Football Field Hash Marks

Chapter 1.6

There are two sets of hash marks on a regulation football field. Get ready to learn what they are and what they are used for in a football game.

The Hash Marks

There are two sets of hash marks that run along the middle of the field highlighted below. They run along the same linear path as the yard lines, but do not confuse them as such.

Rookie Road Football Hash Marks Image

Hash Mark Purpose

The purpose of hash marks is to align the players at the start of each scrimmage down. We'll cover scrimmage downs in later chapters. For now, just know that hash marks are used to align the players at the start of each play.

There are two ways to determine the alignment of players on a down:

  1. The ball is in between the two sets of hash marks
  2. The ball is placed on the closest hash mark

In-Between The Hash Marks Sets

If the previous play ended in between the two sets of hash marks, the ball is left at that spot to start the next scrimmage down.

Rookie Road Football Hash Marks Ball In-between Sets Image

Outside The Hash Marks Sets

If the previous play ended outside of the two sets of hash marks, the ball is placed on the closest hash mark to start the next scrimmage down.

Rookie Road Football Hash Marks Ball On A Hash Mark Image

Hash Mark Distance

At all three levels of play, the distance between the hash marks varies.

The distance of the hash marks affects the strategy behind the game. Since the hash marks are used to align the players at the start of each scrimmage down, play tends to be near the sides of the field in college football since the distance is greater. Since the distance between the hash marks is small in pro football, play tends to be in the middle of the field.

Search Results