The Dimensions Of A Football Pitch
Football is one of the most ancient sports, with evidence of an early form of the ball game dating back to the third century BC. Today, it bears the title of the world's most popular sport. With an estimated three to four billion viewers of super leagues and tournaments such as the UEFA Champions League, FIFA World Cup and the European Football Championship – plus the recent surge in popularity for women's football, the desire to both watch and play is infectious and ever-increasing.
The beauty of football is that it can be played almost anywhere by anyone. From official stadiums, amateur playing fields and gymnasiums, to school playgrounds, parks, beaches, even your own back garden; a good game of football is never far away. But pitches with official FA recommended dimensions elevate the game from street level to elite, where coaches can teach precise technique using the accurate line markings and the rules can be appropriately observed.
Pitch dimensions can vary depending on the level, age group and the number of players on each side. The paint type for football pitch line marking also depends on the material of the playing field. Make sure you are using the right paint for the job, whether that is natural grass paint, artificial turf paint or hard surface paint. Below, we will outline the FA recommended dimensions and measurements for each official pitch type, along with the estimated litres of paint required to complete the markings for each pitch so you can get the ball rolling.
Referred to as "Mini Soccer", the FA recommends that a 5-a-side pitch is 40 yards (36.6m) in length by 30 yards (27.5m) in width. 5-a-side football courts typically feature in leisure centres and indoor football training facilities. 5-a-side pitches often require 3G pitch line marking or Astro Turf line marking.
What makes a 5-a-side playing field unique is the curved penalty area, where other pitches have rectangular boxes as standard. The curved penalty area has a radius of 6.5 yards (6m) marked from the middle of the goal-line on either side. 5-a-side matches can be played with or without the halfway line or centre circle, but it must have penalty spots. Extending from the centre of the goal, the penalty spot should be marked 6.5 yards (6m). The goal size should measure 3 yards (3.66m) wide for both sides. All line markings should have a width of around 2 inches.
Estimation: With a standard Zebra Artificial Grass Line Marking Machine on natural grass, approximately 1 litres of paint would be needed for all 5-a-side pitch markings. On Astro Turf, with a standard Grassline Aerosol Line Marking Paint Applicator, approximately 3.37 litres of paint would be required.
Unlike the 5-a-side pitch, games played with 7 players per team require a rectangular penalty area, as standard for all other pitch variations. 7-a-side pitches have an average length of 60 yards (55m) by a width of 40 yards (36.5m), along with a centre circle radius of 6 yards (5.5m) according to the official FA recommendation. The penalty boxes must be 18 yards (16.5m) long by 10 yards (9m) wide, with the penalty spot situated 8 yards (7.3m) in front of each goal. All line markings should be around 4 to 5 inches thick.
Although 7-a-side pitches are recommended for under-9s and under-10s groups, this pitch size is often used by adult players. The penalty arcs extending from the penalty areas are entirely optional at this level, depending on your preference.
Estimation: With a standard Zebra Grass Line Marking Machine, approximately 1.29 litres of paint is required for all line markings on a 7-a-side pitch.
The size of a 9-a-side pitch should be 80 yards (73.1m) in length by 50 yards (45.7m) in width. The centre circle must have a radius of 7 yards (6.4m) with the centre spot pinpointing the middle of the playing field. The penalty boxes extend out from each goal-line by 13 yards (11.8m) in length and 32 yards (29.3m) in width. Meanwhile, both goal areas should be 4 yards (3.7m) long by 14 yards (12.8m) wide. The penalty spots should be placed exactly 9 yards (8.2m) from the centre of either goal-line. Each corner arc should have a radius of (0.9m). All line markings should be around 4 to 5 inches thick.
Estimation: With a standard Zebra Grass Line Marking Machine, approximately 1.93 litres of paint is required for all line markings on a 9-a-side pitch.
FIFA specifies that the dimensions of an official 11-a-side pitch can range between 100-130 yards (90-120m) in length by 50-100 (45-90m) in width, with under-18 groups are recommended the smallest sizes in the range and the senior ages the largest. The measurements are the standard across the professional tiers of football around the world; women's football pitch dimensions are the exact same as men's.
The total area of regular 11-a-side pitches can fluctuate from 4,180m² to as large as 10,870m². This grants professional and amateur football clubs alike the freedom to to adapt the 11-a-side pitch dimensions to best suit the space. This is why popular Premier League stadium pitches vary in size. For example, whilst Anfield measures 100 yards by 74 yards (101m x 68m), Old Trafford's pitch is 116 yards by 76 yards (106m x 69m).
However, the interior line dimensions on a standard 11-a-side pitch remain the same regardless of the pitch perimeter. The centre circle measures 10 yards (9.15m) in radius, to mark the middle of the playing field. Both penalty boxes should extend 18 yards (16.5m) in length by 44 yards (40.3m) in width. Within, the goal areas must be 20 yards (18.3m) long by 6 yards (5.5m) wide. The penalty spots for either side must be situated 12 yards (11m) from the centre of the goal-line. Each corner arc should have a radius of 1m (0.9m). All line markings should be around be around 4 to 5 inches thick.
Estimation: With a standard Zebra Grass Line Marking Machine, approximately 2.72 litres of paint is required for all line markings on an 11-a-side pitch.
MARKING THE LINES
Everything you will ever need to successfully mark a football pitch is available from our wide array of products. From our line marking machines, accessories and paints, our Zebra range is one of the most popular choices, providing a professional-grade field marking solution, transforming any turf into an official pitch overnight. Zebra's unique patented paint formula is brand-beating, containing a higher concentration of pigment solids than its competitors. You can expect crisp, white lines that are visible from the furthest spectator seat in any weather.
Try out our new line marking paint calculator for an estimate of how much paint you will need for your specific field size. If you wish to seek professional assistance in line marking, our team of experts is available to provide guidance and ensure precise application for the perfect pitch. We are happy to help over the phone or via Live Chat.