The European League of Football (ELF) debuted last year, bringing back a lot of former NFL Europe team identities with them. Needless to say, the leaguer delivered, and fans gravitated towards the new product last summer.
In the league’s inaugural 2021 season ELF had 8 teams (2 in Germany, 1 in Poland and 1 in Spain) split into 2 divisions: North (Berlin, Hamburg, Leipzig and Wrocław) and South (Barcelona, Cologne, Frankfurt and Stuttgart).
For the 2022 season ELF is expanding to 12 franchises, which will now feature three conferences.
Hamburg Sea Devils
Well, these are the only changes coming to the European League of Football next season. Just now the league has announced a change to their kickoff rules on social media.
RULE CHANGE 🚨
Our game will change a bit in the upcoming season. See what is new.
If this seems familiar, it’s because it is; these are the same kickoff rules that the XFL created for its 2020 season. The new kickoff sees the defending team starting at the opponent’s 35-yard line. The retuning team start from it’s own 30-yard line and when the ball is kicked only the kicker and returner are allowed to move.
If the ball is touched by the returner, then all players can participate in the play. If the ball hits the ground and goes untouched for 3-seconds, it becomes fair game. Essentially this boils down to the ELF trying to make the game as safe as possible. The XFL excelled at this during their 2020 season, and you can bet that they were definitely an inspiration for this update.
The XFL was a trendsetter, and nobody is arguing that it seemed that they finally cracked the spring football formula. Unfortunately, nobody could have predicted that a worldwide pandemic would come around and force the league to cancel their season just five games in.
If you want a refresher, check out the first ever kickoff in the 2020 XFL season.
When the XFL was ramping up towards its 2020 season they were the only product on the market. With the league now scheduled to relaunch in 2023, the spring football landscape has changed dramatically. The good news though, as of now, none of these leagues would compete against each other as their seasons all take place at different times of the year.
Did you watch the 2021 ELF season? Will you be tuning into the European League of Football in 2022? Let us know down in the comments below or join the conversation on Discord.