What is the 1st Down Line in Football?
The 1st down line in football is the yard line initially placed 10 yards away from the line of scrimmage for the team on offense. The offense must reach or go beyond the 1st down line in order to get a 1st down. The 1st down line is seen as a yellow line stretching across the field on television while the line of scrimmage is the blue or black line stretching across the field at the spot of the ball prior to the snap.
On the field, the 1st down line is marked by the 1st down marker, an orange arrow-shaped marker held on the sideline held by officials called the chain crew. There is another orange marker held at the line of scrimmage. Both of these markers are attached at their bottom point by a chain that is 10 yards long to measure out the distance between the line of scrimmage and the 1st down line. The yellow and blue lines on television that mark the 1st down line and the line of scrimmage are approximations and are not completely accurate.