USFL makes a rule change to keep games under 3 hours

USFL Week Three - Pittsburgh Maulers v Michigan Panthers
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The USFL is changing a rule in an effort to make games shorter.

Effective immediately, the clock will continue to run after incomplete passes in the first and third quarters of all games. The clock will still stop on incomplete passes in the second and fourth quarters.

“We’re pleased with the total number of plays in our game, but to maximize fan enjoyment, we’re also striving to keep games under three hours,” USFL head of officiating Mike Pereira said. “So starting in Week Four, we’re moving to a running clock after an incomplete pass, but only in the first and third quarters. We believe this change will achieve the desired game length, while still providing the number of plays you’ve come to expect in a professional football game.”

It’s not surprising that the USFL is making this change, as the TV channels that air USFL games (NBC, Fox, USA and FS1) want to know that games will finish in the three hours they’ve allocated. What’s surprising is that the USFL didn’t anticipate games running long, and has to make a mid-season change.

7 responses to “USFL makes a rule change to keep games under 3 hours

  1. Clunky – but one of the things about this league is that it can be used for rules experiments. Lets see how it goes.

  2. Further evidence that the USFL is a made-for-television league, appealing only to hardcore Football junkies and gamblers.

  3. I like this idea. I think they should change it to the last 2 minutes of each half.

  4. Given how the NFL has evolved over the past 50 years, going from a predominately running game to a more dominant passing game, it would make sense to just keep the clock running for incomplete passes. A player could still stop the clock by stepping out of bounds.

  5. It’s an interesting idea, let’s see how it works in practice.
    I’m glad they are trying these ideas out.

  6. Or they can just shorten the 1st and 3rd quarters to 10 minutes except on months with 30 days and the 2nd and 4th quarters on months with 31 days, except on leap years where it’s reversed. During the 10 minute quarters, FGs are 4 points and TDs are 10 points, 11 pts on alternate Sundays.

  7. rainer8135 says:

    May 5, 2022 at 3:21 pm

    Further evidence that the USFL is a made-for-television league, appealing only to hardcore Football junkies and gamblers
    ——–
    Well when they play all the games at 1 location that’s not a “hot take” to say it’s made for television 🤣🤡

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