The 2023 Pro Bowl schedule of events is here with the new format featuring the Flag Football Game, Skills Competition and more.
After calls from fans for change for years, the NFL‘s all-star contest will get a facelift at the 2023 Pro Bowl. There will no longer be a listless 60-minute game between the two conferences but, rather, there will be a flag football game featuring a 7-on-7 contest between some of the league’s best who aren’t injured or playing in the Super Bowl.
In addition, there will also be a wide-ranging skills competition between selected competitors who made the Pro Bowl. This should make the entire event, being held now in Las Vegas, quite a bit more fun for the players, for the fans, and really for everyone.
With the new format, fans are sure to be curious how they can watch everything, whether they’re in attendance or watching at home. We’ve got you covered with the Pro Bowl 2023 schedule and the rules you need to know for the contests.
Pro Bowl 2023 schedule of events
- Thursday, Feb. 2: Epic Pro Bowl Dodgeball, Lightning Round, Longest Drive, Precision Passing, Best Catch (First Round)
- Sunday, Feb. 5: Best Catch (Finale), Gridiron Gauntlet, Move the Chains, Kick Tac Toe, Pro Bowl Flag Football Game
The 2023 Pro Bowl schedule will happen across two days on Thursday, Feb. 2 and Sunday, Feb. 5. Thursday will feature a plethora of Skills Competition events including the always-fun dodgeball, a new contest called Lightning Round that will test various aspects of athleticism and timing, a golf long drive competition, Precision Passing returns, and a Best Catch competition will have the first rounds on Thursday as well.
For Sunday, the Best Catch will have its finals to determine the winners. The Gridiron Gauntlet relay returns, a new Move the Chains game, a return of Kick Tac Toe and then the 7-on-7 Pro Bowl Flage Football Games with the AFC taking on the NFC in the contest.
In all of these competitions, it will be the conferences competing against one another and there will be three points awarded to a player or team’s conference for winning a competition. The Pro Bowl Flag Football Games will be worth six points apiece.
The score from the competitions will then be the starting score for a third and final 7-on-7 flag football game that will use standard flag football scoring. Peyton Manning will coach the AFC while Eli Manning will coach the NFC.
Pro Bowl Flag Football Game rules and format, explained
First off, there will be three games featuring seven skill players from each conference facing off. The initial two games will be worth six points for the competition while the third and final game to end the weekend will start with the score from the previous games and skill competitions.
As for the games themselves, it will be 7-on-7 with only skill players and feature a 50-yard field with 10-yard end zones. There is a No Run Zone where teams cannot execute running plays that starts on the opposing 5-yard line.
Meanwhile, the games will be two 10-minute halves for a 20-minute total game that features a 25-second play clock and then a running clock before the final two minutes of each half. The clock will stop, as in the NFL, on incomplete passes, scores, penalties, changes of possession, or obviously timeouts.
As for scoring, touchdowns are still worth six points but the extra-point tries can be for one point or two depending on where the play is run from (no kickers here). The one-point try will be from the 3-yard line while the two-point try will be from the 10-yard line.
Pro Bowl Skills Competition, explained: Contests, rules
In order of the games listed on the Pro Bowl 2023 schedule, here are the contests and the rules for the Skills Competition in Las Vegas. Every competition win is worth three points for the winning conference.
Epic Pro Bowl Dodgeball
- Four teams of five players from each conference.
- Three-round tournament. First two rounds will feature AFC Offense vs. AFC Defense and NFC Offense vs. NFC Defense. Final round will feature winning unit from each conference.
- Standard classic dodgeball rules.
Lightning Round (New Competition)
- 16 players will compete from each conference, 32 total players.
- Three-part challenge that will eliminate players in each part until only one remains.
- Part 1 – Splash Catch. Pairs of teammates from the AFC and NFC will toss water balloons back and forth from increasing distances. Teams will advance to the next round if they complete all tosses.
- Part 2 – High Stakes. Players who advanced will make attempts to catch punts from a JUGS machine at varying distances and heights. Winners will advance to the finals.
- Final Part – Thrill of the Spill. Every player remaining will “aim at targets attached to a bucket hanging above the head of an opposing coach”. The first team to dump the bucket on the opposing coach wins.
- This event was pre-recorded and will air on Thursday.
- Eight Pro Bowlers, four from each conference, will compete in a traditional golf competition to hit the longest drive.
- Competitors will get three attempts to drive a golf ball between boundaries. The longest drive wins as long as it is in-bounds.
- Two quarterbacks and one non-QB will participate in the traditional contest where there is a one-minute competition based on accuracy as all players throw at targets that are assigned different point values.
- Targets will be attached to robotic dummies that will be moving across the field.
- After the one minute is up, contestants will have one long-distance throw to try and earn additional points.
- Player who accrues the most points in their allotted time wins.
- Two players from both the AFC and NFC will compete in the competition.
- For the first round on Thursday, at various spots around Las Vegas, the competitors will attempt to show off their best receptions. (This will be pre-recorded and air on Thursday.)
- The first round catches will then be voted on by the fans to determine the finalists for Sunday’s competition.
- In the finals, the remaining two players will compete in front of judges and be graded on their best catches. The player who earns the highest score will win.
- Six players from each conference will compete.
- Gauntlet consists of four parts in a relay race, each segment being 40 yards.
- The segment is comprised of breakaway walls, climbing walls, tables to crawl under, tire runs, and a blocking sled that will have a coach on it to cross the finish line.
- The first team to complete the relay wins.
Move the Chains
- Four teams competing, two from each conference, consisting of five players on each team.
- Weighted wall pull using the first-down chains over 10 yards that will be a race to see which team can cross the finish line first. Wall is loaded up with weights.
- Best-of-three playoff format to determine a winner.
Kick Tac Toe
- Punters, kickers and long-snappers will compete in a game of tic-tac-toe using their respective disciplines.
- One change from tic-tac-toe, the first team to complete a line OR to fill five squares will win.