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The size of a football pitch can vary greatly depending on the age of the players involved and the format of football played, which is why we’ve put together this comprehensive guide that covers football pitch dimensions and markings in detail.
Whether you’re a player, coach, chairman, groundsman, teacher, or other interested party, playing on the correct size football pitch is essential.
The information in this guide covers the official football pitch sizes for 5, 7, 9 and 11-a-side games, whilst also outlining the standard football pitch lines you’ll find on those pitches.
In the modern era the dimensions and markings of a football pitch give it its well-known and iconic look. Back in the early 1800s, when the game was first established and initial rules and regulations were developed, pitches tended to be around 200 yards long and typically used corner flags to designate the width of the playing area. It wasn’t until the mid-19th century, that pitches began to incorporate and use lines to mark out the perimeter of the playing area. This marked the beginning of the famous football pitch that we know today.
Whilst many sports courts, fields and pitches have very strict and exact guidelines in terms of their dimensions, a football pitch can vary significantly in terms of its length and width. This is truer still when you factor in different age groups/team formats.
The FA recommends that children of different age groups play on different sized football pitches and with a different format in terms of the number of players on the field at any one time. The FA football pitch guidelines can be found by clicking here (please note that clicking the link will automatically download a pdf). The FA recommends adding a runoff area (the safety area around the pitch), which typically adds another 6 yards to the length and width of the pitch.
|FOOTBALL PITCHES SIZES BY AGE GROUP|
|Mini-Soccer U7/U8||5 v 5||40yds (36.6m)||30yds (27.4m)|
|Mini-Soccer U9/U10||7 v 7||60yds (54.9m)||40yds (36.6m)|
|Youth U11/U12||9 v 9||80yds (73.15m)||50yds (45.72m)|
|Youth U13/U14||11 v 11||90yds (82.3m)||55yds (50.3m)|
|Youth U15/U16||11 v 11||100yds (91.4m)||60yds (54.9m)|
|Youth U17/U18||11 v 11||110yds (100.6m)||70yds (64.0m)|
|Over 18 (senior ages)||11 v 11||110yds (100.6m)||70yds (64.0m)|
Per FA guidelines, children aged 7 and 8 should play Mini Soccer, with 5 players from each team on the pitch at one time. It is also recommended that the teams play with a size 3 ball and use goals that measure 12ft x 6ft. As outlined in the table above, the recommended pitch dimensions are 40 yards (36.58m) x 30 yards (27.43m).
In under 7/8 matches, the penalty box is 9 yards (8.23m) from the goal line and 16 yards (14.63m) long, the penalty spot is marked out 7 yards (6.40m) from the centre of the goal and there should be a runoff area around the perimeter of the field of 3 yards (2.74m).
The dimensions and markings used for under 7 and 8 matches are also often used for senior 5 a-side matches.
Players in under 9 and 10 leagues should play matches with 7 players on each team on the pitch at one time. The pitch should measure 60 yards (54.87m) x 40 yards (36.57m). It is recommended that a size 3 ball is used and that goals should be 12ft x 6ft.
In under 9/10 matches, the penalty spot is marked out 8 yards (7.32m) from the centre of the goals, and the penalty box measures 18 yards (16.46M) x 10 yards (9.14m).
In the U11/12 leagues and tournaments, the matches should have a 9 v 9 player format, use 16ft x 7ft goals and use a size 4 ball. The pitch should measure 80 yards (73.15m) x 50 yards (45.72m).
For players aged 11 and 12, the penalty spot is marked out 9 yards (8.23m) from the centre of each goal, and the penalty box should measure 32 yards (29.26m) x 13 yards (11.89m). The goal area should have dimensions of 4 yards (3.66m) x 14 yards (12.80m).
Players in under 13 and 14 teams should play with 11 players from each team on the field of play at one time. The goal posts should measure 21ft x 7 ft and the ball should be a size 4. The pitch should measure 90 yards(82.3m) x 55 yards (50.2m)
For under 13/14 matches, the penalty box should measure 14 yards (12.80m) x 35 yards (32.00m) and the penalty spot should be placed 10 yards (9.14m) from the centre of each goal. The goal area should measure 5 yards (4.57m) x 16 yards (14.63m).
For players aged 15 and 16, the football pitch should measure 100 yards (91.44m) x 60 yards (54.86m), a size 5 ball should be used and full size 24ft x 8ft goals. At this age, the matches are 11 a-side.
