How is a football field set up?

In American football, the field is called a field. It is not a pitch, a court, or a grassy area – it is a field. However, knowing the parts of the football field may take some getting used to. Below illustrates how a football field is set up and the football field dimensions. It is essentially the same for NCAA/College and NFL/Professional football with a couple of small differences. However, the football field dimensions are the same between college and professional football.

Football Field Dimensions

football field dimensions

Length of a football field – The length of a football field is 120 yards. 100 yards for the playing area and 10 yards for each of the two end zones.

Width of a football field – A football field is 53 1/3 yards or 160 feet wide

Football Field Markings

Lines – there are lines the width of the football field every 5 yards so there are 21 lines.

End Zone – the area you try and get to for a touchdown. It is 10 yards deep and as wide as the rest of the football field. You only have to cross the line with the ball for it to be considered a touch down (lots of rules here for another day)

Extra Point Spot – this is where there is a difference between NCAA and NFL. In College football, the ball is spotted on the 2 yard line so the extra point is 20 yards (10 end zone + 2 yards spot for the line of scrimmage + 8 yards spot for the hold = 20 yards). In Professional football, the ball is spotted on the 15 yard line so the attempt is 33 yards (10 end zone + 15 yards spot for the line of scrimmage + 8 yards spot for the hold = 33 yards)

Hash Marks – this is another difference between college and professional football. The hash marks in college are 40 feet apart. In professional, they are only 18 1/2 feet apart. This changes strategy a bit as the ball is only spotted either in the middle of the field or on a hash mark. This comes into strategy more in college when kicking field goals and for the types of plays called to the short side of the field when on a hash mark.

Other interesting rules for football

Football Rules

Football Penalties

Football Terms



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