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Football Field Marking Specifications
2002 NCAA Football Rules & Interpretations
The Field Dimensions
The field shall be a rectangular area with dimensions, lines, zones, goals and pylons as indicated and titled in the diagrams on pages FR-15-16. Click on following three links for images:
Field Dimension 1, Field Dimension 2, and Field Dimension 3.
Learn about Field Painting Strategies from sports turf managers. (50 KB Adobe .pdf file ) Easy reading tutorial that covers the customer, field marking paint, plant growth regulators, precautions, football season preparations, game week activities, field marking tools, paint mixing, field striping, and painting logos from manufactured stencils and do-it-yourself layout.
a. All field-dimension lines shown must be marked 4 inches in width with a white, nontoxic material that is not injurious to the eyes or skin (Exceptions: Sidelines and end lines may exceed 4 inches in width, and Rule 1-2-1-g).
b. Twenty-four inch short yard-line extensions, four inches inside the sidelines and at the inbounds lines, are mandatory; and all yard lines shall be four inches from the sidelines (Rule 2-11-4).
c. A solid white area between the sideline and the coaching line is mandatory.
Click here to learn How to Select a Field Marker. The article lists a series of questions and notes concerning the capabilities and features you should consider when making a purchasing decision.
Click here for the advantages of using acrylic latex field marking paint for striping your sports fields. Click here to understand the cost savings advantage of using acrylic latex paint over aerosol paint.
d. White field markings or contrasting decorative markings (e.g., logos, team names, emblems, event etc.) are permissible in the end zones but shall not be closer than four feet to any line.
e. Contrasting coloring in the end zones may abut any line.
f. Contrasting decorative material is permissible within the sidelines and between the goal lines but shall not obliterate yard lines, goal lines or sidelines.
g. Goal lines may be of one contrasting color from the white lines.
h. Advertising is prohibited on the field [Exceptions: (1) Permitted for any game not played in-season when the sponsor is associated with the name of that game, and (2) NCAA Football logo].
i. White field yard-line numbers measuring 6 feet in height and 4 feet in width, with the tops of the numbers nine yards from the sidelines, are recommended.
j. White directional arrows next to the field numbers (except the 50) indicating the direction toward the nearest goal line are permitted. The arrow is a triangle with an 18-inch base and two sides that are 36 inches each.
k. The two inbounds lines (hash marks) are 60 feet from the sidelines. Inbounds lines and short yard-line extensions shall measure 24 inches in length.
1. Nine-yard marks 12 inches in length, every 10 yards, shall be located nine yards from the sidelines. They are not required if the field is numbered according to Rule 1-2-1-i.
Marking Boundary Areas
Measurements shall be from the inside edges of the boundary markings. The entire width of each goal line shall be in the end zone.
a. Limit lines shall be marked with 12-inch lines and at 24-inch intervals 12 feet outside the sidelines and the end lines, except in stadiums where total field surface does not permit. In these stadiums, the limit lines shall not be less than six feet from the sidelines and end lines. Limit lines shall be 4 inches in width and maybe yellow. No person outside the team area shall be within the limit lines.
b. The limit lines shall continue six feet from the team area around the side and back of the team area, if the stadium permits.
Learn about the integrated Paint Boom accessory for striping hash marks, large boundary lines, and block lettering. This versatile tool along with the Model E-100 will save time and produce professionally looking lines.
Team Area and Coaching Box
On each side of the field, a team area in back of the limit line and between the 25-yard lines shall be marked for the exclusive use of substitutes, trainers and other persons affiliated with the team. Limit lines designating team areas shall be solid lines. A coaching line shall be marked with a solid line six feet outside the sideline between the 25-yard lines. The area between the coaching line and the limit line between the 25-yard lines shall contain white diagonal lines or be marked distinctly for use of coaches (Rule 9-1-5-a). A 4-inch-by-4-inch mark is mandatory at each five-yard line extended between the goal lines as an extension of the coaching line for line-to-gain and down indicator six-foot reference points.
High School Football Field Differences
When marking a football field for the first time and subsequent seasons how many points or intersections should you be staking? Here's my quick calculations and why these are staking points for pulling a string line when marking a football field.
"Mandatory" staking points
4 - Four primary corners of the football field playing boundary, a squared field
4 - Goal line on both sides and ends of the field
36 - Each 5 yard line on both sides and ends of the field, 9 x 4 (5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45)
2 - 50 yard line both sides
4 - Midfield hash mark, cross hash, both sides and both ends, different distances for high school (53' 4"), college (60'), pro from the sideline
50 - Subtotal
"Optional" staking points
4 - 9 Yard Mark, 27' offset from the sideline to top of the Sideline Numbers
4 - Coach / Bench Player zone, 6 foot off the sideline at 25 yard line mark
4 - Media safety zone, 12 foot off the sideline from four major corners
4 - Optional sideline number pylons
4 - 4 inch hash mark offset from the sideline to support 5-yard lines and 4" x 24" hash mark
20 - Subtotal
Check out the different staking options using marking whiskers and associated stakes (nails and Raptor Stakes), Stake Alls integrated marking whisker with plastic stake, Tru Mark metal field line anchor with whisker plug.
Save time by using Tru Mark String Winders and the feature to allow for quick string recovery using a cordless drill.
We offer the 3.5' and 6' heavy duty football Sideline Number Stencil Sets and Hash Mark Stencil.
Last modified September 9, 2014