How long is a football field ? Football is the most popular sport in America. Knowing the dimensions of the football field is essential for both players and coaches, because they determine where the players can line up and how much space they have to move the ball down the field, but also for the fans to be able to understand what is happening on the field and fully enjoy the game.
What are the dimensions of a football field?
The American football field is a rectangle made up of grass, or in some cases, artificial turf. The dimensions of the football field are 120 yards in length and 53.3 yards in width. This size is measured from the back of one endzone to the back of the other endzone. However, the field of play, covering the area between the two opposing end zones, is 100 yards.
These are the standard dimensions of a football field at any level of play. The only variable that changes is the distance between the hash marks and sidelines.
Dimensions of endzones
The endzones are the areas at either end of the football field where the team scores points by either crossing into them with the ball or kicking the ball through the uprights. The dimensions of each endzone are 10 yards deep and extend the width of the field from 100 yards to 120 yards.
Dimensions of sidelines
The end lines mark the boundaries of the playing field, and they are located at each end of the field. The end lines run across the entire width of the field from sideline to sideline and measure 53.3 yards in length and 6 feet in width.
On each end line, there is the goal post, and as such the primary role of the end lines is to indicate when a team has scored a touchdown.
Dimensions of yard lines
The football field is divided into 98 yard lines, each marking one yard. The yard lines start at each end zone and extend all the way across the field.
Field numbers are placed every 10 yards, starting from 10 and increasing up to 50 in the middle of the field, then decreasing to 10 approaching the opposing goal lines. Finally, at midfield, there is a 50-yard line, which is used to divide the field in half.
The yard lines indicate each team’s progress towards their opponent’s end zone and help to determine whether a play results in a first down.
Dimensions of hash marks
The hash marks are the small mirroring sets of dashes running in the center of the football field.
The hash marks are 24 inches long by 4 inches wide and they are placed between the 5-yard lines, perpendicular to the sidelines. The role of the hash marks in football is to help referees and players pinpoint where the ball should be placed during certain plays and visually measure distances.
Depending on the league and level of play, the distance between two sets of hash marks will vary to accommodate players of different ages and skills.
For high school football, the distance between the two sets of hash marks is 53 feet, 4 inches apart. At the college level, the hash marks are placed 40 feet apart. In NFL games the space from one set of hash marks to the other decreases to 18 feet, 6 inches.
How to determine the correct dimensions of the football field
Knowing all the dimensions of a football field and making sure you paint the lines correctly can be overwhelming when done manually. You need a team of four and around 20 hours, plus a lot of effort. The Turf Tank robot is the latest innovation in line marking which makes the job easier and paints perfect football fields every time, so you don’t have to worry anymore about how big a football field is.
So how big (long and wide) is a regulation football field, exactly?
Here’s a primer on how the dimensions play out at every level, from high school football to the NCAA and on up to the NFL.
There are two constants, across the level of competition: 120 yards (360 feet) of length and 53 1/3 yards (160 feet) of width. The playing field is 100 yards long, with a 10-yard-deep end zone on each side. In total, a football field covers 57,600 square feet, or the equivalent of 1.32 acres. Hash marks measure each of the 100 yards, with a yard line at every five yards and the field number marking every 10 yards (on both sides, near the sidelines).
Those hash marks were first seen on professional football fields as a result of the first rule changes in 1933, marking one of the first major deviations from college fields.
Each play starts on the nearest hash marks to the end of the previous play — if said play ended outside the hash marks, including on the sideline. Thus, with less space between sets of hash marks and more space between the hashes and the sidelines, there is much more real estate for ball carriers to turn and maneuver around defenders.
The width, similarly, is the same for high school, college and NFL fields. The only variable that changes by level is the distance between the two sets of hash marks. For high school football, the hash marks are 53 feet, 4 inches apart. That separation decreases to 40 feet in college and shrinks to 18 feet, 6 inches in the NFL.
When it comes to the goal posts, the crossbar is 10 feet high and the posts on either side are another 20 feet tall, bringing the total height to 30 feet. In both NCAA and NFL play, the goal posts are 18.5 feet apart, while high school goal posts are 23 feet, 4 inches apart.
For over 40 years after those initial rule changes took effect, the goal posts were situated on the goal lines. Finally, in 1974 after scores of — and which resulted in — collisions, the goal posts were moved to the back of the end zones (in Canada, goal posts still sit on the goal lines).
Some changes to the field and its dimensions have been minor and have gone relatively unnoticed, while others have been more revolutionary. Each change, regardless of magnitude, has been part of the sport’s continual effort to enhance player safety, improve the game and maximize the fan experience.
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