The NFL have announced plans to revamp the ailing Pro-Bowl in an attempt to boost its popularity.

The annual All-Star contest between representative teams from the National Football Conference and American Football Conference has struggled in recent years and risked being scrapped.

One-sided games and diminishing crowds have prompted some to suggest that it no longer deserved a place on the sporting calendar, something the NFL hope to put an end to with its new format.

Instead of both teams being made up of players form their respective conferences the players taking part will be voted for by fans, players and coaches regardless of where they ply their trade.

A Pro-Bowl draft will take place, led by the two leading vote-getters, who will put together their respective teams from the pool of voted-for players.

The draft will take place on January 22, four days before the game takes place in Hawaii. The coaching staff for each team will be put together from the losing AFC and NFC divisional playoff teams with the best records.

Representative of the NFL Players Association Domonique Foxworth said he was keen to see the Pro Bowl avoid being consigned to the dust bin, and welcomed the changes being made.

"As players, we wanted to keep the Pro Bowl to honor excellence in individual performance and connect with the fans in a different environment," he said.

"To do that, I worked with a group of players to map out new ideas."

Roger Goodell, the NFL commissioner, added: "We were very receptive to the ideas that Domonique and the players put forth. From there, our office worked closely with him in developing the concept. The players made it clear that they wanted to continue the Pro Bowl and were committed to making it better than ever. 

"We think these changes will enhance the game for both fans and players."

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NFL Playoffs
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