The XFL partnered with The Spring League back in 2019 to test potential rule adjustments, experiment with potential in-game technologies and scout talent as the league prepared for it’s inaugural season. It was even reported that the XFL was in talks with The Spring League to become the XFL’s official development league.
The Spring League just announced they are scheduling a six-team football tournament in Las Vegas this October, using a bubble concept that would be the first of its kind for american football during the days of COVID.
With all of the discussions going on around the timeline of the XFL return, this Spring League tournament could provide the answers the new ownership group will need if they want to kickoff in 2021.
The teams would be stocked mostly with players who were released by NFL teams, according to Spring League CEO Brian Woods. But it would also include 20-30 college players from FBS Power 5 schools that either opted out of playing in 2020 or had their seasons canceled.
According to a write-up by ESPN, some details are still being finalized. Woods said the Spring League’s bubble would model itself after those engineered by the NBA, WNBA, NHL and professional soccer this summer.
A total of 228 players (38 per team) will be housed in the same hotel and will practice and play at the same facility. Overall, it’s estimated that roughly 280 players, coaches and other staff members will be quarantined within the bubble. Woods said the event will be funded “internally,” with the possibility of recouping some money from a broadcast agreement at a later date.
The Spring League’s bubble schedule this fall calls for 10 days of practice starting Oct. 7, followed by nine games between Oct. 17 and Oct. 28. During games, the league will ban huddles and limit each team to 19 players, three coaches and three medical staffers on the field or on the sideline. The remaining 19 players, and all other staffers, will be stationed either in the end zone tunnel or off the field entirely and will be recalled when needed.
Whether the XFL returns in 2021 or 2022, this Spring League Bubble Tournament could possibly be a great way for the XFL’s new owners to assess the situation. We would love to see the XFL work with the Spring League again in the future, and maybe this October tournament could be a great excuse for that to happen sooner rather than later. Beyond getting a first-hand look at an operational sports bubble, you’ll be able to scout some fresh new talent, of which you’ll need many.