Football pitch

Last updated

Standard pitch measurements. Not all pitches are the same size, though the preferred size for many professional teams' stadiums is 105 by 68 metres (115 yd x 74 yd) with an area of 7,140 square metres (76,900 sq ft; 1.76 acres; 0.714 ha). Football pitch metric and imperial.svg
Standard pitch measurements. Not all pitches are the same size, though the preferred size for many professional teams' stadiums is 105 by 68 metres (115 yd × 74 yd) with an area of 7,140 square metres (76,900 sq ft; 1.76 acres; 0.714 ha).

A football pitch (also known as a football field [1] or soccer field) is the playing surface for the game of association football. Its dimensions and markings are defined by Law 1 of the Laws of the Game, "The Field of Play". [2] The surface can either be natural or artificial. Artificial surfaces must be green in colour. The pitch is typically made of turf (grass) or artificial turf, although amateur and recreational teams often play on dirt fields.

Association football Team field sport

Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a team sport played with a spherical ball between two teams of eleven players. It is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries and dependencies, making it the world's most popular sport. The game is played on a rectangular field called a pitch with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by moving the ball beyond the goal line into the opposing goal.

The Laws of the Game (LOTG) are the codified rules that help define association football. They are the only rules of association football subscribed to by FIFA. The laws mention the number of players a team should have, the game length, the size of the field and ball, the type and nature of fouls that referees may penalise, the frequently misinterpreted offside law, and many other laws that define the sport. During a match, it is the task of the referee to interpret and enforce the Laws of the Game.

Sod grass and roots beneath

Sod or turf is grass and the part of the soil beneath it held together by its roots or another piece of thin material.

Contents

All line markings on the pitch form part of the area which they define. For example, a ball on or above the touchline is still on the field of play, and a foul committed over the line bounding the penalty area results in a penalty. Therefore, a ball must completely cross the touchline to be out of play, and a ball must wholly cross the goal line (between the goal posts) before a goal is scored; if any part of the ball is still on or above the line, the ball is still in play.

Penalty area

The penalty area or 18-yard box is an area of an association football pitch. It is rectangular and extends 16.5m to each side of the goal and 16.5m in front of it. Within the penalty area is the penalty spot, which is 10.97 metres (36.0 ft) or 12 yards from the goal line, directly in-line with the centre of the goal. A penalty arc adjoins the penalty area, and encloses the area within 9.15m from the penalty spot; it does not form part of the penalty area and is only of relevance during the taking of a penalty kick.

The field descriptions that apply to adult matches are described below. Note that due to the original formulation of the Laws in England and the early supremacy of the four British football associations within IFAB, the standard dimensions of a football pitch were originally expressed in imperial units. The Laws now express dimensions with approximate metric equivalents (followed by traditional units in brackets), but use of the imperial units remains common in some countries, especially in the United Kingdom.

The International Football Association Board (IFAB) is the body that determines the Laws of the Game of association football. IFAB was founded in 1886 to agree standardised Laws for international competition, and has since acted as the "guardian" of the internationally used Laws; since its establishment in 1904 FIFA, the sport's top governing body, has recognised IFAB's jurisdiction over the Laws. IFAB is known to take a highly conservative attitude regarding changes to the Laws of the Game.

Imperial units System of units formerly used in the British Empire and still used in the United Kingdom

The system of imperial units or the imperial system is the system of units first defined in the British Weights and Measures Act of 1824, which was later refined and reduced. The Imperial units replaced the Winchester Standards, which were in effect from 1588 to 1825. The system came into official use across the British Empire. By the late 20th century, most nations of the former empire had officially adopted the metric system as their main system of measurement, although some imperial units are still used in the United Kingdom, Canada and other countries formerly part of the British Empire. The imperial system developed from what were first known as English units, as did the related system of United States customary units.

United Kingdom Country in Europe

The United Kingdom (UK), officially the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world. The Irish Sea lies between Great Britain and Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres (93,600 sq mi), the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world. It is also the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017.

