Soccer Pitch Lines and Marks – What are their names and purpose?

A soccer pitch has several lines and marks that have a specific purpose within the normal course of a match. The longer lines of the pitch’s rectangle are called ‘Touchlines’ and the shorter ones ‘Goal Lines’ (line that horizontally unites each corner flag) in the center of which ‘Goals’ are placed (each ‘Goal’ must have two ‘Posts’ and one ‘Crossbar’ – their dimensions and the line distance between posts and the turf and the crossbar height are standardized). The dimension of these lines is not standardized (in international matches, the touchlines must be between 100 and 110 metres long and the goal lines must be between 64 and 75 metres) as it the pitch dimension itself is not standardized as well.

In each Goal’s projection there are several lines that form the ‘Goal Area’, the ‘Penalty Area’ (in which there is a mark for Penalty Kicks) and the ‘Penalty Arc’. A soccer pitch must also have a ‘Half-Way Line’, a ‘Centre Circle’, ‘Corner Arcs’ and ‘Flags’ signaling each extreme of the rectangle.

In order to help the referee determining the opponent’s players minimum distance from the corner kick arcs (9.15 metres) when one is granted, a mark may optionally be drawn in goal lines. A faculty is also granted to place a flag in each extreme of the half-way line. Differently from ‘Touchlines’ and ‘Goal Lines’, all these other lines and marks have standardized measures.

Today we focus ourselves only in the Penalty Arc’s purpose which is the arc marked from the outside edge of the Penalty Area, 9.15 metres from the penalty mark or 20.15 metres from the goal line since 11 metres have to distance from the Goal Line and the Penalty Mark. Its solely purpose is to work as a boundary of an exclusion area, together with the Penalty Area Lines, where all players must refrain from entering (except the striker taking the penalty and the goalkeeper) during the execution of a penalty. Technically, if the penalty arc is breached before the penalty is kicked the referee may determine its repetition. Stay ‘on-line’ with us and ‘mark an entry’ to follow our next posts covering all the other soccer lines and marks characteristics.

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