One World League Football – Homepage & Rules

Welcome to the home page for the One World League (OWL). OWL uses the Draft Day Sports Pro Football game to remake pro football history by imagining what might have happened has the USFL been managed differently. Both the USFL and NFL will be modeled and it is hoped that college football may also be modeled using the Draft Day Sports College Football game.

Below are the basic rules and framework for the OWL football universe:


  • Initially, only the USFL will be an online league. This reduces the number of participants needed (12 for the inaugural 1983 season) and keeps things small and manageable. The NFL (and potential college) leagues will be run “dynasty” fashion (essentially as a solo project by the commissioner). Should there be enough interest, the NFL and/or college league could be converted over to an online league format.
  • The USFL will be run as a spring season league – this means it’s games will not be run concurrently with the NFL and college leagues.
  • The league will use a yearly calendar as follows:
    FEBRUARY – USFL free agency, amateur draft (specifics on the draft below) and training camp
    MARCH – USFL season begins
    APRIL – NFL Draft (see below)
    MAY-JULY – USFL season, playoffs and championship
    JULY – NFL free agency
    AUGUST – College season begins; NFL training camp
    SEPTEMBER – JANUARY – College & NFL seasons, playoffs & championships


  • The USFL plays an 18-game schedule. The league will sim games on an every-other-day schedule, Monday thru Friday with an “midweek” sim for roster management in between each game. So if Monday is a game day, Wednesday and Friday would be game days as well with Tuesday and Thursday being midweek updates – and the opposite being true the following week (games on Tuesday/Thursday and midweeks M-W-F).
  • The NFL season will be run fairly quickly as an interim period following the USFL season, probably over the course of two weeks. During this time, the human GMs will be able to start planning roster moves for the next season while watching developments in the NFL and – hopefully – college football.


  • As a much more established league with television contracts with all three major US networks of the time (ABC, NBC and CBS), the NFL will have more money and a higher salary cap (although the NFL did not have a cap at the time, in OWL it will have one) than the USFL.
  • For the 1983 season, the USFL will have a $1.8 million salary cap; the NFL cap for 1983 will be $5 million.
  • The USFL television contract (with ABC & ESPN) runs through 1985. The USFL cap will remain static until the new TV deal is completed following the 1985 season. The NFL cap will also remain the same until 1986.


  • Since both the USFL and NFL will be drawing from the same player pool, crossover will be possible. This means a player can exist in both leagues’ player pools at the same time.
  • Players can only be under contract to one league. Any NFL player who signs with a USFL team will not be available to NFL teams until his USFL contract is up and vice-versa.
  • This is done so that a player’s full career statistics can be tracked.
  • Once a player hits free agency in either league, he will be available to the other league as well.


  • The USFL amateur drafts consist of a territorial draft and a general draft similar to the NFL draft for anyone not drafted in the territorial draft. Each team will be assigned specific colleges where they will have exclusive rights. This list will be based on the real-life territorial assignments the USFL used.
  • The USFL “regular” draft will operate similarly to the NFL draft.
  • The USFL draft pool will consist of “late round” NFL talent but will be supplemented by a handful of “wild card” players as nominated by league GMs. *NOTE* At this time the mechanics of the nomination and decision lottery are to be determined. The goal is to make sure that a smattering of top-notch players go to the USFL but on a slightly lower scale than happened historically (the goal is to make the league survivable within the simulated finances of the OWL universe).
  • The NFL draft pool will generally be the actual pool with some additions/subtractions resulting from the results of the USFL draft which takes place earlier.