The XFL returned in 2020 after a 19-year hiatus but ended up having to file for bankruptcy. One good thing about the XFL though is the league has come back from things like this before so it is possible they could do it again. If the league does return, we’re here to provide you with everything you could want to know about the XFL. Below you’ll find details on every aspect of the football league from gameplay to betting on the XFL.
What Is the XFL?The XFL is a professional football league held during the spring. It begins right after the Super Bowl and lasts until mid-April. The league consists of eight teams, which are all owned and operated by the XFL.
Is This the Same League as Before?The second edition of the XFL uses the same name and trademarks as before, but it’s created with a more professional structure than the sports entertainment model used in 2001.
What Happened to the First XFL?The first XFL league lasted for only one season. From the poor ratings and scandalous storylines, to inferior talent and low attendance numbers, the league crashed and burned. Both NBC and Vince McMahon lost tens of millions of dollars in that venture.
Who Owns This League?Just like in 2001, the 2020 version of the XFL is owned by pro wrestling billionaire Vince McMahon. The entire league is funded by McMahon, as he reportedly sold off enough WWE stock to invest $500 million into the XFL.
Will It Last Longer Than the First XFL?Odds are were that this league will last for more than one season but with them filing for bankruptcy, this is definitely in question.
How Many Teams Are in the XFL?As mentioned above, the league has eight teams with four in each conference.
- DC Defenders
- New York Guardians
- St. Louis BattleHawks
- Tampa Bay Vipers
- Dallas Renegades
- Houston Roughnecks
- Los Angeles Wildcats
- Seattle Dragons
How Many Games Are in a Season?The regular season consists of 10 weeks, which means that each team will play 10 games apiece. All games are played on Saturdays and Sundays.
Is There a Postseason in the XFL?Following the 10-week XFL season, there would be a two-week postseason. The first week features the conference title games, as the top two teams in each conference play for the right to advance to the XFL Championship game. The conference champions would then face off for the title.
Are There Any Former NFL Players?The XFL did a solid job in balancing out each team with former NFL players. Most of the attention is given to the former NFL quarterbacks like Landry Jones, Cardale Jones, and Josh Johnson. But the XFL has numerous former high-round NFL Draft picks and recognizable names.
It’s led to an on-field product where fans in the stadiums and at home can really enjoy the games due to impressive athleticism, competitiveness, and strong execution.
How Much Do XFL Players Make?On average, an XFL player makes roughly $55,000 for the season. However, star players like the QBs mentioned above can make up to $500,000.
Will the XFL Prevent Players Going to the NFL?In short, the answer is no. The XFL wants to attract top unsigned talent in order to create a solid product. To accomplish that, they can’t prevent players from going to the NFL if a team wanted to sign them. The XFL is contract-friendly in this regard. There has already been multiple XFL players that have signed to NFL contracts.
What Stations Are the XFL Games Broadcasted On?The XFL is televised on ABC, ESPN and FOX. Additionally, games will also be featured on substations for these networks like ESPN2, FS1, and FS2.
Are There Any Differences in an XFL Broadcast Compared to NFL Broadcasts?One of the most exciting aspects about the XFL is their television broadcast. Like with the NFL and NCAAF, broadcasts feature a two-man booth to call the game and sideline reporters to cover more in-game action or provide updates on injuries.
However, the XFL’s sideline coverage is more in-depth, as they talk to players after big plays or big mistakes. Additionally, they will talk to coaches after successful plays, mistakes, penalties, scores, and also ask them about specific decisions they made.
Fans at home can hear the communication between coaches and players, as the live broadcasts give fans access to these exchanges. But that’s not all. Fans at home will also get access to instant replay booths and hear the officials discussing the play.
It’s a transparent process that networks and XFL fans are really enjoying.
Are XFL Games Shorter Than the NFL?Prior to the first games being played, the XFL stated that one of their objectives was to make the game quicker. So, they created a 25-second play clock instead of the 40-second play clock that the NFL uses. Other areas where the XFL speeds things up are:
- Only a 10-minute halftime.
- Clock continues to run except for final two minutes of each half.
- Each team only gets two timeouts per half.
Currently, the XFL games are on average taking about two hours and 50 minutes, which is at least 15 minutes less than an average NFL game. The league is hoping to get this time reduced more.
What Is the XFL’s 'Team 9?'This is perhaps, one of the best ideas the XFL has implemented. Team 9 is a roster of roughly 40 players that practice and train as if they’re a part of the league as a real team. The goal is to keep these players in game shape so they can be called up to fill an empty spot on any of the eight teams’ rosters.
For example, if a player on Houston or Tampa Bay gets hurt and is out for a significant amount of time, those teams can call up a player from Team 9.
Team 9 will always keep their roster stocked at 40 players even after a member of the team is called up to one of the eight main rosters.
