AAF Rules: How Do the Playoffs & Championship Work?

steve spurrier

Getty Steve Spurrier is the head coach of the Orlando Apollos.

Fans watching the AAF compared to the NFL will not notice a remarkably different game. There are a few differences such as the lack of kickoffs and extra points. There is an illegal defense penalty if teams rush more than five players. Overall, the goal of the AAF is to look similar to the NFL and develop players that can play in the league once the season ends.

How do the AAF playoffs work with just eight teams? There will be a four-team playoff after the regular season ends on April 14th and the playoffs are expected to begin on April 20th. The inaugural AAF championship game will take place in Las Vegas on April 27th. It is worth noting that the championship will be on a Saturday instead of Sunday, the day the Super Bowl takes place each year.

“Las Vegas has a proven track record of success hosting large-scale sporting events, making it an ideal destination for our championship games,” AAF co-founder Charlie Ebersol told ESPN.

The goal of the AAF season is to be during the NFL offseason and the schedule allows for players to have an opportunity to participate in NFL training camps once the season ends.

The AAF Brings Fans Into Officiating Decision

There are a few unique things the AAF does when it comes to officiating games. Viewers get an inside look at the officials thought process during reviews. The official reviewing plays is mic’d up as fans get a step-by-step explanation for why a call either stands or is overturned.

There is also a sky judge who can make calls on player safety from the press box as well as pass interference rulings inside the final five minutes of the game.

The AAF Is Aiming to Capture Football Fans’ Attention After the Super Bowl

It is no coincidence that the AAF starts the weekend after the Super Bowl. Their hope is to capture the focus of football fans who would normally go six months without the game.

“Two hundred million watch college and pro football compared to the 130 million combined that watch the other major sports,” Ebersol explained to The New York Times. “We don’t need to get all of those football fans to tune back in, but I like our chances of getting a significant chunk of them.”

The early results say the AAF could be a success. The inaugural games on CBS drew close to a 2.1 rating, competing with an NBA game on ABC during the same time period. The following night’s action on NFL Network was less successful, but overall the reviews of the AAF have been positive from fans who are happy the football season has been extended.

AAF Aims to Have Faster-Paced Games With Limited Commercials & No Extra Points

The AAF is looking to offer fans faster-paced games with limited commercial breaks. Games all have a target time of two and a half hours or less. Ebersol is also hoping to add excitement with small changes like eliminating extra points and forcing teams to go for two-point conversions after touchdowns.

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