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USFL changed kicking balls for Week Two, due to issues with sensor

The hometown Birmingham Stallions remain undefeated on the season after beating the Houston Gamblers, 33-28, at Protective Stadium in Birmingham, Alabama.

The USFL has embraced technology, when it comes to putting digital technology in the footballs the teams use. Apparently, that extra piece of equipment has made it harder for kickers to do their job of kicking the football accurately.

Via, USFL executive vice president of football operations Daryl Johnston said in advance of Week Two that different balls will be used in the kicking game.

“Our specialists came to us with concerns about the sensor technology impacting the kicking balls that we were using during the course of the game,” Johnston said. “So starting this week, we will be going back to a more traditional, K-Ball structure in the USFL.”

The low-tech K-ball will be used for kickoffs, punts, field goals, and extra points.

Although the sample size is fairly small, USFL kickers made 18 of 27 kicks (66.7 percent) in Week One. Through three games of Week Two, they are 17 for 22 (77.3 percent).

Johnston didn’t elaborate on the impact of the sensor on the performance of the football when kicked. Also, if it affects the ball when kicked, is it affecting the ball when thrown? Apparently, that’s an issue, given the distribution of the extra weight of the sensor.

For now, however, the kickers and punters are the only ones who have gotten any relief. Unless they improve the sensor or get rid of it, there’s nothing that can be done, if it’s affecting the passing game.