The XFL is set to kick off in February just after the NFL season closes and today the league has shared a number of intriguing rules.
Some of the rules were undoubtedly created to attract a wide range of casual fans, but the verdict is still out on what football traditionalists and coaches will think of the changes. See the full run-down here.
For example, in the event of overtime, teams will face off shootout-style in a situation modeled after hockey. Teams will get up to five one-play possessions from the plus 5-yard line worth two points each and the teams will alternate plays until one team is mathematically eliminated.
The XFL will also be eliminating extra points in favor of a three-tiered point after touchdown system where teams will be able to attempt an offensive play from the 2-yard line worth 1-point if successful, a play from the 5-yard line worth 2 points if successful, and a play from the 10-yard line worth 3 points if successful. The defense will be able to capitalize with points on turnovers from those positions as well, so if there was a fumble recovery taken back for a touchdown by the defense during a 3-point try from the 10-yard line, the defense would receive the 3-points.
In an effort to encourage more trick plays, the league is also allowing double forward passes. But there’s a catch that actually makes quite a bit o sense – the first pass has to be behind the line of scrimmage.
College and high school coaches that like to play with tempo will really like one of the league’s changes, which is to have a designated ball-spotter in place to help teams speed up the pace of play.
Punts and kickoffs will look dramatically different as well. When punting, gunners will be allowed to move laterally until the ball is punted, while on kickoffs the kicking team and return team will line up 5-yards away from each other and the kickoff team cannot move until the ball is caught by the return team (or the ball is on the bound for three seconds).
One other interesting tweak is that all offensive skill positions will have coach-to-player communication capabilities, while one defensive player will have those same capabilities in-game.
From a coaching standpoint, the new rules will force coaches out of their comfort zone in a number of regards, but especially regarding late game situations with the new scoring system that is in place.
The XFL released a number of videos highlighting the reinvented rules, along with a video from coaches on their thoughts of the new rules.
The #XFL coaches weigh in on the reimagined rules.
— XFL (@xfl2020) January 7, 2020