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Football: The Field
Football is played on a field. Most of the time the field is grass, but sometimes fake grass called artificial turf is used. Because the lines on the field look like a grid, the nickname for the field is the "gridiron".
The main playing area of the field is 100 yards (300 feet) long by 53 1/3 yards (160 feet) wide.
At each end of the field is an end zone. This area extends the field another 10 yards on each side. The line between the field and the end zone is the goal line. In order to score a touchdown some portion of the ball must cross the goal line in the possession of an offensive player.
Play outside the lines of the end zone is considered out of bounds.
Every five yards a line crosses the field. Each 10 yards this line is marked with a yardage number. At the center of the field is the 50 yard line. In each direction from the 50 yard line to the end zone, the yard line decreases the closer you get to the end zone.
Hash marks are small lines made every yard on the field. These lines help to spot the ball on the field and give an indication of the distance left to achieve a first down.
At the end of the end zone and centered on the field is the field goal. The bottom of the field goal is 10 feet high. In the NFL and college the posts are 18 feet 6 inches wide. In high school the posts are 23 feet 4 inches wide.
The side lines are considered out of bounds. If any part of the player touches the line, then they are out of bounds.
The goal line is the line between the playing field and the end zone.
The end line is the line at the back of the end zone.
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