Who doesn’t love football? American football is the U.S. number one sport and many families love to play the tag version in the backyard. That decides to put a football field in the backyard an easy one. That is especially true if you have youngsters who need to practice to earn a spot on the school team.
The process for how to make a football court takes some work and a little money. It starts with measuring the space, clearing an area, and then painting the yardage markers. It is finished with putting in the goalposts, sidelines, and spectator areas.
Read further to understand what is involved with creating a football field in your backyard.
Measuring the Space
Those fortunate enough to have a huge backyard space may be able to accommodate a true football field. However, that will take up 360 feet in length and 160 feet in width with a 10-yard gap between the goal and end lines. Most people don’t have that kind of space.
A more practical solution is to scale down your field to fit a traditional backyard. A common ratio is 16:9 of length to width.
That would mean a small backyard would have a field 16 feet long to 9 feet wide while a mid-size backyard could easily accommodate a field 32 feet long to 18 feet long. A field 64 feet long and 36 feet wide could fit in a large backyard.
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Size Doesn’t Matter Much
Most people care more about the look of the field rather than the exact size. However, adults playing the game will look to size because it does affect fairness in the game.
Clearing the Field
After you’ve measured off your rectangle, you will need to clear the field. This means leveling the area and removing obstacles. That could be several crabgrass sprouts or other weeds, volunteer trees, or small hills.
Bear in mind that regulation football is a small rise of 1.2 degrees to the middle of the field from the sidelines. That may not be important to you but is good to know.
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Grass or Turf?
Some will keep their grass as is to save money and get the project done quickly. However, some may want to remove their grass and put down turf. That can be an expensive proposition as turf can cost thousands.
You have two choices in turf, sod and artificial. Artificial is going to be more costly as they also install drainage.
Your decision about grass or turf depends on two factors. The first is how much money you have to invest in a football field. The second is how much you plan to use the field.
Those who plan to use the football field regularly for either family games, entertaining friends or to help groom aspiring athletes should invest in turf.
The decision may focus on helping children gain enough skills to get scholarships or go professional. Turf is the way to go in that case. Turf will prevent injuries better than natural grass, get youth used to playing on it, and won’t require mowing or grooming regularly.
Turf also won’t ever have bare or muddy spots, so that means your lawn will always look good and you won’t have muddy laundry to worry about. It doesn’t collect pools of water either.
However, natural grass may be the best thing if you’re looking for a family game on a weekend or just a way to teach kids the game. It isn’t a permanent decision like artificial turf so you can convert the area into another sports field or back into a backyard if your child decides they aren’t interested in playing football anymore.
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Marking Lengths and Boundaries
An easy way to mark boundaries is to begin the corners. Sports pylons or orange cones can mark the corners. Then take rope or string and attach to each to mark the sides with lawn-safe paint.
Yard lines can be a bit more challenging, especially if you create a scaled-down field. You will need 12 increments to divide the field into 12 equal spaces to give a yard line measurement.
Make the sideline notches and then stretch string or rope from matching side notches to mark the horizontal lines.
Those who want to get technical can mark each “yard” line with a field number. You can put additional, equally-spaced hash marks between each line to get specific footage. This requires a lot of measuring and math conversions so it will take some time.
Create End Zones
You can mark the end zones with more pylons or cones. You can get creative and paint a logo in each end zone.
The Goal Posts
The last official step of creating a football field is to put up goal posts after each end zone. You can buy them and some are coverable to soccer goals if your kids play soccer too. However, those can be expensive.
Some create their goal posts using PVC or wood. That can take some time but could save you money.
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The final things to add to your field are places for players to sit when not on the field and a spot for those watching to safely view without getting tackled by an out-of-bounds player.
Creating a football field doesn’t have to cost a lot of money as the bulk of it is in time measuring and clearing a space. The extra cost comes in additional realistic things like buying turf, goalposts, benches or seats, and other items like sports equipment.
Those looking for a realistic field to have family fun can do without many of those things.
How big is a regulation football field?
A regulation football field is 57,600 square feet. That’s 1.32 acres. Typically hash marks are for every 100 years with a yard line every five yards and a field number every 10 yards.
How much does artificial turf cost for a football field?
It costs between $750,000 to $1.35 million to install artificial turf on a regulation-size football field.
Which is cheaper for a football field, artificial grass or natural grass?
Artificial turf is cheaper for a regulation football field when you talk about high use over a long period. The cost of per hour use with turf is between $29 and $52 while the cost per hour of use for a field with natural grass is between $52 and $108.
What is football turf?
Football turf is artificial grass that looks like natural grass. It is typically shorter than any natural grass.
Can I use my own grass on a football field in my backyard?
Certainly, you can use the grass you already have for your own football field. The most important thing is to make sure the field area has no holes or divots that can trip up players.
Will having a football field hurt my grass?
Yes, having a football field in your backyard will probably hurt or kill your grass as there will be heavy play and traffic on it. This is particularly true if those playing use football cleats. Make sure you take care of your lawn and fill in any bare spots with sod as they occur.