Football

Disclaimer: The section below discuss about the American Football, formally known as grindiron. If you want to see pages referring to association football or soccer, please click this page.

American football, or simply football as colloquially referred within the United States, is a sport played by two teams of 11 players on a rectangular field with goalposts at each end. The game is commenced with the offensive team trying to advance down the field, holding the oval-shaped ball while running or passing until the team reaches the end zone for a touchdown or kick the ball through the opponents field posts to score a field goal. Meanwhile, the defense, aims to stop their advance and take control of the ball for themselves.  The team with the most points at the end of a game wins.

This sport is the most popular game in the United States, with NFL’s Super Bowl Series, the most popular professional football league series holds the records of having the highest average attendance and most watched sporting event among any other sports in the world.

In observance, the game play is a bit mix of Rugby Football and Association Football.

American Football Field Layout

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  • Sideline – The sideline is the boundary line that runs the length of each side of the football field.
  • End line – The end line is a boundary line that connects the two parallel sidelines. The end line and sideline compose the rectangular shape of the field. Two pylons flank the end of the end line.
  • End zone – The end zones are areas at each end of the field inside the end line. The end zone behind a team is that team’s end zone, and the end zone ahead of a team is its opponent’s end zone.
  • Goal line – The goal line is a line that runs across the front of the end zone. Two pylons flank the end of the goal line.
  • Yard lines and hash marks – In the 100 yards (91 meters) between goal lines, hash marks on either side of the field mark each yard. At every fifth yard, a solid white line runs from sideline to sideline, and at every 10 yards those lines are numbered (i.e., 10, 20, 30, 40, etc.). This crosshatch of lines gives the field its “gridiron” nickname.
  • Goalposts – Centered at the back of the end zone is a pole that extends 10 feet (3 meters) high and connects with a horizontal cross bar. On each end of the 18-foot, 6-inch (5.5-meter) cross bar is an upright post that rises to a height of 30 feet (9 meters) above the ground. A 4-inch by 42-inch (10-cm x 107-cm) ribbon is tied to the top of each upright

American Football Field Dimension Across Different Major Leagues

National Football League (NFL)

nfl-logoThe National Football League (NFL), the United States’ premier football league consisting of 32 teams, is one of the four major professional sports league in North America, and the highest professional level of American football in the world. The organization was formed in 1920 as the American Professional Football Association (APFA) before renaming itself the National Football League for the 1923 season. The NFL agreed to merge with the American Football League (AFL) in 1966, and the first Super Bowl was held at the end of that season; the merger was completed in 1970. Today, the NFL has the highest average attendance (67,591) of any professional sports league in the world and is the most popular sports league in the United States. The Super Bowl is among the biggest club sporting events in the world and individual Super Bowl games account for many of the most watched television programs in American history, all occupying the Nielsen’s Top 5 tally of the all-time most watched U.S. television broadcasts by 2015.

Dimensions of NFL-sized field

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Details of dimensions:

  • The game shall be played upon a rectangular field, 360 feet in length and 160 feet in width
  • The lines at each end of the field are termed End Lines. Those on each side are termed Sidelines. Goal Lines shall be established in the field 10 yards from and parallel to each end line. The area bounded by goal lines and sidelines is known as the Field of Play
    • The surface of the entire field must be a League-approved shade of green.
    • The playing field will be rimmed by a solid white border a minimum of 6 feet wide along the end lines and sidelines.  An additional broken limit line 6 feet further outside this border is to encompass the playing field in the non-bench areas, and such broken line will be continued at an angle from each 32-yard line and pass behind the bench areas (all benches a minimum 30 feet back from the sidelines). In addition, within each bench area, a yellow line 6 feet behind the solid white border will delineate a special area for coaches, behind which all players, except one player charting the game, must remain. If a club’s solid white border is a minimum of 12 feet wide, there is no requirement that the broken restraining line also be added in the non-bench areas. However, the appropriate yellow line described above must be clearly marked within the bench areas.
    • In special circumstances (for example, an artificial surface in a multi-purpose stadium) and subject to prior approval from the League Office, a club may omit the 6-foot solid white border during the preseason or later period while football overlaps with another sport, and substitute a single 4-inch white line at what normally would be the outer limit of the solid border (6 feet from the sidelines).
  • The areas bounded by goal lines and lines parallel to, and 70 feet 9 inches inbounds, from each sideline, are known as the Side Zones.
    • In line with the Inbound Lines there shall be marks at 1-yard intervals between each distance of 5 yards for the full length of the field. These lines are to begin 8 inches from the 6-foot solid border and are to measure 2 feet in length.
    • Bottoms of numbers indicating yard lines in multiples of 10 must be placed beginning 12 yards in from each sideline. These are to be 2 yards in length.
  • For line markings, At intervals of 5 yards, yard lines (3-44-2) parallel to the goal lines shall be marked in the field of play. These lines are to stop 8 inches short of the 6-foot solid border. The 4-inch wide yard lines are to be extended 4 inches beyond the white 6-foot border along the sidelines. Each of these lines shall be intersected at right angles by short lines 70 feet, 9 inches long (23 yards, 1 foot, 9 inches) in from each side to indicate inbound lines.