The penalty box should be 18 yards (16.46m) x 44 yards (40.23m) in size and the penalty spot should be 12 yards (10.97m) from the centre of each goal post. The goal area should measure 6 yards (5.49m) x 20 yards (18.29m).
At age 17, players use full-size senior pitches. The dimensions of full size pitches vary, especially at the amateur level with official regulations from IFAB (International Football Association Board) stating that football pitches can measure between 100 yards (91.4m) and 130 yards (118.9m) long and 50 yards (45.7m) to 100 yards (91.4m) wide.
Although regulation football pitches can vary significantly in size, the FA recommends that senior pitches should measure 110 yards (100.6m) x 70 yards (64m) and IFAB Laws of the Game documentation states that international football pitches should measure 110 yards (100.6m) to 120 yards (109.7m) long; and 70 yards (64.0m) to 80 yards (73.2m) wide.
Despite the official FA guidelines, top-level football pitches in England tend to be slightly larger, with a typical pitch measuring approximately 115 yards (105m) by 75 yards (68.8m).
Full-size pitches used by players aged 17 and above, have penalty spots marked 12 yards from the centre of each goal, penalty boxes measuring 18 yards (16.46m) x 44 yards (40.23m) and goal areas that are 6 yards (5.49m) x 20 yards (18.29m). The ball used should be a size 5 and the goals should measure 24ft (7.32m) x 8ft (2.44m).
The FA recommends that 5-a-side football pitches should be 40 yards (36.5m) long and 30 yards (27.5m) wide.
A 7-a-side football pitch should be 60 yards (54.87m) long and 40 yards (36.58m) wide.
According to FA guidelines, a 9 v 9 football pitch should measure 80 yards (73.15m) x 50 yards (45.72m).
The FA recommends that 11 v 11 football pitches should measure 110 yards (100.6m) x 70 yards (64.0m), although actual pitch measurements can vary between 100 yards (91.4m) and 130 yards (118.9m) long, and 50 yards (45.7m) to 100 yards (91.4m) wide according to IFAB’s Laws of the Game documentation. The majority of Premier League football pitches measure between 112 yards (102.4m) to 115 (105.2m) yards long and 70 yards (64.0m) to 75 yards (68.6m) wide.
The markings on a football pitch play a hugely important part in any game. Whether defining when the ball is in/out of play, when a goal has been scored, or when a penalty should be awarded, the lines on football pitches are essential to games played at any level.
Not only are there regulation pitch line layouts, but there are also regulation sizes which need to be followed. Below we’ve outlined what the standard lines on football pitches are used for.
It’s worth noting that the most recent documentation published by the FA states that the white lines used to mark out a football pitch “...must be of the same width which must not be more than 5 inches (12cm)”.
The penalty box; also called “the 18-yard box” is marked out in front of each goal. As the name suggests, if a foul by the defending team occurs within the penalty box, a penalty is awarded to the attacking team. The exception to this is if an indirect free kick is awarded to the attacking team.
Despite its name, the penalty box is actually a rectangle and measures 18 yards (16.5m) long and 44 yards (40.2m) wide. The width of the penalty box is usually marked out by measuring 18 yards from each side of the goalposts - as a full-size goal is 8 yards (7.32m) wide, this gives a total width of 44 yards (40.2m).
Within the penalty box, is the penalty spot. This should be marked in line with the centre of the goalposts and be 12 yards (10.97m) away from the goal line.
The penalty box arc is a D-shaped area that lies adjacent to the side of the penalty box furthest from the goal line. The arc should have a radius of 10 yards (9.14m). When a penalty is awarded, only the designated penalty taker and the goalkeeper can stand inside the arc or penalty box.
The goal area, which is often called “the six-yard box” measures 6 yards (5.49m) x 20 yards (18.29m). The main purpose of the goal area is to limit where the ball can be placed for a goal kick.
The centre circle has a 10 yard (9.14m) radius around the centre spot on the football pitch. When a kick-off is taken from the centre-spot, the opposing team’s players must remain outside the centre circle until the ball is touched/kicked into play. A kick-off occurs at the start of the game, when the second half begins and after a goal is scored. In addition, during a penalty shootout, all players except the penalty taker and the goalkeeper must remain inside the centre circle. The goalkeeper of the penalty taker’s team must stand near the touchline, usually by the assistant referee and in line with the edge of the penalty box/18-yard line.
