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Field Layout

WARNING – Spectator Safety: The spectator area along the touch line is a safety hazard. The spectator line 3 yards outside of the touch line is a visual reminder to all spectators, especially children, to maintain this safe distance back from the field of play.

Field layout of VYS area home game fields is performed by a field lining service under contract with Vienna Youth Soccer, unless noted otherwise by your VYS House Commissioner or Club Representative.

Best Time to Layout a Field

  • Mid-Morning, a few days before the weekend games;

  • When nobody is on the field such as players, students, or grounds keepers;

  • Right after the grass is cut. On a rare occasion, contact the VYS Administrator or Fairfax County Turf Management (703-324-8590) about getting the grass cut, or cut the grass yourself;

  • When it is dry and the wind is calm;

  • Before the existing lines disappear. Monitor the lines during extended periods of non-use and either over-paint the lines or hand paint all corners and endpoints to preserve an existing field layout.

Time Required to Layout a Full-Size Field

  • It takes one person 4 hours (or two people 2.5 hours) to layout a new field;

  • It takes one person 3 hours to layout a field beginning with existing work points;

  • It takes one person 2 hours to layout a field beginning with existing lines;

  • It takes one person 1 hour to over-paint the lines before a game.

Tools Required to Layout a Field

  • 300’ tape measure;

  • 100’ tape measure;

  • 4 cones to site the corners during preliminary field layout;

  • 35 6" steel stakes (60d galvanized nails);

  • 10 rolls of string on a reel (#21 cotton/polyester cable/chalk line, 285’ per roll, on a plastic wire spool with a PVC pipe axle and windup knob);

  • 2’ sight rod (dowel rod);

  • Liner machine and 12 cans of white spray paint with the proper tips for the machine.

Field Layout Procedure

  1. Check the VYS Master Field Schedule to determine the oldest age group scheduled for the field. See VYS House Rules modifications to FIFA Law 1 for that age group to determine the required (average) field dimensions.

  2. If the field has fixed goals, measure, string, and stake each goal line. At each corner, lift and touch the string to the face of the goal posts to position the goal line parallel to the face of the goal. Measure out from goal line center to place stakes at the goal line center, goal areas, penalty areas, and touch lines/corners. For example, if the goal line is 70 yards, place stakes at 0’, 30’, 66’, and 105’ out on both sides from goal line center. Then prepare each touch line similar to Step 4 and continue with Step 10 below.

  3. Perform a preliminary field layout using the cones to sight the corners. Survey the site for safety hazards, obstacles, poor playing surfaces, and low areas slow to dry. Decide the optimum field location. This is often a compromise between sizing the field large enough and avoiding the worst field conditions. Allow space for spectator areas and pedestrian traffic around the field. Decide which touch line is most critical for given conditions; begin there with corner1 closest to your car (station tools here).

  4. Measure, string, and stake touch line1 from corner1. Place stakes at the goal lines/corners, penalty areas and spectator lines, and the halfway line. The spectator line is 3 yards outside of the touch line and extends even to the top of the penalty areas. Omit the spectator line, if it is not required on that side of the field. Retrieve the tape measure.

    The most efficient way to use the tape measure is to lay it out full length along the line, calculate the running feet measurements in your head, and place the stakes accordingly. For example, if the touch line is 110 yards, place stakes at 0’, 54’, 165’, 276’, and 330’. You have to append the 100’ tape measure to reach 330’.

  5. Measure and mark a 3-4-5 unit triangle at corner2 (for an 18 yard penalty area, 1 unit = 18’ and the triangle measures 54’-72’-90’). The touch line leg is 3 units (54’) extending from corner2 to the penalty area stake. Use the 300’ tape measure to measure the goal line leg 4 units (72’) from corner2. Use the 100’ tape measure to measure the hypotenuse 5 units (90’) from the penalty area stake on the touch line. Stake the sight rod vertically where the two tape measures intersect on the goal line. Retrieve the 100’ tape measure.

  6. Measure, string, and stake goal line1 from corner2. At corner3, lift and touch the string to the sight rod to position goal line1 perpendicular to touch line1. Place stakes at the penalty areas, goal areas, and the goal line center. Retrieve the tape measure.

  7. Measure goal line2 from corner1 to approximately locate corner4. Retrieve the tape measure.

  8. Measure, string, and stake touch line2 from corner3. Shift corner4 as required to intersect. Place stakes at the goal lines/corners, penalty areas and spectator lines, and the halfway line. Retrieve the tape measure.

  9. Measure, string, and stake goal line2 from corner4. Place stakes at the penalty areas, goal areas, and the goal line center. Retrieve the tape measure.

  10. String the near top of penalty area line (extends from touch line to touch line across the top of the penalty area), the halfway line, and the other top of penalty area line.

  11. Measure and stake the penalty area and goal area corners, the penalty marks, and the center mark. Penalty area corners can be measured from the touch line (width’/2 - 66’). Goal area corners and penalty marks can be measured approximately perpendicular from the goal line. String the near penalty area and goal area; then string the other penalty area and goal area (the sequence is: one side of penalty area, three sides of goal area, other side of penalty area; then go to other end of field and repeat).

  12. String the spectator lines as required.

  13. Use the 100’ tape measure to paint the corner arcs by hand, and to stitch paint the penalty arcs and center circle. Paint goal post marks for placement of moveable/portable goals only, a 12" line outside and perpendicular to the goal line. Retrieve the penalty mark stakes and paint the penalty marks, a 12" line parallel to the goal line (or a solid 12" circle). Retrieve the center mark stake and paint the center mark, a 12" line perpendicular to the halfway line (or a solid 12" circle).

  14. Paint all lines in both directions beginning and ending at the string end (so that the reel end dries first). The maximum line width is 5".

  15. Retrieve the remaining stakes and string. Count the stakes.


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