How to Build a Backyard Soccer Field
You’re crazy about soccer. You’re so crazy about soccer, in fact, that you’re thinking about building a soccer field in your backyard.
After all, you’ve got the land. And you’ve got the enthusiasm. Now, all that you need is the know-how.
Fortunately, we’re about to provide it to you. Without further ado, here’s how to build a backyard soccer field.
Understand the Legal Ramifications
First and foremost, you need to understand the legal ramifications of building a soccer field in your backyard. While there’s no federal law against doing so, some municipalities might forbid it.
As such, you should call your local government and inquire as to what must be done before beginning construction. In many cases, you won’t need to do anything prior. However, in some cases, a permit might be needed.
Backyard Soccer Field Playing Surfaces
The biggest decision to make when building a soccer field is the type of playing surface you’re going to utilize. In general, there are two different surface materials: natural grass and artificial turf. We’ll discuss the specifics of each below.
Natural grass is the cheaper of the two options, especially if you keep the grass that’s already growing in your yard. Note, however, that if you’re going to use natural grass, you’re advised to use a type that’s thick, fast-growing, and protective against damage.
Living in the northern half of the United States? Kentucky bluegrass is the ideal type of grass to use.
Living in the southern half of the United States? If so, Bermuda grass is the best choice.
In either case, you’re advised to supplement it with perennial ryegrass seed. Planting ryegrass will keep the turf thick, ensuring playability year-round.
Need help getting the grass right? If so, you’re advised to bring in the professionals. Companies such as The Turf Company are well-versed in the laying of sod for athletic fields.
The option is to install artificial turf. While this option undoubtedly has its benefits, it’s also exceedingly expensive. Whereas you can plant grass for between 5 and 10 cents per square foot, artificial turf costs between $2 and $8 per square foot. This is a substantial difference, especially when spread across the entirety of a soccer field.
Note, however, that some of this cost will be offset by artificial turf’s durability and low-maintenance state of being. Because it doesn’t need to be trimmed and because it doesn’t need to be replanted, it comes with only its purchase and installation prices.
There are many different types of artificial turf. Cheap options are made out of nylon and other such materials. More expensive options consist of sand, rubber, and plastic fibers.
Get the Size Right
Once you’ve chosen your playing surface, you’re going to need to focus on getting the size right. Depending on the size of your yard, you might not be able to build an official-size soccer field. That said, it’s still important to pick dimensions that are backed by logic.
An official-size field measures in between 100 and 130 yards in length and between 50 and 100 yards in width. You can alter these dimensions to correspond with the size of your yard as well as the ages of the players who will be using the field.
Adult players will best be accommodated with a field of over 110 yards in length and between 70 and 80 yards in width. When scaling down, you should try to use a 7:11 or 8:11 width-to-length ratio. Note, however, that it’s more important to preserve width than it is to preserve length.
Mark the Field
Next, you’re going to want to mark the field, indicating its positioning and orientation in your yard. By doing this, you will be able to avoid any trouble areas and ready your property for the laying of the playing surface.
To mark the field, you’re advised to use ground chalk or spray paint or something of that kind. Be as strict as possible about the dimensions. These markings will dictate the way that the field looks for the foreseeable future.
Choose the Right Goals
Once the field itself has been established, you will need to find goals. These can be bought both online and at sporting goods stores. If you wish, you might even consider making your own goals.
A standard soccer goal possesses a width of 24 feet and a height of 8 feet. Note, however, that young kids often play with smaller models.
As far as materials go, you should look for something that’s resistant to water. PVC fits this bill but lacks structural toughness. This is why we recommend fiberglass, a heavy-duty, water-resistant material that can withstand just about anything.
Consider Adding Lighting
If you’re truly crazy about soccer, daytime play alone won’t do. You’ll have to play at night as well. Of course, to facilitate the latter, you’ll need to install lighting.
Odds are, you don’t have the budget for 50-foot tower lighting. If you do, then go for it. If you don’t, you’re advised to go with LED floodlights.
Floodlights are exceedingly bright, capable of illuminating large areas from a single source. They can be purchased for around $150 apiece and mounted onto walls and posts.
Fence it In
If you want to give your field a professional feel, you should consider fencing it in. A fence will not only add to the aesthetic of your field, but it will also help secure errant soccer balls.
Chain link fencing is generally considered best for athletic fields. But because it’s your field, the world is your oyster.
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And there it is, that’s how to build a backyard soccer field. As you can see, it’s much easier than it initially sounds. As long as you’ve got the necessary land, you can make your dream a reality.
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