What Is The XFL?

What Is The XFL

The XFL is a professional football league that competes during the NFL’s offseason. Compared to traditional NFL gameplay, the XFL aims to provide a more entertaining and fast-paced football experience. Keep reading to learn more about the XFL.

XFL Football

There are eight teams in the XFL, and they each play 10 games per season. The league is divided into the North Division and the South Division; each has four teams. The XFL season begins in mid-February, about a week after the NFL’s Super Bowl, and runs for 10 weeks through the end of April. The postseason begins at the end of April and runs through the second week of May. Broadcasts of XFL games strive to be more exciting than traditional broadcasts, and the XFL pioneered many techniques now used in NFL broadcasts, such as skycams and microphones on players. The XFL is owned by RedBird Capital, an investment group made up of Dwayne Johnson, Dany Garcia, and Gerry Cardinale.

XFL Rule Differences

As a measure to make the game more entertaining for fans, the XFL uses a rulebook that is different from the NFL’s in several significant ways. Compared to a traditional football game, the XFL has different ways of handling the game clock, forward passes, PATs, punting, and overtime.

Here is a list of major XFL rules that are different from those in the NFL:

  • A running game clock is used except for the last two minutes of each half.
  • A 25-second play clock is used, compared to the 40-second play clock in the NFL.
  • Double forward passes are permitted as long as the first pass doesn’t cross the line of scrimmage.
  • Only one foot is required to be in bounds for a legal catch.
  • There are no PAT (points after touchdown) kicks. Instead, teams may attempt to get the ball across the goal line, making a one-point try from the two-yard line, a two-point try from the five-yard line, or a three-point try from the 10-yard line.
  • Gunners are not used in punts, and the punting team cannot cross the line of scrimmage before the ball is punted.
  • Touchback punts are spotted at the 35-yard line.
  • Out-of-bound punts are spotted at the 35-yard line or wherever the ball went out of bounds.
  • During the fourth quarter, the offense has the option to attempt a fourth-and-15 conversion from their own 25-yard line instead of trying an onside kick.
  • In overtime, each offense gets three attempts at a two-point conversion, and the team with the most successful attempts wins.
  • If there is a tie after three overtime rounds, teams continue taking turns making two-point conversion attempts until a winner is determined.
  • The defense cannot score in overtime.

XFL Postseason

The postseason is a four-team single-elimination playoff tournament. The two teams with the best records in each division make the playoffs. The 2023 XFL Championship game will be played on Saturday, May 13 at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.

XFL Players

The players in the XFL are mostly retired NFL players or players that hope to make it into the NFL. Each of the eight teams utilizes a 51-player roster. Although the league has not had a long existence, success in the XFL has already shown to get players noticed by NFL teams. Several XFL players were signed to NFL rosters following their performances in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season.

XFL History

The XFL was started in 1999 in a business partnership between NBC and the World Wrestling Federation (WWF). NBC had lost its NFL broadcast rights and was looking for a football product to fill its spot. The XFL played its first season in 2001 as an eight-league team. Signature features of an XFL broadcast, such as microphones on players and skycams, were already in use for the inaugural season.

Due to the sub-par competition, interest waned after the first season, and the league took a hiatus until 2017 when a documentary renewed interest. Vince McMahon, the owner of the now-WWE, still owned the company and decided to revive the league. The XFL played its second season beginning in February 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic caused the league to cancel the rest of the season after barely a month. 2023 will be the third XFL season, and the first full season in more than 20 years.

XFL Broadcast Partners

The XFL has an exclusive broadcast deal with ESPN and the Walt Disney Company. This means that XFL games are shown on ESPN’s streaming platform and television channels, as well as the television channels ABC and FX. The deal was signed in May of 2022 and runs through 2027.


What does XFL mean in football?

The XFL, short for the Xtreme Football League, is a professional football league meant to be a more entertaining alternative to the NFL. The first season was played in 2001, but the league took a hiatus for nearly 20 years. There are eight teams in the league, and the season starts in mid-February, a week after the NFL’s Super Bowl.

How is XFL different from NFL?

XFL football is different from NFL gameplay because of rule changes involving the game clock, forward passes, punts, PATs, and overtime. Notably, the game clock runs continuously, two forward passes are allowed, there are no PAT kicks, and overtime consists of three rounds of PAT attempts.

How much does an XFL player make?

An XFL player earns a salary of around $60,000 per year. Players make $5,000 per game played, with a $1,000 bonus for every win. The XFL also provides players with a benefits package worth $20,000 per season and free housing plus two meals a day during the season.