New USFL rules: 3-point tries, overtime shootout

New USFL rules: 3-point tries, overtime shootout thumbnail

6: 45 AM ET

  • Associated Press

Three-point conversions, an alternative option for the onside kick and a best-of-three-play shootout in overtime are among the different rules for the revitalized USFL.

The new league released its rules Wednesday, explaining several twists to the traditional rules in the NFL and college football.

Scoring teams have a third option to attempt an extra point. A successful scrimmage play from the 10-yard line equals three points.

A second option to retain possession after scoring will be converting a fourth-and-12 from a team’s 33.

In overtime, each team’s offense will alternate plays against the opposing defense from the 2. Each score will be awarded two points for each successful attempt. The team with three or more points wins. If the score is tied after three plays, each team will win. The overtime period will continue until a winner has been declared.

Other distinctive rules:

Two forward passes from behind the line of scrimmage are legal.

Each coach will be allowed one replay challenge. All replay decisions will be made by the USFL Replay Command at Fox Sports Control Center Los Angeles.

All kickoffs will be from the 25. No kicking team member may line up any further back than 1 yard, while the receiving team must have at least eight players in the setup zone between their 35 and 45. After a kickoff travels 20 yards, the first touch must be by the receiving team. If an untouched kick is dead, the ball will be returned to the receiving team.

On punts, gunners may not line up outside the numbers and they cannot be double-team blocked until the ball is kicked.

The clock will stop for first downs inside 2 minutes of the second and fourth quarters.

The penalty for defensive pass interference will mirror the NCAA rule with exceptions. First, a defender intentionally tackling a receiver beyond 15 yards would become a spot foul. The penalty will be a spot foul if it occurs 15 yards or less from the line of scrimmage or a 15-yard penalty from the line of scrimmage if the spot of the foul is beyond 15 yards.

If a pass does not cross the line of scrimmage, there can be no pass interference or ineligible player downfield penalties.

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