If the USFL didn't have some rules differences from the NFL, would it be considered a professional spring football league?
Because it does, it can, and perhaps the most noticeable differences will come after touchdowns and in overtime.
A USFL team can start an additional point with the line of scrimmage at the 15 or try for a 2-point conversion with the line of scrimmage at the 2. These are the same options that NFL teams have.
The USFL is offering a third option. After the touchdown, the scoring team can spot the football at the 10 and try to reach the end zone from there for three points. That means a team with a nine-point lead might be tied by its opponent in a single possession.
Last month, NFL owners decided to modify the overtime process once more, but the USFL has overtime regulations that contrast the NFL's old or new OT approach.
If the game is tied at the end of the fourth quarter, teams will alternate snapping the football from the 2-yard line for three rounds. Each successful conversion is worth two points. If the teams remain tied after three rounds, the winner is the winner. The 2-point attempts will continue on a sudden-death basis, with the first team to score winning.
Were combining unconventional concepts to create what they know and love, while also improving some of the modern fast-paced games, says the USFL's officiating. Were certain to include offense, modify some coaching decisions and strategies for the better, and keep supporters engaged and entertained.
The United StatesFL is undergoing other significant rule differences, including one:
A team will have the option of attempting a traditional onside kick from its 25-yard line, the kickoff spot in the USFL. (In the NFL, kickoffs come from the kicking team's 35-yard line.) Or a team may have its offense snap the football in a fourth-and-12 situation at its 33-yard line. Moreover, if the offense does not gain 12 yards, the opponent takes possession wherever the offense was stopped.
When the first of these passes is completed to a receiver who has been placed on the line of scrimmage, the rule against having two forward passes on one play will not apply.
The defensive pass-interference penalty will follow the college standard, not the NFL rule, with an exception. Defensive pass interference will be a spot foul if it occurs within 15 yards of the line of scrimmage. In the NFL, which turns off defensive pass-interference penalties as spot fouls, long passes may result in long mark-offs. And in the USFL, the defender may be accessed as a spot foul.
Once a kickoff has traveled at least 20 yards, it is not a live ball in the field of play as it would be in college and NFL. After 20 yards, the first touch of the football must be made by the receiving team. If the receiving team does not touch it, it will be put into play wherever it comes to the end.
This weekend, the USFL will kick off its first season with four games, all at Birmingham's Protective Stadium.
The New Jersey Generals and the Birmingham Stallions will clash at 6:30 p.m. CDT Saturday. FOX and NBC will televise the game.
On Sunday, the games include the Houston Gamblers and the Minnesota Panthers at 11 a.m. on NBC and Peacock, and the Philadelphia Stars and New Orleans Breakers at 3 p.m. on USA and Tampa Bay Bandits, and the Pittsburgh Maulers at 7 p.m. on Fox Sports 1.
Mark Inabinett is a sports reporter for the Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter at.