Birmingham Stallions head coach Skip Holtz celebrates with the trophy after the Birmingham Stallions defeated the Philadelphia Stars 33-30 in a USFL football game for the league championship, Sunday, July 3, 2022, in Canton, Ohio. (AP Photo/David Dermer)

USFL Set to Return

The USFL is set to kick off its second consecutive season on Saturday. The Memphis Showboats will host the Philadelphia Stars, and the reigning champion Birmingham Stallions will host the New Jersey Generals.

The USFL’s return

Last year, the USFL returned to play for the first time since the league folded in 1986. The league has branded itself as a modern twist on the traditional football that college and NFL fans know and love. It is made up of eight teams, with franchises in Birmingham, Houston, Memphis, Michigan, New Jersey, New Orleans, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh. The league played a 10-week regular season last year. The Philadelphia Stars and Birmingham Stallions faced off for the 2022 championship, and Birmingham won the contest 33-30. The league enjoyed some success last season, which included the championship peaking at more than 1.8 million viewers on FOX.

2023 Rule Changes

The league announced several rule changes for the upcoming season. The changes are effective immediately and will be present in week one matchups.

First Change

In an attempt to have more kickoffs returned, the league has moved kickoffs from the 25 to the 20-yard line.

Second Change

When a team fumbles the ball out of their own endzone, it will no longer result in a touchback. From now on, the ball will be returned to the spot of the fumble, and the fumbling team will retain possession.

Third Change

The clock will run following incomplete passes in all four quarters, outside of the last five minutes of the second and fourth.

Fourth Change

The league’s replay center will take more of a central role when it comes to officiating the game this season. The replay center can now overturn incorrect calls on roughing the passer, personal fouls, and unsportsmanlike conduct penalties.

Fifth Change

This season, teams can carry an inactive, 3rd QB on the sideline. This player can be activated in the event that the first two quarterbacks are injured.

Sixth Change

In an attempt to have fewer penalties occur during punt returns, the league has changed how players line up during the play. The gunners, or outermost players on the punting team, now must line up inside the outside edge of the field numbers.

USFL 2023 Kickoff

The Memphis Showboats and Philadelphia Stars will kick off the 2023 USFL season on Saturday at 4:30 PT ET on FOX. All eight teams will take the field this opening weekend as the league holds two games on Saturday and two on Sunday.

About Nathaniel Wilson

Nathaniel is a second-year graduate student in the College of Journalism and Communications at the University of Florida. You can reach Nathaniel by email at

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