Most people, even those that don’t subscribe to professional American football, will probably know that a football field measures 100 yards long and has 10-yard endzones. However, what they may not know is the dimensions of the field goal post.
A professional football field goal post will stand 45 feet (13.72 meters) tall. The 18.5-foot-long (5.64-meter) horizontal crossbar is connected to a 10-foot-tall (3.05-meter) gooseneck post on the ground. On the 2 ends of the crossbar are 2 upright posts that are 35 feet (10.67 meters) tall.
In the remainder of this article, I will go into more detail about the anatomy and dimensions of an NFL football field goal post, as well as the dimensions of goal posts used for high school football.
Football Field Goal Post Dimensions
The dimensions of a football field goal post will vary, depending on the level of football. College football field goal posts follow the exact dimension standards set by the NFL, whereas goal posts on high schools follow a completely different size standard.
Let’s take a look at how the 2 football field goal posts differ.
NCAA and NFL Football Field Goal Posts
The field goal posts in college and professional football fields are identical to the dot. However, all football field goal posts will consist of 3 primary parts—the gooseneck post, the horizontal crossbar, and the 2 upright posts.
In the NCAA and the NFL, the football field goal posts must measure as follows:
The gooseneck post—the post that is planted onto the ground and lifts the other components—should measure 10 feet (3.05 meters) from the ground to the tip. It should stand perfectly perpendicular to the ground until the 6-foot (1.83-meter) height, at which it bends back to give it the gooseneck appearance.
The horizontal crossbar should measure 18.5 feet (5.64 meters) from the inside of the 2 upright posts. Its connecting point with the gooseneck post should be at the exact center.
From the center of the connection point, there should be precisely 9.25 feet (2.82 meters) of space to each of the upright posts.
The 2 upright posts should be attached to ds of the horizontal crossbar and stick 35 feet (10.67 meters) into the air.
The overall height of an NCAA or NFL field goal post should measure 45 feet (13.72 meters).
High School Football Field Goal Posts
In contrast to NCAA and NFL football field goal posts, those used on high school football fields are considerably shorter and wider. There are 2 high school football field goal post designs—gooseneck and H-style. The one you’ll commonly find is that high schools across America follow the same gooseneck style as in the NCAA and the NFL.
Something else you may find is that the overall height of the field goal posts may differ from school to school. However, it’s generally agreed that football posts for high schools should measure between 22 and 25 feet tall.
Let’s take a look at the dimensions of a gooseneck field goal post first.
The gooseneck post should measure 10 feet (3.05 meters) from the ground to the tip. It should stand perfectly perpendicular to the ground until the 6-foot (1.83-meter) height, at which it bends back to give it the gooseneck appearance.
The horizontal crossbar should measure 23.33 feet (7.11 meters) from the inside of the 2 upright posts. Its connecting point with the gooseneck post should be at the exact center.
From the center of the connection point, there should be precisely 11.83 feet (3.61 meters) of space to each of the upright posts.
The 2 upright posts should be attached to both ends of the horizontal crossbar and stick 12 to 15 feet (3.66 to 4.57 meters) into the air.
The overall height of a high school gooseneck post should measure between 22 and 25 feet (6.71 and 7.62 meters).
The dimensions and measurements of an H-style football field goal post are as follows:
The 2 upright posts are 22 to 25 feet (6.71 to 7.62 meters) tall. They are planted into the ground and separated by the horizontal crossbar.
The horizontal crossbar should measure 23.33 feet (7.11 meters) long and serve as the connection between the 2 upright posts. It should be 10 feet (3.05 meters) above the ground, and the 2 upright posts should stand 12 and 15 feet (3.66 to 4.57 meters) from the top of the crossbar.
The overall height of a high school H-style post should measure between 22 and 25 feet (6.71 and 7.62 meters).
Here’s a summary of the dimensions of field goal posts for the NCAA, the NFL, and high school football fields.
|Play Level||Field Goal Post Style||Gooseneck Post||Horizontal Crossbar||Upright Posts||Overall Height|
|NCAA and NFL||Gooseneck||10 feet
|High School||Gooseneck||10 feet
|12 to 15 feet
3.66 to 4.57 meters
|22 to 25 feet
6.71 to 7.62 meters
|22 to 25 feet
6.71 to 7.62 m
|22 to 25 feet
6.71 to 7.62 meters
FAQs About Football Field Goal Posts
1. Why are the field goal posts different between the NFL and high school?
The simple answer is that high school students do not have the same kicking strength and accuracy as college and professional football players. So, to accommodate their “wilder” field goal kicks, high the National Federation of State High School Associations has widened the crossbar beams and shortened the upright posts.
2. What happens if the ball hits the goal post?
The NCAA considers the goal posts to be out of bounds. So, if the ball makes any contact with any part of the goal post, it is considered a dead ball—i.e., the play is over and, if it’s the fourth down, the ball goes to the opposing team.
3. Can you kick the football from anywhere?
Yes, you can. The offensive team may attempt to kick a field goal from anywhere on the field. However, if the kicker misses the goal posts, it’s considered an automatic fourth down, and the ball is given to the defensive team, starting at the line of scrimmage (where the ball was originally kicked).