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The Soccer Field

How big is the soccer field?

The soccer field, or football pitch, is flexible in size. It is 100 to 130 yards (90-120m) long and 50 to 100 yards (45-90m) wide. In international play the field dimensions are a bit stricter in that the length must be 110 to 120 yards (100 – 110m) long and 70 to 80 yards (64 – 75m) wide.

An additional rule is that the length has to be longer than the width, so you couldn’t have a square field of 100 yards by 100 yards.

Even though these are the official rules, many kid’s soccer games are played on even smaller fields than the minimum. Although the length and width are flexible, other areas of the field are generally fixed in size.

The Goal

At each end of the field is the goal. The goal is 8 yards wide and 8 feet high and is placed at the center of the goal line. They have nets to catch the ball so you don’t have to chase it, plus it helps the referee to determine if a goal was scored.

The Boundary

The boundary of the field is drawn with lines. The lines on sides, or the long side of the field, are called the touch lines or side lines. The lines at the end of the field are called the goal lines or end lines.

The Center

At the middle of the field is the center line which cuts the field in half. At the very center of the field is the center circle. The center circle is 10 yards in diameter.

The Goal Area

Soccer areas around the goal
Areas around the goal

  • Goal Area – The goal area is a box that extends 6 yards out from the goal posts. Free kicks are taken from this area.
  • Penalty Area – The penalty area is a box that extends 18 yards out from the goal posts. In this area the goalkeeper may use their hands. Also, any penalty by the defense in this area will result in a penalty kick from the penalty mark.
  • Penalty Mark – This is the spot where the ball is placed for penalty kicks. It is at the center of the goal and 12 yards away from the goal line.
  • Penalty Arc – This is a small arc at the top of the penalty box. Players other than the goalkeeper and kicker may not enter this area during a penalty kick.

The Corners

At each corner is a flag post and a corner arc. The corner arc is 1 yard in diameter. The ball must be placed within this arc for corner kicks. Flag posts must be at least 5 feet tall to prevent injury.

Soccer stadium and field
A soccer field during world cup play

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