Marking out a football pitch is relatively easy – if you know how. Get it wrong and you’ll end up with wobbly lines, incorrectly sized areas and problems when a game is played. Here’s our simple guide to marking out a football pitch.

What You’ll Need

Before you start, you’ll need appropriate paint (lime powder or that which is specifically for outdoor use) and a paint machine in which to apply it to the surface. A tape measure will be required as will small wooden stakes and very long pieces of string or wire.

Mow the Pitch

Before you apply any markings, give the pitch a mow. This will allow the paint to show up better. The markings on the pitch will also last longer when painted onto mowed grass.

Measure The Length Of The Pitch

Once the grass is cut, you need to measure out the first length of the pitch. This length should be between 100 to 130 yards, depending on the age group using it. For junior football, this will vary greatly. The FA’s guide to pitch dimensions can be found here. Once measured out, place a stake in the middle of the length to mark where the centre line will be.

Pitch Marking

Staking and Marking The Pitch

Place a stake at where each end of the pitch will be. Once placed, run the string from one stake to the other. This will provide you with a guide for your paint machine and will ensure that the lines are straight. Keep the string taut to ensure the measurements and lines are correct. Staking the width of the pitch is the next step. The width of the pitch will be between 50 and 100 yards (again depending on who’s using it). Now you can begin to paint the perimeter lines.

The Inside Markings

Next is marking out the penalty areas. The sizes will once again be dependant on age groups. However, always measure out from the goal posts. Once you have measured and staked the goal box, it can be painted. The corners of the pitch will also need to be marked. The corner-circles measure a yard from the corner. There’s also the centre circle and halfway line to mark. Two methods to this; place a peg in the centre and mark following a piece of string pulled taught. Another method is to use a spray can held close to the ground tied to the end of the string and spray a few dots at regular intervals. It’s then just a case of joining the dots afterwards with the marker.

Of course, if you want to have the job done to a professional standard, just give us a shout and we’d be happy to help.