Thursday, 25 Jul 2024

Soccer Field vs Football Field: Exploring the Differences

is a soccer field bigger than a football field

Soccer and American Football may seem similar at first glance, but when it comes to their fields, there are significant differences. Let’s dive into the details of the Soccer Field vs Football Field debate.

Soccer field vs Football field – the differences

While both sports play on rectangular fields, the dimensions set them apart. A soccer field is larger, especially in terms of width. Soccer fields range from 75 to 100 yards wide, while American football fields are only 53 and a third yards wide. This results in a much larger surface area for professional soccer fields compared to regulation American football fields.

Soccer field vs Football field – the exact dimensions

To understand the comparison better, here are the specific dimensions for both types of fields:


Both soccer fields and American football fields are rectangular in shape.


  • Soccer field: Minimum of 100 yards and a maximum of 130 yards.
  • American football field: Maximum of 100 yards between goal lines, but a minimum of 120 yards between end zones.


  • Soccer field: Minimum of 50 yards and a maximum of 100 yards.
  • American football field: 53 and a third yards.


  • Soccer field: Can have natural grass, artificial turf, or a hybrid of both.
  • American football field: Can have natural grass or artificial turf.
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Field Markings:

A soccer field includes two penalty areas, two goal areas, a halfway line, a center circle, four corner arcs, a penalty spot, and a center spot. On the other hand, an American football field has ten-yard intervals, two end zones, one-yard hash marks, five-yard lines, a one-yard long scrimmage line, and numerals in multiples of ten.


In both sports, the goalposts are located in the center of the goal line. However, the size varies significantly:

  • Soccer goalposts: The crossbar is 8 feet above the ground, and the vertical posts are 8 yards apart.
  • American football goalposts: The crossbar is 10 feet above the ground, and the vertical uprights are 18 feet 6 inches apart and 35 feet long.

Soccer field vs Football field – can they be used interchangeably?

At a professional level, the simple answer is no. American football fields are not large enough to meet the dimensions required for soccer. Even if adjustments were made between games, the practicality and feasibility would be challenging. Moreover, the difference in playing surfaces, with American football favoring artificial turf and soccer favoring natural grass, further complicates the possibility of interchangeability.

So, for various reasons, including the preference for natural grass in soccer leagues and major championships worldwide, interchanging games between fields is not practically possible.

Soccer field vs Football field – some examples!

To visualize the difference between soccer fields and football fields, let’s look at some illustrations:

  1. The lengths of five Major League Soccer stadiums:
    Length soccer field

  2. The widths of five Major League Soccer stadiums:
    Width soccer field

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All of these stadiums comply with international soccer rules. However, if we compare them to the requirements for American football fields, their widths would need significant reductions to meet the standards.


Q: Can soccer fields and football fields be used interchangeably at non-professional levels?

A: Some United States high schools and colleges have designed their sports fields to accommodate both sports, although it is not a common practice. These fields still need adjustments but are usable under specific non-professional qualifying criteria.

Q: Which sport prefers artificial turf, soccer, or American football?

A: In 2019, a review found that 12 NFL teams play on artificial turf, while 19 play on natural grass. In contrast, only 6 Major League Soccer teams use artificial turf. The differing physical nature of both sports contributes to the preference. The NFL tends to move towards artificial pitches, while Major League Soccer leans towards natural grass.


After examining the principal differences between soccer fields and football fields, we can conclude that three major factors set them apart: the width of the field, the markings on the field, and the goalposts. These elements make each sport’s field unique, contributing to the different gameplay experiences on what may seem like similar pitches.

For more information on soccer and football field dimensions and statistics, visit Pesstatsdatabase.