We are a few short weeks away from the start of football preseason so what better time to revisit the history of American football goal posts and field goal netting.
As we’ve previously outlined, netting is crucial to American football and serves multiple purposes. First, the all important safety element. Field goal netting reduces the likelihood of kicked footballs flying into packed crowds and potentially injuring fans. Another important aspect of field goal netting is the cost savings of keeping footballs in play, rather than having the balls repeatedly end up as souvenirs.
American football differs pretty greatly from baseball in this respect. During baseball games, fans are encouraged to save fly balls that go into stands. At NFL games, teams typically only have around 36 balls for an outdoor game and there are usually more than a dozen field goal attempts by each team during a game. You can do the math and easily see why field goal netting helps keep a game moving and preserves the number of balls used throughout a game.
Now let’s take a look at the history of goal posts and field goal netting. American football has roots in soccer and rugby and its rules are adapted and evolved from both sports. The forward pass rules evolved to differ from rugby and end zones were introduced in the early 1900s. At the time, goal posts were originally on the goal lines. However, after many players suffered from injuries due to colliding with the goal posts, the governing bodies of the sport moved the goal posts to the back of the end lines in 1927. The National Football League moved the goalposts up to the goal line again in 1933, then back again to the end line in 1974.
If you’re in the market for an updated retractable netting system – for football or other sports, reach out today! The experts at Golf Range Netting are happy to share our knowledge, provide a free consultation, and figure out the best solution for your needs and your budget.