2022 USFL Rules: Overtime changes, 3-point conversions, forward passes and more

Here are the 2022 USFL Rules ahead of the season kickoff on April 16.
Getty Images
0 Comments

The 2022 United States Football League season officially begins on Saturday, April 16 with a match-up between the New Jersey Generals and the Birmingham Stallions at 7:30 p.m. ET on NBC and Peacock. While most of the league’s rules are in line with the traditional game of football that we’re used to watching at the collegiate and professional level, the USFL will be incorporating a few unconventional rule changes to bring even more excitement to the game. See below for the 2022 USFL rules and how they differ from the NFL.

RELATED: Everything you need to know about the 2022 USFL Season – Teams, key dates, TV schedule, how to watch, and more

2022 USFL Rules:

Extra Points:

After scoring, teams will have the option of attempting a 1-point kick from the 15-yard line, a 2-point scrimmage play from the 2-yard line, or a 3-point scrimmage play from the 10-yard line.

  • Once the team has declared their choice they cannot change their extra point option (timeouts or penalties won’t allow changes).
  • If a touchdown is scored on a 1 or 2-point try by either team, 2 points are awarded.
  • If Team A scores a touchdown on a 3-point try, then 3 points are awarded; if Team B scores a touchdown on a 3-point try, then 2 points are awarded.

Onside Kick vs Scrimmage Play:

Teams will have two options to keep the ball after scoring:

  • An onside kick from the 25-yard line.
  • Running a 4th-and-12 play from their own 33-yard line. If a team makes a first down, it keeps the ball; if it fails, the defense gets the ball.

Kickoffs/Punts:

All kickoffs must be made from the 25-yard line:

  • No kicking team member may line up any further back than one yard. The receiving team must have a minimum of eight players in the set-up zone between their 35- and 45-yard lines
  • After a kickoff travels 20 yards, the first touch must be by the receiving team. If untouched, the kick becomes dead, and the ball belongs to the receiving team at that spot.
  • For punts, gunners may not line up outside the numbers and can’t be double-team blocked until the ball is kicked.

Game Timing:

  • Play clock: 35 seconds (25 for administrative stops)
  • The game clock stops for first downs inside the final two minutes of the second and fourth quarters.

Replays:

Each coach gets one replay challenge.

  • The replay crew can overrule incorrect personal foul calls (roughing the passer, hits on defenseless players, facemasks, horse collars, etc.). They will also be responsible for determining whether the act of pass interference is obviously intentional when it occurs 15 yards beyond the line of scrimmage.

Overtime:

Overtime will be a shootout:

  • Each team alternates 1-play possessions from the 2-yard line (each score is worth 2 points).
  • Each team gets up to 3 plays, the team that scores the most points wins.
    • If Team A scores on the first 2 plays and Team B doesn’t score (4-0), the game is over.
    • If the game remains tied after each team runs 3 plays, overtime continues under sudden death.\

Forward Passes: 

  • Teams are allowed to throw two forward passes from behind the line of scrimmage.

Penalties:

  • Defensive pass interference: A defender intentionally tackling a receiver beyond 15 yards becomes a spot foul.
    • Also, the penalty is 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.
  • Offensive pass interference: If a pass doesn’t cross the line of scrimmage, there are no pass interference or ineligible player downfield penalties.

RELATED: 2022 USFL TV Schedule: Dates and times for the 10-week inaugural football season


2022 USFL TV Schedule:

(*Times are subject to change)

Week 1 (April 16-17): 

  • New Jersey Generals at Birmingham Stallions, 7:30 p.m. ET, April 16 on NBC, Peacock, and Fox
  • Houston Gamblers at Michigan Panthers, 12:00 p.m. ET April 17 on NBC and Peacock
  • Philadelphia Stars vs. New Orleans Breakers, 4:00 p.m. ET April 17 on USA Network
  • Tampa Bay Bandits at Pittsburgh Maulers, 8:00 p.m. ET April 17 on FS1

Week 2 (April 22-24): 

  • Michigan Panthers at New Jersey Generals, 8:00 p.m. ET April 22 on USA Network
  • Pittsburgh Maulers at Philadelphia Stars, 12:00 p.m. ET April 23 on Fox
  • Birmingham Stallions at Houston Gamblers, 7:00 p.m. ET April 23 on FS1
  • New Orleans Breakers at Tampa Bay Bandits, 3:00 p.m. ET April 24 on NBC and Peacock

Week 3 (April 30-May 1)

  • Pittsburgh Maulers at Michigan Panthers, 4:00 p.m. ET April 30 on Fox
  • Tampa Bay Bandits at Houston Gamblers, 8:00 p.m. ET April 30 on Fox
  • Birmingham Stallions at New Orleans Breakers, 2:30 p.m. ET, May 1 on USA Network
  • New Jersey Generals at Philadelphia Stars, 8:00 p.m. ET, May 1 on Peacock

Week 4 (May 6-8): 

  • New Jersey Generals at Pittsburgh Maulers
  • Houston Gamblers at New Orleans Breakers
  • Philadelphia Stars at Michigan Panthers
  • Tampa Bay Bandits at Birmingham Stallions

Week 5 (May 13-15): 

  • Birmingham Stallions at Philadelphia Stars
  • Michigan Panthers at Tampa Bay Bandits
  • New Orleans Breakers at New Jersey Generals
  • Pittsburgh Maulers at Houston Gamblers

Week 6 (May 21-22): 

  • Houston Gamblers at New Jersey Generals
  • Michigan Panthers at Birmingham Stallions
  • Pittsburgh Maulers at New Orleans Breakers
  • Tampa Bay Bandits at Philadelphia Stars

Week 7 (May 28-29): 

  • Birmingham Stallions at Pittsburgh Maulers
  • New Jersey Generals at Tampa Bay Bandits
  • New Orleans Breakers at Michigan Panthers
  • Philadelphia Stars at Houston Gamblers

Week 8 (June 3-5): 

  • Houston Gamblers at Tampa Bay Bandits
  • Michigan Panthers at Philadelphia Stars
  • New Orleans Breakers at Birmingham Stallions
  • Pittsburgh Maulers at New Jersey Generals

Week 9 (June 11-12): 

  • Houston Gamblers at Birmingham Stallions
  • New Jersey Generals at Michigan Panthers
  • Philadelphia Stars at Pittsburgh Maulers
  • Tampa Bay Bandits at New Orleans Breakers

Week 10 (June 18-19): 

  • Birmingham Stallions at Tampa Bay Bandits
  • Michigan Panthers at Pittsburgh Maulers
  • New Orleans Breakers at Houston Gamblers
  • Philadelphia Stars at New Jersey Generals

Playoffs – Saturday, June 25

  • Teams TBD
  • Teams TBD

Championship Game – Sunday, July 3

  • Teams TBD

RELATED: Alex McGough leads Birmingham Stallions into the new USFL