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Referee Cal Lepore (cropped).jpg

Cal Lepore (1919—December 7, 2002)[1] was an American football line judge and referee.[1] He officiated in the American Football League (AFL) from 1966 through 1969, and then in the National Football League (NFL) from 1970 through 1980. He worked Super Bowl III, won by the New York Jets over the Baltimore Colts, after the 1968 season. He also officiated in Super Bowl XII, and as replay official in Super Bowl XXVI. Lepore wore no. 72 for the vast majority of his career (he wore no. 5 in his final two seasons). He was the supervisor of officials in the United States Football League (USFL) and the World League of American Football, later named NFL Europe.

Lepore is credited with promulgating the use of instant replay[2] as an officiating tool, as well as urging the use of coaches' challenges in professional football. The NFL adopted nearly all of the components of the Replay Rule he authored and first administered in mid-1980s in the USFL. Referee Magazine has considered him one of the most influential officials in the history of sports.[3]

Lepore was born in Chicago, Illinois and attended Harper High School there.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "Cal Lepore". Retrieved 1 October 2018.
  2. ^ "1985 Interview with USFL Supervisor of Officials Cal Lepore". YouTube. USFL Forever. Retrieved 1 October 2018.
  3. ^ "Referee". Referee. Retrieved 1 October 2018.

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