The playing surface in soccer and association football is frequently referred to as a pitch. Few fans are aware of the history of this naming convention because it is almost as old as the sport.
Here are the fundamentals of what distinguishes a soccer field from other playing fields and why it is referred to as a pitch.
Why is a Soccer Field Called a Pitch?
There were no dedicated fields or venues available when soccer initially gained popularity in England in the 1800s.
Athletes began playing the sport on fields where cricket was played since cricket was much more widely known. The term “pitch” refers to the cricket field.
On the game, three poles known as stumps are buried in a tiny patch of earth or clay called the pitch. There is typically a sizable, elongated, grassy outfield in this vicinity.
Cricket players had to “pitch the stumps” before every game to set up the playing field, hence the word “pitch.” “Pitching the stumps” was eventually abbreviated to “pitch.”
A Cricket Field’s Dimensions:
Cricket fields frequently come in a variety of sizes. They are all typically round, though, and have a minimum diameter of 150 yards.
This space would be ideal for a soccer game. When soccer and association football gained popularity in the 1900s, specific fields were set aside for the sport.
The term “soccer pitch” survived after the game’s transition to its own venues for competition. Despite the fact that “soccer field” is more often used in North America, the phrase “soccer pitch” is still frequently used.
What Differentiates a Soccer Field from a Soccer Pitch?
“Soccer field” is more frequently used by soccer players and supporters in North America than “soccer pitch.”
Because soccer matches don’t usually take place in stadiums dedicated to the sport in North America, the term “soccer field” is used instead of “pitch.”
Instead, it’s frequently played on athletic facilities or multipurpose fields. Teams like the Seattle Sounder F.C. play at Lumen Field in the United States, which also serves as the home of the NFL Seattle Seahawks.
Gridiron football grounds can only be 120 yards long and roughly 53 yards broad, including the end zones, because of these multi-use buildings.
However, as the sport gains popularity in the US, more teams will start to have their own facilities.
Are actual soccer fields bigger than football fields?
True soccer fields are often wider and longer than American football fields. Mandatory markers on the playing surface required for association play as described by the Laws of the Game are not permitted in multi-purpose training areas.
The goal area, penalty spot, and other lines are among these marks. Occasionally, during games on shared surfaces, teams will employ cones or markers to denote the corner flags or penalty markings.
What is the Size of a Soccer Pitch?
The size of a soccer field is clearly defined by both FIFA and the IFAB. Soccer fields should be 100 to 130 yards long and 50 to 100 yards broad.
They have a halfway line that crosses the center circle and designates the position of the midfield dot.
Flags are typically used to mark the midline and field limits so that soccer players and spectators can easily identify them.
Terms Used to Describe a Soccer Field (Pitch)
The term “touchlines” refers to the lines defining the field’s length. The goal lines are the perimeters that top off the short side of the field.
Corner arches, from which players take corner kicks during a game, are also required by soccer rules. The goal area and penalty area are additional areas.
Natural Grass vs. Man-Made Surface:
Artificial or natural grass surfaces are both acceptable for soccer fields. Since many gridiron fields use artificial turf as the playing surface, different pitches make using multi-purpose fields, such as soccer, simple.
Can the Soccer Location Change for a Match?
After China’s candidacy was rejected owing to the SARS pandemic, the United States was forced to host the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2003 as an emergency.
The new host utilized numerous illustrious gridiron football stadiums as soccer fields because to the Laws of the Game’s flexibility regarding the size and playing surface used in international competitions. Lincoln Financial Field and Gillette Stadium were a few of well-known locations.
Conclusion on What is a Pitch in Soccer?
One of the few sports where the name of the field is different is association football, or soccer. Depending on who you are speaking to, the playing field will either be referred to as a pitch or a field.
While referring to a soccer pitch as a “field” is acceptable, a pitch is more precise and is accepted by the sport’s governing bodies.
Increasingly teams will acquire their own stadiums as soccer becomes more popular in the United States. Having your own stadium can increase fan loyalty by demonstrating a city’s dedication to its soccer team.