Automatic vs Manual Painting of Football Field Lines

Football Field Painting

Football field maintenance requires many different tools and skills. During the year, many different tasks need to be solved in a time-efficient manner in order to keep up with the different seasonal schedules. Football field painting can be a very time-consuming task, both at the beginning of each season and during the season due to the maintenance required.

What Are the Differences between Automatic and Manual Football Field Painting?

Traditional methods of football line marking involve a manually operated hand-pusher which applies the paint, also known as a walk-behind. These line marking machines come in a range of different designs, including transfer wheel marking machines and spray markers. At the other end of the scale, fully autonomous machines for field painting are able to mark all the lines of a football field automatically, including coaching zones, yard numbers, hash marks etc. Finally, hybrid field painters are also available, combining the manual process of the paint application with GPS positioning for greater precision.

What Are the Benefits of Automatic Football Field Maintenance?

For many sports teams, schools, sports facilities etc, football field painting can take up a lot of time during the year. At the start of the season, all lines are typically gone and must be repainted from the beginning. This involves measuring out and painting all the fields and lines manually which is very time-consuming. For a standard Football Union field, placing and painting the football field lines can easily take up to 20 man hours, stretching several days of work. Using an automatic football field painter, the line marking can be completed in 2 hours and 30 minutes from start to finish for a completely new field. This frees up a lot of time for greenkeepers and ground managers who are able to focus on other tasks.

Need for Efficient Football Field Painting

During the season, the line painting fades and the grass needs to be cut which also causes the lines to disappear. This means that the field lines have to be re-marked continuously during the season. In fact, it is often necessary to re-mark football fields that are not being used right here and now, simply to avoid the lines from disappearing completely which would make it necessary to measure and place the fields again from the beginning.

Measuring, placing and marking the football field lines can all be done in one step by an automatic football field painter because it uses satellite positioning to place the fields. In this way, initial marking and re-marking are just the same and there is no need to set aside time to measure and place the fields. Once a field has been marked using one of our line markers, that field is saved online and can be remarked at any time.

Many of our customers who use an automatic field painter find themselves with more time to complete other tasks which in turn increases the overall field maintenance. You can go to our success stories to see how our customers are using the field painters.

What Do the Different Football Field Lines Mean?

One of the reasons why football field painting can take a lot of time is the number of lines and the requirements for their position and length. Additionally, marking the yard numbers on the field is usually done using handheld stencils as templates which also takes a lot of time to complete.

The football field is divided in two by the 50 yard line. For every 10 yards, a line and number mark the number of yards and the small arrows indicate the closest end zone so that players can always orientate themselves even though they do not have a full view of the field of play. All single yards are marked by smaller lines in four rows throughout the length of the field. This allows players and referees to know how many yards are gained by the teams.

At each end, a 10 yard end zone indicates the touch-down area. This is also where the goals are placed. The playing field and the end zones are divided by the goal lines, each 100 yards apart.

If you want to read more about football field size and dimensions, you can read our article on this topic as well.

How Can I Improve the Overall Football Field Maintenance?

Being responsible for football field maintenance and turf areas involve a large number of different tasks; grass cutting, irrigation, weeding, line marking, maintenance of worn areas, lighting, signage, sports equipment like football goals (position and condition), securing the equipment, securing fences and/or entrances etc. By reducing the time spent on repetitive and time-consuming work such as line marking, the quality of the overall football field maintenance goes up, simply by having more resources and man hours to dedicate to the many other tasks on the to-do list. Automatic field painting also relieves the physical strain on the greenkeepers who no longer have to measure all the fields and mark all the lines manually.