For years, one particular rule has drawn plenty of criticism from fans of football at every level, and it appears the two spring football leagues – the XFL and the USFL – are finally changing it.
“The two spring leagues, the XFL and the USFL, have carved out a special rule for their 2023 seasons. It states that if a ball carrier fumbles the ball into the end zone and goes out of bounds, or if the ball is fumbled into the pylon, there is no change of possession and the ball reverts back to the spot of the fumble. This would be consistent with the rule of forward fumbles out of bounds in the field of play. A defensive recovery in the end zone would still be a turnover to the defense. However, under this rule, the defense has a limited envelope to gain possession of the ball that penetrated its end zone, because if the ball is touched by any player who is also touching the end line, the ball will return to the fumbling team,” Football Zebras wrote.
It’s a massive rule change and the football world had plenty to say about it. And surprisingly, many don’t like it.
This is one of those things that commonly gets cited as a bad rule that I don’t really get why it’s considered a bad rule. You’ve now effectively removed the risk of extending for the pylon, which makes it less exciting. But hey, I’m an O guy, give me the reward without the risk https://t.co/OEaqOuVpdn
— Space Coyote (@SpaceCoyoteBDS) February 15, 2023
Why do we act like it’s super duper difficult to not fumble the ball out of the end zone?
The lack of a sky judge, the way the NFL handles DPI, even ball-spotting inconsistency are all worse imho. Let defenses have this one. https://t.co/YJa8XaXlP6
— Robert Schmitz (@robertkschmitz) February 15, 2023
Hopefully the NFL will follow suit https://t.co/0EJUPO8Zno
— Josh Dubow (@JoshDubowAP) February 15, 2023
*BEST* rule https://t.co/Nisry4zCsU
— The Packer Ranter (@PackerRanter) February 15, 2023
I am in the heavy minority that doesn't like this. https://t.co/TdKhpIos2z
— Jeremy Reisman (@DetroitOnLion) February 14, 2023
We’ll have to see how this rule works out for the XFL and the USFL and whether or not the NFL or college football follows suit in the future.