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USFL FAQ: From start date to ownership

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For anyone who enjoys the sport, aside from the NFL, there’s a natural interest in alternative forms of football, from Spring League football, the United States Football League (USFL), or maybe even flag football. With the USFL’s debut right around the corner, many interested spectators have lots of questions about various aspects of the revived football league. This FAQ was put together to provide some answers.

What is the USFL?

The USFL was originally founded in 1982 and enjoyed three seasons before dismantling in 1986. Basically, it’s an American football league that plays during the spring and summer when the NFL is on its rest period.

After 36 years off, the USFL came back to life in full form in 2022, and plenty of fans are thrilled about its return.

What are the USFL rules?

For the most part, many of the same NFL rules apply in the USFL, but there are a few unique changes that could eventually be implemented in some form in the National Football League if there’s success on this level.

Some notable differences between the USFL and NFL are:

  • Three different options for a point-after attempt after scoring a touchdown
    • One point for a successful kick snapped from the 15-yard line
    • Two points for a successful scrimmage play from the 2-yard line
    • Three points for a successful scrimmage play from the 10-yard line
  • Two forward passes are allowed behind the line of scrimmage
  • Clocks stop after every first down under two minutes in each half
  • Overtime will consist of a three-play shootout, beginning at the 2-yard line
  • Onside kick alternative
    • While onside kicks are still allowed, teams will also have the option to go for it on 4th-and-12 from the 33-yard-line

Related: USFL rules tweaks: 3-point XP tries, OT shootouts

How many teams are in the USFL?

North Division

  • Michigan Panthers
  • New Jersey Generals
  • Philadelphia Stars
  • Pittsburgh Maulers

South Division

  • Birmingham Stallions
  • Houston Gamblers
  • Memphis Showboats
  • New Orleans Breakers

Who owns the USFL?

The USFL is owned by Fox Sports, which helps promote the visibility of the brand, ensuring each game can be televised nationally. The sports network has reportedly committed somewhere between $150-$200 million over its first three years of operating, with plans to chip in an additional $50 million.

How do the USFL uniforms look?

Here’s a quick video breaking down what each USFL team’s jerseys and uniforms will look like for the 2023 football season, with the second video showing the Memphis Showboats, who replaced the Tampa Bay Bandits.


When is the USFL draft?

The USFL draft took place on Feb. 22-23, when quarterback Shea Patterson went No. 1 overall to the Michigan Panthers. Each team will carry a total of 38 players on their roster, in addition to a seven-player practice squad. Another USFL draft took place on Feb. 21. This draft was to incorporate players who are now done with their college careers and maybe don’t like their chances to get drafted to the NFL.

How much do USFL players make?

While it may not quite live up to anything close to NFL standards, USFL players can still earn a living playing a game they love.

Each active player on the roster will earn $45,000, with practice squad members earning $15,000, including a $600 weekly training camp bonus.

To go with their set salaries, players can earn an additional $850 per win plus $10,000 for winning the USFL Championship.

In addition to their salaries, all USFL players and coaches are eligible for a “tuition-free and debt-free” college degree through a partnership with Strategic Education’s Capella University and Strayer University.

Related: Highest paid NFL players in 2023: Xavien Howard, Stefon Diggs among richest athletes

Who coaches the USFL teams?

  • Skip Holtz- Birmingham Stallions
  • Curtis Johnson – Houston Gamblers
  • Mike Nolan – Michigan Panthers
  • Todd Haley – Memphis Showboats
  • Mike Riley – New Jersey Generals
  • John DeFilippo – New Orleans Breakers
  • Bart Andrus – Philadelphia Stars
  • Ray Horton – Pittsburgh Maulers

When does the USFL start?

The first week of the USFL kicked off Saturday, April 15.

Including the playoffs, the USFL will go until July 1, 2023, when the USFL Championship Game wraps up the season. The Birmingham Stallions took home the trophy, beating the Philadelphia Stars 33-30 in 2022.

Related: USFL games today: 2023 schedule, how to watch, odds, and more

Where are USFL games played?

During the regular season, all USFL games are to be played in Birmingham, Alabama, either at Protective Stadium or Legion Field. Postseason games head to Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium, located in Canton, Ohio.

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