Eli5: What are the pylons in the end of the endzone in american football for?


I get what the ones on the goalline are for, but I cant figure out a realistic reason for the ones in the back.

Thanks if someone can explain!

To clarify a bit what my „problem“ with the backpylon is I want to elaborate a bit:
Since it doesnt matter where the ball actually got caught, only where the feet land after it got caught to get a good catch. I wonder what the refs exactly looking for in the pylon.

If runner jumps to the edge of the goalline and pylon falls by being hit with the ball its clear. If the ref sees the pylon fall by being touched with the ball its a td.

But the falling pylon in the back of the endzone doesnt mean that necessarily.
The pylon could fall and the feet still land out of bounds, they could also be in bounds without the pylon falling at all.

Hope that could clarify a bit what i mean.

In: 0

Because of the forward pass, I’m basic terms. With the forward pass a receiver can catch the ball in the back of the end zone right at the absolute edge. It helps the refs/officials on reviewing the play determine whether or not the player made the catch in bounds.

A receiver might catch a ball outside of the end zone. The pylons mark the farthest distance they can catch the ball and still be in.

Sometimes, there is an extremely tight call and the ref has to make an immediate decision as to whether or not it was out of bounds. There are a lot of factors in play, so the refs will work together in order to make calls sometimes.

Because this is the only part of the field that ends perpendicularly to the sideline, having an extra visual cue there will assist the ref that is watching the sideline with the depth of field to ensure the accuracy of his call out the back of the endzone.

Good question! I think it’s because the front and the back of the end zone are the only two points where horizonal placement matters that don’t get marked by the chains. They essentially act as the chains so that players and refs have a differentiating point of reference without the chain guys standing there.

One of those things that are a bit redundant with the way they mark the touchdown area but never changed.