When you’re playing soccer, there’s nothing more annoying than chasing after a ball to get it back after a powerful misplaced shot. While having a net saves you this effort when you score, over time nets become frayed and get holes in them. This means that the ball will be able to pass through it and you’ll be off chasing it again!
To save you from this frustration, you can replace the net on your goalposts.
Here’s a handy guide to help with everything you need to know about changing the net on your goalposts; whether that’s replacing store-bought nets or providing a quick DIY fix to make sure you can get on with your game ASAP.
How do you Make a Homemade Soccer Goal?
A popular choice for making a DIY soccer goal is to use PVC pipes to make the frame of the goal, and wildlife netting for the net. This has several advantages, most notably that it’s pretty cheap to build, and you’ll also be able to move the posts easily as the PVC is pretty light. All in, building yourself a full-size soccer goal will cost around $50 (inclusive of PVC piping, wildlife net, and PVC cement), which is a hefty discount on the around $150 price tag on similarly sized commercial products.
First things first, let’s think about how you’d go about making a homemade soccer goal from scratch.
While it’s possible to just buy one in a store (which will be simple to assemble and come with instructions — more recommendations about where to do this later), it’s also not too difficult to make one yourself, which will save you a considerable amount of money, and be a fun project for all the family to work on!
You’ll also be able to make the goal to your own size specifications.
Store-bought goalposts come in a variety of sizes, from smaller nets designed for street football and small gardens right up to the 11-A side version (which is pretty big).
But when you make one yourself you can choose the size yourself to fit however much space you have available.
It’s a good idea to follow a plan when building your goal, to make sure that you not only have the right lengths of piping but know how it’s all going to fit together! You can either make your own or find a free plan online.
I recommend this simple plan from This Old House which is simple and easy to follow.
The plan is to make a 4×5 ft goal, but if you’re looking to make a bigger one it’s easy to adjust. Just make sure that all sections of piping running parallel stay the same length as each other and you’ll be good to go!
The steps to make the goal itself are as follows.
Step #1: Cut Pipes to Size
Following your plan carefully, cut pipes to the right size. It’s a good idea to mark the lengths on the pipes with a marker pen before actually cutting them to give you an accurate sizing.
You can also consider putting pairs of pipes that should be the same length alongside each other to make sure that you won’t end up with frustrating size discrepancies, which would cause you to have a wonky goal!
Step #2: Dry Fit the Pipes Together
In my opinion, the most fun bit of the process!
Take the PVC connecting joints that you’ve identified from your plan and put the frame together without actually cementing anything. This feels a bit like making a construction toy rather than DIY work.
If you’ve measured out the parts correctly and followed the plan accurately, you’ll now have a pretty good-looking goal frame — but don’t panic if not. The fact that you’ve not cemented anything yet means you’ll be able to change it as much as you need.
Step #3: Mark up the Frame
While the frame is constructed but not cemented, you can draw on the PVC with a marker pen to indicate exactly at what angle your pipes need to fit together for the goal frame to be as stable as possible.
This step isn’t strictly necessary, but it can be a real lifesaver to make sure you get things right the first time, as once you’ve cemented the frame together you can’t really go back and fix it if it’s wonky.
Step #4: Cement the Pipes Together
Time to build the frame again – except this time it’s the real deal. Apply PVC cement to all the joints making sure that you carefully align the markings you drew in the last step.
Leave the cement to dry, and you’ll now have a solid goal frame that’s all ready to get netted up.
Step #5: Measure and Fit the Net
This is one of the trickier parts of the process. Cover the frame with wildlife netting and cut around the edge to make the net.
It’s better to leave more space than less if in doubt, as once you’ve attached the net, you’ll always be able to go back and trim it down to size.
But if you cut it too small before you’ve attached the net? It’s really hard to fix that.
To fit the net, pull it completely tight over the frame and use cable or velcro ties to secure it. It’s better to use more than less of these to have a nice strong goal!
If you find that after this there’s a lot of excess material over the edges of your goalposts, you can always trim the net down to size. Once the net’s fitted, you’re free to move on to the next step, which is…
Step #6: Get Playing and Scoring in your Goal!
Whether you fancy yourself as the next global superstar, practicing endless long-range free kicks, or you’re planning on some family fun by having a backyard kickabout, you’re now ready to set up your goal and kick-off!
Now bear in mind that while PVC goals are great, they’re also a little on the light side. If you live somewhere windy or are planning on scoring with a real whammy of a kick, consider weighing down the corners of the goalposts with something heavy such as sandbags.
And just like that, you’ll not have to worry about the posts flying away or moving away from what would have been a well-aimed shot!
Steps to Replace the Soccer Net
Replacing a soccer net depends on the type of frame that you have for your goal.