Pitch boundary

The goal line at the Stretford End of Old Trafford in Manchester (1992) Goal line at Old Trafford 1992.JPG
The goal line at the Stretford End of Old Trafford in Manchester (1992)

The pitch is rectangular in shape. The longer sides are called touchlines. The other opposing sides are called the goal lines. The two goal lines must be between 45 and 90 m (50 and 100 yd) wide, and be the same length. [3] The two touchlines be between 90 and 120 m (100 and 130 yd) long, and be the same length. [3] All lines on the ground must be equally wide, not to exceed 12 cm (5 in). [3] The corners of the pitch are marked by corner flags. [4]

For international matches the field dimensions are more tightly constrained; the goal lines must be between 64 and 75 m (70 and 80 yd) wide, and the touchlines must be between 100 and 110 m (110 and 120 yd) long. [3]

Although the term goal line is often taken to mean only that part of the line between the goalposts, in fact it refers to the complete line at either end of the pitch, from one corner flag to the other. In contrast, the term byline (or by-line) is often used to refer to that portion of the goal line outside the goalposts. This term is commonly used in football commentaries and match descriptions, such as this example from a BBC match report; "Udeze gets to the left byline and his looping cross is cleared..." [5]

Goals

A football goal Football goal 20050521.jpg
A football goal

Goals are placed at the centre of each goal-line. [6] These consist of two upright posts placed equidistant from the corner flagposts, joined at the top by a horizontal crossbar. The inner edges of the posts must be 7.32 metres (8 yd) apart, and the lower edge of the crossbar must be 2.44 metres (8 ft) above the ground. [7] Nets are usually placed behind the goal, though are not required by the Laws.

Goalposts and crossbars must be white, and made of wood, metal or other approved material. Rules regarding the shape of goalposts and crossbars are somewhat more lenient, but they must conform to a shape that does not pose a threat to players. Since the beginning of the football there have always been goalposts, but the crossbar wasn't invented until 1875, before which a string between the goalposts was used. [8]

A goal is scored when the ball crosses the goal line between the goal-posts, even if a defending player last touched the ball before it crossed the goal line (see own goal). A goal may, however, be ruled illegal (and void by the referee) if the player who scored or a member of their team commits an offence under any of the laws between the time the ball was previously out of play and the goal being scored. It is also deemed void if a player on the opposing team commits an offence before the ball has passed the line, as in the case of fouls being committed, a penalty awarded but the ball continued on a path that caused it to cross the goal line.

The football goal size for a junior match goal is approximately half the size of an adult sized match goal. [9]

History of football goals and nets

Football goals were first described in England in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. In 1584 and 1602 respectively, John Norden and Richard Carew referred to "goals" in Cornish hurling. Carew described how goals were made: "they pitch two bushes in the ground, some eight or ten foote asunder; and directly against them, ten or twelue [twelve] score off, other twayne in like distance, which they terme their Goales". [10] The first reference to scoring a goal is in John Day's play The Blind Beggar of Bethnal Green (performed circa 1600; published 1659). Similarly in a poem in 1613, Michael Drayton refers to "when the Ball to throw, And drive it to the Gole, in squadrons forth they goe". Solid crossbars were first introduced by the Sheffield Rules. Football nets were invented by Liverpool engineer John Brodie in 1891, [11] and they were a necessary help for discussions about whether or not a goal had been scored. [12]

Penalty and goal areas

The penalty area is the large marked rectangular area. The smaller rectangle within it is the goal area (here the yellow-shirted goalkeeper is the only player in the goal area). The penalty arc is the curved line adjoining the "top" of the penalty area (here the red-shirted referee is standing near the arc). Flickr RangersZenit1.jpg
The penalty area is the large marked rectangular area. The smaller rectangle within it is the goal area (here the yellow-shirted goalkeeper is the only player in the goal area). The penalty arc is the curved line adjoining the "top" of the penalty area (here the red-shirted referee is standing near the arc).

Two rectangular boxes are marked out on the pitch in front of each goal. [3]

The goal area (colloquially the "six-yard box"), consists of the rectangle formed by the goal-line, two lines starting on the goal-line 5.5 metres (6 yd) from the goalposts and extending 5.5 metres (6 yd) into the pitch from the goal-line, and the line joining these. Goal kicks and any free kick by the defending team may be taken from anywhere in this area. Indirect free kicks awarded to the attacking team within the goal area are taken from the point on the line parallel to the goal line (the "six-yard line") nearest where the infringement occurred; they cannot be taken any closer to the goal line. Similarly drop-balls that would otherwise occur closer to the goal line are taken on this line. [13]

The penalty area (colloquially "The 18-yard box" or just "The box") is similarly formed by the goal-line and lines extending from it, but its lines start 16.5 metres (18 yd) from the goalposts and extend 16.5 metres (18 yd) into the field. This area has a number of functions, the most prominent being to denote where the goalkeeper may handle the ball and where a foul by a defender, usually punished by a direct free kick, becomes punishable by a penalty kick. Both the goal and penalty areas were formed as halfcircles until 1902. [12]

The penalty mark is 11 metres (12 yd) in front of the very centre of the goal; this is the point from where penalty kicks are taken.

