XFL Scoring Rules: Do XFL & NFL Follow Different Rules?

Arjun Sukumaran
|Published February 19, 2023

After a long period of waiting, the XFL is finally here. The minor football league, owned in part by Hollywood superstar Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, held its first game of this season in Arlington, Texas. As the Arlington Renegades beat the visiting Vegas Vipers, the XFL successfully put up a show for its fans. However, any NFL fan would notice the varied ruleset the XFL uses, and will feel a tad bit out of place.

The XFL is on a mission to bring a different form of football to viewers. An attempt at providing a form of football not too alien to NFL fans, but also refreshing to watch. Part of that agenda is the number of different rules and regulations that the XFL follows. While they may not make sense to a fan who has been watching the NFL for a long time, the rules in themselves are pretty basic to understand, and fun to watch.

For starters, the XFL does not allow for anyone to move (except the kicker and the returner) during kickoff. This is until the ball is caught, or has been on the ground for more than 3 seconds. This rule was forged with the hopes of forcing teams to return punts more often, rather than opting for a touchback. This did pay off in 2020, with almost 92% of the kickoffs being returned, compared to the NFL’s 40%.

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The Rock’s XFL brings a whole batch of new rules to spice up football

This is not the only rule change featured in the XFL. The league also mandates that there will be 3 types of PAT attempts for teams to choose from. A 1-point attempt from 2 yards, a 2-point attempt from 5 yards, or a 3-point attempt from 10 yards. This gives teams a lot more flexibility when it comes to deciding their end-game strategy.

The league even has a modified on-side kick rule. Instead of actually opting to kick the ball, teams can avail a single play in the fourth quarter in order to keep the ball after scoring. The caveat is that the team in question must make 15 yards in that play to keep possession. It definitely adds up as a fun way to keep the opposition from getting back at you. Especially during tight games.

Even with all the different rules, the XFL is proving to be just as entertaining as the NFL. Saturday’s game between the Vipers and the Renegades was a clear example proving this point. What’s more, the NFL and XFL calendars are not going to clash for a very long time. So fans are not going to be forced to choose which one they want to watch. For now, the XFL is well on its way to making an everlasting mark.

Also Read: Calvin Johnson, Who is Playing in the 2023 NBA All-Star Game, Was Once Forced to Pay $1.6 Million by His Own NFL Team

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About the author

Arjun Sukumaran

Arjun Sukumaran

Arjun Sukumaran is a writing consultant for NFL here at the SportsRush. A Mechanical Engineering graduate, his debating stints from his college days have become part and parcel of his life. He loves cheeseburgers, so naturally, he loves the Kansas City Chiefs. And you can definitely count him in the group of people claiming Patrick Mahomes to be the next big thing. When he is not wearing the Kansas Red and Gold, he can be spotted proudly sporting the Red and White of Manchester United, or the iconic Red Bull Blue.

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