How To Set Up a Football Field

Photo of American football

A football field is generally the same size regardless of the level of play, with a few minor variations. CFL fields, however, have different dimensions that can be discovered through an Internet search. The following will provide measurements for setting up football fields for all different levels. All lining of the football field is done with white paint.

NFL, College and High School football fields all have the same outer measurements of 120 (360 feet) yards. The playing field for each is 100 yards (300 feet) long by 53 ½ yards (160 feet) wide. End zones are an additional 10 yards (30 feet) deep.  End zones are marked with orange foam pylons placed at each of the four corners. A player scores when the ball breaks the end zone plane. A new play may occur at any point between the two end zone lines. Anytime a player or ball breaks the side barriers or the back line of the end zone of the field, he is deemed out of bounds.

The field is lined every 5 yards with every 10 yards labeled, using 6 foot tall by 4 foot wide numbers. The numbers start on each respective 10 yard line and increase to the 50 yard line located at the center of the field.

Hash marks on football fields are different for each level of play and are measured from the midpoint (26 ¾ yards from each sideline) of the field.  High School hash marks are a total of 53 1/3 feet wide. College hash marks are 40 feet wide and Professional are 18 ½ feet wide. Hash marks are the location the ball is positioned before each play depending on which side of the field the last play ended.

Each football field also has a restraining line that is 6 feet from the sidelines that indicates that closest a player can come to the field when not playing. The player's bench areas are located behind the restraining line between each 30 yard markers (40 yards total).

Goal posts also differ depending on the various level of play. All goalposts are 10 feet high. High School football fields' goalposts are 23 1/3 feet wide while College and NFL goalposts are narrower measuring 18 ½ feet wide. Goal posts are typically a "Y" shape while some fields may have "H" shaped goal posts. The goal posts are centered on the back line of the end zone.


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