ARLINGTON, TX, December 8, 2022— The XFL today announced its official rules for the 2023 season, which includes innovative changes in the areas of clock management, play reviews and late game possession designed to improve gameplay and enhance the fan viewing experience.
“Our innovative rules are the cornerstone of our League and a clear example of our commitment to advance the game,” said XFL President Russ Brandon. “These changes will increase possession and scoring options while remaining true to the spirit of the game.”
Popular rule innovations such as tiered extra points and double forward passes will carry over from the 2020 season. Teams will also continue to line up five yards apart on kickoffs, as they did in 2020, which resulted in fewer injuries and a 92% return rate.
Among the new game enhancements is an extra possession option, where in addition to an onside kick at any point during the game, teams may now attempt to retain possession by converting a 4th and 15 play from their own 25-yard line in the fourth quarter only.
This season the XFL is also introducing a first-of-its-kind, centralized ‘command center’ for instant replay review and officiating led by Dean Blandino, Vice President of Officiating and Playing Rules Innovation. The fully cloud-based instant replay program offers live integration during replay reviews and oversight of officiating discrepancies during all 43 XFL games.
“In short, we studied the positive changes in game play, player safety, and fan engagement made in 2020 and have enhanced them to make the game and the viewing experience even more engaging,” said Dean Blandino. “We are adding a new level of transparency with our officiating that no sport has ever provided, allowing us to be more consistent with our calls when there’s a flag on the play. Instead of being separated in each stadium, my team and I will be together in the command center and will be responsible for initiating replay reviews and making streamlined decisions in real time.”
The full 2023 XFL rule book is available here.
Below are some of the XFL’s key new rules and modifications from 2020:
|GAME TIMING||Clock will start following incomplete passes and out of bounds plays prior to two-minute warning of either halfClock will stop following first downs after two-minute warning of either halfPlay clock increased from 25 to 35 seconds*Timeouts increased from 2 to 3 per team per half*The XFL will operate with a 35-second play clock|
|OVERTIME||No coin toss, no one-possession wins, no ties Consists of alternating attempts from opponent’s 5-yard line Three attempts per team (two points per score) or until winner is decided *|
|OPTIONS TO KEEP THE BALL||Two options to keep the ball after scoring Traditional onside kick (any time during game)4th and 15 conversion from own 25-yard line (4th quarter only)*|
|INSTANT REPLAY||Head coach allowed one challenge of any officiating decision once per game, with final ruling made by designated members of the officiating department in a central location (never been done before at any level)*Centralized replay *Replay may correct obvious errors on non-reviewable plays, player safety at any point during the game, and any issue that significantly impacts the outcome of the game in the last five minutes of regulation plus overtime|
|KICKOFFS||Kicking team and return team start play five yards apart Eliminates high-speed collisions and enhances player safetyMore returns, less touchbacks92% kick off returns in XFL 2.0 compared to 39.6% in the NFLAverage XFL drive started at the 29-yard line compared to the 25-yard line in the NFL|
|EXTRA POINTS||Tiered extra points are backTeams will have three options for extra points following a touchdown2-yard line = one point; 5-yard line = two points; 10-yard line = three pointsReplaces the traditional kick, providing teams a chance to score more points and build excitement within the game.|
|DOUBLE FORWARD PASS||If a team completes a forward pass behind the line of scrimmage, that team may throw a second forward pass, as long as the ball has not crossed the line of scrimmage Once the ball has passed the line of scrimmage, no forward passes are permitted Less risky because the first pass may fall incomplete rather than becoming a live ball lateral|
*New or modified in 2023