Through three weeks the USFL is off to a hot start. Entering their fourth week of action, the upstart league plans to ride out the hot streak, implementing a rule change to help speed games along. The move is being made in an effort to please their growing fan base.
Beginning this week, the USFL will use a running clock after each incomplete pass during the first and third quarters. The goal is to keep the length of games under three hours. For context, the average length of an NFL game during the 2021-22 season was three hours and 12 minutes.
Per a tweet sent from the league: “In order to maximize fan enjoyment and keep games under 3 hours, during the 1st and 3rd quarters we’re moving to a running clock after an incomplete pass.”
Mike Pereira, the league’s head of officiating had this to say: “We’re pleased with the total number of plays being run in our games, but to maximize fan enjoyment, we’re also striving to keep the games under three hours.”
RULES UPDATE: In order to maximize fan enjoyment and keep games under 3 hours, during the 1st and 3rd quarters we're moving to a running clock after an incomplete pass.
— USFL (@USFL) May 5, 2022
Pereira envisions the change as something that will create even more excitement amongst the league’s fan base. “We’re moving to a running clock after an incomplete pass, but ONLY in the first and third quarters, said Pereira. “We believe this change will achieve the desired game length, while still providing the number of plays you’ve come to expect in a professional football game.”
Though USFL games have hovered above the three hour mark, it hasn’t deterred fans from watching. As OutKick’s Sam Amico detailed earlier this week, the league’s ratings saw a Week Three increase despite going toe-to-toe with last weekend’s NFL Draft.
Week Four action kicks off this evening with Jeff Fisher’s Michigan Panthers playing host to the Philadelphia Stars at 10 pm EST.
Follow along on Twitter: @OhioAF