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XFL will have new rules around overtime, extra points and passing

NFL: NFC Wild Card-Minnesota Vikings at New Orleans Saints Derick Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

We are a month and a day from the XFL landing here in Seattle in the form of a dragon. The league has released a short explanation of new rules which is, in addition to its poetic timing, very interesting.


The main focus seems to be on overtime and extra point opportunities. There are also noteworthy changes to the kicking game and passing rules that should be fun to watch.

Here’s this from the XFL on the new overtime specifically, as they have left all of their copper and nickel at home in the name of better football:

Overtime will look like the NHL’s version of settling matters with a “shootout.’’ No coin tosses here, with each team getting up to five shots to score from the 5-yard line — similar to World Cup soccer shootouts.

No coin toss! This is a fascinating development in the light of two overtime games already in the 2019-20 postseason, with both winners of the toss also winning the game. In fact, that seems to be how it works:

Give me some World Cup shootouts (which are um... the same as regular soccer shootout?) in an American football game anytime.

On the downside, the announcement is bad news for kickers, because there will be no extra point kicks of any kind whatsoever. After a touchdown, a team will have three options: One point from the two-yard line, two points from the five, or three points from the ten.

Yeah. Nine point touchdowns.

There’s also this whole bit about one-footed catches just like college, and something-something double forward pass behind the line of scrimmage. Surely a host of all this will be quite confusing for the opening weeks, but will undoubtedly be amusing whenever something comes up for the first time.

In case you missed it, Field Gulls showcased the new colors and logos of all eight XFL teams earlier, including the hometown University of Miami Seattle Dragons.

By the way, the XFL officiating is going to be led by former head of NFL officiating Dean Blandino, so take that with whatever emotional response that name evokes.