The relaunch of the XFL is now less than a month away, and the final details are becoming known. The latest of these has been the announcement of new rules that will differentiate the XFL from the dominant NFL.
Just like the original XFL in 2001, the 2020 season has been designed to make the game more exciting. While the original league innovated with new camera angles to help get fans closer to the action, the 2020 XFL will feature changes in the rules that address fan complaints of NFL games.
The XFL surveyed 6,000 football fans to understand what they liked and didn’t like about the game so that they could make football as exciting as possible.
The new rules, which were announced on January 7, are designed to speed up games and stop them from dragging on. At least initially, they will make the games more unpredictable as teams and players develop strategies to make the most of these new rules.
Wagering on the XFL
This unpredictability could make betting on the XFL more exciting due to the higher number of unknowns. Las Vegas-based bookmakers allowed fans to bet on the games of the original XFL back in 2001, so it is likely wagering will occur again in the relaunched league.
While it is not yet clear which sports bookmakers will accept wagers on the games, the fortuitous timing of legislation changes that have made online sports betting legal in parts of the US will likely mean fans will be able to place bets through their smartphones or computers.
What are the New Rules?
The newly announced rules are:
- Double-forward pass: allowing a player to attempt a second forward pass after their first, provided that the ball has not crossed the line of scrimmage.
- Points after a touchdown: after scoring a touchdown, teams will have three options to get extra points. These will be a one-point play from 2-yards out, two-points from 5-yards, or three-points from 10-yards.
- Overtime: there will be five rounds of overtime, putting more pressure on players to succeed. The XFL hopes it will have a similar effect to a penalty shootout in soccer. The two teams will alternate between five single-play possessions, with the team that scores more points becoming the winner.
- Timing: half-time will be cut to just 10 minutes and a 25-second play clock instead of 40 seconds in the NFL. These are so that games can be faster paced and more exciting for fans.
Other rules that have been announced have been designed to maximize the health & safety of players, without compromising on sporting excitement.
Only time will tell whether these new rules will be a success, but the XFL seems confident based on its research and rigorous “beta testing.” We’ll have to see how it works for ourselves when the league launches on 8th February.