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USFL 2023: New Rules And Their Impact On The League

Published on April 27, 2023
Updated on October 5, 2023
Written by Silvia

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USFL 2023: New Rules And Their Impact On The League

The USFL’s first season, held in 2022, saw the introduction of numerous innovative rules that impacted player safety, and overtime shootouts. They also re-introduced kickoff returns, 9-point scores with 1, 2, or 3-point conversion chances, and double-forward passes. The season also saw the introduction of the ‘fourth-and-12’ play to score rarely unsuccessful onside kicks.

As the USFL enters its second season, it has again included several groundbreaking rules to increase fairness and safety while giving fans even more high-quality action. Below are some new rules you should expect throughout the USFL 2023 Championship season.

Kickoffs are Five Yards Further

This season will see kickoffs beginning from the 20-yard line, five yards further than last year. Thus, kicking players must be at a standstill and one yard beyond the 20-yard line as the ball is getting kicked. The opposite team must have a maximum of nine players align themselves in their 30 or 40 at the set-up zone.

If a kickoff goes beyond bounds, the ball will be placed at the 30-yard line and given to the receiving team if it hits the 50-yard line. This new rule change aims to increase kickoff returns and potential big plays while ensuring player safety.   

New Gunner Rule

To decrease the number of player injuries, flag scenarios, and penalties, the USFL has introduced a new gunner rule, where a double team cannot block gunners until after kicking the ball. They also cannot align themselves outside the numbers after the snap of the ball.

New Touchback Rules

No longer will balls forwarded from the field of play to the end zone be considered touchbacks. Instead, play will return to the point where it was fumbled, with the fumbling team taking possession of the football. This rule improves consistency in the sport while increasing player safety.

Extra Quarterback

Every USFL team can bring an inactive quarterback to games in case the first and second quarterbacks both endure injuries. However, if the emergency quarterback enters the game during the first three quarters, the other quarterbacks cannot rejoin the game. 

But if he enters during the fourth quarter, the initial two QBs can rejoin the matchup. This new rule seeks to provide consistent quarterback play throughout a specific game.

Inclusion of the USFL Command Center in Replay Decisions

Based in Los Angeles, the USFL Command Center is authorized to make all decisions regarding replays. The referee will maintain constant contact with the Command Center, which will assist them in enforcing penalties and game timings. USFL Command Center will also review all potential scores, scores, reviewable plays, control, and override any wrong individual foul calls. 

Note that every coach has one replay challenge, promoting fairness, boosting game flow, and achieving more objective rulings.

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Content Operations Manager

She has a background in journalism and a love of sports.
She has deepened her expertise in gaming and focused on online sports betting. Silvia supports Hellas Verona, likes to deal with news and updates about online betting, and manages the website content. In her free time, she enjoys swimming, playing padel, traveling, and meditating by the sea. Editorial Promise
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