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New Pro Bowl competitions include water balloon toss, Kick-Tac-Toe

Jan 27, 2019; Orlando, FL, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) runs with the ball during the second half of the NFL Pro Bowl football game at Camping World Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Football purists insisted on changes to the annual NFL all-star game, and the 2023 Pro Bowl sets up as anything but traditional.

The Pro Bowl Games are scheduled to be staged over two days in Las Vegas as a two-team skills competition that ends with a flag football game only after water balloon toss, kick-tac-toe and dodgeball contests in the preliminary rounds.

AFC Pro Bowl players coached by Peyton Manning and NFC players at the direction of Eli Manning will participate in live challenges aired on ESPN on Thursday, Feb. 2, and Sunday, Feb. 5. Events are held at the Raiders’ practice facility and home stadium, Allegiant Stadium.

The finale of the Pro Bowl Games will be “seven-on-seven flag football games between the league’s best players, the culmination of The Pro Bowl Games skills events and a major musical performance,” the NFL said Wednesday in a release.

Thursday events include a multi-round dodgeball tournament — AFC offense vs. AFC defense, with the winner playing the NFC offense-vs.-defense winner — and a water balloon toss. In the second round of the water balloon games, “remaining players from each conference will aim at targets attached to a bucket hanging above the head of an opposing conference’s coach,” the league said.

Precision passing, longest golf drive and a catch competition following the format of the NBA Slam Dunk Competition are also listed as Thursday events.

The Sunday finale includes a throwback event now named “Gridiron Gauntlet” in which the teams perform a relay race that includes a 40-yard sprint, climbing over breakaway walls and under tables, a tire run and a blocking sled before carrying a coach across the finish line.

Specialists get their chance on Sunday, too. “Kick Tac Toe” features the NFC kicker, punter and long snapper and their AFC counterparts in a giant Tic-Tac-Toe competition.

And after two flag football games, the third and final flag game determines the winning conference in the inaugural Pro Bowl Games.

–Field Level Media