After my kids kicked the fold-away soccer goals to shreds in their renewed enthusiastic approach to the game after the Brazil World Cup, I had the option of buying new miniature soccer goals, or to build them some proper goals myself that would be a better size. My initial thought was to build the frames out of timber, but the cost and time involved in making them inspired me to investigate alternative methods.
Thanks to some quick inspiration from plumbers, I realised that I could make a lightweight soccer goal frame from PVC piping for much less than the price of timber, and it took me less than 60 minutes to assemble after getting all the supplies necessary. As you can see from the below picture, the end result looks great, even though I was a bit too quick with the plumber’s glue at times.
Here is what you need to make your own PVC soccer goal frame:
- PVC piping with a minimum 30mm diameter ( I used 4 lengths of 3 metres for each soccer goal)
- 6 X 90⁰ PVC corners
- 4 X 45⁰ PVC elbows
- 4 X T-style PVC connectors
- 6 X 4-5cm equal bits of PVC for joins (cut from the leftover PVC piping)
- Plumbing glue
- Measuring tape
- Pencil for marking
To make two goals, just double the amount of PVC materials.
Decide on the dimensions
The first step is to decide how tall the soccer goals should be. As my pipe came in lengths of 3 metres, I decided to make my goals 1.5 metres high to save money on buying too much piping, but what makes PVC piping ideal to use, is that you can make them any size you wish as long as you keep it within 3 metres either way.
- If you leave the horizontal crossbars till the end, you can decide on the width of the goals based on the length of the leftover PVC piping.
- Wait with gluing until you have completed each side section, as it is easy to get the piping out of square if you glue as you go, and to avoid mistakes with having the T-connectors facing the same way.
- If you wish to make the soccer goals convertible into Rugby goals, change the top corners for T-connectors that allows you to place some more pipe extending upwards from the soccer goals.
- Assemble the parts on a flat surface
- Glue the PVC over a piece of cardboard or over a surface where spillage is irrelevant
Make the two side sections of the goals
I recommend creating the two side sections at the same time, as the dimensions of the pipe cut should be the same. Just remember to make the T-connectors point in opposite directions. Keep two lengths of PVC aside for the width of the goals. If the width is to be less than 3 metres, you can cut the 4-5cm joins from these pipes.
- Attach a 90⁰ PVC corner to either end of the vertical bar that you have cut.
- Insert one of the 4-5cm joining pieces you cut into the top corner.
- Add a T-connector to the join
- Add a joining piece to the end of the T-connector
- Add a 45⁰ elbow to the join.
- Cut an appropriate length of pipe to the elbow. The length of this pipe decides how deep the soccer goal is going to be.
- Add a 45⁰ elbow to the diagonal pipe.
- To measure the length of the last sections, place some piping that is more than long enough in both the bottom 90⁰ corner and the 45⁰ elbow from the previous step. Measure how long the vertical back post should be, while considering that the bottom 90⁰ corner will add a few more centimetres. Cut the back post to size and place it in the 45⁰ elbow.
- Attach a 90⁰ corner to the end of this post
- Attach a small join to the previous corner fitting.
- Attach a T-connector to the previous join
- Measure the length of PVC needed for the bottom and attach the remainder of the posts. Ensure that the two vertical posts are parallel by measuring the width between them on the top and bottom before cutting the piece. Remember to allow for the extra width added from the corner connection.
- Glue all the connections while the section lies flat on the ground, ensuring the posts are all square.
Decide on the width of the goal
Now that you have assembled the side sections, all you need to do is decide on the width of the horizontal bars. Cut to the desired length, making both bars the same length. Glue the bars into the two T-connectors on either side section to complete the soccer goals.
Source some strong netting to attach to the goal posts. You might find some thick bird netting at your local produce place. At my last visit, Bunnings did not have the desired netting for the goal. Attach the netting to the posts using long cable ties and white duct tape.
The lightness of the goals make them easy to move when moving or when the soccer field is needed for other purposes. However, they can be moved easily out of position when playing as well. Consider placing sand bags on the bottom piping, or pin down by using tent pegs through the netting.
Creating a soccer goal out of PVC is a quick and easy project that takes less than 60 minutes, and you do not need to be a plumber or tradesman to create a structure that will keep the kids running around the backyard rather than feed their addiction to screens.