Football/Soccer Field Safety and Maintenance Checklist

Prior to practice or a game, assess the following field characteristics and make the necessary corrections before allowing players on the field. If your field is experiencing major problems, including excessive wear, drainage issues, design flaws, etc., contact the SFMA at ph. 800-323-3875, or SFMAinfo@SFMA.org for a referral to a local SFMA chapter volunteer in your area for advice.

Print a hard copy of the Football/Soccer Field Safety and Maintenance Checklist.

Playing Surface – All Types

  • Maintenance equipment, such as rakes, hoes, etc.have been removed from the field.
  • Litter and unsafe debris have been removed from the field and player/ spectator areas.
  • Irrigation heads are installed as per manufacturer’s recommendations with no protrusions on the playing surface.
  • If there is an automatic system, the run times for the stations should be scheduled as per game times
  • The field was constructed according to recommended industry specifications.


Playing Surface – Natural Grass

  • There is at least 75 percent coverage of fieldgrass on the field.
  • There are no bare spots with a hard soil surface exposed.
  • Soil is well drained with no standing water.
  • Turfgrass is uniform in color, height and density.
  • Turfgrass has strong root system, limiting “blow-outs.”
  • There are no weeds with thorns, bristles or burrs.
  • There are no holes or mounds made by moles, gophers, or other animals.
  • There are no ruts or trenches caused by equipment use or field wear.
  • There has been communication between the maintenance staff and coach/ facility user.


Playing Surface – Synthetic Turf

  • There are no worn areas on the synthetic material.
  • There are no rips or tears on the synthetic material.
  • Seams are secure.
  • The synthetic material is not buckling or bulging.
  • Synthetic fibers are standing upright.
  • There is adequate infill material that is evenly spread.
  • Water is readily available for washing away undesirable fluids.
  • The footwear that is being worn by players is acceptable.


Field Markings

  • If multi-use field, lines are distinguishable between sports.
  • Lines are bright.
  • Lines are correctly marked per the appropriate governing body.


Goals and Goal Post

  • Goal posts are straight and securely anchored.
  • Goals posts are adequately padded.
  • Concrete for goal posts is below the surface.
  • There are not sharp edges, protrusions or fractures on the goal.
  • Goals are anchored securely.
  • All bolts, screws, and connections for the goal are intact and securely tightened.


Out-of-Bounds/Transition Areas

  • There is a minimum of 25 ft. around the field for players to run safely out-of-bounds.
  • There is a minimum of 50 ft. between fields (if multi-field complex).
  • All catch basins are adequately covered.
  • The transition area to the track is easily identifiable and level.



  • Fences are securely set in the ground.
  • Fence posts are outside of the playing area.
  • There are no concrete footings exposed above ground.
  • Fencing is securely attached to its posts.
  • There are no large gaps in the fencing or between the ground and the fence.
  • Top and bottom tension wires are in place to secure the fence.
  • The wire ends of the fence are not exposed at the top or corners.
  • There are no damaged areas that protrude, are sharp or loose.



  • Lighting has been installed/inspected by a trained engineer or technician.
  • All lights are working.
  • The light’s beam adequately and uniformly covers the field.
  • The lighting foot candles meet industry recommended specifications.



  • Nuts and bolts are tight and in sufficient number.
  • Guard rails are securely in place.
  • The plank or railing end caps are securely in place.
  • There are no splinters or worn areas (wooden bleachers).
  • There are no hazardous protrusions or sharp edges.
  • The supply and location of waste cans is adequate.
  • There is appropriate signage notifying players and spectators of rules, appropriate behavior and deficient conditions.
  • There are public telephones or a staffed office for emergency situations. o o Areas under repair are identified and posted appropriately.



  • There is a flag or other signaling system to alert players to leave the field if inclement weather or other danger is imminent.