Oh, so you thought football was over because the Kansas City Chiefs won the Super Bowl?
Think again friends. Enter in the XFL.
No, you aren’t time traveling we aren’t in 2001. Vince McMahon just decided to give the XFL another shot. We all know how he is when his mind is set on something, he will make it happen. Nineteen years ago the XFL was a massive failure. But McMahon has found different partners and a way to market it that may make it a different story this time around.
We all know that the return of the XFL (owned by McMahon’s Alpha Entertainment) was announced in 2018. The reason for this? To work out any issues that may hurt the game. Now it has been a long time since the XFL was a thing, because of this people probably have forgotten rules. So lets get in to what you need to know before watching the XFL return this weekend.
Rules To Be Aware Of
It is important that you remember the XFL is out to be the alternative to the National Football League (NFL). While of course there are going to be similarities, the rules of the XFL will be different. For example, an NFL game can last over three hours, but the XFL’s aim is to be over much sooner than that. The XFL has implemented five rule changes to help the timing of games.
Unlike the NFL, the XFL will have a 25-second play clock. Once you factor in timing for the refs to spot the ball, this saves the league about 8 seconds per play. According to the XFL’s website this time change will ensure more football played for fans.
Another timing rule to look out for? A running clock. Plays before the two-minute warning, the clock will continue to run. Meaning even if the ball is out of bounds or an incomplete pass, teams need to hustle.
Besides the time rules of the game, there have also been five changes to innovate how the game is played. When fans watch, they will see after a team scores a touchdown they do not kick for an extra point.
While they may not kick for the extra point, teams can score up to 9 points per touchdown. The choices in extra points they will have, have to come in an offensive play. So teams could run a play from the 2, 5, or 10-yard line. If they choose to run from the 2-yard line they would get one extra point. 5-yard line, two points and 10 yards would get a team three extra points.
Interesting right? It will be something to bring a bit more excitement to the game. Although in their research, the XFL has found that teams are more likely to go for a point from the 2 and 5 yard lines, then the 10 (DUH!) Even more excitement, if the opposing team can cause a turnover and score a touchdown on an extra point, they score whatever points were going for.
You may not see this play very often, but again unlike the NFL teams can pass up to two times per play. This only works if the team has not crossed the line of scrimmage.
If you have ever watched an NFL game or a college football game, you’d know that there are some things that just don’t make sense. The XFL is attempting to have a game that makes more common sense. They’ll do this by implementing what is seen in college football, a player needs to have just one foot in bounds for a catch. NFL catches have controversy around them a lot of the time. With this rule, there is hope to avoid the ‘Is it a catch? Is it not?’ debate.
The XFL will have 8 teams spread across two divisions, East and West. The teams representing the East division include The DC Defenders, New York Guardians, St Louis Battlehawks, and the Tampa Bay Vipers. From the West you’ll see the Dallas Renegades, Houston Roughnecks, LA Wildcats, and Seattle Dragons.
During the 10 weeks season, within divisions teams will play each other twice, while seeing all other teams once. All games will be aired on TV, ABC/ESPN and Fox Sports will be the coverage. They will also air the 2 week postseason that culminates into a championship game on April 26.
Players Coaches to look out for
Most of the coaches will be familiar to those who watch the NFL, as they have coached there at some point in their career. These coaches include Marc Trestman (Tampa), Jim Zorich (Seattle), and June Jones (Houston).
Notable players include Josh Johnson who played for the Washington Redskins, Sammie Coates formerly of the Pittsburgh Steelers, and Kony Ealy a former Carolina Panther.
Well there you have it! A few things to help prepare for the XFL’s opening weekend. Of course some of the rules and changes are going to take time to get used to. I am not even sure I get all of them, but it sure will be interesting!
Enjoy opening weekend friends!
You can find the author of this article on Twitter @paigeyb88. Thanks for reading!