The XFL originally launched in 2001 but has been revived this year and will be the testing ground for the future of the NFL.
The owner of the XFL, Vince McMahon, said the previous version of the league was a colossal failure. Even though the organization has kept the same name, it is nothing like its former self.
In 2001, the league had limited rules to create a fast-paced, aggressive style of play, but in 2020 there is a different look at rules to keep the players safe and the NFL needs to take notes from this rule book.
Rules in the NFL have been put in place to not only keep the game fair, but to keep players safe. The XFL is taking a different approach with rules.
A lot are similar but one the NFL fans could see happen soon is an alternate format to kickoffs.
XFL has changed kickoffs so all players will line up on the 25 yard line and not move until the team receiving the ball catches it.
This is different from the NFL’s version where the team kicking the ball is lined up on the 35 yard line they cannot move until the ball is kicked.
Once it is kicked they run down the field at full speed trying to tackle the person on the opposing team who caught the ball.
The XFL kickoff eliminates theses high-speed collisions, which often happen in the NFL and which led to a majority of injuries in the league during the 2019 season.
A rule change like this, even though NFL fans may claim it is not what they are used to seeing, is important in order to keep the NFL players safe and keep the future of the league safe.
In its first weekend, the XFL had over 3 million viewers and each game had at least 17,000 people in attendance.
The XFL focuses on a fan-first experience and this is whether the viewer is in attendance or watching on TV.
The new look starts with their slogan: “For the Love of Football.” It is a major reason why the league has come back: it wants to bring fans of football more football.
The season starts the weekend after the Super Bowl so there is no time for fans to miss football.
The league consists of eight teams from all over America, separated into two divisions, east and west. They play a 10-week season with two playoff weeks. It runs from February to April.
This new football season, fans have come to see the XFL is not like what they are used to watching in the NFL. The game starts with the play itself; the XFL wants a faster paced game with fewer stoppages.
It is the on-field activities that catch NFL fans by surprise. Players are often interviewed right after plays happen. If an offensive player just threw a touchdown, the sideline reporters would immediately interview them and ask them about the score.
Not only are the interviews done on the sideline during the games, but coaches are mic’d up on the sideline, which is another thing the NFL does not have.
Play-calling in the NFL is usually something kept secretive between just coaches and players but in the XFL it is broadcasted for everyone to hear.
Play reviewing is another new aspect the XFL is working on. The contact between the viewer and the people in the challenge room is something not seen in the NFL. It is usually left to the commentators speculating on what they think will happen.
These may not be the exact things the NFL would be looking to add in the future, but the XFL is the testing ground for these things.
Whether it is new rules or a different experience for the fans of football, the NFL has to realize the XFL is a place they can see new things be tested out before they even have to implement them into the league.