Tips and Advice for Building a Soccer Field

Building a Soccer Field

Soccer is the most popular sport worldwide and continues to be enjoyed by people of all ages. Though we think of American football as a paramount sport, they are similar in many ways. When considering building a soccer field or “pitch” as it’s professionally called, you must plan out your field basics and budget before you can set up the goalie nets. Unlike other sports, turf is especially important for soccer. So much so, FIFA (Fédération International de Football Association), the leader in soccer regulations, has specific sports turf regulations. If you are ready to kick your soccer field project out of the park, you’ve come to the right place.

It is of utmost importance to plan out first the basics of your sports field. These basics include things like location considerations, usage, maintenance, and budget. You can find out more extensive information on each subject by visiting some of our past blogs. With these things in mind, you should know whether you need natural turf grass or artificial for your project. This is where you want to spend your time, ensuring your soccer field has turf that is safe to play on and is long-lasting.


  1. FIFA Regulations for Building a Soccer Field

FIFA stresses a preference for natural turf pitches but has begun accepting artificial turf for fields that will be utilized for multiple uses or maybe have location specifications that are not viable for natural turf. To ensure artificial turf provides the playing qualities of good quality natural grass, FIFA developed the FIFA Quality Program for Football Turf. SCGFields can help guide you through the FIFA-approved turfs and infill regulations for building a soccer field. Basic FIFA standards for artificial turf include the following:

Tips and Advice for Building a Soccer Field

Step 1: A thorough test of the product in the laboratory

The customer will be informed that the product is available for installation and eligible for the next stage of testing (subject to completion of the license contract between FIFA and the synthetic turf manufacturer). When tested in the laboratory for initial type approval, the Football Turf shall fully satisfy the requirements using the methods of test specified.

Step 2: The installation of the product

The product must be installed using a similar composition of materials within the required manufacturing tolerances as previously tested in the laboratory and defined in the corresponding Laboratory Test Report.

Step 3: Initial field assessment

Following the installation of the field, Owners must request the field test by contacting the FIFA online database. The on-field testing will be performed by a FIFA Accredited Testing Agency. The test methods used to assess Football Turfs and installed fields are described in the FIFA Handbook of Test Methods for Football Turf 2015 edition.

Step 4. Field Approval

After field testing is completed by a FIFA Accredited Testing Agency, the results are submitted to FIFA for analysis.  The field testing is compared to the laboratory testing in Step 1 and the FIFA Quality Standards. Fields that meet the Quality Standards are certified FIFA Quality or FIFA Quality Pro.


  1. Maintenance

Now that we’ve gotten some of the technical stuff out of the way, it’s also important to stress the necessity of maintenance when building a soccer field, whether you invest in natural turf grass or artificial turf. On a smooth and well-maintained pitch, soccer has a graceful quality, even in the middle of a tough game. However, when the field goes bad, the whole game goes bad. If you choose artificial turf, your maintenance needs will be a bit different.

Since natural turf for soccer fields requires specialty maintenance, make sure you have a plan surrounding the following items:

Mowing: Determining the correct mowing height must be balanced with the amount of use the pitch receives, climatic conditions, turfgrass species, and the overall maintenance program.

Seeding, Sprigging, Plugging, and/or Sodding: Goalmouth areas need to have grass cover to cushion falls, protect the plant, stabilize the soil surface, and provide a truer roll and bounce of the soccer ball. Grass cover and recovery can be achieved and/or accelerated with seed, sprigs, plugs, and/or sod.

 Aeration: Soil aeration is one of the most important practices, and often the most under-utilized tool maintenance. Aeration corrects or alleviates soil compaction common to high traffic areas. High traffic areas may require soil aeration 8 or more times per year, including during the playing season.

Topdressing: Topdressing is important to maintain a level surface for true ball roll, maintain firmness and stability, maintain drainage characteristics, dilute, reduce thatch and fill aeration holes.

Irrigation: Proper irrigation is essential for plant health, combating drought, balancing the air/water exchange in the soil, and delivering nutrients to the plant.

Fertilization: Vigorous turfgrass growth is detrimental to the goal mouth area on soccer pitches. Be sure to take frequently test your soil and tissue to address deficiencies in your fertility program.


    1. Field Dimensions

To assist with the soccer pitch layout, the following diagram provides measurements. The pitch dimensions found optimal by FIFA are 100-110 m (100-120 yards) long by 64-75 m (55-75 yards) wide. The pitch can be between 90-120 m (98-130 yards) long and 45-95 m (50-104 yards) wide for other events. It is recommended to have a free area behind the goal of 8.5 m (10 yards) and next to the sidelines of 10 m (11 yards).

The field of play must be rectangular and marked with lines. These lines belong to the areas of which they are boundaries. The two longer boundary lines are called touchlines. The two shorter lines are called goal lines. The field of play is divided into two halves by a halfway line, which joins the midpoints of the two touchlines. The center mark is indicated at the midpoint of the halfway line. A circle with a radius of 9.15 m (10 yds) is marked around it. Marks may be made off the field of play, 9.15 m (10 yds) from the corner arc and at right angles to the goal lines and the touchlines, to ensure that defending players retreat this distance when a corner kick is being taken.
soccer field dimensions

Building a Soccer Field: Dimension

Have a Question?

Let us simplify your project!

Please get in touch with our turf experts here at SCG Fields. We’ll help make the process of building a soccer field of your dreams easy, streamlined, and to your budget.