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WFL Rule Changes


1974 WFL Rule Changes

Below is a list of rule changes that the World Football League introduced to make sure that the league’s brand of wide open football would insure the league acceptance during its initial season.

  • Touchdowns will be worth seven points and the extra point kick has been eliminated. Instead there will be an "action point" attempt from the 2 ˝ - yard line for one additional point by running or passing.
  • The ball will be kicked off from the 30-yard line to insure more run backs.
  • The goal post will be moved to the rear of the end zone.
  • Missed field goals will be returned to the line of scrimmage except when attempted inside the twenty.
  • Receivers will need just one foot in bounds for a completion.
  • There will be a fifth quarter, split into two 7 ˝ minute segments, to break ties.
  • Fair catches will not be permitted on punts.
  • An offensive back will be permitted to go in motion toward the line of scrimmage before the ball is snapped.
  • The hash marks will be moved in toward the center of the field.
  • Any incompleted pass on fourth down will return to the line of scrimmage. This replaces the rule that states any fourth down pass inside the 20 shall be returned to the 20.
  • Offensive holding will be a 10-yard penalty instead of 15.

1975 WFL Rule Changes

The following rules were adopted for the 1975 season, and some of them were used the previous season. Those that were the most appealing to the football fan are as follows:

  • Touchdowns are worth seven points and the extra point kick has been eliminated. Instead there is an "action point" attempt from the 2 ˝ -yard line for the additional extra point by running or passing.
  • The ball is kicked off from the 30-yard line to insure more run backs.
  • An offensive back is permitted to go in motion toward the line of scrimmage before the ball is snapped.
  • TIE BREAKER - The first team to score will be the winner. If the full 15 minute fifth quarter is played without a score of any type, then the game will be declared a tie. Last year, the WFL used a fifth quarter split into two 7 ˝ minute segments. In playoff games action will continue until one team scores.
  • On all kicks, until the ball is declared dead, there will be no blocking below the waist.
  • A kicking tee can be used on field goals as well as kickoffs.
  • The standard box and chains will be used by officials.
  • The hash marks will be 70 feet from the sidelines.
  • Any incompleted pass on fourth down is returned to the line of scrimmage even if the line of scrimmage is inside the opponents 20-yard line.
  • A missed field goal attempt outside the 20-yard line returns to the point of the attempt. Inside the 20 it returns to the 20-yard line.
  • Offensive holding is a 10 yard penalty instead of 15.
  • Ineligible offensive player downfield on a pass is a 10-yard penalty instead of 15.

Preseason:

The following rules were tried during the 1975 preseason play. There was a vote that took place to decide which rules would be altered for the regular season.

  • Field goals kicked inside the 10-yard line will count 1 point.
  • Field goals kicked between the 10 and 30-yard lines will count as two points.
  • Field goals kicked outside the 30-yard line will count 3 points. In each case the spot from which the kick is made is the determining factor, not the line of scrimmage.
  • On a third down play, the defensive team must have four down linemen on the line of scrimmage in a 3-point stance.