Many people will do a search for “Soccer Goals” in a search engine and could get a list that is so overwhelming that its confusing. You will also see many company’s placing ads on the search engines first and they do not necessarily save you money, in fact they could be a lot more expensive.
So, what do you need to think of in choosing a soccer goal. Be a little patient, here are some topics you should think about:
Never Sacrifice Quality for Price
Always ask how long their goals last. A goal with welded corners vs a goal using casted corner sleeves may not last as long. Is the goal made of steel, or is it made of aerospace aluminum. The steel goals will eventually rust, whereas the Aerospace aluminum will not. The Aerospace aluminum will also be easier to move as they will be lighter in weight.
Size of a Soccer Goal
Soccer Goal Size is Important - What size do you need vs what you do you want
For other reasons then what a player normally uses in a league. I get some parents that call me asking for an 8’x24’ goal for their backyard and don’t realize how much space it is really going to take up. They want it for their children and their friends to play some 2v2, or 3v3 small games with a keeper, take long shots, take corner kicks and don’t really think about the additional space for that to happen.
In reality, a smaller 6’x18’ or 7’x21’ soccer goal will suffice and probably allow the players to have a better experience.
I also have volunteers from a club calling asking for goals for a specific age group, but don’t really know which size they should be using.
The recommended soccer goal sizes according to US Soccer are:
- Ages U6, U7 & U8 use the 4’ x 6’ Soccer Goals
- Ages U9 & U10 use the 6’ 6” x 18’ 6” Soccer Goals
- Ages U11 & U12 use the 7’ x 21’ Soccer Goals
- Ages U14+ play use the 8’ x 24’ Soccer Goals
Other Goal Sizes available:
So what’s the real difference between all these different styles of soccer goals on the market. Some of the frames are Square, some are rectangular, some are round, some are oval and who knows maybe there are some other shapes out there too. The other thing to think about is how the net secures to the soccer goal.
For the most part it comes down safety, what you prefer aesthetically and how you want to secure the net. If you are in an area that consistently has high winds I would probably stay away from the rectangular or square shaped framed soccer goals. When the strong winds hit that flat surface the goal is more likely to be blown over (even with ground anchors). I have personally seen this happen at a soccer tournament and it was very scary. Fortunately, no one was hurt, but the keeper was covered by the net after it had been blown over. Another time I saw a soccer goal get blown over backwards away from the keeper, so if anyone had been walking behind the goal they could have been seriously hurt. I personally prefer a round post and crossbar as they are more aerodynamic and are less likely to get blown over by the winds.
Each vendor is different on this, so you should always ask the person you are thinking of purchasing the goal from as to what is included with the goal and what are the add-ons/options for the goal you are thinking about purchasing.
In most cases a 3mm twisted Net, net clips and ground anchors come with the goal, but not always. The add-ons may be things like other types of goal anchors, wheels, thicker nets or even goal post padding.
Soccer Nets: The standard soccer net is 3mm twisted rope with a 5.5" mesh, but can come in any thickness from 2mm to 6mm. The standard net colors is white & orange, but the larger goals can also come in other colors or two-tone netting.
Securing the net: Some soccer goals secure the nets with channel clips, tamper resistant clips. push-in clips, bungees, velcro, tie wraps etc,. Ask how long it takes to secure the net and how often you will need to replace the net clips.
Portable Wheel Assembly: If you have a small budget and move your soccer goals around a lot, you may want to think about the portable wheel assemblies which can be used on one goal then moved to another. The downfall to this is that you can only move one goal at a time and will take longer to move all of your goals.
Permanent Wheel Assembly: If you can afford to purchase permanent wheels for all of your soccer goals this is usually preferred. If each goal has their own wheels it makes it quicker to move the goals and several people can be moving goals at the same time.
Soccer Goal Anchors: There are so many different anchors to use on soccer goals it will all depend on the surface the goal is on and how often you'll need to move the goals. I will probably write another blog on these.
Should I get Wheels for my Soccer Goal
Portable Wheels or Permanent Wheels
If you are looking at purchasing smaller goals such as the 4’ x 6’, 4’ x 9’, or even the 6’ 6” x 12’ then you probably don’t need wheels on the goals, especially if they are not being moved very much, but again its up to you.
A lot of clubs using the 6’ 6” x 18’ 6”, 7’ x 21’ or the 8’ x 24’ add wheels onto the goals if they are constantly moving them for grass cutting or just to move them on & off the pitch.
