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The Pro Football Hall of Fame's 48-person Selection Committee is charged with the vital task of continuing to be sure that new enshrinees are the finest the game has produced (see list below).
FAQ about the Hall's selection process
The Committee consists of one media representative from each pro football city — with two from New York and two from Los Angeles, as those cities each have two teams in the National Football League. There are 16 at-large Selectors, who are active members of the media or persons intricately involved in professional football, including one representative of the Pro Football Writers of America.
All appointments are open-ended and approved annually by a majority vote of the Hall of Fame's Board of Trustees. The Selection Committee meets annually on the Saturday before the Super Bowl to elect new members. There is no set number for any class of enshrinees, but the Committee's current ground rules do stipulate that between four and eight new members will be selected each year. Every candidate is carefully scrutinized and must receive at least 80 percent approval of the Selection Committee at the annual meeting before he can be elected. A scale of negative votes for elimination that will vary depending on the number of Selectors in attendance that is used.
When the Selectors meet in February on the eve of the Super Bowl in this host city to name the newest members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, they will have before them a roster of 18 finalists, along with detailed biographies on each. The 18 Finalists include 15 Modern-Era Nominees, one Coach Nominee, one Contributor Nominee and one Senior Nominee. Coach, Contributor and Senior Finalists are selected by special nine-person committees appointed from the full Selection Committee.
Yearly Finalists (All-time Alphabetical Listing)
The Coach, Contributor and Senior Finalists will also be voted on for election independent of all other finalists. Like all nominees, Coach, Contributor and Senior Nominees must also receive 80 percent approval of the Selection Committee for election.
The provision allowing for one Coach Nominee, one Contributor Nominee and one Senior Nominee was approved by the Board of Trustees as a four-year temporary measure starting with the Class of 2021. At the end of the four-year period (2024), the process will again be reviewed.
The other finalists will be the survivors from a preliminary list of candidates that the full Selection Committee will have screened by mail ballot. Any fan may nominate any qualified person who has been connected with pro football in any capacity simply by writing to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The only restriction is that a player and coach must have last played or coached at least five seasons before he can be considered. For example, a candidate for the Class of 2021 must have concluded his career not later than the 2015 season.
There is no mandatory retirement period for a Contributor. Senior candidates are those players whose careers ended at least 25 years ago. Every nomination received will be processed and forwarded to the Selection Committee.
It is important to emphasize that the Hall of Fame itself has no say whatsoever as to who is or is not elected to membership. The only function of the staff is to process the nominations as they arrive and to coordinate the annual meeting.
* Member of the Senior/Coach Selection Committee
# Member of the Contributor Selection Committee