Team 9 shares facilities with the Dallas Renegades and are also being used to test new XFL technology, equipment, and physiological testing.
What Does the Future Hold for the XFL?Unfortunately, the future of the XFL remains in question. Less than a month after the canceling of the season, the company that owned the XFL filed for bankruptcy and laid off the entire staff.
XFL Rule Changes
Has the XFL Changed the Way Kickoffs Are Executed?
The XFL has radically changed the way kickoffs are being executed and it has been a huge success. The kicker lines up on his 30-yard line, while the coverage team lines up on the receiving team’s 35-yard line. The receiving team will line up on their 30-yard line, five yards from the kicking team.
Only the kicker and the returner can move. The rest of the players have to wait until the ball is caught. The ball has to be kicked to at least the 20-yard line. If it fails to go that far, or goes out of bounds, then it will be a penalty and the receiving team gets the ball at the kicking team’s 45-yard line.
If the ball goes into the endzone, then it’s brought out at the receiving team’s 35-yard line. If it’s downed in the endzone, then it comes out to the 15-yard line.
These changes have been a hit with fans and have resulted in at least 90% of the kickoffs being returned. The NFL had a 34% return rate for kickoffs during the 2019 season and have considered doing away with this play altogether.
The XFL’s kickoff changes have created a buzz with the NFL and college football, as each sport considers implementing changes of their own.
Does the XFL Have Different Scoring Than the NFL?
The XFL has the standard six-point touchdowns and three-point field goal scoring. Where they differ from the NFL and college football is with the point after touchdown conversions.
The NFL allows for an extra point kick or a two-point conversion. The XFL has done away with the extra point kick and offers the following options instead:
- A one-point conversion from the two-yard line
- A two-point conversion from the five-yard line
- A three-point conversion from the 10-yard line
These point after touchdown options have changed the way teams approach scoring. Teams can potentially get nine points from a touchdown and three-point conversion, which means they’re not as far out of a game as they would be in the NFL.
Do They Really Allow Two Forward Passes?
Although it hasn’t been used as much as some fans would like, the XFL allows offenses to complete two forward passes on a play. The NFL and NCAAF only allow one forward pass. Offenses can throw two forward passes only if both passes are behind the line of scrimmage.
How Does the XFL Do Overtime?
The XFL has adopted a “shootout” style for their overtime periods. Each team will have five rounds to try and score points. A round consists of one play for each offense to score from the opponent’s five-yard line.
The team that scores the most points in five rounds will win the game. If the teams are tied after five rounds, then they’ll keep going one round at a time until one team has more points.
Defenses can’t score in OT. If there’s a defensive penalty on a play, then the offense will get the ball at the opponent’s one-yard line. If a defense commits a penalty again, then the offense automatically gets credited with a score.
As of now, the XFL is still waiting for their first OT game.
Are There Any Other Exciting Differences Between the XFL and NFL?
In addition to the changes mentioned above, there are other modifications that the XFL has made to the NFL game:
- Players only need one foot in bounds to complete a catch or interception.
- Replay officials are always looking at plays even without challenges from coaches.
- One official is dedicated to spotting the ball after every play.
- Coaches can talk to most skilled players on both sides of the ball, not just a QB or linebacker like in the NFL.
- There are simplified rules like illegal man downfield and when to leave on a punt.
- Each team has their own football with their logo on it for in-game action.
Can I Bet on the XFL?Betting on the XFL is not only allowed, but it’s also becoming a popular event to wager on. XFL betting sites release odds every week for games just like the NFL and college football betting sites do. As long as you have an account with one of these online betting sites, you will be able to wager on any XFL game.
What Types of XFL Wagers Are There?XFL betting websites offer the same types of wagers that are often available for the NFL and college football. See the following list of XFL bets.
- Moneylines – These wagers involve picking which team will win outright. Odds are set according to which team is the favorite and which team is the underdog.
- Spreads – This wager requires a team to cover a specified amount of points, either to win by more than the spread total or to not lose by more than the spread total.
- Point Totals – It’s the combined number of points scored by both teams. You can choose to wager on the teams scoring more or less than the listed total.
- Future – This XFL wager has to do with future events, like which team will win the XFL Championship. Betting sites will list odds for this future event all season long.
- Prop Bets – These wagers involve in-game occurrences and not scores or the outcome of a game. Popular examples of XFL prop bets are a QB’s passing yards in a game or how many field goals are kicked in a game.
Does the XFL Embrace Sports Betting?The XFL absolutely embraces sports betting. They have deals with various sports betting entities and feature a healthy dialogue about sports wagering throughout their broadcasts.
From prop bets to traditional betting lines, the XFL is blazing a trail in how other professional sports leagues can feature sports betting and make it an acceptable part of the game.