Slated to re-debut in 2020, the XFL is looking to change the way viewers watch football. That includes updating the rules to give it a different feel. In an interview with The Washington Post, XFL Commissioner Oliver Luck highlighted all of the various ways the XFL will try and differentiate themselves from the NFL.
In regards to finding a common ground of what to do, Luck created the Football Reimagined Committee. Among the members of the team are former NFL coaches and XFL advisors John Fox and Jim Caldwell, former QB Doug Flutie and Kevin Guskiewicz, who has served on the NFL Head, Neck and Spine Committee. The goal was to get an understanding of how to make the product more efficient.
"I think there's a really fine line between innovating and being gimmicky, and we're trying to stay on the proper side of that," Luck stated in the interview. "We don't want to do gimmicks. Gimmicks in XFL 1 didn't work very well. These are legitimate improvements to the game."
The original XFL debuted in 2001 on NBC programming. While it was praised due to its innovation on many fronts, the idea was rushed. That was especially true with the rules. This time, they want to get it right. One of the new known rules the XFL has wanted to implement is the idea of three-point conversations following a touchdown. The league elaborated on a multi-point format after a team scores:
- Earning one extra point by converting a score from the two-yard line
- Earning two points by scoring from the five-yard line
- Earning three points by scoring from the 15-yard line
"Think about it: If a team is down by 18 with three minutes left, you won't change the channel because it's still a two-possession game," said XFL Director of Football Operations Sam Schwartzstein. "It'd be hard, but it's possible."
Other rules include a short play clock (NFL runs on 40 seconds), moving the kicker to the 25-yard line, keeping players still until the kicked ball is caught, putting teams on the 35-yard line following fourth-down attempts and no draws. In regards to no draws, overtime would be looked at like a shootout. Both teams would have limited opportunities to score and the team that earns more points via scores wins the game.
The XFL doesn't believe any of these changes will turn them into the AAF, who filed for bankruptcy after a few short months. They believe the AAF's downfall was due to financial reasons and not the play of the game. In regards to money, Vince McMahon is pledging $500 million, making this something he will be heavily invested in.
Set to debut six days after Super Bowl LIV, the XFL will be hosted on a number of Disney and FOX platforms.