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Football Pitch Size & Dimensions: How Long & Big Is a Pitch?

You may have noticed that the football pitch size where you play 5-a-side or 7-a-side with your mates is different from where the professionals play. And, you’re right!
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No, it’s not just the number of fans on the sidelines. Everything from the pitch size to its markings can vary, depending on the type of football that you’re playing. Even the pitch size where the top FIFA players play can vary from stadium to stadium.

As with all other sports, some rules have to be followed when making “The Field of Play.” But, as you may expect, these rules have changed since the birth of football.

Back in the 1800s, the pitch size and the pitch’s markings were different from how they are today. The football pitch’s length could be up to 200 yards long and 100 yards wide. And, at this time, there were no boundary lines; the pitch sizes were marked using flags.

Today, the standards and regulations for pitch sizes are defined in the original Laws of the Game. And, they have remained unchanged since the early twentieth century.

Some of the standards include the overall shape of the pitch, the size of goal lines, the markings inside of it, and even the green of the turf.

There are many more details outlined in the original laws that may seem insignificant but can have a huge impact on the game. Football pitch size alone can be the difference between victory and loss or fun and frustration. It all goes back to the history of football and the original Laws of the Game.

Before you kick the ball around, it’s important to understand the dimensions of a football pitch. This goes regardless of whether you’re a player, manager, or groundsman.

Let’s go over the size of a football pitch and the differences between each of the pitches to get a better understanding of this integral component of the sport.

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Are All Football Pitches The Same Size? (How Big is a Football Pitch?)

Unfortunately, we can’t answer the question “How big is a football field?” in one short sentence. But, we can tell you that in general, the length of a football pitch must be a minimum of 100 yards (90m) and a maximum of 130 yards (120 metres). The pitch must also be a minimum of 50 yards (45m) and a maximum of 100 yards (90m) wide.

As you may be able to tell from the above measurements, the regulations set by The Football Association allow for some variation. Football pitches can vary in size, even when it comes to pitches that are used for professional games.

Take the Wolverhampton Wanderers FC’s Molineux Stadium, for example. The stadium measures 100 metres long by 64m wide (115 yards wide by 74 yards long), making it the smallest pitch in the Premier League.

On the other hand, we have Brighton & Hove Albion’s AMEX Stadium. Brighton & Hove have the largest soccer pitch in the Premier League. The dimensions of this pitch are 105m (115 yards) by 65m (71 yards).

Not only does the format of the game (e.g. 5-a-side, 6-a-side, 7-a-side, or 11-a-side) and the age group of the players determine the football pitch size, it also influences other components of the pitch. These include the markings, dimensions of the goal, size of the goal posts, and more.

Components of the Pitch

Before we go over the measurements and pitch dimensions, let’s review some of the components that make up the pitch. We’ll share information on the markings, goals and goal posts, penalty areas, and more.

The Field of Play

The area of the pitch within the marked boundary lines is considered the field of play, or the playing area. The boundary lines are made up of the touchlines (horizontal) and the goal lines or bylines (vertical).

As we mentioned above, pitch sizes can vary. However, according to regulations set by The Football Association, the touchline must measure between 100 yards (90m) and 130 yards (120m). Additionally, the byline must measure between 50 yards (45m) and 100 yards (90m).

There’s a reason why you never see square football pitches. Whilst the dimensions of the pitches can change, the aspect ratio of the pitches must remain the same. This means that the length of the byline must always be shorter than the length of the touchline. Outside of the touchline and goal line are the technical areas. Similar to other sports, this is where the team officials and substitutes can sit and stand during the game.

As far as the surface of the pitch, the playing area can be artificial or natural green turf. That said, amateur teams may play on dirt fields.

Goals & Goal Posts

On either side of the football pitch, you’ll find the goal, which is always located in the centre of the byline. Similar to other sports, the line between the goal posts is called the goal line.

Goals consist of three parts, two goalposts, a crossbar, and a net. For professional clubs, the goalposts must be set 8 yards wide apart (7.32m) and each post should have a total height of 2.6 yards (2.44m).

The goal posts must be white, made of wood or metal, and secured properly to the ground so that they do not impact the player’s performance.

how long is a football field goal

Half-Way Line & Centre Circle

The halfway line separates the two halves of the pitch. The centre mark, the spot designed for the ball during kickoffs, must go in the middle of the halfway line. It must be located in the centre of the pitch.

The centre circle, which is drawn around the centre mark and divided in half by the halfway line, has a diameter of 10 yards (9.144m).

Goal Area & Penalty Area

Pitches used for 11-a-side soccer games have two rectangular boxes in front of each goal. One of these is in the goal area, the other the penalty area.

The goal area, also known as the ‘six-yard box’, can either be a rectangle or a rounded, half-circle shape. This depends on the format of football being played and the size of the pitch.

Two lines that start 6 yards (5.5m) from the goalposts and extend 6 yards into the pitch form the goal area. One line, which is parallel to the goal line, connects the two lines to form a rectangle.

The penalty area, also known as ‘the 18-yard box’ or ‘the box,’ has several functions. One of these is to act as the designated area where the goalkeeper can handle the ball.

Just like the goal area, the penalty area uses the goal line and has two lines that extended 18 yards (16.5m) into the pitch. And, similar to the goal area, one line, which is parallel to the goal line, connects the two 18-yard lines to make a rectangle. This line has a length of 44 yards.

