What Are the Uprights in Football? (Full Explanation)

Uprights in football: In the NFL, to score a field goal, the team in possession of the ball must drop a kick or place a kick above the crossbar or between the two upright bars. So what are uprights in football? Find out the definition of this equipment via today’s blog. 

What Are The Uprights In Football?

The uprights on a goalpost are the two vertical bars in football. The horizontal bar is attached to the base of the goalpost, while the uprights are attached to the crossbar.

For a kick to be valid, the ball must clear the crossbar and land between the uprights football. The kick is still effective even if the ball rebounds off the crossbar or two vertical bars and through the goal.


The goal is ruled to be a dead ball if the ball bounces off the upright and back into the field of play. On the field, there are two goalposts, one at either end of the end zone. The uprights are 20 feet high, and there are 18.5 feet between the two posts.

Evolution of Football Uprights

An offensive team’s field goal attempt must go through both two vertical bars in order to score three points. Over time, the uprights’ position and width have altered. The goal line used to be where uprights and goalposts were placed. 

However, they have relocated away from on-field players to the back of the end zone due to an excessive number of injuries. This modification was originally used by the NCAA in 1929, followed by the NFL in 1932.


Over time, the uprights’ breadth has changed. NFL and college two vertical bars are currently 18 feet 6 inches apart in width.

Kicking Above the Uprights

A team will kick a field goal on fourth down if they determine that their chances of entering the end zone for a touchdown are much lower than those of kicking a field goal.

The yellow-looking poles at the end of the field must be penetrated for field goal uprights to be successful. The “uprights” are another name for these goalposts. Therefore, kicking the ball past the two vertical bars results in a score for the team, whether it be a point after attempt (PAT) worth 1 point or a field goal attempt (FGA) worth 3 points.


The NFL rule stipulates that uprights may expand upward even though their maximum height is 20 feet. Therefore, even then, it would be declared a goal if the ball went over the height of the uprights.

NFL field goals records

A field goal is one way to score in the NFL. A field goal is achieved when a kicker successfully sends the ball through the goalpost. Justin Tucker’s 66-yard field goals against the Detroit Lions in 2021 broke Matt Prater’s 64-yard mark for the longest field goal.

Prior to Tucker pulling off this feat, Prater had beaten the Vikings with field goals from 62 yards out. Two times in the top 10 list of the NFL’s longest field goals was Matt Prater.

Although Tucker has the NCAA record for the farthest field goal, it hasn’t been broken since 1976. Ove Johansson of Albine Christian defeated East Texas State on October 16, 1976, with a 69-yard field goal.

Sum up

Overall, the football uprights have two vertical bars attached to the crossbar. A horizontal bar that is fastened to the goalpost’s base is called the crossbar. Hope that with this article, you will have more knowledge about uprights in football. Remember to follow Footballterms to update the latest information about American Football.

Thanks for reading!

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