Choosing the Right Size of Football Goal
Getting the most out of football and giving youth players the development they need relies on selecting the correct football goal size for the pitch you’re playing on. This may seem like a relatively simple task, but in order to remain compliant with the FA’s regulations, you will need to ascertain what age group the goal will be used for.
There are also choices to make with regard to your goal’s structure, and what it is made from. But taking the time to research football goal dimensions and comparing all the available options before you make a purchase will ensure you make the right decision for your team.
Starting Your Search
The best way to start your search for the perfect football goal is to ask yourself what it will be primarily used for. If you want a goal for an adult team that must comply with FA regulations, you’ll need a full size goal. If you want a goal for enjoying fun and friendly kick-abouts in the garden, a Samba goal made with a durable plastic may serve you well. However, if you’re buying a goal for use in school, youth or academy football, you’ll need to check which size is mandatory for the age group you’re responsible for.
Full size football goals are usually made with steel or aluminium. Socketed steel designs are the most popular with most amateur clubs and associations, as they represent an affordable option that complies with FA regulations of goal height and width. Aluminium goals are generally a little more expensive, but they are lighter and therefore more mobile. They are also resistant to corrosion, whereas steel goals are protected from rust only by a thin layer of zinc.
Choosing the Right Size goal for your Garden
If you are looking for a goal for home use then the size you choose will depend upon the age of the child using the goal and the size of your garden. We would always recommend to set up some garden canes in your garden to appreciate how the goal will fit into its surrounding space. Take a look at our range of Samba Goals. These are ideal for home use.
Choosing the Right Size goal for Football Clubs and Schools
There are several goal sizes to choose from, so it’s important to make absolutely sure that your purchase complies with FA and league rules. Moreover, playing on pitches that are appropriate to the age range of the players – and having the correct goal – places more emphasis on control and touch. Playing on pitches that are too large is more likely to encourage long balls and running into space.
There are several standard sizes of football goal based on the FA’s regulations:
Under-7s and under-8s football should ideally concentrate on developing technical ability, so it’s absolutely vital that FA regulations on goal size are followed. Children should be playing 5-a-side matches at this age, which requires a size 3 ball and a pitch of 40 yards by 30 yards. You will need to purchase goals that are 12 feet wide and 6 feet high in order to comply with FA rules.
Under-9s and under-10s should be playing 7-a-side matches with mini soccer goals measuring 12 feet by 6 feet. However, under-9s should be playing with a size 3 ball, and under-10s should be using a size 4 ball.
When kids reach the under-11s team, there is a marked step up in dimensions to contend with. Pitches should be 80 yards by 50 yards, and goalposts should be 16 feet by 7 feet. The same dimensions apply to under-12s football
Children usually start playing 11-a-side matches at this stage of their development; however, they will still play on smaller pitches with smaller goal dimensions. A pitch used for under-13s and under-14s football should be 90 yards by 55 yards, and the goalposts should measure 21 feet by 7 feet.
Under-15s and under-16s football is played with the same ball used in the professional game, and with goalposts measuring 24 feet by 8 feet – also the professional standard. However, the pitch is slightly smaller at 100 yards by 60 yards.
This is the age group at which players make the final transition to professional dimensions. The FA dictates that games should be played on a pitch of 110 yards by 70 yards, but there is scope within the rules to reduce the size of the pitch to as low as 90 yards by 50 yards. Goalposts, however, must be 24 feet by 8 feet regardless of the size of the pitch.
Choose the Goalposts That Are Appropriate to the Pitch Type
You will find two main goalpost designs on the market today. Socketed football goals are the only design officially endorsed by the FA for competitive use. They are permanently rooted to the ground, but they are usually removed at the end of a season for cleaning and maintenance. The socketed goals used in the professional game usually have independent net support posts, but pitches that are particularly close to spectator areas have posts that hold a net in place with elbow brackets. There are also goals that rely on a hinged back-bar for holding up a net – ideal where space is an issue.
Freestanding posts are only approved by the FA for training purposes. They are not fixed to the ground, and they can be moved on and off the training pitch before and after each session. They allow a degree of flexibility when it comes to setting up training pitch layouts for various drills.
Freestanding goalposts will need to be weighted into position in order to keep them firmly in place, and to ensure they don’t move out of position during a match. This also applies to the back-bar of socketed goals. While some goals will come with their own external weights, it is also possible to buy them separately. There may be an anchor chain included in a set of goalposts, which is designed to fasten the centre of the goal’s back-bar to the ground.
Goalposts are the most important items of football equipment you will ever buy. Selecting the right option for your needs is absolutely essential if your players are going to get the maximum enjoyment and benefit from playing the game they love.