There are portable wheel assemblies which can be used on many sets of goals or permanent wheels assemblies which are physically attached to each goal so that they can be moved easily & efficiently.
- Pro: Less expensive than purchasing wheels for every goal
- Con: Can only be used on one goal at a time
- Pro: Can be installed permanently on every goal allowing more people to move soccer goals at the same time
- Con: This adds more cost to each individual goal
Soccer Goal Safety
You should always think SAFETY FIRST
Soccer Goal Dangers: A gust of wind…a young player…an uneven playing field…In their current design, only 22 pounds of force can bring a 400-pound goal crashing down, injuring – even killing – a player.
SOCCER GOALS SHOULD ALWAYS BE ANCHORED!
- Is the ground bar weighted, so as not to topple over easily?
- Does the goal come with ground anchors?
- Should I purchase another type of anchor such as Anchor Sandbags or Fillable Anchor Containers?
- Does the goal come with safety stickers?
- Do you educate your coaches and players NOT to swing on the soccer goals
For more information go to the Anchored for Safety Website
View this heart wrenching video about Zach's Law PSA - Promoting Soccer Goal Safety
The Price of a Soccer Goal
Price isn't everything
I know that price is always going to be a factor when shopping for a soccer goal, but never sacrifice price over value or safety. Also remember the old phrase “You get what you pay for!”
Now I’m not telling you to go out and buy the most expensive soccer goal either. Just make sure that the goal is going to last as long as you want it to, or even longer. Ask some existing soccer clubs, schools or town park & rec depts. To see what they have used and what their experience has been or ask for some references if you think you need to from the dealer you are thinking of buying from.
Small company's vs Large company's: There are pro's and con's to both. The small business doesn't have the overheads that the bigger companies do and can sometimes offer you a better deal and more direct customer service (you're not just a number to them). The larger companies usually have much larger marketing budgets and conduct mass advertising, offering larger discounts and reward programs. This can be very good if you like rewards and discounts. However, you're usually paying a lot more for the products because of this.
Shipping Costs: An IMPORTANT Question you should ask the vendor is regarding the shipping costs. Some (not all) vendors will advertise a lower price then their competition on the actual product and then make it up on the shipping. So; if you’re comparing prices, make sure you check the total price and not just the price of the goal.
Delivery Time of Your Soccer Goal
Always ask what the delivery time is going to be
Questions to ask:
- Does the manufacturer have the soccer goal you are looking for in stock
- If not; how long before they are shipped out and how much longer will it take for them to arrive at your location
- Remember that most deliveries are being made by a freight company using an 18-wheeler truck. So if you live in a cul-de-sac you may not want it delivered to your house if they are going to be moved again to a field nearby. Most trucking companies will meet you at the field so that you can offload them there, but make sure you tell the vendor you are buying them from that this is what you are doing. If you give your street address and then ask the truck driver to go to another location, they may not do it, or charge you extra for doing so
- An Adult should always be present to inspect the delivery and sign for it. Although this does not happen often, if any of the goal packages/pieces are damaged you should make sure you identify that on the delivery slip and also get a claim number from the truck driver. Then you should contact the vendor you purchased them from so that they can take care of this for you.
How do you know someone has Good Customer Service
If a vendor has been referred to you by someone else, they probably have good service. Another way is to pay attention to their response time on phone calls, emails or chat sessions and don't be afraid to ask the vendor for Referrals.
- Phone: Is the person on the other end of the phone courteous, knowledgeable and is willing to make suggestions, or are they just trying to sell you the most expensive goal they have
- Email: Is the response time to your email swift or are you waiting more than 24 hours for a response. Are they just giving you a Yes or No response or are they giving you a response that answers your questions and even makes some additional suggestions.
- Chat: There is nothing worse than getting on a chat session and constantly waiting for a response and wondering if they are still there. Are their response helpful and are they pointing you in the right direction in answering your questions.
- Referrals: There is nothing better for you and the vendor if they are being referred to you by another customer. If this is a new vendor that you are about to make a large purchase from and would feel more comfortable with a referral from one of their customers, ask for some referrals. Just remember they will probably only refer happy customers anyway, so maybe check for negative comments with the BBB. You can also check for reviews on Google, Facebook or their website.
Thank you for taking the time to read this blog article
If you’ve at least done everything I’ve mentioned above, you’ve done your do diligence in purchasing your soccer goals. Thank you for your time, now purchase your Soccer Goals and let’s play soccer!!!