Penalty Spot & Arcs

The penalty spots are the markings located on the inside of the penalty area. Depending on the pitch dimensions, penalty spots can go up to 12 yards (11m) from the goal line.

The penalty arcs, also known as the ‘Ds’, are the four quarter-circle arcs marked in the corners of the pitch. The size of the penalty arcs depends on the football pitch size and the professional level of the clubs playing. Generally, these markings are 1 yard in diameter.

how many yards is a football pitch line

5-A-Side Football Pitch Dimensions

How long is a football pitch for a 5 vs. 5 match? A 5-a-side football pitch, according to the Football Association’s recommendation, is 40 yards long (36.5m) and 30 yards wide (27.5m).

What makes a 5-a-side pitch different from an 11-a-side pitch is its unique rounded penalty areas. On an 11-a-side pitch there 18-yard penalty areas that have a box shape. Additionally, pitches with these dimensions do not have a six-yard box.

The centre of the half-circle penalty areas on a 5-a-side football pitch must be 6.5 yards (6m) from the middle of the goal lines, no matter the football field size.

When it comes to goal size for these matches, the recommended pitch dimensions are 3 yards, or 3.66m wide and 1.33 yards, or 1.22m tall.

7-A-Side Football Field Dimensions

What size is a football pitch for a game of 7-a-side? The dimensions of a football pitch for this type of game is 60 yards (4.86 metres) long and 40 yards (36.5 metres) wide.

When compared to a 5-a-side pitch, a 7-a-side pitch is larger and has one other noticeable difference: Rectangular penalty areas. According to the standards set by the Football Association, these areas must be 10 yards from the goal line and be 18 yards (6.5 metres) in length. And, you won’t find a six-yard box inside these penalty areas.

There are a few optional components of 7-a-side pitches, including the penalty arcs which signify the penalty spot. When in use, the penalty arcs must be positioned along the penalty area with the curve facing toward the centre of the pitch.

Regardless of whether or not the field has penalty arcs, this pitch must have a penalty spot. Unlike larger fields with a penalty spot 12 yards from the goal line, the penalty spot for a 7-a-side pitch is 8 yards (7.3 metres) from the goal line.

9-A-Side Football Pitch Length

The dimensions of a full-size football pitch for 9-a-side soccer is 80 yards long (73.1 metres) by 50 yards wide (45.72 metres).

The centre circle has a radius of 7 yards (6.4 metres) from the centre mark. Additionally, each side of the pitch must have a penalty spot 9 yards (8.2m) away from the goal line.

These games require that each goal post be 7 feet tall and 16 feet apart from each other.

dimensions of football pitch corner

11-A-Side Football Pitch Dimensions (In Metres & Yards)

For an 11-a-side pitch, the total length of the field should be between 100 yards to 130 yards (90 to 120m). The width should also be between 50 yards and 100 yards (45m to 90m).

An 11-a-side pitch will have the same size markings for their penalty arcs, centre circle, and corner arcs as a 9-a-side pitch. 11-a-side pitches must have an 18-yard box with the penalty spot marked 12 yards from the goal line. The six-yard box should extend six yards from the goal line.

One of the main determiners of football pitch size at this level is the age of the players. Basically, the younger the players, the smaller the pitch. For example, the suggested pitch size for players in the U-15 and U-16 age groups should be 100 yards long and 60 yards wide.

According to the FA, the suggested pitch size for players over the age of 18 should be 110 yards (100.5 metres) by 70 yards (64 metres).

FIFA Football Field Dimensions

Although FIFA football pitch sizes are very similar to the 11-a-side pitches of the Premier League, there are a few differences. FIFA requires that the minimum length of the touchline be 90m (100 yards). On the other hand, the maximum length is 120m (130 yards). The width of the pitch must be a minimum of 45m long (50 yards) and a maximum of 90m (100 yards).

Just to make things complicated, FIFA rules require different minimum and maximum pitch dimensions for all of their international matches and tournaments. For international games, the goal line must have a minimum length of 100 metres (50 yards) and a maximum of 110 metres (100 yards). The rules also indicate that the width of the pitch be between 64 metres and 75 metres.

Premier League Pitch Sizes

Whilst English Premier League (EPL) pitches are generally the same size, they can fluctuate in length and width by a few metres. Many people don’t know that the pitch size can change by the season. This has to do with the performance of the ground staff and the team manager’s preference.

Here you can see a few examples of pitch sizes from some of the most popular professional teams’ stadiums in the EPL:

  • AMEX Stadium (Brighton & Hove Albion) Width: 105m, Height: 69m
  • Stamford Bridge (Chelsea FC) Width: 103m, Height: 67m
  • King Power Stadium (Leicester City FC) Width: 102m, Height: 67m
  • The Etihad (Manchester City FC) Width: 105 m, Height: 68 metres
  • Old Trafford (Manchester United FC) Width: 105 m, Height: 68m

length of football field stadium

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References

  1. https://www.uefa.com/insideuefa/news/025c-0f8e775cbd76-a467351b03e2-1000–mud-plastic-and-grass-the-evolution-of-the-football-pitch/
  2. https://www.football-stadiums.co.uk/articles/are-all-football-pitches-the-same-size/
  3. https://www.footballhistory.org/field.html
  4. https://digitalhub.fifa.com/m/3f3e15cc1ab8977b/original/datdz0pms85gbnqy4j3k-pdf.pdf

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