Professional soccer fields are wider than American football fields. However, most football fields are longer when the end zones are incorporated. By surface area, a football field is 6,360 square yards while most soccer fields in Major League Soccer are between 7,700 and 8,625 square yards.
I remember the first time I stepped on a football field, the grass seemed to stretch on forever in every direction. The end zone looked so far away! But the first time I broke free and saw that stretch of green ahead, the size of the field shrunk in a hurry.
Below we’ll be discussing the differences in field dimensions between soccer and football and some of the reasons that these fields are various sizes.
- Most soccer fields are wider than football fields, but aren’t as long when the endzones are included.
- Football fields have the same standard width and dimensions from high school to the NFL with the big difference being the placement of the hash marks.
- Like baseball fields, soccer fields can have different dimensions, giving home teams more of an advantage and the ability to tailor their field to their team’s strengths.
Standard Field Size for American Football
All football fields at the high school, college, and professional levels are the same size. The dimensions are 53 ⅓ yards wide, and 120 yards long if the endzones are included. The main difference between the three levels is the location of the hash marks.
- High School: 53 feet, 4 inches
- College: 40 feet
- Professional: 18 feet, 6 inches 
Spreading out the hash marks opens up one side of the field, changing the dimensions of different formations, and making it easier for offenses to operate and compensating for quarterbacks at lower levels that don’t have the same arm strength as their NFL counterparts. 
Standard Size for Canadian Football Field
Canadian football is similar to the American version, but there are a few variations that make it unique. One of the biggest differences is the size of the field. In the Canadian Football League, the field is bigger and longer, measuring 65 yards wide and 130 yards long. With the additional surface area, Canadian rules football allows 12 men on the field instead of the standard eleven in American football. 
How Big (or Small) Can a Soccer Field Be?
For Major League Soccer in the United States, the field must be a minimum of 70 yards wide and 110 yards long. 
But soccer fields are like baseball fields. While there may be minimum dimension standards, teams are not constrained to the same-sized soccer field.
Audi Field in Washington D.C. for example is 115 yards by 75 yards, giving their players a more open field and room to operate. 
Some Major League Soccer fields are even larger, with several venues like CF Montreal’s measuring 120 yards long and up to 77 yards wide. 
FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) has stricter field requirements. For FIFA games, the field must be between 70 and 80 yards wide and 110 to 120 yards long. 
Why Aren’t Soccer Fields All the Same Size?
Allowing soccer teams to change up the size of their fields within reason, provides the clubs with more of a home-field advantage. This allows them to tailor their field dimensions to the strengths of their team.
A soccer team with a more physical play style could alter their dimensions to make their playing surface smaller, giving faster opponents less room to operate and escape their defenders. Conversely, making your field as long as possible can force the defense to cover more space. If you have a fast striker that can outrun the defense, giving him or her more space to run can create more separating and additional open shots at the goal. 
My love of football outweighs my interest in soccer by a lot, but I do love a sport where the dimensions of the field can change. It makes every game a little more unique, and I appreciate the extra bit of strategy it introduces. It’d be cool to see either the NFL or another professional league allow teams to experiment with the size of the field and see how a team’s game plan would change.
What would you do if they let you modify the size of the field? Would you construct a defensive powerhouse on a tiny field? Or maximize the field’s width and deploy a high-powered offense based on speed and your quarterback’s arm strength? Let us know what direction you’d go in the comments below.
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