There is no stopping the upsurge of soccer: Even in countries like the US it is quickly gaining popularity and winning over armies of new fans. As a result, backyard soccer fields are becoming more and more common.
Yes, space is a big concern, but there are many shapes and sizes a soccer field can take. Moreover, to complete this project, you only need simple tools like a calculator, top dressing, a tape measure, a rake, a hose, some string, spray paint, and goals.
So, ready to get the ball rolling?
Measure twice, cut once
The first thing to do is to figure out whether you can fit a soccer field in your backyard at all. Measure your yard with a tape measure and see how much space you can spare. A professional-grade pitch is rather large, 120 by 75 yards. The smallest recommended soccer field size, however, is 15 yards wide and 20 yards long. It is suitable for the youngest of players, as well as for practice and pick-up games. But don’t fret if your backyard does not allow even this kind of field.
The truth is that your field can be just about any size, especially if you want to set up a practice field for footwork, penalty shootouts, free kicks, and honing of other skills. One goal still enables these things, albeit two are always preferable. In any event, note that the field needs to be divided for features like penalty boxes. The most important thing is to adhere to the width-to-length ratio, which is typically 0.625.
A level playing field
Other than space, there is very little in terms of other requirements. Of course, the surface must be level or rendered that way. So, if you have an uneven area, clear any bushes with a machete, a riding mower or a brushing mower. Fill in any existing hollows with high-grade top dressing. Use a half-moon spade and a rake to even out filled holes.
As for the type of surface, you should bear in mind that it is best to pick either artificial, synthetic turf or natural grass. Professional pitches with a natural surface are more common, but artificial grass is gaining traction worldwide. There are several reasons behind this: easier maintenance, cleanliness, even surface, and versatility.
Also, a synthetic turf can accommodate a variety of other features and double as an outdoor entertainment area.
The goal within reach
The final pieces come in the form of goals. The good news is that there is a variety of soccer goals you can choose from. The plastic ones do the trick for low-impact play, while metal frames provide more durability.
In any event, they should be proportionate to the size of the field and suitable for the age of the players. For youth players, the goal is usually six feet tall and 18 feet wide. Adults need bigger goals to play with, around eight feet tall and 24 feet wide. Those who are playing soccer professionally or semi-professionally ought to use regulation size goals.
Furthermore, you have to designate different areas of the field and make the right angles. For this task, you can use a screwdriver or a stake, string, and tape measure. Mark the center of the field and then walk to mark the far corners. A 30-40-50 right triangle method is used to ensure that every corner of the field is a 90-degree angle.
Once you have marked everything, you can go on to spray paint the field’s boundaries along the strings.
Finally, if you are concerned about the damage wayward soccer balls can cause, consider fencing the field. Areas behind the goals are a top priority as they see most of the aerial ball traffic.
There you have it, a soccer playground in your backyard. Use it to encourage your kids to spend more time outdoors or kick your own game into overdrive.
The ball is in your court
Whether you have space for a full-sized field or a small practice one, you can easily make it happen and engage in your favorite sport. Start by assessing the space requirements. Next, prep the yard, level the ground, and mark the field.
Remember that it is possible to have plenty of practice and fun with smaller fields and goals. You’ll have a chance to spend nice days outside with your family or friends. Who knows, maybe you or someone in your family is a pro in the making.