Football 101 - The Football Field

Football field
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If you're just getting started learning about football, knowing the exact dimensions of a football field is not necessarily that important, but it is good to have a basic knowledge of the field itself in order to understand the game. Understanding what the end zone is, for example, is essential to understanding football.

You'll notice from this illustration of a football field: (right click on the link to open in a new window)

  • The playing field is 100 yards long.
  • The playing field has stripes running across the field at five-yard intervals.
  • There are shorter lines, called hash marks, marking each one-yard interval: these aren't shown in the illustration.
  • On each end of the playing field is an end zone (red section with diagonal lines) which extends ten yards. A touchdown is scored when a player in possesion of the ball gets the ball into the end zone.
  • The total field is 120 yards long and 160 feet wide.
  • Located on the very back line of each end zone is a goal post.  Teams score field goals and extra points through the goal posts.
  • The spot where the end zone meets the playing field is called the goal line.
  • The yardage from the goal line is marked at ten-yard intervals, up to the 50-yard line, which is in the center of the field. After reaching the 50-yard line, the yardage markers start to descend (40, 30, 20, 10) every ten yards until they reach the opposite goal line.