August 9


Field & Boundary Terms In Football Explained

By vIQtory

August 9, 2021

Field and boundary are two terms often used by offensive and defensive coaches in football. What do the terms mean, and why are they important?

Field and boundary refer to the spacing on the football field. The field is the wide side of the field, and the boundary is the short side of the field.

This article will show you why field and boundary matter and why coaches stress spacing.

Our Top Coaching Course
Best Courses For Coaches

Best Courses For Coaches

  • 7 positional courses
  • Coach any position on the field
  • Instantly improve your current positional group
  • Exclusive access to our staff to help answer your questions
Most Popular For Fans
Best Course For Fans

Best Course For Fans

  • Instantly improve your football IQ
  • Grow your football knowledge & outsmart your friends and colleagues
  • Learn schemes, plays, formations & more
  • Complete breakdown of rules, offensive and defensive concepts
Best Course For Spouses
Girlfriends Guide To Football

Girlfriends Guide To Football

  • Best course for beginners to learn football
  • Intro courses that provide you the skillset to talk football like a pro
  • Engage with your spouse during and after the game
  • No more boring Sundays, everyone can enjoy football!

Field & Boundary

These two terms are used by offensive and coordinators to describe the space on the football field. It’s important to understand the field and the boundary, as offenses and defenses will strategize each part of the field.

Field and boundary play a major role in understanding field spacing and where big plays are more likely to happen.

When the offense can get their athletes into space, the defense has more opportunities for yards gained and missed tackles.

Let’s learn more about what field and boundary mean and how you can identify them.

What Does Field Mean?

Field & Boundary

Field means the part of the field that has more space.

For example, if the ball is on the left hash. That means there is more space on the right side of the field. More space for the offense means more room to run and more opportunities for explosive plays.

To counter this, the defense will often put more players toward the field to stop the offense from getting their fast players into space. More space means more opportunity for the offense.

Teams that run 4-2-5 defenses will often have their 5th defensive back lineup automatically to the field. This helps the defense in runs to the field and has an extra body to cover the pass to the field.

Because the football field is an uneven 53.3 yards wide, there will always be a field and boundary. Meaning, there will always be one side wider than the other, even if it seems as if the ball is directly in the middle of the field.

What Does Boundary Mean?

field and boundary

The boundary is the short side of the field. For example, if the ball is on the left hash, the short side of the field would be to the left side.

Identifying the boundary is important because there is less room to pass or run the football for the offense. There is less opportunity for the offense to have a big play simply because players have less room to run.

Defenses will often put fewer resources into the boundary, as there is less room to run and throw the football.

The offense will seldom use the boundary for explosive plays, but rather quick passes and quick-hitting runs to keep the defense honest.

If offensive coordinators are always running to the field, the defense can easily pick up on this and blitz the offense from the field.

Stay Engaged With The Ones You Love!

Football is complicated, but it doesn’t have to be! We’ve created a beginner’s guide to help you stay connected to every play during the big game.

Show off to your spouse and loved ones with how much football you’ll learn with this guide!

Identifying Field & Boundary

Coaches can have their players identify the field and boundary as soon as the play is over. If the ball goes out of bounds outside of the hash marks, the ball will automatically be reset on the hash.

This means the defense and offense will know right away where the field and boundary are.

If the player is tackled inside the hash marks, the ball will be set right where the ball carrier landed. This is the fastest way to identify the field and boundary before the play even starts.

What If The Ball Is In The Middle Of The Field?

There may come the point in the game when the ball is located directly in the middle of the field. While technically, with the width of the field being 53.3 yards, there can’t be an even amount of field distributed on each side. See our complete football field dimension guide here.

Coaches who play their defenses based on field and boundary will typically use the adjustments if the ball is in the middle of the field:

  • Formation run strength
  • Formation pass strength
  • Quarterback’s throwing arm

All of these adjustments can be made based on the game plan and where the coach feels comfortable putting the strength of his defense.

Ultimate Football Guide

Be The Smartest Person In The Room

The ultimate football guide will help you transform your knowledge from a casual fan to a football guru!

Keep Learning

Fields and Boundaries are important to remember because they will impact the offense and the defense. If an offensive coordinator is always running to the field, defenses can easily pick up on this and blitz from the field.

This will make it more difficult for the offense to get explosive plays, which is why offensive coordinators will often be running to the boundary more often than not.

Offensive coaches will stress spacing because of this reason. The offense needs to be able to get open space to create explosive plays.

Our courses are designed to help you improve your football knowledge, no matter your experience level in football.

Visit our full catalog of courses and coaching materials here, including free courses!


About the author

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

Direct Your Visitors to a Clear Action at the Bottom of the Page