The FA is committed to improving football facilities at all levels of the game. The FA Technical Standards cover key areas that impact on the National
Game with regards to facility provision and development. The technical information provided by The FA includes having the correct pitch sizes, goalpost dimensions, outline maintenance plans, performance standards, design information and technical guidance. Further in-depth information is available in the downloads.
Goalpost Safety is an important issue. Too many serious injuries and fatalities have occurred in recent years as a result of unsafe or incorrect use of goalposts.
Goalposts of any size (including those which are portable) must always be anchored securely to the ground. Regular inspections of goalposts must be carried out to check that they are properly maintained. Funding for the replacement of unsafe goalposts is available via the Football Foundation.
The majority of competitive football is played on natural grass pitches provided by a wide range of stakeholders from private ownership to schools and Local Authorities. The current quality of natural turf pitches varies throughout the country. Improvements to the stock of grass pitches are essential to ensure as many players as possible have the opportunity to play on a defined standard for playing surfaces. It is recognised that natural turf pitches have a limited number of playing hours per week.
The emergence of Artificial Grass Pitches (AGPs) and in particular the third generation surface has impacted significantly on the way football is played. AGPs offer a quality playing surface throughout the year, allowing for increased opportunities for training and matches. There are specific requirements for artificial grass pitches used in all FA competitions with the exception of The FA Challenge Cup and FA Youth Cup (rounds proper). Where sanctioned by the competition rules artificial grass pitches may be used in FA competitions provided the pitch is listed on The FA’s Register of Artificial Grass Pitches.
The quality of existing changing facilities in Clubhouses throughout the country varies greatly. The FA has introduced standards for the development of new changing facilities, addressing layouts to provide optimal use of space, child protection issues and ensuring the inclusion of facilities for referees. It is vital that when constructing new clubhouse and changing facilities due consideration is given to factors such as quality of finishes relevant to usage within the building (for example acoustic requirements in a coach education environment).
The FA has a well-developed network of Regional Facilities Managers who are able to assist in offering guidance and advice in developing your organisation’s facilities. The contact details of these officers are included on the link below, as are those of County Football Associations.