Justin Baltes and Dominick Kerman – Mustangs Ahead

(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL)- The United States Football League (USFL) and the XFL are coming for a 2023 spring season now that the NFL season has wrapped up. The leagues will plan to fill the gap between the football seasons.

The XFL will begin play Feb. 18.  The USFL season starts Apr. 15.

While the original USFL was a short-lived football league in the early 1980s, it had a huge impact. The league was created in 1982 and had its inaugural season in 1983. The league lasted until 1985. The league creator was David Dixon. The inaugural president of the league was Peter Spivak.

Notable players participated such as quarterback Jim Kelly, running back Herschel Walker, defensive end Reggie White, linebacker Sam Mills, quarterback Steve Young, quarterback Doug Williams, quarterback Doug Flutie, offensive tackle Gary Zimmerman and more.

The USFL returned in 2022 to replace the gap between the super bowl and other sports championships.

The league was met with surprisingly high viewership, with most of the games averaging about one million viewers.

LRHS sophomore Heyden Kudelko said, “The XFL and the USFL are great leagues to fill in the gap of football break between the end of the college football season and the NFL season.”

One reason people may tune in to the USFL is the different rules of the league compared to the NFL. One of these big rule changes is the way overtime works.

In the USFL for overtime both teams will attempt two-point conversions with a best out of three. If they are still tied, they will do alternating until one team comes out on top.

Another rule difference is that the USFL has 3-point conversion attempts. The teams will be able to choose from one-, two-, or three-point options. For the three-point option after a touchdown the team will run a play from the 10.

The third big difference between the USFL and NFL is that all kicks are kicked from the 25-yard line. This is an attempt to encourage more kick returns to make the game have less stagnant plays.

For onside kicks in the USFL the team will have an option to run a play from your own 33 yard and have to get a first down to get the ball back.

Coaches are also allowed to challenge pass interference for a 15-yard penalty or a spot of the foul pass interference.

The last massive rule change is that in the USFL you are allowed two forward passes per play if the first pass is behind the line of scrimmage.

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The XFL, like the USFL, will have the tiered extra point system with the one, two, and the three-point option. The XFL also has the double forward pass rule, too.

Unlike USFL teams, XFL teams can do normal onside kicks but only in the fourth quarter can teams attempt a 4th and 15 attempt from their own 25-yard line.

The big difference of the XFL to any other league is that the replay office can correct errors on otherwise non-reviewable plays.

Many students think the leagues sound like a good idea on paper. Senior Ryan Hanson, however, said these may be the latest in a long string of failed summer football leagues.

“I will be surprised if the leagues last for more than five years,” he said.