Breaking down the new league

XFL to feature unique set of rules

The rules for XFL are intended to make the game more exciting for us as fans to watch and safer for the players on the field. As you'll see, they are set up to make this league an offense heavy league. Be prepared for a fast-paced game, speedy players and some exhausted defenses. For the full list of rules, you can check out the XFL homepage. I'll list a few of the main ones below.

The season opens for the Houston Roughnecks on Saturday at TDECU Stadium. Here is what you can expect:

PUNT

The most talked about rule that the XFL has is the kickoff/punt rule. How is this better for us at home? Less commercial time! No, but really… Players are not allowed to leave the line of scrimmage during a punt until after the kick. Out of bounds or kicks that end up in the end zone will be marked at 35yd line or the spot the ball went out of bounds at. This would essentially lead to more excitement, better known as… GOING FOR IT ON FOURTH DOWN.

DOUBLE FORWARD PASSING

This rule is one of my personal favorites that the XFL has tweaked. It's pretty self-explanatory. If your team completes a forward pass behind the line of scrimmage, they may attempt a second forward pass. Of course, the ball cannot cross the line of scrimmage. Hi, insert trick plays here.

POINTS

After a touchdown, the team has three options. A potential 1 point from the 2yd line, 2 points from the 5yd line or a ballsy 3 points from the 10yd line. The best part? No kicking an extra point. Are you having fun yet?

TOE DRAG SWAG

We can kiss this goodbye. The XFL is taking us back to college ball. Players only have to have one foot in bounds. This league should really be fun, especially for Saints fans… less ways for officials to "mess up."

TIME

XFL's play clock has 24 seconds versus the 40 seconds we're used to in the NFL. The pressure to call plays will be more intense. I can name a few NFL coaches/players who would not succeed in this league but that's unimportant. Each team's timeouts will be limited to 2 one minute timeouts per half making that 1 less than NFL and college. Halftime will also be shortened to 10 minutes versus the NFL's 12 minutes. These small changes affect the game more than you think. This gives you, as fans, more actual field action.

OVERTIME

This one is a little more confusing. Probably because we've never seen this in football. There will be five rounds. Yes, rounds… Teams will alternate single play possessions. Each round will display one offensive play per team. Possessions will start at the opposing teams 5yd line. The offense will have one shot to score. You guessed it, the guys with the most points after all five rounds win. Simple, right? Eh… I highly suggest reading more on the team's website.

For the full list and explanations of the new rules you can visit the XFL's homepage