The XFL is coming, and there will be some changes to the game that will make it more exciting to watch, and it may take some time to get used to it.
The XFL will re-launch this Saturday. From the time Vince McMahon announced the re-birth of the league, fans have been excited, even with, at the time, another Spring league in play. Now that the XFL will be the only Spring league in play, there’s a lot more excitement.
Let’s delve into some of the key differences from the game you are accustomed to.
The kickoff will be from the 35-yard line and must reach the 20-yard line. If the kick doesn’t or goes out of bounds, the receiving team will get the ball at the 45-yard line. Teams will also line up five yards apart and can’t move until the ball is caught.
There are also two different touchbacks. A “major” touchback is when the ball travels to the end zone in the air and is downed. The ball will be placed at the 35-yard line as a result.
A “minor” touchback is when the ball hits in the field of play and ends up in the end zone and is downed. The ball will be placed at the 15-yard line as a result.
No surprise onside kicks are permitted. The kicking team will alert the referee that they attempting an onside kick, and teams will then line up in the traditional kickoff formation.
Point After Touchdown
After scoring a touchdown, teams will run a play from scrimmage — no kicking after touchdowns. Teams will have a choice to run a play from the two-yard line (one point), five-yard line (two points), or the 10-yard line (three points).
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Double forward pass
Teams will now be allowed to pass the ball twice. However, there is a caveat to that rule. The first pass must be behind the line of scrimmage to be permitted to attempt a second pass.
25-second play clock
In the NFL, there’s a 40-second play clock on many plays, with the exception of those that follow time outs or dead ball situations. The XFL will have a 25-second play clock on all plays to increase the numbers of plays that can be run during a game, creating more excitement.
Overtime will be similar to a shootout in soccer. Each team will get five possessions from the two-yard line to run one play — worth two points. The game ends when one team has more points than the other after five rounds or when a team is mathematically eliminated. In case of a tie after five rounds, there will be one round at a time until there is a winner.
The NFL completion rule is somewhat convoluted. To make things simpler, the XFL will allow for only one body part to be in bounds and make a move common to the game. No more wondering what constitutes a catch.
There will be communication devices for all skill position players. This will speed up the game by allowing for plays to get off quicker.
There are no coaches challenges. All replays are conducted by the replay booth.
Each team will have two time outs per half as opposed to three.
All plays are equal. Once the ball is spotted, the game clock will run.
The XFL is going to be different than most football you are used to. However, it’s exciting to see a different brand of football.
It begins the weekend after the Super Bowl. So, even though the NFL season is over, there’s only one question left. Are you ready for some football?!