A spiral on football

A look into the rule changes of the new and improved XFL


Jack Venneman

With these new rules, it should make for a faster, more exciting game.

Ryan Flavin, Staff Writer

There are a total of five gameplay innovations that the XFL has implemented. First being the kickoff. The kicker must kick the ball from the 25-yard line in the air between the opponent’s 20-yard line and the endzone. The kicking team will be lined up on the opponents’ 35-yard line. And the return team lines up on the 30-yard line. This rule was implemented to avoid more injuries and make kick returns more common.

The second gameplay innovation is the point after touchdown. After a touchdown, a team has the option to run a play from the 2, 5, or 10-yard line. These are worth 1,2, and 3 points. The XFL did this to make the game more entertaining. The 3 point play was added so that no lead is safe. If you are down by 18 points it is still a two-possession game. This also gives coaches the opportunity for more strategy and innovation.

The third gameplay innovation is the punt. The punting team cannot release past the line of scrimmage until the ball is kicked. The gunners must line up at the line of scrimmage and are permitted to move laterally once the ball is snapped until it is kicked. If the ball goes out of bounds inside the 35-yard line, it is a “Major” touchback and the ball goes to the 35-yard line. This rule was created to give the receiver more time to catch the ball, therefore, it should give players less of a reason to signal a fair catch.

The fourth rule change is the double forward pass. If a team completes a forward pass behind the line of scrimmage, that team may throw a second forward pass, as long as the ball has at no time crossed the line of scrimmage.

The fifth and last gameplay innovation is overtime. Overtime will consist of 5 Rounds staged in alternating single-play possessions. A Round will consist of one offensive play per team. Each possession starts at the opponent’s 5-yard line and the offensive team has one play to score. The team with more points after 5 rounds is the winner. This was made because teams can end in a tie, sometimes a team can not even get the ball in overtime. With this new way of doing overtime, it gives both teams an equal chance to win.

There are other smaller rule changes. There were changes to the timing, the first is that there is a 25-second play clock. This will make the game faster and will change the pace of the game. The second rule change is that there will be a running game clock no matter what. The third big rule change for time is the number of timeouts a team gets. In the NFL a team gets three timeouts. In the XFL a team will get two timeouts. This will have fewer stops and it will keep the game moving.

There are a few common-sense rule changes that will change the game a lot. The first being that you only need one foot in bounds for a catch. This was to make it easier for refs to make calls. The second common sense of rule change is having a dedicated ball spotting official. This is to lessen the time it takes in between plays.

With these new rules, it should make for a faster, more exciting game. It will be cool to see how the players will adjust to this much faster game.