I’ll admit it, I am intrigued:
NO EXTRA POINT KICKS
Teams can go for one point from the 2-yard line, two points from the 5-yard line or three points from the 10-yard line. That means a team could score a nine-points in one possession. These three different scoring options will make a regulation tie a lot less likely. The options will create a fascinating wrinkle in coaching strategy. It’s likely that two-point conversions will be most common, but after a defensive touchdown, why not go for three?
SAFER KICKOFFS AND PUNTS
Two other game play innovations involved the kicking game: Kickoffs have been altered to make them safer so players aren’t hitting each other at full-speed. The kicker will kick off from the 30-yard line, 5 yards farther back than in the NFL, as a way to limit touchbacks. Most players will line up across from each other between the other 30- and 35-yard line and cannot move until the returner catches the ball.
The XFL made some changes to disincentivize punting, in the hopes of encouraging more teams to go for it on fourth down. Balls that are punted into the end zone or out of bounds will be marked at the 35-yard line, as opposed to the 20 in the NFL. The XFL is calling that a “major touchback.” If a team does punt, it will be more difficult to cover. No player on the punt team can run downfield until the ball is kicked, which will give returners more space to work with.
It looks as if the XFL is making a serious attempt to improve the game of football rather than simply imitate the NFL. That doesn’t mean it will be successful, of course, but it does suggest that it may be worth watching. I really like the extra point(s) option. That’s an indication of good game design.