The XFL introduced Fox Sports rules analyst Dean Blandino today as the XFL’s Head of Officiating. Blandino, offers a ton of related experience; formerly serving as the NFL senior VP of officiating, where he was in-charge of the NFL replay command center and consulted with referees during every challenge.
Blandino, offers a wide-range of expertise as an officiating director. In 1999, when the NFL introduced instant replay; Blandino was assigned by the NFL to organize instant replay, where he managed the program for six years and served as replay official for two Super Bowls. He left his role with the NFL in 2017, to become the rule analyst for Fox Sports. In 2018, he formerly served as the director of instant replay for NCAA football, and was an officiating consultant for the defunct Alliance of American Football league.
Today, XFL Commissioner Oliver Luck held an introductory press conference call at 2 PM to introduce Blandino and discuss the league’s new rules announcement. Commissioner Oliver Luck established the league motto as “less stall and more ball”, ensuring to increase the tempo of the game by providing more action, and get rid of the meaningless plays and turn them into meaningful ones.
Luck stated in the conference, “that after listening to over 6,000 football fans nationwide who felt the game needs a faster pace of play and more action, we’re now super excited to be able to give our fans a fan-first game that is built for the modern 21st century.”
Blandino joined the conference call to help discuss their goal and strategy for establishing new rules. “We don’t want to be too technical and affect the pace of the game. Implement a culture of clarity, consistency, and credibility for players, coaches, clubs, and fans,” Blandino stated.
Commissioner Luck discussed their evaluation of the league’s product development. Luck mentioned how they’ve consulted with a ton of different types of consultants including; former NFL head coaches Jim Caldwell, John Fox, Jim Harbaugh, Sports Executives from different sports, medical professionals and television networks.
Luck felt after completing their evaluation, that it’s essential to create a football league that’s not filled with any sort of gimmicks or inauthenticity. Luck felt was the league’s most important task was, “How do we create this up-tempo game, but keep the traditions and make the fans happy?”
Blandino discussed the qualifications of the XFL referees, “the majority of our referees have been in the NFL development program and currently are NCAA referees,” Blandino explained. Blandino also mentioned how the player safety & health played a huge role in the formation of the new rules.
“Teaching a football player to accustom to brand new rules is extremely difficult, so we had to be selective in the innovation and rule changes we wanted to introduce,” Blandino explained. Blandino reiterated how the league’s extremely serious about ensuring and maintaining player safety, and how the league will enforce leading with the crown of the helmet, very similarly to how it’s enforced in the NFL, with the possibility of being removed from the game or even suspended.
Commissioner Luck said they have tested the new rules and found the estimated time of completion is 2 hours and 45 minutes, and the overtime would be completely done in 7-12 minutes.
“We wanted to align our rules for what the fans wanted. An up-tempo fast game is where the game is headed,” said Commissioner Luck.