  • Each goal line marking is to be in its end zone so that the edge of the line toward the field of play (actual goal line) is 30 feet from the inside edge of the end line.
  • Each goal line is to be eight inches wide.
  •  In the plane of each end line there shall be a centrally placed horizontal crossbar 18 feet, 6 inches in length, the top face of which is 10 feet above the ground. The goal is the vertical plane extending indefinitely above the crossbar and between the lines indicated by the outer edges of the goal posts.
  • All goal posts will be the single-standard type, offset from the end line and bright gold in color. The uprights will extend 30 feet above the crossbar and will be no less than 3 inches and no more than 4 inches in diameter. An orange-colored ribbon 4 inches by 42 inches is to be attached to the top of each post.


NCAA College Football

ncaa-footballNCAA is the United States entity for governing, promoting and administering college sports and athletics between colleges and universities across the country. It also organizes the athletic programs of many colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, and helps more than 450,000 college student-athletes who compete annually in college sports. The organization is headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana. In 2014 the NCAA generated almost a billion dollars in revenue.

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NCAA football field

 

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Yard marks and dimensions

 

 

 

Dimensions, Markings and Play Zones

  •  All field-dimension lines shown must be white and 4 inches in width, with exceptions on sidelines and end lines at which they may exceed 4 inches in width, goal lines may be 4 or 8 inches in width.
  • Twenty-four-inch short yard-line extensions, four inches inside the sidelines and at the hash marks, are mandatory; and all yard lines shall be four inches from the sidelines.
  • A solid white area between the sideline and the coaching line is mandatory.
  • Goal lines may be of one contrasting color from the white lines.
  • The two goal lines are 100 yards apart. The entire goal line is in the end zone.
  • The two hash marks are 60 feet from the sidelines. Hash marks and short yard-line extensions shall measure 24 inches in length.

Goals and Pylons

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The football goal

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specification for pylon

 

  • Each goal shall consist of two white or yellow uprights extending at least 30 feet above the ground with a connecting white or yellow horizontal crossbar, the top of which is 10 feet above the ground. The inside of the uprights and crossbar shall be in the same vertical plane as the inside edge of the end line. Each goal is out of bounds.
  • Above the crossbar, the uprights shall be white or yellow and 18 feet, six inches apart inside to inside.
  • The height of the crossbar shall be measured from the top of each end of the crossbar to the ground directly below.
  • Soft, flexible four-sided pylons 4 inches by 4 inches with an overall height of 18 inches, which may include a 2-inch space between the bottom of the pylon and the ground, are required. They shall be red or orange in color.

NFHS High School Football

nfhs_logoNFHS is the body that writes the rules of competition for most high school sports and activities in the United States. Most high schools, whether public or private, belong to their state’s high school association; in turn, each state association belongs to the NFHS. Over 17,000 high schools belong to associations that are members of the NFHS. NFHS’s headquarters are located in White River State Park in Indianapolis, Indiana

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Dimensions, Markings and Play Zones

  • High school football field is 360 by 160 feet.
  • Sidelines on the field serves the boundary of the playing field and ball falling on this lines are out of bounds.
  • Yard lines shall be marked with continuous line every 5 yards beginning and ending 4 inches from each sideline.
  • All lines in the field shall be continuous lines at least 4 inches wide.
  • A series of “hash marks” should be 24 inches in length and 4 inches in width and shall be located 53 feet, 4 inches from and parallel with each sideline dividing the field longitudinally in thirds.
  • Team boxes shall be marked on each side of the field outside the coaches area between the 25-yard lines for use of coaches, substitutes, athletic trainers, etc., affiliated with the team.

Goals and Pylons

goal-post-nfhs pylon-and-end-zone-nfhs yard-line-nfhs

 

  • The goal is the vertical plane midway between the sidelines extending indefinitely above the inside of the uprights and the front edge of the crossbar and in the same vertical plane as the inside edge of the end line
  • The top of the crossbar shall be 10 feet above the ground, measured from the base of each upright to the top of the crossbar at the intersection, or at each end of the crossbar perpendicular to the ground when a single pedestal is used. The crossbar shall be 23 feet, 4 inches long.
  • The uprights shall be 23 feet, 4 inches apart inside to inside and each upright may not exceed 4 inches in width.
  • The uprights shall extend  a minimum of 10 feet above the crossbar.
  • The goal posts shall be padded with resilient, shock absorbing material to a height of at least 6 feet above the ground.
  • A soft, flexible pylon, which is 4 inches square, 18 inches high, either orange, red or yellow in color, and does not create risk, shall be placed at the inside corner of each of the intersection of the hash marks extended properly placed, the goal line pylon is out of bounds at the intersection of the sideline and the goal line extended.

 

References

  1. http://www.nfl.com/rulebook/field
  2. http://www.ncaa.com/sports/football
  3. http://www.ncaapublications.com/p-4309-2013-and-2014-ncaa-football-rules-and-interpretations.aspx
  4. https://www.iahsaa.org/football/