How can football field be 100 yards long when there are presumably 32" between each 4" yard marker. It does not add up when you measure from fifty-yard line (or any other). From the 1 yard line, there is 32" plus 4". By same rule, that would mean 50 yards from far side of line. But that is true if ball was advancing in other direction, too, meaning field is 4" short.


1 Answer 1


I am not getting, how you are calculating it but the plan of playing field from NFL Rulebook clearly shows that the field is exactly 100 yards.

NFL field plan Source

Another figure that may help, figure


  • I am trying to point out it seems like there is 32" to a 4" yard marker, meaning the yard is measured from the far side of a yard marker when calculated to the end zone. That is fine, but there is a problem when you get to midfield, since the 50-yard line should be 50 yards from the end zone when measured on its far side, meaning the field is 4 " shorter than 100 yards (which I know to be true).
    – d c
    Commented Dec 3, 2017 at 22:56
  • 2
    I think that the lines marking yards are across the middle of the actual yard line. Endzone and out of bounds lines start at the inner boundary of their line markings which is why you only have to graze them with a foot to be out of bounds or just barely break the plane on the endzone to score (either a touchdown or safety). Commented Dec 13, 2017 at 18:28
  • If that was the case. then the last yard at each end zone would be only 34 inches. Plus, the ball is never spotted at the middle of the line marker when spotted on the 25 after a touchback, etc.
    – d c
    Commented Dec 18, 2017 at 4:39
  • 3
    The NFL rulebook shows that the yard lines are officially measured to the middle of the 4" lines. So the distance from the middle of the 1-yard line to the beginning of the goal line would be 36". As for spotting the ball after touchbacks, I think you have a point. It'd be interesting to read the refferee instructions, because they should read to place the nose of the ball at the middle of the 25-yard line. Commented Dec 21, 2017 at 1:30
  • Measuring to the center of each line would mean there was 32" in between. That would also mean that using the same 32" of space would mean the 1-yard to the goal line spaces would be 2" short because the goal lines are clearly to the leading edge, not 2" farther.
    – d c
    Commented Dec 28, 2017 at 5:49

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