USFL Unveils New Rule Changes For Inaugural 2022 Season

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The USFL officially announced an innovative set of rules for the inaugural 2022 season Wednesday, designed to put an emphasis on offense and create a game flow that allows teams to have more opportunities to score as time winds down.

Mike Pereira, USFL Head of Officiating, said that the new rules are designed to keep fans more engaged and entertained.

“Fans are the USFL’s top priority, so our rules are designed to give fans the traditional physical play they know and love while adding some modern fast-paced elements,” Pereira said, via Fox Sports. “The overwhelming majority of rules that govern gameplay in the USFL are standard at the professional or collegiate level.

“But we are incorporating a few unconventional ideas that we’re convinced will add offense, alter some coaching decisions and strategy for the better, and make it easier to get major penalty calls correct. Collectively, these changes will be good for the game of football and keep fans more engaged and entertained.”

Here are the notable rule changes for the inaugural 2022 USFL season:

Extra Points

When teams in the USFL score a touchdown, they will have three options to consider:

  • One point for successfully making a kick with the ball snapped from the 15-yard line.
  • Two points for successfully crossing the goal line on a scrimmage play from the two-yard line.
  • Three points for successfully crossing the goal line on a scrimmage play from the 10-yard line.

Onside Kicks

Upon scoring, teams will have two options in attempting to retain possession:

  • Successfully recover a traditional onside kick attempt from the 25-yard line.
  • Attempt a 4th-and-12 play from their own 33-yard line. If the team gets a first down, they retain possession from that spot. If they’re unsuccessful in their attempt, the opposing team gets the ball wherever the offense is downed.


When games are knotted up at the end of regulation, the USFL’s overtime period will be a shootout in which each team’s offense will alternate plays from the opposing team’s two-yard line. Each offense will run a total of three plays, with each successful scoring attempt receiving two points. The team with the most points once both teams run three plays each will be declared the winner.

In the event of a tie after each team has run three plays each, the subsequent attempts will be sudden death until a winner is declared.

Two Forward Passes

Perhaps the most innovative rule of them all is the addition of the two forward pass rule. Offenses will have the option to throw two passes from behind the line of scrimmage.

The New Jersey Generals and Birmingham Stallions will be the first two teams to test out the new rules, set to kickoff at 7:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, April 16 in the first game of the season from Protective Stadium in Birmingham, Alabama.

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Written by Nick Geddes

Nick Geddes is a 2021 graduate of the University of Central Florida with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism. A life-long sports enthusiast, Nick shares a passion for sports writing and is proud to represent OutKick.

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