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E. Q. Taft 21 March 2018 12:06 AM

Brand New Football League Set To Debut In 2019 With Some Interesting Twists On Rules
 
The football world has been giddy for the past couple of months at the thought of the return of the XFL in 2020. Turns out, they’re going to be beaten by the punch.

Charlie Ebersol — son of former longtime NBC Sports president Dick Ebersol — will be launching the Alliance of American Football along with Pro Football Hall of Famer Bill Polian, as reported Tuesday by ESPN and The Associated Press. The league will air its first game in less than a year, on Feb. 9 of 2019.

While the prospect of an additional football season which immediately follows the Super Bowl is a welcome idea for fans, what really stands out are some rule variations that could end up making the biggest impact on the sport.

http://boston.cbslocal.com/2018/03/2...ists-on-rules/

DrRocket 21 March 2018 01:20 AM

Makes me wonder if former Minnesota Vikings coach Bud Grant has had any imput. That elimination of the extra point attempt, being replaced by one shot at a two point conversion idea was one he talked about in a local daily blab article published approx 5 years ago. He said that it's become so automatic, it's just a waste of time.

He also promoted the idea of eliminating the fair catch on kickoffs and punts.

E. Q. Taft 21 March 2018 06:10 AM

Since they do away with both extra points and kickoffs, the place kicker will have quite a bit less to do, but I guess they'll still need him for field goals. They didn't say, but I assume punts will still be there.

In a way I think it's a shame to lose the kickoff, as they always have a potential for excitement. But if it speeds things up and reduces injuries, I suppose it's a good thing.

I'm wondering if San Diego will be trying to get one of the franchises, since the Chargers abandoned us. There's been talk about getting a major-league soccer team, but I don't know if it's going anywhere.

Darth Credence 21 March 2018 04:35 PM

Kickoffs are one of the most dangerous plays. You have people running full speed from opposite ends of the field, and so you get a much higher likelihood of high speed collisions. This is a big part of why the NFL moved a touchback to the 25, to make running it out of the end zone a worse idea than the touchback.
Eliminating fair catches is a colossally bad idea. Best case scenario, it means that a whole lot of punts that are currently caught with a fair catch will be allowed to drop, and we have to wait through the ball rolling to a stop. That is a benefit to defenses, as it will mean that punts end up going longer. Worst case scenario, the number of injuries goes way up as returners still catch the ball and get creamed right after.
I would say, if they are going down this path, get rid of kicking. You either get a first down, or you turn the ball over after four downs. That would speed things up, reduce some injuries, and maybe end up with higher scoring games. It would also really break the minds of people who complain about it being called football already.

E. Q. Taft 21 March 2018 05:50 PM

I could see some option like: on any play (or any fourth down, but I like "any play" better) you have the option of turning the ball over to the other team, in which case it will be moved, say, 20 yards forward (or half the distance to the goal, whichever is less). Not as much as you would normally expect from a punt, but not just handing it over where you stand.

It would still mean you'd have a decision to make on fourth down, but would probably result in more teams going for in on fourth.

Alternatively, rather than 20 yards/half the distance forward from the line of scrimmage, make it 20 yards from the point where you would earn the first down. That would make the advantage of turning it over on fourth and long a greater one, and the risk of going for it on fourth and short greater.

Darth: What about field goals? Get rid of them, too? Again a possible alternative: if you get the ball down within, say, 25 yards of the goal, you can just turn it over and take 3 points automatically. Less suspense, though. (And field goals are not as much of a problem as far as injuries go.)

Crius of CoH 21 March 2018 06:04 PM

Unless American football goes the way of The Harlem Heroes, any minor changes like the ones described here are pretty meaningless, IMO :lol:

Darth Credence 21 March 2018 09:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by E. Q. Taft (Post 1974804)
Darth: What about field goals? Get rid of them, too? Again a possible alternative: if you get the ball down within, say, 25 yards of the goal, you can just turn it over and take 3 points automatically. Less suspense, though. (And field goals are not as much of a problem as far as injuries go.)

I'd get rid of them, still with the go for it or turn the ball over. You can score by a touchdown, two point conversion, or a safety. Not that I think this is a great way to improve football, but just because it seems that if you are going to eliminate the extra point and the kickoff, why not just go all the way and eliminate the need for a kicker?
I can get behind the intentional turn over to push them back.

