How To Build a Football Field for your Professional Club, Community or Backyard – Natural Grass and Artificial Turf Pitch

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How To Make a Football Field for your Professional Club, Community or Backyard – Natural Grass and Artificial Turf Pitch

Contents:

Design of Football Field

How To Make a Natural Grass Football Field

How To Make an Artificial Turf Football Field

How To Draw a Football Field on CAD Program

How Do You Mark a Football Field?

Painting Football Field Lines, Painting Equipment and Tools

Goalposts – American Football (Gridiron):

Goalposts – British Football (Soccer):

Soccer/Football/Rugby Combination Goal Posts

Sketch Drawing 4 – NFL American Football Field_5 Natural Grass Turf_4

If playing football is one of your favourite outdoor sports or weekend activities to keep fit, you might be thinking of making a football field or pitch for your recreational or professional club as well as your residential backyard. Whether you build a full standard size pitch or something smaller is up to you. The size of your football pitch will primarily depend on the size of your backyard. There are homes with small, medium, large and extremely large backyards. According to FIFA regulations, the biggest standard size soccer field is 120m long x 90m wide, and the smallest pitch is 90m long x 45m wide. If you are interested in making an NFL style American Football pitch, the total size within the perimeter lines is 120 yards long x 53.33 yards wide (360 feet long x 160 feet wide). In metric units, that’s a dimension size of 110m long x 49m wide.

As you can see, a football field is very big, much bigger than the backyards of many average homes in the USA by at least 4 times or higher. If there is any homeowner with enough or more than enough space to build a standard size FIFA or NFL football pitch on their backyard, it’s none other than a person having huge real estate (land) in low density affluent locations and countryside. If you live in an average home like the majority of Americans, your backyard will be too small to accommodate a full standard size pitch. In this case, your only option is to scale down the size of the standard pitch to fit in your backyard. In most cases, you won’t need a standard size field on your private property because you ain’t hosting regulated football tournaments or championships. The playground is only for you to play games with friends or family. It will essentially be a space for exercising and having fun. Standard size football playgrounds are only required for regulated games and tournaments such as those hosted by sporting bodies at FIFA/NFL stadiums and venues. Sports clubs, schools, colleges and universities are also required to adhere to standard regulations when designing and building football fields. In this regard, you can’t make a football playground as you wish if it’s gonna be used for hosting regulated tournaments.

Sketch Drawing 5 – NFL American Football Field_5 Natural Grass Turf_5

Design of Football Field

In designing your backyard football field, you have to decide whether you want it to be a soccer field or NFL playground. How do you build a professional or recreational football field? How do you build a football or soccer field in your backyard? The field markings for American football and soccer are different, so you have to choose one. However, if you are creative, it’s possible to make a multi-sports football field with markings for two types of sports. Multi-sports football fields are often found in community recreational clubs. You just have to superimpose one layout over the other using different colours for markings. As an example, mark the SuperBowl lines with white paint, and mark the Soccer lines with yellow paint.  It’s your own playing field so you can do whatever you want. Marking lines on the sports field is most probably the easiest thing you can do than excavating and building the football pitch substructure. A regulated standard football field substructure requires careful planning and installation of substructure layers that form the base for the surface.

Sketch Drawing 5 -Multi-Sport Football Field for Soccer and American Football_5

In designing and building your football field, you have to consider the ground stability, safety of players, ball control and performance as well as the surface and sub-surface drainage of the area. These are the most important qualities on any pitch, but of course there are secondary considerations that you have to make such as cost of design, materials and installation. Ask yourself some questions, will it be cheap or expensive to maintain the field, does the pitch need regular maintenance, do you want a permanent field or temporary playground, do you want a natural grass pitch or synthetic turf?

In this post, we are going to discuss the construction method as well as show the design details of a football field. We will discuss how to build a natural grass pitch as well as how to install a synthetic turf.

The size of our football pitch will be by default the size of a standard NFL gridiron field (110m long x 49m wide). Over the Gridiron field, we are going to draw the outline or layout of a FIFA standard small sized soccer pitch (90m long x 45m wide). This is going to be a dual purpose field for playing soccer and gridiron football. As you can deduce from the dimensions, the soccer field can fit within the gridiron field. That’s the reason why we decided to make the gridiron field as the base on which a smaller soccer field can fit.

