When the XFL's inaugural 2020 season kicks off on Saturday at Audi Field, fans will notice a multitude of rule differences in comparison to what they've been accustomed to from the NFL.
One of the most notable alterations is the increased communication capabilities between the coach and the skill players on offense.
"In the XFL, they have a 25-second play clock, and every skill player has a mic in their helmet, so the coach can talk to all the skill players at once," DC Defenders radio analyst Logan Paulsen told The Sports Junkies.
Kickoffs and punts have been modified to increase the number of successful kick returns, as well as reduce the number of collisions.
Kickoffs start from the 30-yard line and must land between the opponent's 20-yard line and the pylon. Kicks that go out of bounds and kicks that land short of the 20-yard line will result in a penalty that places the ball at the kicking team's 45-yard line. Kicks that land in the end zone and are downed result in a touchback and the ball being placed on the return team's 35-yard line.
On kickoffs, players cannot move until the returner makes contact with the ball or until three seconds after the ball touches the ground.
Punts that go out of bounds inside the 35-yard line result in a touchback that places the ball back at the 35-yard line. Punts that land within the opposing end zone or land in the opposing end zone and go out of bounds result in a touchback at the 35-yard line. Fair catches are allowed but are not encouraged.
On punts, players can only move laterally along the line of scrimmage until the ball is kicked.
There will be no coaches challenges. All plays will be subject to review from the skyjudge.
The 25-second play clock begins after the ball is spotted. Teams can not run out the clock at the end of the game by taking a knee (after a five-second run-off) until all of the opponent's timeouts have been used and there is one minute left (three kneel downs X 20 seconds each).