The law describes the measures of the field with its marking lines, the goal dimensions, the measures of the centre line and centre mark, the corner arcs, the goal area, the penalty area and the technical area.

 

Field dimensions

Year (Source) new or changed laws (proposing club, if known)
1858 (Harrow Football) length: 150 yd, width: 100 yd („in House matches“)
1863 (Cambridge University) l: 150 yd, w: 100 yd.
1863 (Shrewsbury School) l: 150 yd, w: 120 yd.
1863 (FA) l: 200 yd, w: 100 yd.
1867 (Sheffield FA) l: 200 yd, w: 100 yd.
1875 (FA) l: 100-200 yd, w: 50-100 yd (Royal Engineers).
1897 (IFAB, internal games only) l: 110-120 yd, w: 70-80 yd.
1921 (DFB) l: ca. 109-120 yd (100-110 m), w: ca. 70-82 yd (64-75 m).
1938 (IFAB, German edition) l: ca. 98-131 yd (90-120 m), w: ca. 49-98 yd (45-90 m) (the dimensions for international games remain).

 

Proposals for law amendments that were not accepted:

year club/association proposal reaction
1874 Harrow Chequers l: 150 yd, w: 75 yd rejected
1913 SFA l: 100-130 yd, w: 55-100 yd rejected

 

Field surface

Year (Source) new or changed laws (proposing club, if known)
between 1977 and 2015 (IFAB) Floor may also be sportsartificial turf.

 

Field markings (with goal area, penalty area, flag posts, corner arc)

Year (Source) new or changed laws (proposing club, if known)
1857 (Cambridge University) Four flags mark the corner of the field.
1858 (Sheffield FA) Four flags mark the corner of the field.
1862 (Uppingham School) Four flags mark the corner of the field.
1863 (FA) Four flags mark the corner of the field.
1883 (IFAB) Additional continuous lines of the goals and touch line. In practice it was mostly a solution of chalk mud or a V-shaped furrow.
1892 (IFAB) Goal area: A semi-circle with a radius of 6 yd in front of every the goalpost.
1892 (IFAB) Penalty area: A line 12 yd in front of the goal line.
1892 (IFAB) The middle of the field and the distance of 10 yd to be kept for kickoff now are marked.
1896 (IFAB) Corner flags must be 1.5 yd high. A quarter circle with a radius of 1 yd marks the area from which the ball must be kicked into the playing field.
1897 (IFAB) Goal and touch lines must form right angles (1887 discussed, now introduced).
1901 (IFAB) Penalty area 18 yd x 44 yd in front of the goal, probably as a line, since the suggestion of a dotted marking was rejected several times (1898, 1901, 1902).
1901 (IFAB) Penalty mark: The point 12 yd in röntgen of the middle of every goal.
1902 (IFAB) Goal area: 6 yd x 6 yd in front of the goal, connected at right angles.
1908 (IFAB) There could also be two further flags at midline level, but they must be at least 1 yd sideways and 1.5 yd high like the corner flags.
1937 (IFAB) Additionally, a semicircle of 10 yd from the penalty point is measured, but it is only marked outside the penalty area (FA).
1939 (IFAB) The markings are a maximum of 5 in (FA)
1966 (IFAB) The marking lines are 4-5 in, but must have the same width throughout the field.
1967 (IFAB) The width of the markings must correspond to the diameter of the goal posts (IFAB).
1995 (IFAB) A marking may be placed outside the pitch, 4 in from the corner flag and at right angles to the goal line, to help the referee maintain this distance when taking a corner kick (FA).
1995 (IFAB) The Technical Zone must be marked (Scottish FA).

