Facebook Pixel

    When Does the UFL Start? Launch Date, TV Schedule, and More

    The 2024 NFL season is still far away, but football isn't. With the UFL starting this month, here's everything to know about launch day.

    The 2023 NFL season is long over, and the 2024 NFL season is still just as far away. However, football itself isn’t that far away at all. The UFL, the merger league between the XFL and USFL, will be starting before the end of the month. What is everything you need to know about the UFL’s start?

    Everything To Know About UFL Launch Day

    The UFL, which stands for the United Football League, will kick off on Saturday, March 30. The first matchup will be the Birmingham Stallions at the Arlington Renegades, the champions of the USFL and XFL in 2023, respectively. The Stallions, more specifically, have gone 21-3 over the past three seasons.

    The game will kick off at 1 p.m. ET in Arlington, Texas. The game can be viewed by fans on Fox. They will also televise the second game of Week 1, a showdown between the St. Louis Battlehawks at the Michigan Panthers.

    In addition to Fox, ESPN will also stream two games, both on Sunday, March 31. At noon ET, the D.C. Defenders will play at the San Antonio Brahmas. After that game, the Memphis Showboats will play at the Houston Roughnecks, concluding Week 1.

    The UFL has television deals with ESPN and Fox that rolled over from the USFL and XFL. Thanks to that, the league will have plenty of games in prime weekend slots.

    The UFL features eight teams, four from the XFL, three from the USFL, and one combining each league’s Houston franchise. The teams from the XFL (Renegades, Defenders, Brahmas, Battlehawks) will create the XFL conference, and the other four (Stallions, Roughnecks, Showboats, Panthers) will create the USFL conference.

    After Week 1, there will be nine more weeks of regular season play. After that, a three-game playoff will commence to name a UFL champion in June. The playoffs will include two semifinals and a championship.

    One of the biggest differences between the UFL and the NFL is the rules. Here are a couple to pay attention to:

    Extra point rule: The UFL is adopting the XFL’s point-after-touchdown options. There are three scrimmage play options following a touchdown: A two-yard play worth one point, a five-yard play worth two points, and a 10-yard play worth three points for successful attempts.

    Kickoff rule: Kickoffs will resemble the USFL’s traditional kickoff rule but adjusted slightly. Kickoffs start at the 20-yard line, and every kick out of bounds results in the ball being brought out to the 30-yard line. Kicking team members must line up within one yard behind the 20 and must be stationary when the ball is kicked.

    For the receiving team, they must have 8-9 players in the “set up zone” between the 30 and 40-yard lines. Teams can still call for a touchback, placing the football at the 25-yard line.

    KEEP READING: 2024 UFL Schedule

    The NFL has in recent days adopted the new kickoff rule for the 2024 season. The NFL’s new rule will model after the XFL’s kickoff, which has the kicker at his normal spot but the other remaining players five yards apart from each other at the 40- and 35-yard lines, waiting until a kick lands or is touched by one of two returners.

    The NFL’s new rule features no more touchbacks.

    Pining for more football? We’ve got you covered on all things UFL, including the top 20 players, player salaries, and much more.

    Related Articles