Little league and youth football leagues often have their games on the same traditional-sized football fields that already have goal posts installed and lines marked. However, there are some youth leagues that do have their athletes compete on smaller, modified fields.
Outline of the Field
The traditional, rectangular-shaped football field is a total of 120 yards in length, with 100 of those yards serving as the playing field and 10 yards tagged onto each end to serve as the end zones. The line that separates the playing field from each end zone is referred to as the goal line. At the center point of the very back line of each end zone is a goal post, which is used for extra point and field goal scoring attempts. The width of the field is 53.5 yards, or 160 feet, and the lines that outline the width of the field are referred to as sidelines.
Dimensions of Markings Within the Field
Splitting down the center of the width of the field is the midline, or 50-yard line. Between this midline and each end zone, the field is marked out in 10-yard intervals. Shooting out in both directions from the midline, yardage line markers are laid down at 40, 30, 20 and 10 yards. Along the length of the field are small markers called hash marks, which mark the length of the playing field out in 1-yard intervals.
Potential Youth Modifications
Some youth football leagues do modify the playing field to make it more appropriate for the age and size of their athletes. Because kids don’t run as fast as older athletes, a smaller field makes the game more manageable and allows for more scoring opportunities. The length of the field is shortened to 96 yards, with 80 of those yards serving as the playing field and the end zones each being 8 yards deep. The width of the field is brought in to 70 feet.
Setting up Little League Field
When football little leagues decide to use a smaller field, they will simply modify the outline of a traditional-sized football field with cones or pylons. You’ll need a total of eight cones to mark out the outline and end zones of the youth-sized field within the outline of the traditional field with cones. You can use one of the already-marked end zone goal lines and one of the already chalked sidelines from the traditional-sized field. Because the playing field is 80 yards, the 40-yard line marker serves as the midline.