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We all see the football players kick that field goal from a distance and often have no problem criticizing: "C'mon, how could you miss that?! It was such an easy shot?"
The question, however, is whether or not the kick really was as easy for the player on the field as it appeared to those of us watching from the comfort of our living room couches.
Goal Post Dimensions
The typical NFL regulation size dimensions of the goal posts are at least 30 feet tall. The crossbar is about 10 feet off the ground. The goal posts are 18 feet and six inches apart from each other, from inside to inside. There is a ribbon that is four inches thick by 42 inches long attached to the top of each posts. The actual goal is the plane that rises up indefinitely in between the outer edge of the posts and above the cross bar.
High and Narrow
With these dimensions, the trick for kickers is to get the ball to project forward in a straight direction. Clearing the 10 food high crossbar is generally not a problem. The question is whether or not they can get it to pass through the narrow area between the posts.