Crius - how about Cyberball? It was supposed to be 2022 - where are my robot football players and exploding balls?

UEL 23 March 2018 05:35 PM

I am a football fan and I am a qualified referee for the Canadian football game. While American Football and Canadian Football do look similar, there are some key differences in the game (and I'm glad the article referenced the "stable CFL"). And, what I think these guys are trying to do can be better achieved by modifying elements rather than eliminating them.

Quote:

Teams will start with possession at their own 25-yard line. While this does eliminate onside kick attempts, teams can try to keep possession after they score. That team will be given the ball at their own 35-yard line, and will be given a fourth-and-10 to begin the “drive.” If the team converts the fourth-and-10, then the team will keep possession. If not, then the other team will gain possession.
First, where does the ball start? 25 or 35 yard line? If teams can't get the 4th and 10 solved, action will always be within field goal range. Further, possibly just outside the red zone and one play from scoring. It is only if the team converts the 4th and 10 that the length of the field can be played.

I have a proposal a bit further down this reply.

Quote:

Another twist: There are no extra points. After scoring a touchdown, a team must attempt a two-point conversion, with the ball being snapped at the 2-yard line.
The CFL moved the point after line of scrimmage way back to eliminate the "automatic" feeling. The line of scrimmage moved from the 5 yard line to the 25 yard line while the 2 point convert moved from the 5 yard line to the 3 yard line. I know the NFL moved their line of scrimmage too.

What this did was add a significant challenge. Point after rates went from 99%+ to around 90%, but, the 2 point convert attempts went from ~1 per three games to 1-2 per game.

This brought in the challenge and excitement that was missing. Don't mess with what works.

Quote:

Namely, there will be no kickoffs.
I did not see anything on player safety in the article, and in my experience the kickoff and/or punt is not the most dangerous time for a player. However, if you are worried about player safety, kickoff and punt returns can be turned into a touch situation. To get the play ended on those plays, an opposing player must touch the player with the ball while in possession. I don't think it would be the greatest rule, but better than eliminating a key play.

What rules I would impose if I were running this league:

- score a touchdown, you kick off from your 35 yard line
- score a field goal, you kick off from your 25 yard line
- score a rouge, your opponent starts from their 35 yard line
- overtime is not sudden death, but each team gets to play a series from the 35 yard line until a touchdown is scored by one but not the other
- eliminate the radios in helmets. When players go on the field, they are only to communicate by voice and visual with the sidelines/upstairs. I know there is a point where comms get cut, but this means that the coaches on the side are doing far more than the quarterback to engineer a drive. I want to see the genius of a quarterback on the field, and the coach on the sidelines
- get rid of the rule allowing for QBs to throw the ball away. Purposefully throwing the ball into the sidelines when being chased by a defender should be a 5 or 10 yard penalty (my preferred would be scrimmage moved to the point of throwing, just as if he was sacked there). Either try to make a play or take a knee. None of this throwing it away because your O Line allowed too may defenders through
- And one for my personal preference, no coin toss. A football skill must be demonstrated and the winner of that skill gets to choose possession or position. And to make it challenging, it is fan vote by applause for what skill gets tested that game. By applause, farthest punt, fastest 40 yards, most accurate pass.

I love the game of football, but in this Alliance League I see some of the strategic elements of the game being removed, and I don't like it.

E. Q. Taft 23 March 2018 07:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by UEL (Post 1975046)
The CFL moved the point after line of scrimmage way back to eliminate the "automatic" feeling. The line of scrimmage moved from the 5 yard line to the 25 yard line while the 2 point convert moved from the 5 yard line to the 3 yard line. I know the NFL moved their line of scrimmage too.

The only objection I have to this is that it seems to reduce the opportunities for a "fake," where you line up for the kick but actually run/throw the ball in for 2 (or, in a case where the snap is fumbled, the offense recovering on running it in). I gather you could still do this in theory, but doing it from the 25 is obviously a lot less appealing. (On the other hand, it also would be much more unexpected...)

Darth Credence 23 March 2018 08:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by UEL (Post 1975046)
First, where does the ball start? 25 or 35 yard line? If teams can't get the 4th and 10 solved, action will always be within field goal range. Further, possibly just outside the red zone and one play from scoring. It is only if the team converts the 4th and 10 that the length of the field can be played.

