Welcome football fans. I don’t know if it was me, but after watching the opening weekend of the XFL, I noticed that the referees were letting big hits go that would have been called penalties in the NFL, but I like that because the guys in stripes were letting the athletes play.
After getting myself accustomed to some of the XFL rules that are different from the NFL, I thought that I would get you all up-to-date with them. I’m going to share with you my likes/dislikes after each rule because I can.
1. Kickoff Rules
Both teams begin five-yards apart from each other with the kicking team at its opponents 35-yard line and the returning team at its own 30-yard line. Only the kicker and the returner can be in motion until the ball is caught or has been on the playing field for three-seconds.
(Like) – I am one of those young millennial fans who still like to see kick returns as part of the game. When the XFL first tried this rule in 2020, it showed that 97% of the kicks were actually returned by the opposing team. In the 2022 NFL season, only 38% of kicks were actually returned. Still keep in mind, the 2020 XFL season was suspended due to COVID, while the 2022 NFL season lasted like business as usual.
As an NFL fan, I would like to see Goodell and his crew keep an eye on this rule in the future, so we can see more kicks being returned and less touchbacks.
2. Tiered Extra Point Tries
In the XFL, extra points by the kicker do not exist. Rather than that, teams have the option to score a one- point conversion from the 2-yard line, a two-point conversion from the 5- yard line, or a three-point conversion from the 10- yard line.
(Like) – The first time I saw St. Louis BattleHawks’ quarterback A.J. McCarron go for the three-point conversion and convert it, I was blown away and thought, what if Josh Allen or Patrick Mahomes had this in the NFL?
4th-and-15 you say?
Go for it. pic.twitter.com/pkdaTczwE1
— St. Louis Battlehawks (@XFLBattlehawks) February 19, 2023
3. Onside Kick Options
In the XFL, you can go for an onside kick like traditionally in the NFL. Or, unlike the NFL, teams can instead elect to try to convert a 4th and 15 in order to maintain control of the ball. Just like those commercials that want to try to sell you products for, “free”, there is a condition; teams can only go for the 4th and 15 in the fourth-quarter. You can still go for on-side kicks, however at any point of the game.
(Like) – Going for it on 4th and 15 really benefits today’s dual threat quarterbacks who can move out of the pocket to throw a deep ball to an open guy and trust them to catch it and convert the try. Also, making it has an alternative to going for the onside kick; it doesn’t take the kicker out of the game entirely like the three tiered conversion rule does.
4. Double Forward Pass
In the XFL, teams are permitted to make two forward passes per play, but just like in the NFL, the passer must complete the first throw behind the line of scrimmage or it will result in an illegal forward pass.
(Like) – It allows for more trick plays to be called by an XFL OC, while maintaining the integrity of the illegal forward pass rule in the NFL.
5. Game Clock
In the NFL, the game clock is set to 40 seconds for the offense to run a play, but in the XFL, it’s 35 seconds. While the clock stops on incomplete passes and out-of-bounds plays in the NFL, the clock still runs on incomplete passes and out-of-bounds plays prior to the 2:00 warning in the XFL. The clock will also stop on all first downs after the 2:00 warning.
(Dislike) – While I’m all for making the game of football go faster and the clock does have to stop at some point, right? Why should a team waste a time out if they want to spike the ball to stop the clock before the 2:00 minute warning, or basically throw the ball out of bounds to avoid the sack?
If a game enters extra time, each team will have three tries to go for a two-point conversion from the other team’s 5-yard line. The teams will then rotate their tries and after each side has completed their attempts, the team who leads at the end will win the game. If it is still tied after three attempts, it will go to sudden death.
(Like) – I love the NHL elements being mixed in with a pro football league such as the XFL. If you think about it, the players play 10:00 of overtime in the regular season of the NFL, and if nobody scores, the game ends in a tie. No game should end in a tie anymore. And to quote Coach Dan Hawkins, “It ain’t intramurals.”
7. Challenge Calls
Coaches can challenge any call at any time if it is warranted. The catch here is they are only allowed one challenge during the game.
(Like) – In the XFL, anything goes with challenging the call. You can challenge a bad penalty call, a missed pass interference call, along with the traditional incomplete passes, stepping out of bounds, etc. In the NFL, you can only challenge catches, fumbles, and completed/incomplete passes. The NFL tried to experiment with challenging pass interference calls, but most of the time, these plays stood and the challenges did not work.
One additional rule as an avid football fan that drives me crazy, is the one foot in-bounds rule in the XFL vs. the two feet in-bounds rule in the NFL. I also enjoy watching college football as I don’t know why they have always had the one foot in-bounds rule as well.
Seeing that the player’s goal is to eventually make the NFL, why isn’t the NCAA and the XFL’s purpose to adapt to the two feet in-bounds rule to keep everything in- sync?
As we get ready to start the second week of the 2023 season of the XFL tonight, check out some of their rules and see what you think of them and let me know your opinion on them?
For more information on tonight’s game please visit:
St. Louis BattleHawks take on the Seattle Sea Dragons tonight @ 9:00.
For another interesting XFL story, please check out:
For more XFL and Twitter content, please follow me:
For More Great Football Content
Follow us on Twitter at @GridironHeroics for more great content. We appreciate you taking time to read our articles. To interact more with our community and keep up to date on the latest in Football news, JOIN OUR FREE FACEBOOK GROUP by CLICKING HERE