Are you wondering about the dimensions of a soccer field in the Olympics?
Truth is, all the laws of soccer are fixed by the International Football Association Board (IFAB) which upholds the ‘spirit’ of the game. The dimensions of the field of play for all international matches including the Olympics are based on these standard laws of the game.
Here, we take a deep dive into the dimensions of an Olympics soccer field and its layout.
What Are the Dimensions of an Olympic Soccer Field?
When it comes to the field dimensions, the rules are the same for FIFA (The Fédération Internationale de Football Association) World Cups and Olympic soccer. However, there are some other rules that vary in the case of Olympic soccer. For example, Olympic soccer is mostly a U-23 event.
Now you know the reason for not seeing many of the world’s top soccer players playing for their national team in the Olympics. That said, FIFA allowed three over-age exceptions for the teams in Tokyo Olympics 2021.
Soccer Field Dimensions
While soccer fields in different international tournaments may vary in size, they need to stay within the parameters specified by soccer laws. In other words, when it comes to different leagues around the world, the football fields are not of the same size.
As per the rules, the length of the rectangular-shaped soccer field for international matches can vary between 110 yards to 120 yards. The goal line or the width should be between 70 yards to 80 yards.
Generally, an Olympic soccer field is 115 yards long and 74 yards wide. For example, the Wembley Stadium in London, where the summer Olympics was held in 2012, has a dimension of 115 yards × 74 yards (105 m × 68 m).
Compared to international soccer fields, the dimensional tolerances of standard soccer fields are more relaxed. In this case, the length can be between 100 to 130 yards. The width can vary between 50 to 100 yards.
The size of the field and the goal area can be reduced for younger players to make it easier for them. But unlike the standard soccer laws, there are no uniform rules to match the field sizes with the age of the players.
Beyond the playing field boundaries, there should also be a technical area that should have the designated seating space for the team officials and substitutes. This area extends 1 yard or 1 meter from the touchline.
Goal and Penalty Area Dimensions
The soccer goal is 8 yards in width when measured between the inside of the vertical posts. The distance between the ground and the bottom of the top crossbar should be 8 feet. There are no dimensional specifications regarding the net attached to the goalpost as long as it is properly supported and does not interfere with or obstruct the goalkeeper.
Bordering every soccer playing field are the touchlines. These lines should not be more than 5 inches (12 cm) wide and remain uniform throughout the field. All dimensions are measured from the outside of the lines and they should be included in the field area.
Each end of the field has a rectangular penalty box in front of each goal. This boundary line of the penalty area extends 18 yards into the field from the goal line. Joining this line are two lines drawn at right angles to the goal line and 18 yards away from the inside of each goal post.
Within the penalty area is a smaller goal area that extends 6 yards from the goal line and is 20 yards in length. This is the area from where the goalkeeper performs a goal kick. Also, if the defensive team wins a free kick inside the goal area, they can take the kick from anywhere within this box.
Olympic Soccer Field Markings
No matter the total playing area of a soccer field, the basic layout and the markings are always the same. Here are the main markings you will find on an Olympic soccer field.
- At the midpoint of the field, the halfway line divides the field into two equal parts with a center point in its middle. Around this point, there is a center circle with a radius of 10 yards.
- On each corner of the playing field, the corner area is marked in the form of a quarter circle. The circle radius is 1 yard or 1 meter from the corner flag post. The flag post should be at least 5 feet (1.5 meters) in height. All corner kicks are taken from this area.
- The circular penalty kick mark is 12 yards away from the center of the goal or the midpoint between the two vertical posts. This is the spot from where the penalties are taken.
- There is a D-shaped area called the penalty arc outside the penalty box. This is an arc that is drawn from the penalty spot and has a radius of 10 yards. This marks the area that should not be encroached upon by other players while a penalty is being taken.
No form of commercial advertisement is allowed within the boundaries of the field of play and the area enclosed by the goal nets. Advertisements are also not permitted in the technical area and on the grounds within a yard or 1 meter from the field boundary lines.
While we cheer for our countries during an Olympics soccer match, not many of us are aware of the rules behind setting up a soccer field.
Just because all soccer fields look rectangular, they are not of the same dimensions. However, for most international tournaments including the Olympic soccer games the field size differences are kept minimal.