Most people can picture a yardstick, and many people have them in their homes. However, a ruler or tape measure is a much more common tool, so you may wonder, what is commonly measured in yards?
One yard is equal to exactly 3 feet, so the yard measurement is used to measure large items or distances longer than a few feet.
Yards are used most commonly when measuring building materials.
Lumber, pipes, and wire lengths are often measured in feet, but if these items are very long, they’re sometimes measured in yards, which can help to simplify such large numbers.
Garden hoses are also often measured in yards, particularly if they’re very long.
Items such as gravel or mulch are also often sold by the yard. In this case, these loose items are sold by the square or cubic yard.
Selling loose items by the yard can help builders and landscapers get a feel for how much a bag or certain amount of gravel, sand, mulch, dirt, or stone will cover.
Carpenters, electricians, and plumbers might also use yards to take or double-check measurements when working on a home or building.
For example, a carpenter might use yards to measure roof height, the height of countertops, or the size of a door frame.
Electricians can use yards to calculate how much wire they need for certain projects, and plumbers can use yards to figure out how much piping is needed to plumb a house or how forceful the water flow must be to reach all the different locations in the house.
Football and Soccer Fields
Sports fields are often measured in yards for two reasons. First, the fields can be very large, but they’re not big enough to measure in miles, and acres do not give exact dimensions.
For this reason, it makes more sense to use the in-between measurement of yards. Second, measuring in yards can help break a sports field into neat, equal sections.
Because yards are a measurement that’s mainly used in the United States, it’s mostly American football and soccer fields that are measured using yards.
Football fields are 100 yards when measured from goal line to goal line, and the field is divided into sections of 10 yards each.
This helps to mark how far each team has progressed towards getting a goal.
Each end zone is also 10 yards, adding another 20 yards to the total length of the field.
Soccer fields can vary a bit in size, as the regulations aren’t quite as strict as those for football.
A soccer field can be between 100 and 130 yards long and 50 and 100 yards wide.
Backyard swimming pools can be rectangular, round, or freeform in shape, and they can be built in a variety of sizes.
Because they’re usually smaller than lap pools, backyard pools are often measured in feet.
However, larger pools are commonly measured using yards, and lap pools often use yards as a measurement. Most standard lap pools are 25 yards long.
If you’ve ever purchased fabric, you know that it is almost exclusively sold by the yard. Fabric comes on a bolt, and there will be many yards on each bolt.
You can select a particular bolt of fabric and ask to have it cut so that you’re only buying the amount you need.
Most fabric retailers will ask you how many yards you want, and the fabric will be priced by the yard as well.
If you’re looking to purchase a home or a piece of land, it might be measured in yards.
This is particularly common for smaller pieces of land, and front and backyards are often measured using yards instead of feet.
An acre measurement is more common for land measuring, but if the piece of land is small, visualizing it in yards can often be much more helpful.
Most privately owned boats, such as sailboats or motorboats, are measured in feet.
This is because these boats are generally too small to require measurements in yards.
However, many longer boats, including some yachts or much larger commercial boats, can be measured in yards instead.
It can be difficult to visualize a large number of feet, but picturing 10 yards or ten yardsticks, for example, lined up end to end can be much simpler and can create a clearer estimate.
Buses and Trucks
Because they are so long, many buses and trucks are measured in yards instead of feet.
For example, an average bus is often around 30 feet or 10 yards long. It’s much easier to visualize yards when it comes to lengths of this size.
You can also use yards to measure cars, although feet are more commonly used.
Most cars are around 13 or 14 feet long, which is just over 4 yards.
Cars also tend to be about 6 feet or 2 yards wide.