How rules differ from NFL, including shootout OT format

How rules differ from NFL, including shootout OT format


The ending of Sunday’s wild-card game between the Minnesota Vikings and New Orleans Saints prompted another wave of criticism for the NFL’s overtime rules, which allowed the Vikings to win without New Orleans even touching the ball. 

Roughly 48 hours later, the XFL unveiled an alternative idea as part of its official rules.

The rules for startup league, which will kick off next month, will include several departures from how the game is played in the NFL. Among the most significant changes is a shootout-style overtime procedure, with teams getting up to five one-play possessions from the 5-yard line worth two points each. The teams will alternate plays until one team is mathematically eliminated.

XFL commissioner Oliver Luck said the intent of the rule is to create a fast, exciting overtime period while also allowing offensive and defensive players on both teams to play a role in the final outcome.

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The XFL logo.

“We think it makes sense, because you’ve got the players on the field deciding overtime that were the players on the field through the course of regulation deciding the fact that overtime was necessary,” Luck told USA TODAY Sports on Tuesday morning. 

“We think people will like it, based on the feedback that we’ve gotten from focus groups — and just sort of the general excitement around a hockey shootout, which is different but somewhat similar. Or a soccer shootout.”


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