Multi-Sport Football Field for Soccer and American Football

Sketch Drawing 6 – Multi-Sport Football Field for Soccer and American Football_6

Sketch Drawing 7 – Multi-Sport Football Field for Soccer and American Football_7

How Do You Build a Football Field?

How To Make a Natural Grass Football Field

The advantage of natural grass football fields is that they afford an enjoyable game play, the initial costs of installation are small and natural grass keeps the ground cool during hot summers. The cost of replacing natural grass is 30 to 50 times cheaper than replacing synthetic turf. Research has shown that although there is a small to no difference in the number of injuries on natural grass versus artificial turf, there are specific injuries such as ankle sprain (ligament tears caused by increased ground to shoe friction) which are more prevalent on artificial turf. Head, knee and ankle injuries are more fatal on artificial turf than grass. A natural grass surface is much softer than artificial turf, which provides a cushion effect (less impact on falling or hard contact with the ground). It should be noted that both wet and dry fields are associated with specific injuries. Sometimes, both natural and artificial turf have to be wetted before the game to allow quick movement and ball passing.

However, natural grass fields have their own disadvantages such as high maintenance costs, high consumption of water, limited endurance and predisposition to rapid wear and degradation when the field is used more than more than 3 to 4 times a week. Uneven ground, bare patches, ditches and bumps are some of the most common problems affecting natural grass sports fields.

The first step in making a natural grass football field is clearing the site of all rubbish, debris, vegetation, grass, shrubs and bushes, including grubbing up roots, removing tree stumps and cutting down trees. You also have to remove stones, rocks and boulders on the site. After clearing up the site, you can start excavating the site to strip level. If you have existing turf on your site that has to be removed as well, you must use a rotovator or scarifier to break down the turf before stripping the topsoil.

After rotovating / scarifying the site, excavate topsoil to a suitable depth, and dump the excavated material on spoil heaps on the site.

In order to understand the excavation / construction sequence, we have to look at the cross-section details of the football field. In a sand-based natural grass field, the top surface layer is occupied by natural grass turf. Beneath the natural turf, you have a layer known as the root zone. The rootzone is usually a sand layer, but it can be native soil or sand/soil mixture 60:40% by volumetric ratio.  The rootzone should be composed of soil with good drainage properties to avoid water clogging or pooling. Soils with moderate to high permeability allow surface rainwater on the field to drain away quickly to the bottom. Sand offers the highest permeability.

When using sand for the rootzone, the sand layer will be 10 to 12 inches thick (254mm to 305mm). Under the sand layer, you will have a coarse sub-base filling (gravel) about 4 inches thick (102mm) laid over well compacted subgrade. To prevent subgrade soil from mixing with sub-base course (gravel or sand), you can lay a geotextile fabric over the subgrade. Add a protective sand cover over the geofabric membrane about 32mm thick to cushion it from coarse gravel.

On the subgrade, you will need to dig trenches for underground drain pipes, which are laid longitudinally from one end of the field to the other. PVC or HDPE perforated drain pipes are laid over a 32mm sand bed on trench bottoms and covered with gravel. To allow quick and efficient drainage, use perforated drain pipes which are at least 75mm in diameter, 100mm or higher is highly recommended.

NFL American Football Field_5 Natural Grass Turf_Cross Section Details

The football field substructure profile outlined above is just one of the many options that you can have when building a natural grass field. There are at least 7 field substructure designs that you can choose from depending on your requirements (soil profile, ground conditions, climatic conditions, terrain, availability of materials, budget and drainage requirements etc.) You just have to know and find out which substructure system is suitable for your needs.

