What are the hash marks used for on a football field? The hash marks are used to align players on the field at the start of each play. How do NFL hash marks differ from college football hash marks? Get ready to learn about the hash marks in football.
Hash marks are small dashes on the football field used to align the players at the start of each scrimmage down. There are two groups of hash marks on the middle of the football field. They run along the same linear path as the yard lines, but are very different from them.
Hash Mark Ball Placement
The hash marks are used to place the ball at the start of every scrimmage down. There are two places where the ball will be placed:
- Between hash marks
- On the closest hash mark
It all depends on where the previous scrimmage down ended.
Between Hash Marks
If the ball is ruled dead between the hash marks, the ball is left where it is at the start of the next scrimmage down.
On Hash Marks
If the ball is ruled dead outside the hash marks, the ball is placed on the closest hash mark at the start of the next scrimmage down.
Hash Mark Distance
The hash marks are used to align the players at the start of each scrimmage down. 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.
NFL Hash Marks
In the NFL, the hash marks are 18ft and 6in apart.
College Football Hash Marks
In college football, the hash marks are 40ft apart.
The college football hash mark distance is greater than in the NFL. This may result in the ball being placed closer to the sides of the field.
High School Football Hash Marks
In high school football, the hash marks are 53ft and 4in apart.
The high school hash mark distance is the largest compared to the college and NFL distances. This results in the ball usually being placed near the sides of the field.