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Are High School Football Fields Smaller Than The NFL? Answered!

There are many differences between high school and professional football. Are high school football fields smaller than NFL?

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Are high school football fields smaller than the NFL?

No, a high school field is the same size as an official NFL football field. There are many differences between high school football and professional football, but the field is the same size. College football fields are also the same size.

At my high school, we use the same 100-yard fields that all other schools do. All high school, NFL, and college fields are the same size. Canadian football fields are bigger and Australian football fields vary in size and are oval-shaped. 

That said, college football stadiums tend to be larger than high school and even NFL stadiums, despite having the same size field.

How Big is a High School Football Field?

A football field is a hundred yards long, or 120 yards (360 feet) with endzones. A football field is 53 1/3 yards (160 feet) wide. Football fields have had the same size since 1912. 

It might seem strange that the playing field is 53 1/3 yards wide instead of a whole number of yards. This is because the playing field was originally measured in feet, and 160 feet isn’t a whole number of yards. 

Are the Goalposts the Same Size?

The goalposts are farther apart for high school football (23 feet 4 inches) than for NFL football (18 feet 6 inches). A college football field also has the goalposts 18 feet 6 inches apart, so any high schooler who goes on to play college football will have to adjust. 

The height of the goalposts is also lower for a high school football field (20 feet) than for college football (30 feet) and professional football (also 30 feet). However, the crossbar on the goalposts is always 10 feet above the ground, so it’s not easier to get a field goal in high school football. 

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Do All Colleges Use the Same Field Dimensions?

Yes, colleges use the same-sized fields. Only different versions of the game such as Canadian football or Australian football have different-sized fields. 

In arena football (indoor football) the field is half as long and a bit more than half as wide as a regular football field. The end zones are eight yards long. An arena football field is about the size of a hockey arena. 

Why is a Football Field a Hundred Yards Long?

The hundred-yard size doesn’t go all the way back to the beginning of the sport. Instead, the field varied in size, then became 110 yards, and then became 100 yards.

At the start, football didn’t have the same rules as today and was more similar to rugby. People played the game on fields of different sizes. In 1881, they decided on a standard size of 110 yards.

End zones were added in 1912, which made the football field 130 total yards long. However, many stadiums did not have enough room for 130-yard fields. The standard size was changed to 100 yards plus two 10-yard end zones.

Did There Use to be a 55-Yard Line?

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Yes, there used to be a 55-yard line instead when the field was 110 yards. There were yard lines every 5 yards, with one 50-yard line on each side of the 55-yard line in the center. 

How Different Was Football Before End Zones? 

Before the 1910s, you could only catch forward passes in front of the goal line and not behind it. This changed in 1912, and originally there was no limit on how far behind the goal line you could be. Some players would catch passes 30 or 40 yards behind it, which led to the creation of 10-yard end zones. 

Canadian Football Fields

Different versions of football exist in different countries. The rules are different, and the field isn’t always the same size. In Canada, the field is longer (110 yards) and wider (65 rather than 53 1/3 yards). 

Canadian football also has 20-yard instead of 10-yard end zones. The goalposts are at the front of the end zone rather than the back, so it is not harder to score field goals. 

The Canadian football league is professional but much less so than the NFL. Players make money, but not many of them get rich. The highest-paid players may make $400,000 or $500,000 per year, but average players only make $60K or $100K. 

Australian Football Fields

In Australia, the football field is an oval, like a cricket field, and not a rectangle. There is no fixed size, so even the most competitive players play one game on a bigger field and the next game on a smaller one. The fields are large – 148 to 202 yards long and 120 to 170 yards wide. 

A lot of the time, a field is used as a cricket field for one season and an Australian football field for another. It is not common to make an Australian football field that will only be used for football and not for cricket during the summer.

AFL players make more money than CFL players but not nearly as much as NFL players. The average salary is about 250,000 US dollars per year and is similar for different teams. 

Professional Stadiums Are Much Bigger

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A football field is the same size whether you are watching a high school game or the super bowl. The number of players is always the same – 11 for each side. 

However, stadiums for professional football are much bigger. An NFL stadium has enough room for 65,000 or 80,000 people. A high school football stadium has room for 2,000, 5,000, or at most 20,000 people. 

Key Takeaways

  • High school teams and professional teams play on the same-sized field. 
  • A football field’s dimensions are 360 feet long and 160 feet wide.
  • Fields have been the same size since the 1910s. 
  • Canadian football fields are somewhat longer and wider.
  • Australian football fields are oval-shaped and vary in size.

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