From the above information, we can see that the substructure profile for this grass field has the following layers:

  1. Surface Layer – Natural Grass Turf
  2. Rootzone Layer (Sand, Native Soil or Sand/Soil Mix) – 10 to 12 inches thick (254 to 305mm)
  3. Coarse Sub-base Filling (Gravel) – 4 inches thick (102mm)
  4. Sand Cover Laid over Geofabric Membrane – 32mm thick
  5. Geofabric Membrane Laid over Subgrade
  6. Compacted Subgrade
  7. Longitudinal Drain Trenches Dug on Subgrade – 6 to 8 inches wide (152 to 203mm)
  8. Sand Cushion on Trench Bottoms – 32mm thick
  9. PVC/HDPE Perforated Drain Pipes – 100mm diameter
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Oversite Strip Excavation To Subgrade Level

In order to lay down all the layers of the field substructure, you have to excavate the site to reduced level (subgrade level). The total depth of excavation from natural ground level to subgrade is [305+102+32] = 439mm. Natural terrain is not usually flat and level, so in this case if you have uneven ground with dips and bumps, you have to level the site using the cut-and-fill method. Cut elevated areas with a bulldozer and fill low-lying areas and depressions with excavated material. Grade the site, breaking up lumps of soil and spreading the material evenly over the site, filling holes and voids.

Compacting Excavated Surfaces

The subgrade must be compacted to 95% Mod AASHTO density to achieve a firm and stable base which is resistant to ground settlement. If the soil is dry, spray the ground with water to moisturize it. Compact the soil in 150 mm layers with a vibratory roller, breaking down oversized material and adding suitable material where necessary.

Dig Drain Trenches on Subgrade

Later on after levelling and compacting the subgrade, you have to dig trenches for perforated drain pipes. A suitable drain trench is 400mm wide x 650mm deep. Place a sand bed 32 to 50mm thick levelled on the trench bottoms and lay down the pipes over this bed. Cover the top with gravel filling.

Geo-textile Membrane

Lay a geofabric membrane over the compacted subgrade. This membrane can also run on subgrade on the sides and bottom surfaces of drain trenches.

Sub-base Filling

Sub-base course (G5 material like gravel) is laid over the geofabric membrane, but before you fill this layer, you must put a 32mm thick layer of protective sand over the membrane.

Rootzone Filling

The rootzone filling is also known as the base filling. This is a fine aggregate such as sand, native soil or sand/soil mix. Just like the sub-base filling beneath it, it should have good drainage properties which allow quick percolation of water to the bottom.

Surface

On the surface, you will plant natural grass. Cultivate the area using a tiller, apply fertilizer and plant sod or seeds. Attention should be paid to the type of grass that you will plant on your field because there are different species of grass and selection of cultivars to choose from. Some grass species such as Lolium Perenne (perennial rye grass) and Poa Pratensis (Kentucky blue grass) are well suited for cool climates. Grass species such as Zoysia Matrella, Zoysia Japonica and BermudaGrass are well suited for warm climates.

To achieve better results and utilize the advantages of each grass type, grass species or cultivars are usually mixed in suitable proportions during planting. As an example, Kentucky Bluegrass can be mixed with Ryegrass in 50:50 weight ratio. Kentucky Bluegrass grows much faster, spreading over the site and covering bare patches. Perennial Ryegrass is resilient and highly resistant to wear and tear.

Football Field Slope and Drainage

The slope of your football pitch is important because it affects drainage. It also determines the drainage layout or system that is suitable for your field. Generally, outdoor sports fields should be slightly sloped at a minimum angle of 0.5 to 1% to allow surface rainwater to quickly run off the field. This is important especially in high rainfall climates. There are two types of pitch gradient or camber, and these are the cross fall (one-way slope) and the crown (double-side slope).

Underground drain pipes can be laid in a longitudinal or herringbone pattern. The longitudinal drain layout is suitable for sloped fields (crowns and crossfalls), and the herringbone drain layout is suitable for flat fields. If you have a flat field, you should optimize your surface and sub-base for efficient drainage. Build a highly permeable surface and rootzone, but a sloped pitch is always recommended to get rid of excess surface rainwater.

Sketch Drawing 4 – NFL American Football Field_5 Natural Grass Turf_Cross Section Details_4

Perimeter Drainage Channels / Catch Basins

To catch surface rainwater running off the football field, you have to build drainage channels or catch basins around the perimeter of the field. Alternatives include U-shaped precast concrete drain channels embedded in cast in-situ concrete encasement, PC catch basins or French drains. A French drain is a trench with perforated drain pipes laid on a sand bed and covered with gravel or some other coarse aggregate. A geofabric soil filter membrane is laid against the walls as well as on the bottoms and top. The surface is covered with gravel, but it can also be covered with organic topsoil.

