The Physics
Factbook
An encyclopedia of scientific essays

# Length of a Football Field (American)

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Bibliographic Entry Result
(w/surrounding text)
Standardized
Result
Theismann, Joe & Tarcy, Brian. The Complete Idiot's Guide to Understanding Football Like a Pro. New York: Alpha Books, 1997. "The playing field is rectangle -- 360 feet in length and 160 feet in width -- a big rectangle." 109.7 m
(w/end zone)
91.4 m
(w/o end zone)
White, Jess R. Sports Rules Encyclopedia. Champaign, 1990. "The game is played on a rectangular field 160 feet wide and 360 feet long with a 10 yard end zone designated at each end of the field." 109.7 m
(w/end zone)
91.4 m
(w/o end zone)
The Book of Rules: a visual guide to the laws of every commonly played sport and game. New York: Duncan Petersen, 1998. "Rectangular. 100 yards long plus two 10-yard end zones (Bringing the total length to 120 yards). The field is 160 feet wide. Bounded by sidelines and endlines." 109.7 m
(w/end zone)
91.4 m
(w/o end zone)
Rules of the Game. New York: Paddington: 1974. [diagram] 109.8 m
(w/end zone)
91.5 m
(w/o end zone)
Football. Columbia Encyclopedia. Sixth Edition. 2001. "The American game is played by two opposing teams of eleven. The football field is level, measures 100 by 53 1/3 yd (91.4 by 48.8 m), is marked off by latitudinal stripes every 5 yds (4.57 m) and has at each end an end zone 10 yd (9.14 m) deep." 109.7 m
(w/end zone)
91.4 m
(w/o end zone)

When you hear the word football, what do you think about? A bunch of short skinny guys running around, trying to kick a round ball into a huge goal and ending up in a one-one tie? If you're an American, football means something more, much more. Twenty-two enormous guys wearing helmets and shoulder pads running at each other at full speed and colliding with a huge bang. That's what Americans think when they hear the word football, not that boring sport England calls football.

Scoring in football is not easy. Your offensive team of eleven has four chances to gain 10 yards. If you gain the ten yards, you get another four chances to earn ten yards, until you either give the ball up to the other team, or score the six points. Football has many complicated rules, and for many, is impossible to understand and enjoy. But for those who do understand and love the game, they can tell you football is not just any sport. It's rough, tough, and most of the time, extremely violent.

The rectangular field is 160 feet (48.5 m) wide and 360 feet (109.1 m) in length (53.3 yards, 120 yards respectively), including the two 10 yard (9.2 m) end zones. If you know the rules of the game, then you should know how hard it is to gain just one yard. Grasping onto the oval pebble-grained leather pigskin, you attempt to push your team closer to the end zone. If you think it's so easy to gain a yard or two, suit up and try to get past eleven gigantic testosterone driven men who are gunning for the man with the ball. Even if you have enough guts to attempt this, just try to hold onto the football when you get pummeled into the ground. The 14 to 15 ounces (392 to 420 g) Football seems easy to handle, but as soon as you lose your grip and the ball is tumbling around the floor, you'd be surprised how hard it is to pick up. The standard measurements are long axis, 11 to 11¼ inches (27.5 to 28.1 cm); long circumference, 28 to 28½ inches (70 to 71.25 cm). That distinctive football shape makes it impossible to predict where the ball is headed to next. Football is not a sport for everyone. It's a love or hate deal.

Nin Tam -- 2001