USFL vs XFL: What is the difference between USFL and XFL in 2023?

Los Angeles Wildcats v New York Guardians
A general view during the second half of an XFL game at the MetLife Stadium

The USFL and XFL seasons are about to begin, and the two feeder American leagues are getting set for a battle for supremacy. It comes at a great time, as the most popular American football league, the NFL, is on a break.

So now, both the USFL and XFL can take center stage if they play their cards right. However, thinking that the leagues operate similarly would be far from accurate. In this article, we will highlight the major differences between the two leagues in 2023.

#1 History

The United States Football League is significantly older than the XFL. The USFL was founded in 1982 and proceeded to have a three-year run before going on an indefinite hiatus. The league returned in 2022, ending an over 30-year absence.

Meanwhile, the XFL is newer, founded in 2001. Vince McMahon founded it as a direct competitor to the NFL, but it lasted only one year and went on an almost two-decade-long break. However, it returned in 2018, with its first season being played in 2020.

#2 Budget

The USFL has the second-largest budget in American football, only behind the NFL. The USFL has a reported budget of $150 million for the next three years, funded by its broadcaster, Fox Entertainment.

The XFL, meanwhile, was purchased for a rumored $15 million by a consortium headed by Dwayne Johnson.

#3 Rules

The USFL uses a hybrid system that involves aspects of the National Football League and College Football, with the only true difference being in the rules regarding stopping the clock.

However, the XFL is very creative regarding its rule book. Teams begin play five yards apart, with the kicking team at the opponent’s 35-yard line and the return team at its own 30-yard line

The XFL also has a few interesting rules regarding keeping the ball after a scoring play. Teams can attempt a traditional onside kick any time during the game or a 4th and 15 conversion from their own 25-yard line in the fourth quarter.

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Edited by Bhargav