The rules of soccer are broken down into 17 “Laws of the Game,” and “The Field of Play” is the very first of these laws. Soccer is a game that can be enjoyed in any of a variety of circumstances, however in order for a game to be sanctioned by the sport’s governing body FIFA, the soccer field dimensions must meet certain criteria.
Soccer can be played on either grass or artificial turf, but the surface must be green in color. The field should be properly maintained, and if the surface is deemed to unsafe for play, the referee may elect to suspend play.
The dimensions of a soccer field must be rectangular in shape, and distinctly marked by two short goal lines and two long-touch lines. The field is divided into halves, separated by the halfway line, which runs from the midpoints of each touchline. In each of the four corners of the field is a five-foot-high corner flag.
Lines on the Field
Touch line (length)
Minimum 90 meters (100 yards), maximum 120 meters (130 yards).
Goal Line (width)
Minimum 45 meters (50 yards), maximum 90 meters (100 yards).
At the midpoint of the halfway line is a marked center point surrounded by a lined center circle with a radius of 10 yards. Opposing players are not allowed to enter this circle during the possessing team’s kick-off. The length of the touch line must be greater than the length of the goal line.
Goals and Boxes
At each end of the field is a 24-foot-wide 8-foot-tall goal, centered along the goal line.
Extending six yards from each goal post along the goal line and six yards out into the field (perpendicular to the goal line) is the goal box. During a goal kick, the player taking the kick may place the ball anywhere within the goal box before a restart.
Extending 18 yards from each goal post along the goal line and 18 yards out into the field (perpendicular to the goal line) is the penalty box. The goalkeeper may play the ball with his hands anywhere within the penalty box. In addition, if the defending team fouls an opposing player within the penalty box, a penalty shot is awarded to the attacking team.
Ready to Play!
Hopefully this guide has provided you with a thorough understanding of the size of a soccer field, and you are now ready to get out and play on the pitch. For further clarification on the rules that apply to the lines and boxes on the field, please refer to the Rules & Regulations section.