If you have a homemade soccer net, it can be as simple as just reapplying the net with cable ties, while fancier setups that are store-bought might have special clips or attachments designed specifically for reattaching the net.
In general, check the instructions of your store-bought goal to see how to fit a net to the frame (and make sure that you have the exact right size of net otherwise it’s likely impossible to make it fit together).
If the net itself needs to be replaced, though, then it’s easy to just replace the whole net and attach it to the existing frame. You don’t even have to buy a special soccer net (though you certainly can).
So let’s talk about soccer nets.
What Can I Use for a Soccer Net?
An important consideration in choosing the right soccer net for you is how experienced you are as a player.
- If you’re a beginner, or just looking for something that’ll be enough to have a kick about in the backyard with the kids, then simple homemade nets made from wildlife netting will be enough.
- If you’re older or a more serious player and are likely to be kicking the ball hard into the net regularly, it’s a good idea to invest in something a little stronger like a dedicated soccer net.
While lower-quality nets are made with a rope of around 2mm thickness, high-quality soccer nets are made from 2.5-3mm thick rope, which makes a huge difference in terms of the forces they can withstand without breaking.
Although these nets are a little more expensive, in the long run, you’ll save time, effort, and probably money, as you won’t need to keep replacing the nets when they wear through.
Mesh sizes also vary (with smaller or larger distances between ropes). If you’re after a stronger and more durable net, consider purchasing a net with a smaller mesh size.
Methods to Attach a Soccer Net
There are many different ways to attach a soccer net. While in one store-bought kits generally supply their own fastenings such as clips or hooks, if you need to attach a net to a frame without these you can use either cable ties or Velcro straps to get the job done.
In some cases, it is also possible to buy clips that can be attached as extras to the frame, which may make fitting the net easier.
Apply the fastenings liberally to keep your soccer net as secure as possible, as a flappy goal net can wrap up the ball and be really frustrating.
Best Places to get a Replacement Soccer Net
Hardware stores are great for stocking up on materials for making DIY nets such as rope mesh, military webbing, or wildlife netting.
If you’re looking for something more durable, consider trying local sports shops or even asking your local soccer club where they get their supplies. If you’re a member of a local soccer club, you might even be able to get a discount by asking to be included in bulk orders.
You can also buy store-quality, ready-made goals from online retailers such as Amazon.com.
Best Replacement Soccer Goals and Nets
There are quite a few options out there if you’re looking to buy a good-quality replacement soccer goal kit. When looking for a high-quality goal, consider a few factors;
- Goal size (these vary greatly)
- Goal material (thinner or lighter posts are considered lower quality than larger, heavier ones, although also consider whether portability is a factor for you)
- Net quality (both rope thickness and mesh size have an effect on durability)
- Net fastenings (a quality goal should have simple, durable fastenings)
- Construction difficulty (high-quality goalposts are often easy to put together, with locking mechanisms to hold the shape together properly)
Here are some of the best soccer goals that I’ve managed to find online. I’ve found three to fit almost any budget. The first is a great option for less than $200. The second shouldn’t cost more than about $100. And the third option should get you a set of goals for less than about $50.
- QUICKPLAY Q-Fold Soccer Goal (available on Amazon) – This goal is durable, as well as quick to construct and deconstruct. It ranges in price based on the size you choose, with sizes from 6 x 4 feet to 12 x 6 feet. Check that link for current pricing or sales.
- ZENY 12 X 6 FT Portable Soccer Goal (click here to see the best pricing on Amazon) – This is a cheaper and easily portable option for a 12×6’ goal.
- Search the best pop-up mesh goals (on Amazon) – This way you get a set of two small mesh goals. These aren’t suitable for practicing your David Beckham-style power-free kicks because of their small size, but you can usually get two goals for $40-50, and their easy portability makes them a great option for informal games in a local park with friends.
For fasteners, you can be as authentic or DIY as you want. Just to give you an idea, we always keep a pack of velcro cable ties (like these on Amazon) around. And while they’re intended for indoor uses, they work great to keep a soccer net functional in our backyard.
As prices can vary, please make sure you click the links to check current pricing or sales.
What You can use for a Soccer Net While you’re Waiting on the Official Replacement
While you’re waiting for the proper replacement for your net, there’s a whole array of options you might like to try. Putting virtually anything behind the goal (even a bedsheet attached by tying its corners into the frame) will slow the ball down enough to stop you from chasing after it like a headless chicken when someone scores.
If it works with your playing space, you might also consider putting your goal temporarily in front of a wall, or of course, if you’re desperate you can just play without the net — often with the time-honored rule of “you kicked it, you get it!”
Whatever ends up working best for you, here’s to wishing you some happy goal-shooting!