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The Dimensions of an American Football Field

by Tim Hornibrook

Tim Hornibrook, an executive director with Macquarie Group, studied psychology at Tulane University. Tim Hornibrook attended the school on a football scholarship. He continues to remain interested in sports, as his sons play Australian rules football and his wife manages the Moore Park Tigers in Sydney, Australia.
Professional and college football fields, as well as the vast majority of high school fields, measure about 120 yards in length and just over 50 yards in width. The fields themselves begin at the 1-yard line and progress to the 50-yard mark at midfield. From this point on, the numbers begin to decrease approaching the opposite end zone. During a game, teams are said to have crossed into an opposing team’s territory after crossing the 50-yard mark. Each end zone adds an extra 10 yards to the field for the 120-yard total.
Each end zone features a goal post used for extra point and field goal attempts. The posts extend about 20 feet into the air, with a single pylon of about 6 to 10 feet reaching up and branching out to the two goal posts. The posts themselves measure between 10 and 15 feet in height and are separated by just over 23 feet of air space for the extra point and field goal attempts to pass through. In the National Football League (NFL), most field goal attempts come in between 35 and 37 yards. Taking offensive formations and the end zone’s added 10 yards into account, a team is considered to be in field goal territory after crossing the 30- or 35-yard line.
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