XFL considering possibility of allowing multiple forward passes per play

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The XFL isn’t revolutionizing football as much as it is reimagining it. And part of that reimagination may include a redefinition of a forward pass.

Appearing earlier this week on the #PFTPM podcast, XFL Commissioner Oliver Luck said the league is currently “toying with the idea” of allowing multiple forward passes on a given play. The new line of demarcation would be not whether the ball goes forward or backward but whether it passes the line of scrimmage.

So, for example, the quarterback could throw a forward bubble screen to a receiver who catches the ball behind the line of scrimmage. The receiver could then throw a forward pass beyond the line of scrimmage — if the XFL adopts that rule.

Luck pointed out that this would make it easier for the officials, who would simply have to determine whether the initial throw passes the line of scrimmage, not whether it moves forward or backward.

This rule presumably also would allow a quarterback who has a ball batted back to him to throw the ball again. (In the NFL, the quarterback’s only allowable option at that point is to run with the ball.) In theory, it also would allow three or more total throws on a given play, as long as the ball remains behind the line of scrimmage until the final throw.

Standing alone, that won’t be enough to make the XFL appointment viewing. But with enough changes like that, maybe the XFL will draw more interest than the AAF did.

16 responses to “XFL considering possibility of allowing multiple forward passes per play

  1. I like this idea – one of the few new ideas that doesn’t come off as a gimmick, as long as it can’t be thrown beyond the line of scrimmage.

  2. So would a fwd pass dropped behind the line of scrimmage be a fumble? Or would refs still need to worry about if it went fwd or not?

  3. This could be fun to watch! The point of the XFL is to be different from the NFL. Rules don’t need to be the same. It’s all about entertainment value and a reason to watch. If everything was the same as the NFL it will fail miserably. Why would anyone watch the same exact thing as the NFL but with inferior talent? So of course it’s going to have a creative aspect to it.

  4. I like it – it simplifies the game without changing it dramatically. It would also have the effect of making the desperation final plays of the game a lot more interesting, as a retreating QB, can pass forward, have the receiver advance, and then throw, thus preventing the defense from immediately crashing down on that receiver and ending the game.

  5. motasew111 says:
    April 12, 2019 at 9:09 am
    So would a fwd pass dropped behind the line of scrimmage be a fumble? Or would refs still need to worry about if it went fwd or not?

    This is an excellent question. I bet this is one of the things they are mulling on.

  6. I was kinda ok with the XFL again, but this is too gimmicky. And what happens when a kicker or punter recovers their own blocked kick? Can they kick again? This is just too much.

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