There are 1.33 acres in an American football field, but not all football fields in the world have the same size.
According to the International Football Association Board (IFAB) and Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) guidelines, the recommended size for professional teams to play in is 115 x 74 yards (105.16 x 67.67 meters), or 76,900 square feet, which is equivalent to 1.76 acres. However, IFAB and FIFA regulate what is known as association football, or soccer.
Read on to find out more.
How Big is a Football Field?
The standard field dimensions for American football fields are 120 yards (109.73 meters) in length and 53.3 yards (48.74 meters) in width. This translates to 360 x 159.9 feet or 57,795 square feet, which is equivalent to 1.33 acres.
These dimensions are consistently observed for high school, college, and professional (National Football League/NFL) levels.
The American football field is a rectangle, with the longer lines called “sidelines” and the shorter lines called “end lines.”
The lines themselves are out of bounds, measured along the inside edges of the boundary lines. NFL rules require that the sidelines and endlines have to be 6 feet (1.8 meters) wide, although these can be narrower for fields used for multiple sports or by high school, college, and amateur teams.
The goal lines run 10 yards (9.1 meters) parallel to the end lines. The 100 yards between the goal lines is the “field of play” where most gameplay happens.
Why Do Football Fields Vary In Size?
Football fields vary in size because of Law 1 of IFAB’s and FIFA’s Laws of the Game (LOTG), “The Field of Play”.
Law 1 states that touchlines (sidelines in American football) must be between 100 yards (90 meters) and 130 yards (120 meters), while goal lines (end lines in American football) must be between 50 yards (45 meters) and 100 yards (90 meters).
Football fields’ dimensions can be any length or width as long as they fall within these minimum and maximum limits.
In spirit, this rule has been adopted by association football’s governing bodies worldwide, but tighter controls are set for international matches. Regulations allow touchlines of between 109.36 yards (100 meters) and 120.3 yards (110 meters), and goal lines of between 70 yards (64 meters) and 79.83 yards (73 meters).
What’s the Biggest Football Field in the World?
Spanish club Elche CF’s Estadio Manuel Martinez Valero has the biggest football field in the world at 118 yards (107.9 meters) long and 77 yards (70.4 meters) wide, bigger than the IFAB and FIFA recommended guidelines.
It mainly hosts friendly matches and competitive qualifiers, although it was one of the venues of the 1982 FIFA World Cup.
What’s the Difference Between Football and Association Football (Soccer)?
There are 3 main differences between football and association football (soccer):
- Football is a general term for several sports that use the foot and hands to score goals. American football, referred to as “football” in the United States and Canada, is also called gridiron football. On the other hand, soccer, also known as association football or simply “football” all over the world outside of the U.S. and Canada, is played by 250 million players in more than 200 countries and dependencies, making it the most popular sport in the world.
- Football uses both the hands and legs, while soccer uses only the legs and sometimes the head to score goals. American football uses the hands and legs in throwing, passing, and kicking the ball around.
- Football uses a prolate spheroid (a pointy sphere) ball while soccer uses a round ball. American football uses the pointy sphere ball.
How Many Yards Are There in an Acre?
An acre has approximately 4,840 square yards (4,046.86 square meters).
However, there are alternative definitions of a yard, so the exact size of the acre depends on which definition of the yard it is based on.
There is the international yard which is officially defined as equivalent to 0.9144 meters in the International Yard and Pound Agreement of 1959 between the United States and five countries of the Commonwealth of Nations — Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, South Africa, and the United Kingdom.
There is also the pre-1959 U.S. survey yard, which is equivalent to 0.91440183 meters. So, one international yard is equivalent to a 0.999998 U.S. survey yard.
If we quibble about the issue, the difference between an international yard and a U.S. survey yard is 0.016 square meters or 24.8 square inches. It’s about one-fourth of a U.S. letter-sized paper.
The international yard is the standard unit of field-length measurement in American, Canadian, and association football (soccer), as well as in cricket pitch and golf fairway measurements.
How Many Football Fields Can Fit in an Acre?
Since a standard U.S. acre has 43,560 square feet, and a standard American football field has 57,564 square feet, while IFAB’s and FIFA’s recommended professional field size has 76,900 square feet, then there would be 0.76 American football fields and 0.57 IFAB and FIFA-recommended football (soccer) fields in an acre.
This means that an acre can fit into a football field but only three-quarters of an American football field and half of an IFAB and FIFA-recommended football (soccer) field can fit into an acre.
But then again, as with the different yards, there are also different acres. The Scottish and Irish acres are bigger than those of the United States. The Scottish acre is 1.27 standard acres, while the Irish acre is 1.6 standard acres. There is also the Puerto Rican cuerda, or Spanish acre, which is smaller, at 0.97 standard acres.
Football field sizes are relative. It depends on whether you’re talking about American football fields or IFAB and FIFA-recommended football (soccer) fields. It even depends on your definition of yard and acre!
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