Hochuli's top-rated crew gets nod

Updated: January 29, 2004, 7:19 PM ET
Associated Press

HOUSTON -- Ed Hochuli will referee Sunday's Super Bowl between New England and Carolina, along with two other members of his regular-season crew, the top-rated in the NFL this season.

It will be the second Super Bowl as a referee for Hochuli, a lawyer from Phoenix. He also did the 1998 game between Denver and Green Bay and was the alternate last season.

This is the first season officials were rated by crew in an effort to keep units intact for the playoffs.

Head linesman Mark Hittner and field judge Tom Sifferman also served on Hochuli's crew and will officiate at the Super Bowl. The other four members did not meet the criterion for the Super Bowl -- five years experience and at least one other championship game.

They will be replaced by umpire Jeff Rice, line judge Ben Montgomery, side judge Laird Hayes and back judge Scott Green, who ranked highest at their positions.

The alternates are referee Bill Carollo, umpire Jim Quirk and field judge Bill Lovett.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press