A catch basin is a rectangular / cylindrical box or chamber installed in the ground with its grate and top opening laid flush with natural ground to allow surface rainwater to flow in. Drainage pipes are attached on the vertical side of the catch basin, midway or slightly higher from the base to allow debris, mud, leaves, litter and other rubbish to settle to the bottom so that this matter won’t choke or clog the drain pipes.

Note that French drains are only useful for sub-surface water drainage (aquifer drainage). They are not recommended for collecting surface rainwater. The depth of a French drain should match the depth of the aquifer or height of water table to allow maximum interception of underground water.

Sketch Drawing 7 – NFL American Football Field_5 Natural Grass Turf_Cross Section Details_7

 

Sketch Drawing 5 – NFL American Football Field_5 Natural Grass Turf_Cross Section Details_6

How To Make an Artificial Turf Football Field

A synthetic turf football field offers many advantages when compared to a natural grass field. First, you will save a lot of money if you install a synthetic turf because it doesn’t need seed or sod planting, growing, watering, cultivation, fertilizer, pesticides, weeding, mowing, patching or too much labour. In general, if you wish to eliminate the maintenance costs associated with a natural grass lawn, you should go for artificial turf. An artificial turf football pitch is not affected by overuse, erosion and wearing out by traffic and weather elements. This turf allows sports and competitions to be played throughout the year because you don’t have to wait for grass to grow and fill the patches.

The installation of artificial turf is environmentally-friendly because it eliminates the use of fertilizers and pesticides which may be hazardous to the soil, humans and the ecosystem. Because a lot more water is saved when artificial turf is used, state departments and municipalities are offering incentives to residential and commercial property owners in the form of rebates and tax credits, to encourage the use of artificial turf and conservation of water.

When building an artificial turf football field, you have to prepare the site first as you would for a natural grass pitch explained previously. This includes clearing the site of all rubbish, debris and vegetation, breaking up old turf with a rotovator, carting away the excavated material for disposal on site, and then excavating the ground to reduced level (subgrade). The sub-base details and underground drainage systems for synthetic turf are the same as the sub-base of a natural grass field, the only exception are the base and surface which differ in the type of materials used.

The cross-section details of an artificial turf pitch can be divided into 4 main layers with sub-layers within them:

Top Layer:

The top layer consists of synthetic grass fibres attached to a backing system of double or triple woven geotextile fabric. Alternatively, backing systems with single or double perforated layers of urethane or latex are commonly used. Perforations on a backing system function as weep holes to allow for drainage of water. Granulated rubber, silica or sand is used as an infill material, poured and spread between the synthetic grass fibres. Infill material can be applied as a mixture of sand and granulated rubber or a layer of granulated rubber on top of sand. The backing system is laid over the shock absorbing pad.

Base:

The second layer is the base. The base layer has two parts, the shock absorbing pad (also known as the impact layer or cushion / rubber layer) and the levelling layer (sand blinding). The thickness of the shock absorbing pad is determined by the critical fall height. Its purpose is to absorb impact when a player makes hard contact with ground, and thus prevent potential injury.

Below the shock absorbing pad, and over the sub-base gravel filling, the builder will put a layer of 50mm sand blinding or some other porous material such as permeable bitmac or asphalt. The purpose of blinding is to provide a level working surface on which the shock absorbing pad can be laid. That’s why this layer is called the levelling layer.

Sub-Base:

The sub-base layer is made of coarse aggregate (G5 material) such as gravel, crushed stones or bricks. The material is spread, levelled and compacted in a single layer 150mm thick to 100% Mod AASHTO density at OMC.

Subgrade:

The contractor shall excavate the field to reduced level after clearing the site and stripping topsoil. The subgrade must be compacted to 95% Mod AASHTO density, adding soil from spoil heaps where necessary, moisturizing and compacting the soil in 150mm layers with a vibratory roller, until firm and stable ground is achieved.

