Monday, December 13, 2010

Wait, a Red Football Field?

It was only last week that my brother and I were discussing Boise State University's blue turf football field & why no other teams had followed suit with a colored field of their own. While watching some college football Saturday afternoon, I ran across a game that featured a red football field. Eastern Washington University hosted & defeated North Dakota State University on an electric red football field in a NCAA Division I FCS quarterfinal playoff game.

EWU played their 1st game on the red playing surface back in September & have been the recipient of rave reviews & public ridicule alike since that time. Nothing quiets a critic like a winning team as the Eagles are 8-0 their inaugural season on the red turf. Boise State University was the 1st team to install such a playing surface in 1986 when they went with their blue field. Likewise, they too enjoy what has been perceived by some as a competitive advantage as their record on (what has since been dubbed) "smurf turf" is currently 114-30.

Boise State remains the only NCAA Division I FBS team with a non-green paying surface. After a little research, I discovered that the University of New Haven (
Division I FCS
Division II) joined Boise State when they installed a blue turf football field of their own in 2009. I can only assume that their field hasn't gotten more notice in the year that has since passed because it's neither an original idea, nor color, coupled with the fact that they don't play in
the FBS
Division I.

From a fan's perspective, I actually like & welcome the idea of other teams at all levels to doing the same (provided they keep the field dimensions & yard-line markings within the prescribed guidelines of any football league's rule-book). I can see those traditionalist, old-school athletic directors & league commissioners across the country scurrying to create new language addressing what color a team's playing surface must be, lol.

Currently, there is no NCAA rule that addresses the color a team's playing surface must be & in case you're wondering, yes the colored football fields have found their way into the high school level of play as well. West Hills High School (of Santee, CA) installed a blue turf football field this season as well. Their version IS however more original than the University of New Haven's field as their version features an alternating, two-tone shade of blue pattern every other 5 yards of field.


  1. Cool article. Eastern Washington went 8-0 this year on the "Inferno" and went on to defeat Delaware in the Division I FCS National Championship. The University of Central Arkansas is in the process of installing an alternating purple and grey field. Maybe there's something to these colored fields.

    Also, I think New Haven is actually Division II, not FCS.

  2. Thanks for reading my friend! Also, you are correct as far as the classification of the Univ. of New Haven & the correction has been made...

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