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USFL Head Of Officiating Mike Pereira Talks USFL Rules, Lasers Coming In 2022

Mike Pereira, the USFL’s Head of Officiating, was a recent guest on the Green Light Podcast With Chris Long. Most of their conversation centered around last week’s NFL playoff games. Towards the end of the interview, they talked more about the USFL rules coming in 2022.

“All I know is I’m going to run the officiating. I’m on the Ops calls each week. And so I’m a part of it, the fun part… I’m a committee of one, a rules committee, almost of one.”

He talks about how the USFL wants to get the calls right and do things differently.

“We’re going to do some different things. Like you don’t like that roughing. The passer call that was made. Well, guess what? I’m in the replay center and I don’t either. So we’re going to take it off. We’re going to get rid of it. You get called for a hit on a defenseless player, and it’s a big hit, but it’s shoulder to the chest and it was called. We’re going to take it off. So we’re going to do some things that are a bit different that I think will be good for the game.”

He also talks about the NFL’s pass interference penalty, where one call could net a team 40 yards. Instead, the USFL will go with the college rule of 15 yards on a pass interference call.

“So we’re going to go to the College rule maximum its going to be 15 yards instead… unless somebody deliberately tackles a guy. Like you saw the play in the NCAA National Championship… the guy got beat by the double move, grabbed the Jersey and pulled him all the way to the ground… that’s a spot foul, if it’s beyond 15 yards.”

As far as where the USFL is getting their referees, it will be mostly from the NFL’s training program.

“We’ve got honestly great officials, 32 of the 35 are off the NFL’s developmental list. They’re the next group that will be going to the NFL. So I think it’s going to be fun.”

At the end of the discussion, they talked about the sticks never going away in the NFL. The sticks are the yard markers we see people holding up on the sidelines. Pereira says they might not be part of the USFL.

“Well, you are going to have to see some different technology in the USFL… you may see the sticks go away. I’m a fan of the tradition. I’d love to see 75 year old guys going out in the middle of the field but there is going to be lasers… we think that the actual measurement itself will probably go away. The sticks won’t go away… coming out in the middle of the field may go away. Now, I don’t think that’s necessarily going to be adopted by the NFL, but you will see some different technology in the USFL.”

It looks like the USFL is continuing the tradition of the XFL 2.0 era and innovating its rules and gameplay. It is using new technology and rules from leagues other than the NFL to get the gameplay and calls right.

We are less than 90 days till USFL kick-off, so we should learn these things soon. We will have more details on USFL rules as it breaks.

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Mark is the founder and editor of XFL News Hub. The site was started in January of 2018, within days of the announced return of the XFL. Contact him directly by emailing

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. 4th&long

    January 20, 2022 at 11:33 am

    Nice! – Thanks Mark. Really like the PI changes and I hope they use the upstairs to reduce not add to penalties like MP said in examples.

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