The penalty arc (colloquially "the D") is marked from the outside edge of the penalty area, 9.15 metres (10 yd) from the penalty mark; this, along with the penalty area, marks an exclusion zone for all players other than the penalty kicker and defending goalkeeper during a penalty kick. [14]

Other markings

The centre circle is marked at 9.15 metres (10 yd) from the centre mark. Similar to the penalty arc, this indicates the minimum distance that opposing players must keep at kick-off; the ball itself is placed on the centre mark. [12] During penalty shootouts all players other than the two goalkeepers and the current kicker are required to remain within this circle.

The half-way line divides the pitch in two. The half which a team defends is commonly referred to as being their half. Players must be within their own half at a kick-off and may not be penalised as being offside in their own half. The intersections between the half-way line and the touchline can be indicated with flags like those marking the corners – the laws consider this as an optional feature. [4]

The arcs in the corners denote the area (within 1 yard of the corner) in which the ball has to be placed for corner kicks; opposition players have to be 9.15 m (10 yd) away during a corner, and there may be optional lines off-pitch 9.15 metres (10 yards) away from the corner arc on the goal- and touch-lines to help gauge these distances. [6]

Turf

Grass is the normal surface of play, although artificial turf may sometimes be used especially in locations where maintenance of grass may be difficult due to inclement weather. This may include areas where it is very wet, causing the grass to deteriorate rapidly; where it is very dry, causing the grass to die; and where the turf is under heavy use. Artificial turf pitches are also increasingly common on the Scandinavian Peninsula, due to the amount of snow during the winter months. The strain put on grass pitches by the cold climate and subsequent snow clearing has necessitated the installation of artificial turf in the stadia of many top-tier clubs in Norway, Sweden and Finland. The latest artificial surfaces use rubber crumbs, as opposed to the previous system of sand infill. Some leagues and football associations have specifically prohibited artificial surfaces due to injury concerns and require teams' home stadia to have grass pitches. All artificial turf must be green and also meet the requirements specified in the FIFA Quality Concept for Football Turf. [15] [16] [17]

Football can also be played on a dirt field. In most parts of the world, dirt is only used for casual recreational play.

See also

Related Research Articles

Field hockey team sport version of hockey played on grass or turf with sticks and a round ball

Field hockey is a team game of the hockey family. The earliest origins of the game date back to the Middle Ages in Pakistan. The game can be played on grass, water turf, artificial turf or synthetic field as well as an indoor board surface. Each team plays with eleven players, including the goalie. Players use sticks made out of wood, carbon fibre, fibre glass or a combination of carbon fibre and fibre glass in different quantities to hit a round, hard, plastic ball. The length of the stick depends on the player's individual height. Only one face of the stick is allowed to be used. Goalies often have a different kind of stick, however they can also use an ordinary field hockey stick. The specific goal-keeping sticks have another curve at the end of the stick, this is to give them more surface area to save the ball. The uniform consists of shin guards, shoes, shorts, a mouth guard and a jersey. Today, the game is played globally, mainly in parts of Western Europe, South Asia, Southern Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, and parts of the United States. Known simply as "hockey" in many territories, the term "field hockey" is used primarily in Canada and the United States where ice hockey is more popular. In Sweden, the term "landhockey" is used and to some degree also in Norway where it is governed by Norway's Bandy Association.

Offside (association football) law in association football

Offside is one of the laws of association football, codified in Law 11 of the Laws of the Game. The law states that a player is in an offside position if any of their body parts, except the hands and arms, are in the opponents' half of the pitch, and closer to the opponents' goal line than both the ball and the second-last opponent.

Futsal Ballgame-team sport, variant of association football

Futsal is a variant of association football played on a hard court, smaller than a football pitch, and mainly indoors. It can be considered a version of five-a-side football.

Goal (sport) method of scoring in many sports

In sports, a goal is a physical structure or area where an attacking team must send the ball or puck in order to score points. In several sports, a goal is the sole method of scoring, and thus the final score is expressed in the total number of goals scored by each team. In other sports, a goal may be one of several scoring methods, and thus may be worth a different set number of points than the others.

Try way of scoring points in rugby league and rugby union football

A try is a way of scoring points in rugby union and rugby league football. A try is scored by grounding the ball in the opposition's in-goal area. Rugby union and league differ slightly in defining 'grounding the ball' and the 'in-goal' area.

