BREAKING: NFL Approves To XFL-Style ‘Hybrid’ Kickoff Rule Change

The NFL has completely revamped it’s kickoff.

According to multiple NFL media reports, the owners voted to a prove a new ‘hybrid’ rule for kickoffs, that passed 29-3, with only the Packers, Raiders and 49ers voting against it.

The hybrid kickoff rule allows for 10 non-kickers on the kicking team to line up at the opponent’s 40-yard line.

The receiving team has to place at least seven of its players between its own 30- and 35-yard lines in the “set up zone.” They are permitted to allow a maximum of two players in the “landing zone” between the goal line and 20-yard line.


Via Bleacher Report gave various scenarios involved with the kickoff when the competition committee originally proposed the rule change.

Among the key points are kickoffs that hit the landing zone must be returned and kickoffs short of the landing zone will be treated like an out-of-bounds kickoff, with the ball automatically being placed at the team’s 40-yard line.

On the flip side, if the kickoff hits the landing zone and goes into the end zone, the receiving team has to either return the ball or down it. If they choose to down it in the end zone, it will be placed at the receiving team’s 20-yard line.

A kickoff that goes into the end zone, stays inbounds and gets downed will be placed at the 35-yard line for the receiving team.

The rule is a modified version of the one that was used in the XFL during the 2020 and 2023 seasons. The XFL version had the team kicking off line up at the opponent’s 35-yard line, instead of the 40-yard line in the NFL.

Tuesday’s approved rule change comes after the NFL touted the success of decreasing the number of concussions on kickoffs during the 2023 season. The league’s data stated concussions dropped by 60 percent from 20 in 2022 to eight last season.