How To Make A Football Field In Your Backyard

Bill Taylor
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Standard Football Field

How To Make A Football Field In Your Backyard: Any size!

A football field is the canvas of one of the most popular sports in the world. Field size can vary based on age, size of each font, and available space.

  • NFL football is played on a field that is 120 yards long and 53 1/3 yards wide.
  • High school football is played on a field that is 100 yards long and 53 yards wide.
  • Collegiate football field is 110 yards long and 53 1/2 Yards wide.
  • Arena football field is 85 yards long and 50 yards wide.
  • The CFL field is 110 yards by 65 yards.

The American football field is often referred to as a gridiron in reference to the field’s resemblance to a hand laid masonry of bricks, commonly with a hard, flat surface.

The exact origin of the word gridiron is not clear. The word has been used since the 1500s when it was associated with various forms of outdoor and indoor football games.

The earliest mention of an indoor gridiron was in Philadelphia in 1860 when the facilities for indoor sports was called the ?Indoor Cricket Ground.’

Step 1: Measure Field Length And Width

A regulation football field is 100 yards long by 53 1/3 yards wide (53 yards between the end zones and 10 yards from the football to the first down marker). That’s 320 feet or twice the length of a standard football field.

The field lines should be marked with spray paint for best results, but you can use chalk, cloth work gloves, and a sprinkling of grass seed for temporary markings.

Step 2: Dig Holes – Use a posthole digger or hand shovel to dig the end lines, 10 yard lines, and two 5-yard line holes 6-8 inches in depth on the inside of the 40-yard line.

The holes can be any width or depth you want, but these widths are most common.

Toss the excavated dirt to the side, because this dirt will be kept for Step 6.

Step 3: Pour Concrete – Mix the hole clay with water to make mud and fill the holes with the mud and level it.

Place concrete in the pre-dug holes and smooth it out with a concrete float. Once there is no surface disturbance from the float, let the concrete settle. Letting the concrete settle will keep the turf from sinking into the concrete.

Step 4: Spray Mixture for Football Field Lines – Use a sprayer to spray paint two football field lines; one on each side of the field.

Step 2: Level Field And Add Turf

After digging the hole for your field, take a long piece of plywood or a thin piece of sturdy wood and tape it about four inches from the top of a garden leveler.

Then place the long piece of wood into the garden style leveler on top of the plywood. It is important that the wood is 4 inches away from the top of the leveler because this is the height of the goal line. Organic gardeners may want to use an old piece of wood that is the proper thickness instead of the plywood.

Next, turn the leveler in a circle with the wood on top. This will flatten out the field. Make sure that the leveler rides on top of the wood and not the ground. You do not want any large hills or holes once the turf is added.

Once the turf is added you will not be able to see the plywood or the garden leveler in the rest of the turf.

Step 3: Add Turf

The turf can be found at your local home and garden center. It is generally located in the lawn and garden department. Do not buy the pre-spiked turf or any that is labeled “thick turf.” Thick turf does not look real and it does not allow you to customize the field.

Step 3: Mark Boundaries

You can use flagging tape, colored duct tape, surveyors tape, or spray paint(that’s what we use).

Step 4: Mark yard markings

Suggested Safety Lines

Step 5: Get Your Materials

Purchase your plywood, brackets, screws, and turf and cut out your squares.

We Set Them Every 18 Inches Apart

OPTIONAL: You can also line the inside of the plywood boxes with plastic

Mark your cuttimes around the brackets, either with a tape measure or pencil.

Actual measurements of field sizes:

High School: 360 feet x 160 feet

College: 360 feet x 160 feet

Professional: 360 feet x 172 feet

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Step 4: Create Yard Lines

Step 5: End Zones

Step 8: Downfield Line

Step 10: Finish It Up

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Wondering what the difference is between those US and Canada prewired light and ceiling fan combos? In the US, a short combo means the fan comes with 3 thumb screw "down rods" and the light fixture comes with screws for a 3" hole. In Canada, your combo comes with 1 short and 1 long down rod and no hole screws for the light.

It's not a big deal. You can use the existing screws on both 3 inch and 4 inch down rods if you get creative, but it's important to know which one you have if you require a special length down rod or 3 inch hole.

