It’s safe to say American Football and Soccer are very different sports, with the two pitted as the opposites of each other.
This idea starts at one sports dependence on hands, and the others dependence on feet. You’d never guess which one was which from the description alone.
But one similarity that can anchor them to one another is the playing fields themselves, both sports reliant on well-kept pitches that span over 100 metres in length.
It’s clear the two sports take place on pitches that are roughly the same size, but are they really the same dimensions?
Are The Two Fields The Same Size?
The quick answer… No.
But then, Soccer pitches aren’t even the same size as other Soccer pitches.
While the typical size for modern Soccer teams is 115 by 74 yards (105 by 68 metres), the regulation allows for significant alteration.
Soccer pitches can vary in size to a surprising degree. The minimum length and width of a professional football pitch is 90m (100 yards) long by 45m (50 yards) wide.
I doubt you’ll see a professional side use such a small pitch however. As useful as it could be strategically, it creates as many problems for the home team as it does the away team.
The largest a pitch can be is 120m (131 yards) by 90m (98 yards). You’d probably be much more likely to see the larger end of the spectrum actually see professional usage.
It comes with its own problems though.
To fully play to such a large pitch’s strengths, the home team would need to be incredibly fit, possess great speed all around to utilise the extra space, and need great coordination to prevent the other team using their own pace to exploit space in behind.
Soccer pitches vary from team to team, with dimensions chosen to suit a team’s playstyle.
Sides that opt to play rigid, defensively structured football, relying on a physical direct style of play might use a smaller pitch in order to constrict play, and make passing through them much more difficult.
Conversely, free-flowing attacking teams, focussing on keeping the ball on the deck will opt to have bigger pitches, creating more space to play around opponents and get in behind.
This is part of the reason home advantage is so prevalent and important. It’s not simply about playing in front of your fans, though the fans certainly give home teams an advantage too.
When a side plays at home, they are playing on a pitch that is tailored to suit them, and nobody else.
How Big Is An American Football Pitch?
In American Football, it is important that the field sizes are consistent across all sides.
The distance a team makes it down the field is one of the games key faculties, meaning consistency of field length is integral to the fairness of the game.
The end zone needs to always take the same amount of yards to reach to keep things fair.
An American Football field measures 91.4m (100 yards) long not including the end zones, and is 48.8m (53.3 yards) wide.
The endzones are a further 10 yards deep, making a Football field’s length sit at 110m (120 yards), when measured from end to end.
This makes American Football fields 5 yards, or 4.5 metres, longer than the typical, recommended Soccer field.
However, Soccer fields can be longer if it suits a team, with Soccer fields able to sport up to an extra 10 yards on a Football field.
When it comes to width, Soccer has Football comfortably beat.
53 yards is barely within the minimum regulation size for the width of a soccer pitch, with an extra 45 yards available at a Soccer team’s disposal.
Yet even with such big pitches, the intense, high pressing modern game of Soccer makes these mammoth pitches seem tightly packed and devoid of space to move into.