Widely popular throughout the world, soccer is slowly but surely gaining momentum in the United States, with more people playing and watching this sport than ever before. The rules and scoring system are quite easy to learn, which has made this sport very popular with both adults and children. As its popularity increased over time, backyard soccer fields have become more common and while a full-sized soccer field will hardly fit in anyone’s backyard, fitting a smaller field to be used for practice and pick-up games can easily be accomplished in a couple of days. Here are some of the things you need to have in mind when building your very own backyard soccer field.
One of the first things you need to do is test out the soil and determine its exact nutrient value. This will help you figure out the exact amount, and the type of fertilizer you will need to keep your soccer field in optimal condition. If you’re unsure on how to test your soil, then you might want to consider giving your local county extension agent a call and have them walk you through all the necessary steps and help you find a lab that will conduct the test. Have in mind that soccer cleats and shoes have studded soles and unless you want your kids to dig out your entire backyard in a single game, then you need to compact your soil before using it as a soccer field.
The size of your soccer field will determine the number and size of goals, as well as any additional features, such as the penalty box. The dimensions of your soccer field can quickly be calculated by taking the available length and multiplying it by 0.625 in order to get the exact width you need. The important thing is that your field needs to be a proper rectangle with four 90-degree angles. Adding a fence to the perimeter might not be necessary, but it does help prevent any soccer balls from hitting yours or your neighbor’s house or ending up on the streets.
Prep work and field markings
Start by clearing up any debris you find and try to even out the grass. If you happened to find a low spot in your backyard, you can easily fill them out using a mixture of two parts sand and topsoil and one-part compost. Once you’ve filled in the low spot, add some water and pad it down to make it more compact. The easiest way to mark off your field is to play a stake at each of the four corners, measure out the distances to make sure your field is symmetrical and connect the stakes using string. This will help you draw perfectly straight, symmetrical lines with little to no effort.
Add the goals
Depending on the size of your field, you can choose among plastic, wooden and metal soccer goals. Plastic goals are lightweight and easy to maneuver, but for a more serious play, you might want to choose heavier metal frames. The perfect size for a small child is typically 4×6 feet, but the size can vary depending on the age of your kid. One goal is quite enough for general practice, but if you have the necessary room, make sure to add two goals and allow your kids to have a proper soccer game.
Those who have loose soil in their backyards might want to consider placing artificial grass, as it does not only provide an even surface, but a synthetic turf is also cleaner, cheaper to preserve and helps limit the exposure to herbicides and pesticides. All that’s left now is to get a soccer ball and let your kids run their little hearts out. Who knows, you might even become a proud parent of a professional soccer player!