By Tina Jepson
Like children around the world, my two daughters don’t sit still. In fact, I feel like I spend the majority of my day trying to keep them active yet out of trouble. Thankfully, the weather has warmed up enough that they can spend hours upon hours every single day kicking a soccer ball around in the backyard.
Naturally, I decided to look into buying a soccer goal because you really can’t play soccer without a goal. Imagine my surprise when I found that the average backyard soccer goal costs $120-$200 or even more. Sheesh! That’s a lot of dough.
To save money (and get my kids invested in their new toy), I decided to make a backyard soccer goal myself. “Can I build a soccer goal from PVC pipe?” I wondered. The answer was an astounding yes! And guess what, you can make a mini soccer goal too! Here's how.
Start by collecting your materials and tools. These include:
- Eight 1-inch by 5-foot PVC pipes from the plumbing section of your local hardware/home improvement store ($27)
- Six 1-inch 90-degree PVC elbow joints (unthreaded) ($5.40)
- Four 1-inch PVC T-joints (unthreaded) ($5.50)
- One roll of 8-foot heavy duty deer fence or plastic garden fencing ($10)
- A slew of nylon cable ties
- A marker
- Tape measure
- Something to cut the PVC, such as a hand saw or a circular saw
- Twine or nylon string
By following these DIY soccer goal plans, you’ll wind up with a soccer goal design that’s 4 feet high and 5 feet wide, which is perfect for smaller children just learning the game. You’ll notice that this particular PVC soccer goal plan includes extra support in the middle of the goal, which is a bonus when you have young children who like to climb on things they shouldn’t (soccer goals, for instance).
1. Line up all your PVC pipes. When we’re all finished cutting, we’re going to have two 5-foot pipes, two 4-foot pipes, two 3-foot pipes, and six pieces that are 20 inches long.
2. Put two of the 5-foot pipes aside (pipes #1 and #2). Then, use your marker and tape measure to mark the following:
- Pipe #3: Mark a 4-foot length.
- Pipe #4: Mark a 4-foot length again.
- Pipe #5: Mark a 3-foot length and a 20-inch length.
- Pipe #6: Mark a 3-foot length and a 20-inch length again.
- Pipe #7: Mark three separate 20-inch lengths.
- Pipe #8: Mark one 20-inch length.
3. I used a circular saw, but you can also use a hand saw and cut along your markings. Remember to wear proper safety gear when operating a saw.
After all the cuts, you should end up with the following lengths of scrap pipe that we won’t be using but you can put aside for a future project:
- Two 12-inch sections
- Two 4-inch sections
- One 40-inch section
4. Now, let’s start the construction of your PVC goal post by connecting three 20-inch PVC sections together with two T-joints. Then do the same for the remaining three sections of 20-inch PVC.
5. Next, let’s start from the top of the goal. Secure a 90-degree elbow joint on both ends of the connected PVC. Angle the 90-degree elbow straight down and attach a 4-foot pipe to each end.
6. On the bottom of each 4-foot pipe, secure another 90-degree elbow and set it aside.
7. Move back to the second set of three connected 20-inch pipes. It should have a 90-degree elbow on each side. Carefully connect the 3-foot pipes to each elbow, with each pipe still laying on the ground.
8. Next, connect the elbow from the 4-foot pipes to the 3-foot pipes that are laying on the ground.
9. Now you have a bottom and the top of the goal!
10. To create a sturdier goal, connect the 5-foot pipes from each of the top T-joints to the bottom T-joints.
11. Securing the netting is the next step. I chose to use basic garden netting because it was already available in our shed, but you can also purchase a nylon soccer net if you prefer. Unroll the netting and, starting at the bottom of the goal, secure with handy nylon cable ties. Work your way around the goal, using about one cable tie per 4-6 inches.
12. After securing the netting, we noticed that the cut edges of our netting were sharp and could potentially scratch the skin of our backyard athletes, even after using all those cable ties. So instead of leaving it to chance, we went ahead and wrapped a liberal amount of nylon string (pink, because that’s what our daughters insisted on) around the poles. This instant fix pulled the netting tight and curled the jagged edges around the PVC.
13. We now have a beautiful, functional, and affordable way to tire out the kids! And if you followed these instructions, now you do too!
For about $50, you can easily replicate this PVC soccer goal plan.
My favorite feature of this PVC soccer goal is that it’s easy to take down. As the warm weather starts to fade in the fall (cue the horror music), you can simply cut the cable ties and disassemble the PVC for storage until the next spring.
There are so many ways to make your backyard a success. If you’re eager to give the kids something fun to do this spring, make sure you add this PVC soccer goal to the DIY list.
Images used with permission, courtesy of Tina Jepson