Corner arcs have a radius of 1 yard (0.91m). The arc is marked with a quarter circle and the radius is drawn 1 yard from the base of the corner flag. When a corner kick is taken, the ball must reside within the arc. Defending players should remain 10 yards (9.15m) from the ball until it is kicked.
You may be wondering how the pitches at some of the world’s best-known stadiums compare in size. If you are, you’re in luck, as the dimensions of several famous football pitches are shown in the table below. They are all accurate at the time of writing.
|FAMOUS FOOTBALL PITCH DIMENSIONS|
|Club||Ground||Location||Length (yards)||Width (yards)|
|Manchester United||Old Trafford||Manchester, UK||114.8||74.4|
|Barcelona||Camp Nou||Barcelona, Spain||115||74.4|
|Crystal Palace||London, UK||Selhurst Park||110.5||74.4|
|Elche||Estadio Manuel Martínez Valero||Alicante, Spain||118||77|
Crystal Palace has one of the smallest pitches in the English Football League, with a size of 110.5 yards (101m) × 74.4 yards (68m). One of the largest professional football pitches is located in Elche in Alicante. The pitch measures 118 yards (108m) x 77 (70m) yards.
Whilst professional football pitches vary only slightly in terms of their dimensions, the size of amateur pitches can differ quite significantly.
A football pitch that adheres to the current FA guidelines in terms of its dimensions should be 110yds (100.6m) long and 70yds (64m) wide, meaning it covers an area of 1.6 acres.
A typical football pitch measuring 110yds (100.6m) long and 70yds (64m) wide, will cover an area of 69,300 ft²
It wasn’t until the 1880s that markings began to be introduced, and groundskeepers would typically use chalk or sometimes even dust of some kind, to mark out the dimensions of the pitch.
These days, groundskeepers use a range of paints and solutions to mark out football pitches. Line marking paints usually consist of a formula of micronized titanium dioxide, resins and surfactants. If you own or run a football club or facility, it may be worth knowing that the FA states you are required to carry out a risk assessment in relation to setting up and marking out a football pitch.
Groundskeepers will also tend to make use of some type of line marking machinery. These machines include manual line marking machines, electric spray marking machines and motorised line marking trikes. The StadiumMax Wheel Transfer Line Marker is our bestselling option whilst our Motorised Line Marking Trikes feature an impressive 4-stroke Honda engine, turf saving tyres and a maximum speed of 18mph! Screw-in grass marking tufts are also regarded as an essential piece of pitch marking equipment by many groundskeepers.
Rugby pitches are usually slightly wider than a football pitch which adheres to the English FA’s recommendations. Whilst the FA recommends that football pitches should be 70 yards (64m) wide, rugby union pitches are between 74.4 yards and 76.6 yards (68-70m) wide. Rugby union pitches tend to be longer than football pitches as well when the “in-goal area” beyond the try-line is included. A rugby union pitch is normally 109 yards (100m) long between try-lines with an additional 6-22m (6.6-24yds) on either side for the in-goal area. This gives the rugby union pitch a typical length of 122-157yds (111.5-144m).
At the time of writing the biggest professional football pitch is Manchester City’s pitch at the Etihad Stadium which is 116 yards (106m) long and 77 yards (70.4m) wide.
The majority of Premier League football pitches measure 115 yards (105.16m) x 74 yards (67.67m). The dimensions of the pitches do vary slightly, however. At the time of writing, for example, Anfield has a length of 110 yards, whilst the pitch at the Etihad Stadium has a length of 116 yards (106m) and a width of 77 yards (70.41m).
Whilst there is a relatively high amount of variability in terms of FIFA guidelines for domestic matches, documentation published by the IFAB (International Football Association Board) in association with FIFA, states that international football pitches must be between 110 yards (100m) and 120 yards (110m) long and between 70 yards (64m) and 80 yards (73.15m) wide.
Compulsory football pitch or ground equipment includes 4 corner flags, which are placed in the corners of each pitch, within the actual lines. The post must be at least 1.5m (5ft) high. Flag Posts can also be placed to mark the halfway line but these are not compulsory.
Football goal posts must be securely fitted to the ground for safety reasons, and for senior games they should be 8ft (2.44m) high and 24ft (7.32m) wide.
Most professional and semi-professional leagues in the UK will require football pitches to have dugouts or team shelters. First aid kits must also be available and on hand and many leagues require football pitches to have crowd barriers.