As I read it, you start with the ball on the 35 yard line if you try to keep it. That's dangerous, sure, and if you don't get it you've already put the other team in place for a field goal. But that's the point - it is risky to attempt an on-sides kick, and if you fail the other team is going to be close to the 35 as well - almost the same situation.

Quote:

Originally Posted by UEL (Post 1975046)
The CFL moved the point after line of scrimmage way back to eliminate the "automatic" feeling. The line of scrimmage moved from the 5 yard line to the 25 yard line while the 2 point convert moved from the 5 yard line to the 3 yard line. I know the NFL moved their line of scrimmage too.

What this did was add a significant challenge. Point after rates went from 99%+ to around 90%, but, the 2 point convert attempts went from ~1 per three games to 1-2 per game.

This brought in the challenge and excitement that was missing. Don't mess with what works.

Extra points are boring. Even if there is only a 9/10 (or 5/10, for that matter) shot at getting them. A single play from the 2 is much more interesting. I would argue that it is broken.

Quote:

Originally Posted by UEL (Post 1975046)
I did not see anything on player safety in the article, and in my experience the kickoff and/or punt is not the most dangerous time for a player. However, if you are worried about player safety, kickoff and punt returns can be turned into a touch situation. To get the play ended on those plays, an opposing player must touch the player with the ball while in possession. I don't think it would be the greatest rule, but better than eliminating a key play.

There is a flag football league starting up - this can be tested there. But I can't imagine any situation where putting in touch rules for a play or two would be enjoyed by the fans.

Quote:

Originally Posted by UEL (Post 1975046)
What rules I would impose if I were running this league:

- score a touchdown, you kick off from your 35 yard line
- score a field goal, you kick off from your 25 yard line
- score a rouge, your opponent starts from their 35 yard line
- overtime is not sudden death, but each team gets to play a series from the 35 yard line until a touchdown is scored by one but not the other
- eliminate the radios in helmets. When players go on the field, they are only to communicate by voice and visual with the sidelines/upstairs. I know there is a point where comms get cut, but this means that the coaches on the side are doing far more than the quarterback to engineer a drive. I want to see the genius of a quarterback on the field, and the coach on the sidelines
- get rid of the rule allowing for QBs to throw the ball away. Purposefully throwing the ball into the sidelines when being chased by a defender should be a 5 or 10 yard penalty (my preferred would be scrimmage moved to the point of throwing, just as if he was sacked there). Either try to make a play or take a knee. None of this throwing it away because your O Line allowed too may defenders through
- And one for my personal preference, no coin toss. A football skill must be demonstrated and the winner of that skill gets to choose possession or position. And to make it challenging, it is fan vote by applause for what skill gets tested that game. By applause, farthest punt, fastest 40 yards, most accurate pass.

I love the game of football, but in this Alliance League I see some of the strategic elements of the game being removed, and I don't like it.

Looking up the rouge, I don't think that matters - I highly doubt they will adopt that at all.
Other than that, I like your rules. I don't think the fan applause thing would work, as that would be way too difficult to determine. It would also take up a lot of time at the start of a game. But if the choice was selected randomly, or only one thing was selected, that would work. I would go with the football at the center of the field, and the teams putting a number of people on their goal line. Whistle blows, and whoever gets the ball wins the 'toss'.

GenYus234 24 March 2018 06:12 AM

By applause would effectively be the same as giving it to the home team for most stadiums.

UEL 25 March 2018 01:35 AM

The by applause was intended to choose the challenge, not the winner of the challenge.

I like the CFL and its sets of rules. I still get confused by some of the differences between NFL and CFL rules (interpretations of certain aspects are different between the two leagues) but see the merit in both versions.

I just fear that most of the rules proposed here take too much of the excitement out.

And for the record, as a referee for the sport, the kickoff and punt is not the most dangerous play as there is a penalty for violating the 5 yard radius for a player getting the ball. The most dangerous is the player catching a ball mid field while stationary. There is no buffer and that player can be hit from 360 degrees by linebackers and safeties coming full tilt. I've seen more players down from that than I ever have from a kickoff.

However, that is one official's perspective, not a statistical assessment. :)

gopher 26 March 2018 09:25 AM

Hopefully the quality is good and the watchable season is extended beyond 3-4 months. I just seem to get into a new season of NFL and suddenly the play-offs are here. I suspect that it will be a lower quality league though, feeding it's best players into the NFL.


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