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Folks often have the phrase outdoor electrical power cords on the brain. It's easy to be confused about the difference between electrical cords and power cords. It's actually pretty simple! Outdoor electrical power cords and electrical cords are the same thing! Yes, it may seem a little confusing, but it's important to understand the difference between the term electric power cord and the term CORD POWER electric wire.

Step 6: Field Numbers And Hashmarks

The paper used for affixing the markings on the field can be found at an art supply store. You'll need several large sheets, but if you scroll down to Step 7, you'll see that you can use the extra sheets to create a ceremonial back drop for the field, so it's worth buying extras.

For the field numbers, I used a paper punch to cut them out of a piece of foam core board. The holes in the board line up perfectly with the 18 inches of the field you'll be marking off. I cut the numbers in half and used a glue stick to adhere the numbers to the field.

The hashes in the end zone are also made from foam core board but you'll have to cut out the 16 inch squares on your own. The center lines are official game markings however, and they are cut out of long pieces of paper that you can use directly on the field. The markings for a 100-yard field are in multiples of ten, so all you need to do is measure the distance from the sideline to the goal post and divide by 10. For instance, if your distance is 100 yards, you'll need to measure 10 yards from each sideline, cut the marks and lay them out as you see in the photos.

All markings have been made with a permanent marker so you'll need to use a wet rag to wipe off the field before you head to the gymnasium to play.

Step 7: Goal Post

Step 8: The Cross Braces

Attach the leg to the horizontal 2×4, using brackets and screws. Position the leg so it is opposite of the other leg.

Raise the goal post to a height of 8 ft. and attach the cross braces with wood glue. Drive two screws through the cross braces to keep the goal post from swaying.


Apply two coats of primer to the entire goal post, being sure to get good coverage. Let the primer dry overnight, then sand lightly.


Apply two coats of paint to the goal post, allowing the first coat to dry for at least 24 hours.

Step 11: Painting the Cross Braces

On one cross brace, apply a football-shaped decal to simulate the white on the end zone.

Step 8: Sidelines, Spectators, Equipment, and Rules

There are a number of important factors to remember when it comes to playing before any spectators. Think of these as the rules to follow for entertainment purposes only, not to be included in a legitimate game of flag football.

Inclement Weather

Some states and even municipalities may prohibit the playing of football games on Sundays because it is a Christian day of praise. It is even more prohibited to use a motorized vehicle during this time of the day.

The same goes for snow. While snow is probably never a bad thing for football, snow is more difficult to manage and becomes less safe for players of all ages.

Having Spectator Seats

Because of the risk of injury, professional teams will not let spectators stand on the sidelines or infield. Bleachers, however, are allowed if they are located a few feet back from the field. If you have a really busy field, you can also watch the game from the top of a nearby hill.

¶ Equipment

Spectators need to bring with them the same equipment that players do, including their own footballs. There is also a necessity that spectators bring refreshments for the players and for themselves. The most popular of the sports drinks will do, as well as some simple beverages or even a large catering order of pizza or sandwiches.

Wrap up!

That’s it for this edition of Daily Tillery! Come on back tomorrow for more great ideas to make your life better!

See you then!

Daily Tillery

How To Fix Mosquito Problems: 5 Tips For Cleaning Dirty Gutters

What is the best way to keep mosquitoes off your property? One of the easiest ways is to keep your gutters clean.

Gutters can act like little mosquitoes hotels. When you remove the nice warm humid air into your house, the mosquitoes are attracted to the entrance way. They lay their eggs there and back up into the gutter. When the eggs hatch the larva need a place to hide from predators and they fall right into your mud trough, a.k.a. your gutter. The gutter traps the larva and they grow there.

Here are some easy ways you can get rid of those mosquitoes.

Regularly clean your gutters so that they will remove the breeding grounds. (See How to Clean Gutters)

Install screens to keep mosquitoes from getting into your house and making babies.

Invest in some Mosquito lights that use built in UV light to attract mosquitoes. Mosquitoes are drawn to the light and swam into the water. There they die from dehydration.

Get some mosquito traps, just be sure that you have some kind of nearby water source for them to reproduce.