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Football: The Field

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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".

Football field
Football field dimensions Click to see larger version


The main playing area of the field is 100 yards (300 feet) long by 53 1/3 yards (160 feet) wide.

End Zones

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.

Yard Lines

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

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.

Field Goal

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.

Side Lines

The side lines are considered out of bounds. If any part of the player touches the line, then they are out of bounds.

Goal Line

The goal line is the line between the playing field and the end zone.

End Line

The end line is the line at the back of the end zone.

More Football Links:

Football Rules
Football Scoring
Timing and the Clock
The Football Down
The Field
Referee Signals
Football Officials
Violations that Occur Pre-Snap
Violations During Play
Rules for Player Safety
Player Positions
Running Back
Offensive Line
Defensive Line
The Secondary
Football Strategy
Offense Basics
Offensive Formations
Passing Routes
Defense Basics
Defensive Formations
Special Teams

How to...
Catching a Football
Throwing a Football
How to Punt a Football
How to Kick a Field Goal

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