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USFL reveals plans for overtime shootouts ahead of April 16 league relaunch

Jason Burgos

In a continued move to make the USFL relaunch a memorable and entertaining undertaking, the reborn league has announced the addition of an overtime shootout to its upcoming season of games.

Last summer it was revealed that the 1980s NFL competitor would be returning to action this spring. With Fox Sports owning minority equity in the league and broadcasting their slate of games, they would bring April football back to gridiron fans starved from the NFL and NCAA seasons being in the midst of their yearly hiatus.

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In November, the league then announced their first eight teams. The original eight would include franchises in several major cities, like the Houston Gamblers and Philadelphia Stars, as well as in super small markets known more for minor league baseball, in the Birmingham Stallions.

USFL bringing overtime shootout to their relaunched league

Now, the league has revealed the latest step in their build towards the start of their first season since 1985, with the inclusion of a two-point overtime shootout for their slate of games that begin on April 16. Under their format, instead of following the traditions of the NFL and beginning overtime periods with a kickoff and a field position battle, USFL teams will battle it out to see who can score the most points in three tries.

The USFL’s two-point overtime shootout format will consist of each team’s offense alternating plays against the opposing defense from the 2-yard line. Each successful score will receive two points. The team with the most points after three plays wins. The following attempts become sudden death if the score is tied after each team runs their trio of plays. The overtime period will extend until a winner is declared.

The USFL will attempt to try and reinvigorate the idea of spring football after the Alliance of American Football (AAF) went belly up during their inaugural season in 2019, and XFL went under, despite early success, due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.