Soccer Field Versus Football Field

Football and football helmet on football field

Soccer and football are two of the most popular sports in the world but they are very different sports. Although both sports take place on either a natural grass or artificial turf playing surface, soccer and American football fields have many differences. The size of the fields and the markings on them are different. In fact, the size of a soccer field can even change from game to game.

What are the dimensions of a soccer field?

The playing field size in soccer can change greatly depending on the location of the field and who has organized the game. The official FIFA rules call for a field with a minimum length of 100 yards and a maximum length of 130 yards and 50 and 100 yards wide for league play. These parameters are different, however, during international matches: FIFA rules call for a field between 110 and 120 yards long and 70 and 80 yards wide. This makes soccer games very interesting as soccer teams and soccer players must adapt to shorter or longer fields based on soccer league rules.

What do the markings on a soccer field mean?

Chalk line in grass

Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images

The markings on a soccer field must meet certain guidelines, as they help determine the starting and stopping of play. The boundary lines around the field must be no more than 5 in. wide. Organizers must divide the field into two halves through a halfway line that runs from touchline to touchline. They must also place a center circle in the middle of the field and accompany this small circle with a larger circle with a radius of 10 yards. Organizers must also include a goal area, which begins six yards from the soccer goal post and extends 6 additional yards from the goal line, before joining with a parallel line. It must also include a penalty area which extends 18 yards to each side of the goal and 18 yards in front of it. This penalty box includes a penalty spot where penalty kicks are taken from. There are also corner arcs where corner kicks are taken on each corner of the soccer pitch.

What are the dimensions of a football field?

The dimensions of an NFL football field remain very strict, as every field must have a length of 360 feet, or 120 yards, including 30 feet, or 10 yards, for each end zone. This means that the actual field of play remains 300 feet or 100 yards long. The field must also have a width of 160 feet, or 53.33 yards from sideline to sideline.

What are the markings of a football field?

Football field with Manhattan in background

Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images

Organizers must rim the entire field with a 6-foot-wide white border, which will act as the out of bounds area. They will also place hash marks, which act as inbound lines, 70 feet, 9 inches from the sidelines to mark every yard line of the field. A goal line must extend from sideline to sideline and must include a pylon to mark this area at each end of the field. All markings within the end zone or at the 50-yard half area must gain approval of the league before use.

Can soccer games be played on football fields?

Many high school soccer games in America are played on fields meant for football since they share similar dimensions. In fact multiple Premier League games have been hosted in NFL stadiums in 2023, during the first ever Summer Series. It goes both ways, as many NFL teams have played football games in soccer stadiums in England and Germany.