The USFL’s first season is approaching kickoff: What you need to know

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The United States Football League starts its inaugural season in just over 24 hours.

The league will have eight teams in two divisions, and the season spans 10 weeks, starting April 16 and ending July 3 with the USFL Championship.

The USFL will be a little different from traditional NFL games fans see during the fall and winter, but will fill a football gap while NFL and college football are in their low seasons.

Read below for everything football fans need to know about the USFL.

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Who are the teams?

The 8 USFL teams to compete in 2022.
(USFL)

The North Division consists of the Michigan Panthers, New Jersey Generals, Philadelphia Stars and Pittsburgh Maulers. The South Division consists of the Birmingham Stallions, Houston Gamblers, New Orleans Breakers and Tampa Bay Bandits.

Who are the coaches?

Jeff Fisher during the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl on January 29, 2022 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.

Jeff Fisher during the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl on January 29, 2022 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.
(Chris Williams / Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The coaching list was completed in January.

Jeff Fisher will coach the Panthers, Larry Fedora will coach the Breakers, Skip Holtz will coach the Stallions, Todd Haley will coach the Bandits, Kirby Wilson will coach the Maulers, Kevin Sumlin will coach the Gamblers, Bart Andrus will coach the Stars and Mike. Riley will train the generals.

Who are some of the top players?

The harvest of USFL talents entering the league has plenty of NFL experience.

Former NFL players include Paxton Lynch, Eli Rogers, Elijah Westbrooks and Donald Payne to name a few. Former XFL stars Jordan Ta’amu and Luis Perez are also in the league.

Click here to read more about the crop of talent.

Are there any new rules to know?

Yes. The USFL wants to add a unique twist to the traditional rules of modern football.

Extra points

Teams that score a touchdown will have three options for extra points. A team could choose to go for one, two or three points after scoring.

For one point, a team could kick a 15-yard field goal. For two points, a team must cross the finish line from the 2-yard line. For three points, a team can try to score from the 10-yard line.

Instant repeat

The USFL says all reruns will take place from the FOX Sports Control Center in Los Angeles. Each coach is allowed a repeat challenge.

“The USFL Replay Command will have the authority to override improper personal misconduct, including roughing the pass, punching defenseless players, face masks, horse collars and more,” the league said in a press release. “The USFL Replay Command will also be responsible for determining whether the pass interference action is manifestly intentional when it takes place 15 yards outside the scrimmage line.”

Kickoffs

The USFL says it is seeking to make kickoffs safer. All kickoffs will be made from the 25-yard line, and no kicking team members may stand further back than the 1-yard line. The receiving team must have at least eight players lined up between its 35- and 45-yard lines.

“After a kickoff raises 20 yards, the first touch must be by the receiving team. If an untouched kick dies, the ball belongs to the receiving team at that spot,” the league says.

Onside kicks or scrimmage games

The Philadelphia Stars and Michigan Panthers are fighting in a match.

The Philadelphia Stars and Michigan Panthers are fighting in a match.
(Ryan Gonzalez / USFL)

To promote more goals, the teams will have two options to potentially keep the ball after scoring. The team could try an onside kick. The second option would be to run a 4th and 12th game from their own 33-yard line. If the team makes a first attempt, it retains ball possession; fails it, then the defense gets the ball.

Over time

Overtime will be a best of three-shot fight. Each offense will attempt to score from the 2-yard line, and each successful play will result in two points. The team with the most points after three games wins. Any subsequent attempt will result in a sudden death if the position is a draw after each team has run three games and the period extends until there is a winner.

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Points

The USFL will prevent the shooter from standing outside the numbers and they can not be blocked double team until the ball is kicked away.

Timing

The clock stops at first downs within two minutes of the second and fourth quarters, in accordance with NCAA rules.

Pass interference

Offensive: “If a pass doesn’t cross the line, there can be no passing interference or unqualified players downfield penalties,” the USFL says.

Defensive: “The penalty for defensive passing interference will reflect the NCAA rule with exceptions. First, a defender who deliberately tackles a receiver beyond 15 yards will be a spot-foul. The penalty will also be a spot-foul if it happens. “15 yards or less. From the scrimmage line or a 15-yard penalty from the scrimmage line if the offense is over 15 yards,” the league said.

Two forward passes

The USFL will allow two forward passes behind the line of scrimmage.

When does the season start?

The first match of the season is Saturday night between Generals and Stallions at. 19:30 ET.

The season ends July 3 with the USFL Championship game. See the full program here.

Where are the regular matches played?

All of its regular season matches during the league’s first season will be played in Birmingham, Alabama, at Protective Stadium and Legion Field.

How much will tickets cost?

General admission for each game is $ 10 with children entering free. Premium regular admission tickets are $ 25. Premium seats for general access are located between the 30-yard lines at the opposite end of the club seat at Protective Stadium.

Times and matchups for games at Legion Field are not fixed.

When does the playoffs start?

Spring football is back.

Spring football is back.
(USFL)

The USFL Finals and Championship will be played at the Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium, which is adjacent to the Pro Football Hall of Fame and holds up to 20,000. It’s the same place the NFL hosts its Hall of Fame game to mark the start of the preseason every year.

The USFL’s four-team playoffs begin on June 25 with the top two teams from the North Division and South Division vying for a place in the championship on July 3.

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How can fans watch?

The first match of the season between Generals and Stallions will be broadcast on FOX and NBC, marking the first time that two competing networks will host the same game since Super Bowl I.

During the season, games will primarily be shown on FOX and FS1. Some games will also be seen on NBC, USA Network and Peacock. Click here for the full schedule.

FOX Sports will carry 22 of the 43 games with 12 sets for FOX and 10 on FS1. NBC will have 21 games with nine on the USA Network, eight on NBC and four on Peacock.

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