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Proposals for law amendments that were not accepted:

The penalty area is a semicircle with 22 yd radius, measured from center of the goal.rejected

year club/association proposal reaction
1949 The penalty area is a semicircle with 22 yd radius, measured from the middle of the goal. rejected

 

Goals

Year (Source) new or changed laws (proposing club, if known)
1847 and following (Eton Field Game) width: 11 ft, height marked by length of posts (= 7 ft).
1858 (Harrow Football) w: 12 ft, no height limitation.
1862 (Sheffield FC) w: 12 ft, h: 9 ft. Height marked by band.
1863 (Cambridge University) w: 15 ft, no height limitation.
1863 (FA) w: 8 yd, no height limitation.
1866 (FA) w: 8 yd, h: 8 ft. Height marked by band.
1868 (Sheffield FA) w: 8 yd, h: 8 ft. Height marked by band.
1875 (FA) w: 8 yd, h: 8 ft. Height marked by band (since 1866) or crossbar (Queen’s Park).
1883 (IFAB) w: 8 yd, h: 8 ft. Height marking only by crossbar.
1894 (IFAB) Goalposts must have a diameter of 5 ins.
1890 (IFAB) Additional: goal nets, made of iron.
1938 (IFAB, German edition) Goal nets must be fixed to the ground so that a sharply shot cannot roll under the goal net.
1939 (IFAB) The goal posts and the crossbars must be at right angles to each other and must not exceed 5 in width and depth (FA).
1962 (IFAB) If the crossbar is broken and cannot be replaced or repaired, the game must be stopped. A rope cannot be allowed (FIFA).
1966 (IFAB) If the crossbar is broken and cannot be replaced or repaired, the competition match must be abandoned. A rope cannot be allowed. In non-competition games, both parties may agree to continue playing with the broken bar. In this case, the referee may give a goal if he thinks that the ball would have entered the goal without the broken bar. Then the match is restarted with a dropped ball.
1966 (IFAB) The goal posts and crossbars have a diameter of 4-5 in.
1966 (IFAB) Goal posts and crossbars can be rectangular, square, round, semicircular or elliptical (IFAB).
1966 (IFAB) The goal posts can be made of wood or metal [already usual before] (IFAB).
1966 (IFAB) Goal posts and crossbar have a maximum diameter of 5 in, but all must have the same width (IFAB).
1967 (IFAB) The IFAB includes glass fibre from a Norwegian company in the list of approved materials after testing for goal posts and crossbar (IFAB).
1967 (IFAB) If the crossbar is broken, the game is interrupted until it is replaced. A rope cannot be allowed. In non-competition games, both parties may agree to play without a crossbar (so that it is not a danger to the players) or to use a rope to replace the crossbar. If no rope is used, the referee may give a goal if he thinks that the ball would have entered the goal. Then the match is restarted with a dropped ball.
1994 (IFAB, German edition) All goals, including portable goals, must be anchored to the ground. (Yes, this law existed before the Madrid’s goal was fallen before the Champions League match between Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid in 1998.)

 

Proposals for law amendments that were not accepted:

year club/association proposal reaction
1869 Crystal Palace Widening of the goal to 13 yd rejected
1895 Discussion on how to deal with displacements during the game, but there was no decision due to lack of alternative ideas. withdrawn
1938 FIFA The goalposts and the goal bar must be at right angles to each other and must not exceed 5 in width and depth. rejected

 

 

Technical Area (Coaching Area)

Year (Source) new or changed laws (proposing club, if known)
1994 (IFAB) The Technical Zone will be introduced as an area up to 1 yd on the touch lines where team officials may give tactical instructions to their team (SFA).
1995 (IFAB) The Technical Zone must be marked (SFA).
1997 (IFAB) The coach may give instructions to the team, but must remain within the Technical Zone.
2000 (IFAB) There shall be no form of advertising in the Technical Zone, up to 1 yd on the sidelines or outside the field on the ground.
2000 (IFAB) Team officials are only allowed to stay for a short time for tactical instructions in this area and have to sit down again immediately afterwards. But trainers who have been in the technical zone for a longer period of time are now tolerated.
2001 (IFAB) The instruction for coaches in the Technical Zone applies to all team officials.
2016 (IFAB) Team officials take an active part in the game and can also risk penalty kicks if they obtain a goal.

 

Photographer line

Year (Source) new or changed laws (proposing club, if known)
between 1949 and 1977 (IFAB, German edition) Introduction of a photographer line („Fotografenlinie“ in German) behind the goal. It was not a line, but an ellipse, because it was ca. 2 yd (2 m) behind the corner flag, ca. 3.8 yd (3,5 m) between the corner flag and the goalpost and ca. 6.6 yd (6 m) behind the goal itself.