Corner kick method of restarting play in association football

A corner kick is the method of restarting play in a game of association football when the ball goes out of play over the goal line, without a goal being scored, and having last been touched by a member of the defending team. The kick is taken from the corner of the field of play nearest to where it went out. Corners are considered to be a reasonable goal scoring opportunity for the attacking side, though not as much as a penalty kick or a direct free kick near the edge of the penalty area.

Goal kick method of restarting play in association football

A goal kick, called a goalie kick in some regions, is a method of restarting play in a game of association football. Its procedure is dictated by Law 16 of the Laws of the Game.

Throw-in method of restarting play in association football

A throw-in is a method of restarting play in a game of football when the ball has exited the side of the field of play.

Rugby league gameplay

Like most forms of modern football, rugby league football is played outdoors on a rectangular grass field with goals at each end that are to be attacked and defended by two opposing teams. The rules of rugby league have changed significantly over the decades since rugby football split into the league and union codes. This article details the modern form of the game and how it is generally played today, however rules do vary slightly between specific competitions.

Comparison of American football and rugby union

A comparison of American football and rugby union is possible because of the games' shared origins, despite their dissimilarities.

A comparison between American football and rugby league is possible because of their shared origins and similar game concepts. Rugby league is arguably the most similar sport to American football after Canadian football: both sports involve the concept of a limited number of downs/tackles and scoring touchdowns/tries takes clear precedence over goal-kicking.

Rugby league playing field

The rugby league playing field, also referred to as a pitch or paddock, is the playing surface for the sport of rugby league football and is surfaced exclusively with grass.

A comparison of Canadian football and rugby union is possible because of the games' shared origins, despite their dissimilarities.

Laws of rugby union

The laws of Rugby Union are defined by World Rugby and dictate how the game should be played. They are enforced by a referee, generally with the help of two assistant referees.

Comparison of association football and rugby union

Comparison of association football (football/soccer) and rugby union (rugby/rugger) is possible because of the games' similarities and shared origins.

Field hockey pitch

A hockey pitch is the playing surface for the game of field hockey. Historically, the game was played on natural turf (grass) but nowadays it is predominantly played on an artificial turf. The transition onto artificial pitches came during the 1970s and was made mandatory for major competitions in 1976. All the lines, markings and goal specifications are outlined by the International Hockey Federation in "The Rules of Hockey".

Comparison of association football and futsal

Futsal began in the 1930s in South America as a version of association football, taking elements of its parent game into an indoor format so players could still play during inclement weather. Over the years, both sports have developed, creating a situation where the two sports share common traits while also hosting various differences.

References

  1. For example, George Cuming, Manager Project Future Referees (9 December 2009). "Evolution of football field markings". Asian Football Confederation. Archived from the original on 23 October 2013.
  2. "Premiership football stadiums". TalkFootball. Retrieved 6 January 2011.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 "Laws of the Game 2011/2012" (PDF). FIFA. p. 7. Retrieved 12 August 2011.
  4. 1 2 "Laws of the Game 2011/2012" (PDF). FIFA. p. 8. Retrieved 12 August 2011.
  5. Match report BBC
  6. 1 2 "Laws of the Game 2011/2012" (PDF). FIFA. p. 9. Retrieved 12 August 2011.
  7. "Laws of the Game : 2013/2014" (PDF). Fifa.com. Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  8. Hornby, Hugh (2000). Football. Dorling Kindersley Ltd. p. 12. ISBN   8778267633.
  9. "Football Goal Size". Quickplay Sport. Retrieved 5 March 2018.
  10. Richard Carew. "EBook of The Survey of Cornwall". Project Gutenberg. Archived from the original on 29 September 2007. Retrieved 3 October 2007.
  11. Herbert, Ian (7 July 2000). "Blue plaque for man who invented football goal net". The Independent. London. Archived from the original on 6 April 2010. Retrieved 25 April 2010.
  12. 1 2 3 Hornby, Hugh (2000). Football. Dorling Kindersley Ltd. p. 13. ISBN   8778267633.
  13. "Laws of the Game 2011/2012" (PDF). FIFA. p. 30. Retrieved 20 March 2019.
  14. "Laws of the Game 2011/2012" (PDF). FIFA. p. 42. Retrieved 20 March 2019.
  15. "Laws of the Game 2011/2012" (PDF). FIFA. p. 6. Retrieved 12 August 2011.
  16. "FIFA Quality Concept for Football Turf" (PDF). FIFA. Retrieved 11 February 2012.
  17. "FIFA Quality Concept" (PDF). Retrieved 14 February 2012.