 14 (previously #82, 1995–1997). Winter's 2011 NFL officiating crew consists of umpire Tony Michalek, head linesman Julian Mapp, line judge Gary Arthur, field judge Scott Steenson, side judge Tom Hill and back judge Richard Reels.


Winter was a physical education professor at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He retired at the end of the 2007–08 school year after having served for more than 38 years.[1]

Officiating career

NFL career

He entered the NFL as a line judge in 1995, and later was promoted to referee in 1998 after Dale Hamer returned to the head linesman position and Gary Lane returned to the side judge position.

2002 NFL playoffs

In his first playoff assignment as a referee, Winter and his officiating crew were involved in a controversial finish to a New York Giants and San Francisco 49ers Wild Card playoff game played January 5, 2003 at Candlestick Park in San Francisco. Officials apparently forgot that New York's Rich Seubert, a guard who had lined up legally in a receiver's spot, was an eligible receiver.[citation needed]

Seubert was grabbed and pulled down by Chike Okeafor on a botched field goal attempt while going downfield to receive a pass. The back judge, Scott Green was the downfield official, thus this was his play to cover, but he had to scramble from the goalpost to get into position to cover the play. Green, not knowing that Seubert was eligible, did not throw a flag to signify the penalty. Instead, the Giants were called for having an ineligible man downfield on the play (guard Tam Hopkins, who had crossed the line of scrimmage during the play).

Late in the game, Giants' safety Shaun Williams was ejected for throwing a punch at 49ers' offensive lineman Jeremy Newberry.

Commissioner Paul Tagliabue described the situation as the most disappointing officiating blunder he'd seen in his years as NFL commissioner [2] and announced that officiating mechanics surrounding field-goal attempts and last plays of games would be changed.[3]

As a result of the incident, Winter did not officiate a Giants game during the 2003, 2004, or 2005 seasons. The next Giants game he worked was a Monday Night Football game on November 20, 2006 between the Giants and Jacksonville Jaguars at ALLTEL Stadium in Jacksonville, Florida.[citation needed]


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