Ever wondered how you can to set up your own soccer field? With a few good pieces of equipment and the following tips, you can learn how to build your own soccer field for the day pretty much anywhere there’s space.
Soccer is a great way to stay active and healthy, but soccer fields are not exactly plentiful. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to set up a proper field of your own wherever there’s a level patch of ground?
Well, you’re in luck! With a few good pieces of equipment, you can build your own soccer field for the day pretty much anywhere there’s space. Even better, you can do it all on your own or with one extra pair of hands for help.
Step 1: Find a Good Field
This step can be easy or not so easy, depending on where you are. Most of the time you’ll probably have to settle for something less than perfect, but all you really need is smooth ground that won’t trip players.
It’s okay if the field isn’t perfectly level, or if the grass is scraggly. It’s okay if it’s a dirt field. It’s okay if there’s some mud!
Instead, watch out for ground with lots of loose rocks or dirt, tangly plants, or pits and crevices. When in doubt, do a little jogging on it yourself. You’ll quickly get a sense for whether it’s good to run on.
Make Sure You Have Permission
If you’re bringing equipment and presumably a fair number of kids (or even adults!) to play, make sure you check in advance whether it’s okay to play at that location. There may be other scheduled events, or policy restrictions, or even liability issues.
So take a few minutes ahead of time and call whoever manages the land. If it’s a park, call the city. This way you won’t run the risk of getting shut down midway through a match.
This step isn’t strictly required, and we get it that sometimes it won’t happen. But to avoid the risk of being shut down and potentially even fined, do the right thing and get permission.
Step 2: Pick the Right Soccer Goals
The hardest part of building an impromptu soccer field for the day is getting the goals right. In a pinch, you could use a couple of traffic cones, or even designate a bush or other landmark as the goalpost. If you played ball as a kid, you probably remember doing that.
But these solutions miss out on one of the most intricate and exciting parts of the game: accurate scoring and goalkeeping. Playing soccer with goals versus without goals is such a big deal that it’s basically the difference between “playing soccer” and “just playing.”
Soccer goals are not cheap. You’ll be laying out a few hundred dollars for a pair of them. But it’s a one-time investment that’ll last for decades, and it’s really something special for your kids or your team.
Choose Portability Above All
For a temporary and truly mobile soccer field, you need portability. The problem is that most soccer goals are not portable. Even the ones on wheels are only intended to be moved a few yards, and you can’t take them apart. What you need are truly portable goals.
We recommend you choose a portable aluminum goal. These portable goals are specifically engineered to be quick and easy to assemble, disassemble, and transport, while retaining the safety and durability of metal construction.
Many of these goals come in a variety of sizes to meet your needs, and often times you can get a discount when you buy a second one for the other end of the field. (If you’re buying one, you really should buy two.)
Go with Easy Assembly & Dismantling
The individual pieces of a good portable goal will fit in an SUV, truck, or van. On the field, simply lay the pieces out according to the diagram, tighten the thumbscrews connecting them, and anchor the goal into the ground.
It’s easy enough that one person could do it in only a few minutes. Add a second pair of hands and it’s virtually no work at all! At the end of the day, reverse the process and you’re all done.
Take Advantage of Aluminum
Most portable goals use aluminum. It’s perfect for the job: both incredibly strong and incredibly light. Aluminum is heavy enough to hold up against powerful kicks and accidental player collisions, which is important for safety. But, at the same time, it’s light enough to be easily handled and transported in pieces.
Aluminum isn’t colossally heavy like steel, and it won’t bend, warp, or go brittle over time like PVC. Most importantly, it’s so much sturdier than PVC—which is crucial in sports. It also makes the same wonderful ringing sound when a ball clips the post. Hey, it’s the little things!
We mentioned you should buy from a well-established company. Going with a trusted company and American-made products means you’ll get quality you can trust. The aluminum won’t bend or crack, and it’ll actually be aluminum. The joints will be safe and secure, and the net will be made of durable, strong material.
We’ve all had bad experiences with flimsy foreign knockoffs, and that’s good enough in some cases, but not with something like a soccer goal, where you’re laying out a few hundred dollars for something that’ll be exposed to plenty of rough-and-tumble love by kids.
Good soccer goals are going to be your biggest expense in setting up a portable soccer field, so go with a trusted company and get safe goals that’ll last for decades.
Step 3: Mark the Field
To complete the setting, you need to mark the field—especially the corners. There are three ways you can do this:
- Flags: Flags are small, lightweight, and temporary. Their downside is that they tear up the ground a little bit, and they aren’t ideal for super muddy ground or super firm ground.
- Cones: Cones leave no trace on the ground, and are highly visible on the field, making them the ideal marker. However, they take up more space in the van and are heavier to carry around. You can get lightweight cones or discs to counteract this, but their downside is that they can blow around in a stiff afternoon wind.
- Paint: Field paint won’t interfere with gameplay, and doesn’t damage the ground. Of course, it does discolor it. There are temporary paints available, but these still need to be washed off in the end.
Step 4: Game On
Once your field is all set up, don the scrimmage vests and blow the whistle, because it’s game on!
Setup takes only minutes—and if you’re setting up the field for kids, they can help with setting the flags or cones—and disassembly is even faster. Once you have had time to practice, consider looking for tournaments in your area that will help put you and your team’s skills to the test.
It takes a little bit of investment up front, especially in good soccer goals, but if you have kids in your life, or adults for that matter, who love the game and want to be able to take it anywhere, you can be their hero by being the one who can build a soccer field wherever there’s space.