The XFL is unique in many ways, but perhaps none more so than its kickoff rules, which are a far cry from the NFL’s version, even after years of adjustments.
In the XFL, teams kick off from 30-yard line and are required to put the ball into the air and in play between the opponent’s 20-yard line and the end zone. Meanwhile, both the return team and coverage team stand in place at the other 30-yard line and 35-yard line, respectively. Neither side can move until the return man field the ball or three seconds have elapsed once the ball hits the turf.
Here is a more detailed explanation from the XFL:
Entering Week 3 of the regular season, the kickoff has been among the XFL’s most praised changes. And during a game between the New York Guardians and St. Louis BattleHawks on Sunday, the change yielded its first touchdown. And it was an exciting one.
Not only that, the first-ever kickoff return for a touchdown under the new rules came courtesy of Joe Powell, who had a cup of coffee with the Giants in the preseason a few years ago.
Check it out:
“We’ve been practicing it all week, and guys have been blocking it really well. I saw the hole and went for it. Once I got the ball, I heard the crowd, and when I thought I saw the opening, I ran down the sideline as fast as I can because I knew I had a chance to score,” Powell told reporters after the game.
After graduating from the now-defunct Globe Tech in 2014, Powell went undrafted and spent one season in the IFL and another season in the AFL before signing with the Giants in the 2016 preseason.
Powell went on to spend two seasons with the Buffalo Bills before bouncing around to various indoor and outdoor pro leagues.