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The Major League Soccer will begin its inaugural season in just over 24 hours.
The league will consist of eight teams in two divisions, and the season spans 10 weeks starting on April 16 and ending on July 3 with the USFL Championship.
The USFL will be a little different from the traditional NFL games that fans of NFL games see during the fall and winter, but it will fill a void in football while the NFL and college football are out of season.
Read below to find out everything football fans need to know about the NFL.
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Who is the difference?
The Northern Division consists of Michigan Panthers, New Jersey Generals, Philadelphia Stars, and Pittsburgh Mullers. The southern section consists of Birmingham Stallions, Houston Gamblers, New Orleans Breakers, and Tampa Bay Bandits.
Who are the coaches?
The training roster was completed in January.
Jeff Fisher will coach the Panthers, Larry Fedora will coach the Breakers, Skip Holtz will coach the stallions, Todd Haley will coach the Thieves, Kirby Wilson will coach the Maulers, Kevin Sumlin will coach the Gamblers, Bart Andros will coach the Stars and Mike Riley will coach the Generals.
Who are some of the best players?
The crop of USFL talent entering the league has plenty of NFL experience.
Former NFL players include Paxton Lynch, Eli Rogers, Elijah Westbrooks, and Donald Payne to name a few. Former XFL stars Jordan Taamo and Luis Perez are also in the league.
Click here to read more about the talent pool.
Are there new rules to know?
Yeah. The NFL will add a unique twist to the traditional rules of modern football.
Teams that score relegation will have three options for bonus points. The team can choose to receive one, two or three points after the score.
For one point, a team can kick a 15-yard field goal. To get two points, the team will have to cross the goal line from the 2-yard line. To get three points, the team can try to score from the 10-yard line.
The USFL says all replays will take place from the FOX Sports Control Center in Los Angeles. Each coach will be allowed one replay challenge.
“The USFL Replay leadership will have the authority to nullify false personal calls, including bystanders’ jocks, unarmed player kicks, face masks, horse collars and more,” the league said in a news release. “The USFL’s Replay Command will also be responsible for determining whether the pass interference was clearly intended when it occurs within 15 yards of the line of scrimmage.”
The USFL says it is looking to make the launch safer. All tees will be done from the 25-yard line, and no member of the kicking team is allowed to line up further than the 1-yard line. The receiving team must have at least eight players prepared between the 35 and 45 yard lines.
“After the kick-off has hit 20 yards, the first touch must be by the receiving team. If the untouched kick dies, the ball belongs to the receiving team at that spot,” the league says.
Kicks to the side or melee play
To further enhance the scoring, teams will have two options to keep the ball after scoring. The team can attempt to take a direct kick. The second option would be to run a game of 4 and 12 from the 33-yard line. If the team drops it first, it retains possession; If you fail, then the defense gets the ball.
Extra time would be the best penalty shootout of the three. Each offense will attempt to score from the 2-yard line and each successful game will result in 2 points. The team with the most points after three matches will be the winner. Any subsequent attempts will become a sudden death if the score is restricted after each team has managed three plays with the period extended until there is a winner.
TUBERVILLE is excited to start the USFL, and offers tips for players looking for a shooting opportunity
USFL Gunners will be prohibited from lining up outside the numbers, and they cannot be banned from a double team until the ball has been kicked away.
The clock will stop at the first descent within two minutes of the second and fourth quarters, similar to NCAA rules.
Offensive: “If a pass does not cross the line of scrimmage, there can be no interference with the pass or penalties for an ineligible player on the field,” says the NFL.
Defensive: “The penalty for interference in a defensive pass will reverse the NCAA rule with exceptions. First, a defender who intentionally deals with a receiver beyond 15 yards will become a positional foul. Also, the penalty will be a positional 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 foul spot is beyond 15 yards,” the league says.
2 passes forward
The USFL will allow two forward passes from behind the line of scrimmage.
When does the season start?
The first game of the season is Saturday night between the Generals and Stallions at 7:30 p.m. ET.
The season ends on July 3 with the USFL Championship game. Check out the full schedule here.
Where will the regular season matches be played?
All regular season games during the first season of the league will be played in Birmingham, Alabama, at Protect Field and Field.
How much will tickets cost?
General admission per game is $10 with kids free. Premium general admission tickets are $25. Premium general admission seating is located between 30-yard lines across from the club’s seats at Protective Stadium.
Times and matches for games at Legion Field have not been specified.
When do the qualifiers start?
The USFL Playoffs and Championship will be played at the Tom Benson Hall of Fame, which is adjacent to the Pro Football Hall of Fame and seats up to 20,000. It’s the same venue where the NFL hosts the Hall of Fame to celebrate the start of the pre-season each year.
The NFL’s four-team playoffs are set to begin on June 25 with the top two teams from the Northern Division and Southern Division facing each other for a place in the championship on July 3.
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How can audiences watch?
The first game of the season between the Generals and Stallions will be broadcast on FOX and NBC, the first time two rival networks have hosted the same game since Super Bowl I.
Throughout the season, games will primarily be shown on FOX and FS1. Some games will also be seen on NBC, USA Network, and Peacock. Click here for the full schedule.
FOX Sports will hold 22 of the 43 matches with 12 groups for FOX and 10 on FS1. NBC will have 21 games with nine on USA Network, eight on NBC and four on Peacock.