Excavate Drain Trenches:

Once the subgrade is levelled and compacted, start digging trenches to lay underground drain pipes. The drain trench must be 400mm wide x 650mm deep. On the bottoms of trenches, put a layer of sand blinding (32 to 50mm thick). Lay down perforated pipes over the sand bed and cover them with gravel filling.

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GeoFabric Membrane:

After excavating drain trenches on natural subgrade and installing the drain pipes, cover the subgrade surface with a geotextile membrane. It’s also recommended to cover the sides and bottoms of drain trenches with geotextile membrane. After laying down the geofabric membrane over the subgrade, you should then put some coarse sub-base filling on top.

NFL American Football Field_Artificial Synthetic Turf_Cross Section Details

From the information above, we can see that the substructure profile of an artificial turf field has the following layers:

  1. Surface Layer – Synthetic Turf Fibres
  2. Granulated Rubber Infill
  3. Sand Infill
  4. Backing System – Double or triple Woven Geotextile, Double Layered and Perforated Urethane or Latex Backing
  5. Shock Absorbing Pad
  6. Levelling Layer – 50mm Sand Blinding or Permeable Bitmac / Asphalt
  7. Coarse Sub-base Filling (Gravel) – 4 inches thick (102mm)
  8. Sand Cover Laid over Geofabric Membrane – 32mm thick
  9. Geofabric Membrane Laid over Subgrade
  10. Compacted Subgrade
  11. Longitudinal Drain Trenches Dug on Subgrade – 6 to 8 inches wide (152 to 203mm)
  12. Sand Cushion on Trench Bottoms – 32mm thick
  13. PVC/HDPE Perforated Drain Pipes – 100mm diameter

How To Draw a Football Field on CAD Program

A football field is easy to draw on a computer because it’s a simple layout or orthogonal plan view. There are several programs that you can use to draw a football pitch. There are professional CAD programs such as Google Sketchup and AutoCAD which are very useful and convenient in that they have a lot of handy tools and features that allow you to draw accurately and much faster.

To draw a football pitch on Google Sketchup Make, click the program launch icon on your desktop and wait for the program to load. Choose your Template and Unit of Measurement. There are different kinds of templates, for example the architectural, construction, urban planning, landscaping templates etc. The architectural design template will be okay for most purposes, but you have to know what suits you best.

 

The size of our NFL gridiron football field is going to be 110m x 49m wide.

The size of our FIFA soccer field is going to be 90m x 45m wide.

Open Google Sketchup. Go to the top menu, click [File] on the extreme left. Under the dropdown list, choose [Save As]. Give a name for your project and save the project on your computer. Go to the [Shapes] tool box, and choose a rectangle.

Draw a rectangle measuring 110m x 49m wide for the Gridiron field. On an actual gridiron football field, orange stick markers known as pylons are usually placed or anchored at the end zones (on corners) of the field in the scoring area. Each end zone has 4 pylons at the corners defining the rectangular scoring area.

On each end zone, the distance between the pylons on the length of the field is 30 feet (10 yards or 9 metres). The distance between the pylons on the width of the field is 160 feet (53 yards or 49 metres)

After drawing a rectangle representing the field, use the Tape Measure Tool to draw guidelines demarcating the scoring area and the rest of the yard lines inside the field. The yard lines are numbered from 1 to 4 on each side. The centreline is number 5. The yard lines are spaced at 9 feet apart (2.7 metres).

There are two pylons placed 3 feet (900mm) behind the goal post line. These pylons are 40 feet apart, and in line with the longitudinal dashed yard lines (infield hashmarks) forming the middle plane of the field.

The other feature that you have to show on your plan drawing is the goal post width. The goal post is 18 feet 6 inches wide (5.5 + 0.15 = 5.65m). The goal post is situated centrally between the corner pylons, 70 feet 9 inches (21+0.23=23.3m) from each corner on both sides.

Using the Tape Measure Tool on Google Sketchup, draw  guidelines for longitudinal yard lines (both infield and sideline hashmarks) as well as goal post spacing lines. A gridiron football field has an outside perimeter or boundary known as the Limit Line. The limit line is 12 feet (3.7 metres) from the field line and it may not be marked, but it’s usually a white space around the field. On your plan, you can draw the guideline for the Limit Line as well.

