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are short lines, running perpendicular to sidelines or sideboards, used to mark locations, primarily in sports.
Usage in ice hockey
In ice hockey
Ice hockey, often referred to as hockey, is a team sport played on ice, in which skaters use wooden or composite sticks to shoot a hard rubber puck into their opponent's net. The game is played between two teams of six players each. Five members of each team skate up and down the ice trying to take...
, the hash marks are two pairs of parallel lines on either side of the face-off circles in both ends of the rink. Players must remain on their team's side of the hash mark nearest their own goal during a face-off until the puck hits the ice.
Usage in gridiron football
In American football
American football is a sport played between two teams of eleven with the objective of scoring points by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone. Known in the United States simply as football, it may also be referred to informally as gridiron football. The ball can be advanced by...
and Canadian football
Canadian football is a form of gridiron football played exclusively in Canada in which two teams of 12 players each compete for territorial control of a field of play long and wide attempting to advance a pointed prolate spheroid ball into the opposing team's scoring area...
, the hash marks are two rows of lines near the middle of the field that are parallel to the side lines. These small lines (about 1 yard long) are used to mark each of the 5-yard lines, which go from sideline to sideline. All plays start with the ball on or between the hash marks. That is, if the ball is downed in between a hash mark and the nearest sideline, it must be reset on the hash mark for the next play. Prior to the adoption of hash marks (which were first utilized at the first NFL playoff game
The 1932 NFL Playoff Game was the first ever playoff game held by the National Football League , the major professional American football sports league in the United States. Due to extremely cold weather, the game was played indoors on December 18, 1932 at Chicago Stadium in Chicago...
in 1932), all plays began where the ball was declared dead, including extra point
The convert or try, in American football known as "point after", and Canadian football "Point after touchdown", is a one-scrimmage down played immediately after a touchdown during which the scoring team is allowed to attempt to score an extra one point by kicking the ball through the uprights , or...
In most forms of professional football, including the National Football League
The National Football League is the highest level of professional American football in the United States, and is considered the top professional American football league in the world. It was formed by eleven teams in 1920 as the American Professional Football Association, with the league changing...
, Canadian Football League
The Canadian Football League or CFL is a professional sports league located in Canada. The CFL is the highest level of competition in Canadian football, a form of gridiron football closely related to American football....
, and most forms of indoor football, the hash marks are in line with the goal posts, both being 18 feet 6 inches (in the NFL and CFL) apart. Both high school football
High school football, in North America, refers to the game of football as it is played in the United States and Canada. It ranks among the most popular interscholastic sports in both of these nations....
and college football
College football refers to American football played by teams of student athletes fielded by American universities, colleges, and military academies, or Canadian football played by teams of student athletes fielded by Canadian universities...
have hash marks significantly wider than the goal posts. The college football standard is 40 feet apart; the high school standard is one-third of the width of the field (53 feet, 4 inches).