Preparing Your Practice Field

    I am sure you have been taught many ways to line a practice field.  You can use the 3', 4', 5' triangle to make sure you have a right angle in each of the 4 corners.  I usually wind up with a slanted parallelogram when I use that method.  One thing that worked for me was having a band parent survey the 4 corners of the field and drive a heavy metal stake in the ground at each corner.  The stake was driven flush with the ground, for mowing purposes, and then I could use a metal detector each year to find my 4 corners.  After laying down the sidelines and yard lines, I like to run solid front and back hash marks. 

Traditional High School Football Field

     The hash marks are 53' 4" from the sidelines and if your field is accurate, you should have 53' 4" between hash marks.  


NCAA Field (also used by Texas high schools)

Hash marks are 60' from the sidelines with 40' between the hashes.


     After putting down solid lines for the hash marks on either type field you use, I highly recommend you mark your yard lines with 4-step lines.  If you have ever watched a rookie student try to step off 11 steps from the front sideline, you will understand why.  The best way is to make your regular hash marks solid lines.  Then put the 4-step marks on each yard line using the regular size hash mark.  Remember, because a football field divided into thirds by the hash marks is 53' 4" between the sideline and 1st hash and 53' 4" between hashes, your 4-step marks will be 91.43 inches apart.  Make sure you have 7 equal sections between the sideline and the hash and 7 between the hashes on the traditional field.   If you are using NCAA hashes, you will need 8 equal sections from the sideline to the hash and 5 equal sections between the hashes.

    That student who couldn't be very accurate with the 11 steps from the front sideline will be able to see the 3rd 4-step mark and stand 1 step from it.   Do your marching fundamentals in a 4 X 4 block on the back side of the field.