Law 1 - The Field of Play
Matches may be played on natural or artificial surfaces, according to the rules of the competition.
The color of artificial surfaces must be green.
Where artificial surfaces are used in either competition matches between representative teams of member associations affiliated to FIFA or international club competition matches, the surface must meet the requirements of the FIFA Quality Concept for Football Turf or the International Artificial Turf Standard, unless special dispensation is given by FIFA.
The field of play must be rectangular and marked with lines. These lines belong to the areas of which they are boundaries.
The two longer boundary lines are called touch lines. The two shorter lines are called goal lines.
The field of play is divided into two halves by a halfway line, which joins the midpoints of the two touch lines.
The center mark is indicated at the midpoint of the halfway line. A circle with a radius of 10 yards is marked around it.
Marks may be made off the field of play, 10 yards from the corner arc and at right angles to the goal lines and the touch lines, to ensure that defending players retreat this distance when a corner kick is being taken.
The length of the touch line must be greater than the length of the goal line.
100 yards (minimum)
130 yards (maximum)
50 yards (minimum)
100 yards (maximum)
All lines must be of the same width, which must be not more than 5 inches.
110 yards (minimum)
120 yards (maximum)
70 yards (minimum)
80 yards (maximum)
The goal area
Two lines are drawn at right angles to the goal line, 6 yards from the inside of each goalpost. These lines extend into the field of play for a distance of 6 yards and are joined by a line drawn parallel with the goal line. The area bounded by these lines and the goal line is the goal area.
The penalty area
Two lines are drawn at right angles to the goal line, 18 yards from the inside of each goalpost. These lines extend into the field of play for a distance of 18 yards and are joined by a line drawn parallel with the goal line. The area bounded by these lines and the goal line is the penalty area.
Within each penalty area, a penalty mark is made 12 yards from the midpoint between the goalposts and equidistant to them.
An arc of a circle with a radius of 10 yards from the center of each penalty mark is drawn outside the penalty area.
A flag post, not less than 5 feet high, with a non-pointed top and a flag must be placed at each corner.
Flag posts may also be placed at each end of the halfway line, not less than 1 yard outside the touch line.
The corner arc
A quarter circle with a radius of 1 yard from each corner flag post is drawn inside the field of play.
A goal must be placed on the center of each goal line.
A goal consists of two upright posts equidistant from the corner flag posts and joined at the top by a horizontal crossbar. The goalposts and crossbar must be made of wood, metal or other approved material. They must be square, rectangular, round or elliptical in shape and must not be dangerous to players. The distance between the posts is 8 yards and the distance from the lower edge of the crossbar to the ground is 8 feet.
Both goalposts and the crossbar have the same width and depth, which do not exceed 5 inches. The goal lines must be of the same width as the goalposts and the crossbar. Nets may be attached to the goals and the ground behind the goal, provided that they are properly supported and do not interfere with the goalkeeper.
The goalposts and crossbars must be white.
Goals must be anchored securely to the ground. Portable goals may only be used if they satisfy this requirement.
Decisions of the IFAB
Where a technical area exists, it must meet the requirements approved by the IFAB, which are contained in the section of this publication entitled the technical area.
Interpretations of Law 1
It is not permissible to mark the field of play with broken lines or furrows.
If a player makes unauthorized marks on the field of play with his foot, he must be cautioned for unsporting behavior. If the referee notices this being done during the match, he must caution the offending player for unsporting behavior when the ball next goes out of play.
Only the lines indicated in Law 1 are to be marked on the field of play.
If the crossbar becomes displaced or broken, play is stopped until it has been repaired or replaced in position. If it is not possible to repair the crossbar, the match must be abandoned. The use of a rope to replace the crossbar is not permitted. If the crossbar can be repaired, the match is restarted with a dropped ball from the position of the ball when play was stopped, unless play was stopped inside the goal area, in which case the referee drops the ball on the goal area line parallel to the goal line at the point nearest to where the ball was located when play was stopped.
Commercial advertising shall be at least 1 yard from the boundary lines of the field of play.
No form of commercial advertising, whether real or virtual, is permitted on the field of play, on the ground within the area enclosed by the goal nets or the technical area, or within 1 yard of the touch line from the time the teams enter the field of play until they have left it at half-time and from the time the teams re-enter the field of play until the end of the match. Similarly, advertising is not permitted on the goals, nets, flag posts or their flags and no extraneous equipment (cameras, microphones, etc.) may be attached to these items.
Logos and emblems
The reproduction, whether real or virtual, of representative logos or emblems of FIFA, confederations, member associations, leagues, clubs or other bodies is forbidden on the field of play, the goal nets and the areas they enclose, the goals, the flag posts and their flags during playing time.