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How Long Is a Football Field? Field Dimensions Explained

Football fields are unique in that they’re one of the largest playing surfaces for any sport. Football fields are often the point of interest when driving by a high school. Lined with bright lights and bleachers, football fields can be seen from far away. The length and width of a football field are often debated by coaches and players. How long is the football field?

Football fields are 360 feet long and 160 feet wide. When converted to yards, the football field measures 120 yards long and 53.3 yards wide.

In this article, we’re going to look at all of the measurements of a football field and why you should learn them!

Football Field Dimensions

Football field
via Wikipedia

Football fields are measured at 120 yards long (from the back of the endzone to the back of the other endzone) and 53.3 yards wide. Initially, football fields were measured in feet. Through the years, it became easier to track everything in yards rather than feet. These numbers come from (360 feet divided by 3 = 120 yards and 160 feet divided by 3 = 53.3 yards.

The length and width of the football field do not change, no matter what level is being played. Also the amount of players on the field don’t change, as it’s always 22 players; 11 on each team.

If you’re looking for how the point system works in football, read here.

Why Are Football Fields 53.3 Yards Wide?

The football field is measured 53.3 yards wide. The reason for the 53.3 yards wide is because it’s 160 feet converted into yards. To convert the initial measurement of 160 feet into yards, you must divide by 3. 160 divided by 3 equals 53.3 yards wide.

These measurements may seem random, but remember, the field was initially measured in feet and later converted into yards.

Hash Marks In Football

hash marks in football

The one thing that does change is the hash marks. The hash marks are the white lines that stretch vertically up the field. As the player gets older, the hash marks get closer together. This is to make it harder for the offenses, as the ball is played more in the middle of the field.

Here is a chart of how the hash marks change:

LevelHash Marks Dimension
Youth & High School17.8 Yards From The Sideline
College20 Yards From The Sideline
NFL23.6 Yards From The Sideline

These hash marks play a significant role in football. Teams who can get their best athletes in space will often have more opportunities for big plays.

As the hash marks get closer together (in college and the pros), the opportunities for big plays in space become limited. This is why the hash marks are closer together.

How Far Are The Numbers From The Sideline?

The large numbers that are located on the field also play a vital role in spacing in football.

numbers on football field

The numbers in football play an important role, as coaches will use these numbers to align wide receivers.

The top of the numbers must be 9 yards from the sideline, while the bottom of the numbers typically measures 7 yards from the sideline.

The arrow next to the number helps to signify which direction the numbers are going. On the football field, there is only one 50 yard line, and the number counts down from 50.

Depending on which was arrow is pointing, the referee, coaches, and players will be able to determine where the ball is based on which yard line and which side of the field it’s on.

Football scoreboard

The scoreboard will often have an arrow that tells the home fans where the ball is exactly located. The 1-yard line could be a good thing for the offense, however a bad thing for the defense. This is why the arrows are important.

If you want to learn more rules of football, read here.

How Long Are The End Zones?

The end zones in football are 10 yards long and 53.3 yards wide.

The dimensions for the width of the endzone remain the same as the rest of the field. The end zone, however, is only 10 yards.

To score a successful touchdown, teams must cross the goal line or anywhere within the 10 yards.

goal line in football

The goal line is the start of the endzone, which is often marked by a thicker white line compared to the other lines on the field.

The player must maintain possession of the football throughout the entire process of crossing the goal line to score a touchdown.

Field Goal Post Dimensions

Along with the field changing when players get older, the field goal sizes also change. The field goal size changes are to make it harder for kickers to kick the ball through it with a field goal.

One consistent thing is the crossbar’s height. All crossbars are 10 feet high from the ground.

Below is a chart with all of the field goal size dimensions

LevelField Goal Size
Youth & High School23 Feet 4 Inches Feet Wide
College18 Feet 6 Inches Wide
NFL 18 Feet 6 Inches Wide

Field & Boundary

Along with understanding the dimensions of the field, spatial awareness is a big part of football.

Understanding spacing and where the offense is more likely to attack is a key component in football.

One way coaches decipher field spacing is through terms of “field & boundary”.

To learn more about field and boundary, read here.

Keep Learning

The dimensions of a football field are important to all football players and coaches.

The football field’s length is 360 feet (120 yards), and the width is 160 feet (53.3 yards).

The hash marks are different based on the level. Youth, high school, college, and the NFL all have different hash marks.

If you have questions about the football field, let us know in the comments below.

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