Darryl Johnston reveals details of the soon-to-be-released UFL rulebook

Darry Johnston, UFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations.
Darryl Johnston, UFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations.

Darryl Johnston, UFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations, revealed a few plans for the soon-to-be-released UFL rulebook during an appearance on Next Round Live.

Notably, Johnston talked about how the USFL fought hard to keep their style of kickoff, as opposed to the XFL’s kickoff.

“We fought long and hard on our rules because we felt the same way. We really liked the way that our game presented itself on television,” Johnston said. “One of the big things that we fought hard for was our kickoff. We did not like a stationary kickoff. We just felt that it didn’t look like football.”

Johnston also put the decision from the players point of view.

“So we were able to get the USFL kickoff established in the UFL. Because we feel that that’s been a big part of our opportunity for guys to get to the NFL, and it can. KaVontae Turpin going to the NFL as a returner, but then having his role expand once he gets to Dallas. So the return element opens the door for you with an NFL opportunity. And then it’s up to you to expand on that,” he said.

Johnston also revealed one of the former XFL rules that will make it into the UFL rulebook.

“The one thing that they were adamant about was the non-kick PAT. So, from the two-yard line, it’ll be a one-point try, but it’ll be a scrimmage, play. From the five-yard line, it’ll be a two-point play. And from the 10, it’ll be a three-point play. But kickers will not be attempting extra points,” Johnston said.

Johnston continued to explain that the XFL-style PAT rules were something that FOX CEO Eric Shanks was trying to encourage, as he felt the UFL needed the two-point and three-point PAT attempts.

Johnston also confirmed the UFL would utilize the XFL rule, where a team may opt for a fourth down and 12 scrimmage instead of an onside kick. However, he confirmed the play would be from the 28-yard line instead of the 33.

Despite the decisions on these rules, Johnston revealed the kickoff rules were the most contentious in the discussions that took place.

“The one area that I think probably had the most conversation during this process was the kickoff, and the USFL drew a hard line in the sand,” Johnston repeated. “We need to see movement at the at the time of the kick. You know, the stationary setting of the kickoff return team is something that does not look like football to us. So, we wanted to have that element back in the game.”

2 thoughts on “Darryl Johnston reveals details of the soon-to-be-released UFL rulebook”

  1. The USFL DID have a 2pt and 3pt conversion. They were closer to the endzone than the XFL and the 2pt was more like the NFL. I preferred the USFL rule for 2pt PAT from 2yd and 3pt from 10.
    Did like USFL KO better two.
    On the XFL side I liked the 1 foot rule inbound.

  2. Kinda misses the point about the XFL kickoff approach – it was about ensuring the safety of the players, not looking like old-school football. The number of players injured in XFL kickoff plays was very low and having seen every game possible, was a very exciting variation.

    So much so that the NFL is considering adopting the approach. If they did, would the UFL change to that so that players have a better chance of catching on in the “big leagues”?


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