Football Field Marking Explained: How to Mark The Lines of a Football Field

How to Mark a Football Field

Football field marking is a process which involves many steps and requires much effort, especially when football fields are to be marked for the first time. The football field is made up of a number of different lines and areas, including touch lines, football goal lines, center line, goal areas, penalty areas etc. All of these lines and areas need to be carefully placed and marked according to the regulations in effect. The line marking itself is not nearly as time-consuming as laying out the football field diagrams. All the lines, arcs, circles, spots etc. need to be placed with great precision to make sure that the football field can be approved and used afterwards.

In this article, we will look at a standard football  field diagram and the requirements for the football field marking.

What Are the Dimensions of a Standard Football Field Layout?

A professional football  field must be laid out according to the measurements below.


Football Field Measurements

Click the elements to expand and see the measurement information.

Length of the field: 90-120 meters (100 – 130 yards)

Width of the field: 45-90 meters (50-100 yards)

Radius of 9.15 meters (10 yards) from the center of the field, with the center mark in the middle

5.5 meters deep, 18.3 meters wide (6 x 20 yards). The depth must be measured from the center of the goal posts.

16.5 meters deep, 40.3 meters wide (18 x 44 yards)

From the penalty kick mark at a radius of 9.15 meters (10 yards)

11 meters (12 yards) from the goal line.  The mark is 22 centimeters (9 inches) in diameter.

Radius of 1 meter (1 yards)

Height 2.44 meters (8 feet) from the ground to the bottom of the crossbar. Width 7.32 meters (8 yards) apart.

The posts and crossbar must be white and not to exceed 12 centimeters (5 inches) in width.

Maximum 12 centimeters (5 inches). Note: The goal-line width is marked the same width as the goal posts.

Lines are traditionally white but not specified.

How to Draw a Football Field

The process of laying out a new football field requires great attention to detail. The layout is a step-by-step process where the different marks determine the position of the following marks to be made. This means that errors in one part of the process can affect the entire layout. The following explanation is meant to give a better understanding of the steps involved and will not include all details of the process.

Step 1

The football field layout usually requires at least two people using tape measures and stakes to stick into the ground. Using the appropriate football field diagram for correct sizes, the endpoints of one of the goal lines are located first.


Step 2

Next, a tape measure is used to find the spot where the halfway line meets the touch lines (the long side lines). This marks the middle of the football field.


The touch line on one side of the field can now be laid out. Now we have one goal line, one halfway line and one touch line. The process is then repeated for the other end of the football field.

Step 3

Next, the positions for the penalty area, goal area and the goal itself need to be located. This is done by measuring and setting down marks on the goal line where the areas need to be placed (these positions are often marked at the beginning when the measuring tape is already in place). The length of these areas is then measured by pulling a tape measure all the way across the field from goal line to goal line.


Now, all the necessary points have been marked in their right positions but this was only the first step. There are still no lines, only individual marks. The second step is to pull strings from mark to mark and paint the lines themselves. The strings are typically held in place using stakes that are put into the ground and that can easily be moved around.

This process is usually also done by two or more persons. Otherwise, it would take too long for one person to walk the full length of the field every time a stake needs to be moved.


How Long Does It Take to Mark a Football Field?

How long it takes to mark a full football field depends on the number of persons doing the job. We often hear from our line marker customers that the entire process for football field marking usually takes approximately five hours for two persons. This means a total of 10 man hours.

Many sports teams and schools usually have several football fields to be marked. For someone with 10 football fields, this would mean 100 man hours dedicated to line marking at the start of the season. This means that several days need to be allocated to this task, often making it hard to find time to keep up with other tasks.

This is where an automatic football field painter can make a difference. Marking a completely new football field can be done in only 20 minutes, including layout and marking the field. The field dimensions and positions are managed from a tablet, allowing anyone to place a field, put paint on the line marker robot and press Start.

The line marking robot can be used for a wide range of sports disciplines, including football field diagrams for American Football.

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