New rules turn traditional football on its head

Expert coaching allows XFL to shakeup the boundaries


DC United

The XFL is a breath of fresh air for football fans, allowing for tons of different rules and teams than the NFL

Cody Bennett, Sports Director | Executive Striv Producer

Football has been around for almost two centuries now. Millions of different games have been played across the world, the National Football League (NFL) is the leader in most of those games, with names like Lamar Jackson, Tom Brady, Derrick Henry all being under the NFL for a career. But a short, five minute video  was published on Jan. 7th of this current year, that explains all the new rules coming to the XFL (X Football League). 

The XFL limits kickoff contact to minimize the rampant concussions cause by high speed collisions on the field

The XFL is supposed to serve as an alternative to the NFL, with this new video, it certainly serves its purpose. The video kicks off getting right into the action, the new, “XFL Kickoff” with head of officiating Dean Blandino. This rule has each team start on the opposing 30 and 35 yard lines. The kicker and kick returner are the only ones that can move, allowing for minimal contact and less chance of a concussion injury, which is rampant on kickoffs in the NFL. When the ball is kicked and caught, both teams are free to move to block and tackle.

The XFL shakes up playbooks for all teams, allowing two forward passes behind the line of scrimmage

The video then cuts to the “Double Forward Pass,” the XFL wants to inspire offensive creativity and open the play books for more exciting offensive maneuvers. In traditional football, the only way to have a double pass is to do a lateral pass backwards, which can be risky at times. But with the XFL, as long as the ball does not cross the line of scrimmage, the offense can forward pass twice, always keeping the defense on their toes.

Instead of kickers, the offense goes straight up against the defense in a game of chance

Another new addition was the XFL Point-After Touchdown. Normally the NFL has two options for point-after touchdowns, the kick or go for two. With the XFL, teams don’t have a kicker, they have three different options to choose from: one point with the play starting at the two yard line, two points starting at the five yard line, and a very risky three point try starting at the 10 yard line. Teams need to decide if they want to put the game away early, or play it safe and go for lower amounts after the score.

The XFL takes a swing at new Overtime rules, no ties, just a shootout and winner take all

Maybe the most impactful change for the XFL is the way they play overtime. If both teams can’t beat each other in the allotted four quarters of play, the game goes into overtime. Instead of one team getting the ball and if they score, they win, the XFL allows for a shootout to occur. One round of five chances to score from the two yard line, both teams switch off from defense to offense until all five rounds are up or one team is mathematically eliminated. If both teams can’t shake each other, the sixth round and beyond is only one chance each for the teams, so for those that can, they’ll be awarded with a win.

The XFL claims, “winner take all football,” which is exactly what it is, the best team takes home the win, no ties and only win/loss records. The XFL has revolutionized a game that has been prominent for a century, but execution will need to be the most important part. This can’t be another, “AAF” league that flops after the first season. With these new rules, watching this kind of football will be refreshing and enjoyable to watch apart from the NFL.

The XFL can really turn football on its head, the new kickoff, double pass and PAT rules, this game of football, is all about the XFL.