After drawing the guidelines, you should draw the actual field lines with a solid line by simply following the guidelines. Complete the field by drawing the short division markers and numbers between the yard lines. There are 4 division markers between the yard lines. Division markers will be needed on the end sides as well as on both sides of the middle plane.

 

How Do You Mark a Football Field?

Marking a football field is not a hard task if you are familiar with setting out levels on site with profiles and stringlines. Your setting out skills will be required when marking straight lines, curves, arcs and corners. The most delicate part of marking a football pitch is maintaining the accuracy of paint lines when using a line marker. You have to make sure the lines are kept straight from one point to the other. Painting out of line is a risk that will cause wastage of paint, time and labour. You will have to start all over again.

The first step in marking a football pitch is identifying and marking the baseline. The baseline is a straight line or reference line from which the whole field can be drawn. Naturally, your baseline will be the goal post line on the other end of the gridiron field.

A standard NFL gridiron field is 110m long x 49m wide (360 x 160 feet)

In this case, your baseline will be 49 metres (160 feet). Goal posts will be non-existent prior to construction, so you have to establish your baseline, it may be parallel to the fence, nearest building elevation or some other existing benchmark. Let’s assume your baseline is parallel to the field fence or screen wall.

We are going to use an existing benchmark (the existing fence) as our primary baseline. Since we are marking out rectangular field, we are going to use 90 degree corner profiles (L-shaped batterboards) and stringlines to set out the football field lines. The football field width is 49 metres and it is parallel to the fence. Put two corner profiles along the benchmark line (fence line) at 49 metres apart.

Setting Out and Marking the Football Field Perimeter

The field length is 110 metres. Let’s say the fence is 5 metres away from the football field perimeter. You will need two more corner profiles on the opposite end of the football field. These corner profiles will be fixed at (110+5=115) metres away from the fence on the other end. So all in all, you need 4 corner profiles for a rectangular field. The advantage of using corner profiles (90 degree L-shaped batterboards) is that they have a fixed angle (90 degrees) for setting out a square corner or perpendicular line, so you don’t need to use the 3-4-5 method or circular arc rope method to do this.

After setting up 4 corner profiles and stringlines for the football field, you have to set up interior diagonal stringlines between the alternating angles of diagonally opposite corner profiles. If the diagonal lines are equal, then the field set-out is a perfect rectangle. You can then start marking the ground with paint while following the stringlines.

Setting Out and Marking Infield Hashmarks, Yard Lines Etc.

Infield yardlines and longitudinal hashmarks are perpendicular to the field perimeter, so you can use various methods which allow you to set out square corners or perpendicular lines on the field. The corner profile method, as well as the 3-4-5 method and circular arc rope method will be suitable for this purpose. However, since we already have a perfect rectangular perimeter that has been set out and marked on the field, you won’t need to use the previously mentioned methods to set out perpendicular lines. What you need to do is measuring the spacing of the yardlines and hashmarks with reference to the corners of the rectangular field. As an example, the middle infield hashmarks are 60 feet (18.30 metres) from the sidelines on each side. What you need to do is measure 60 feet from the end-zone corner along the goal-post line, then mark the point on the ground with a steel pin or spike. Do the same for the other end-zone, then join the two points with a stringline, tied and drawn taut between the points. Following the stringline, mark the ground with paint using a line marker tool or machine.

The above procedure should be used for setting out and marking all internal lines within the field. Each new yardline can be used as the baseline for setting out successive lines, if marked correctly.

Painting Football Field Lines, Painting Equipment and Tools

There are different kinds of paint and brands used for marking lines on a sports field. First, before you buy any paint, you have to decide if you want permanent or temporary lines. Permanent paints are durable and will last for a long time. Temporary paints can be easily erased and removed. You also have to take into account the type of turf you have, is it natural grass or synthetic turf? There are paints which are specially made for either natural grass or artificial turf, and you if you want good results you should choose a suitable paint for each turf.

Line marking paint comes in various states such as powder, fluid or liquid. Paint marking tools and equipment include metal paint sticks or wands featuring a guide wheel, aerosol can holder and hand-activated trigger for spraying. Painting a line is as simple as following the setting-out stringlines and pushing the wheeled stick while the spray trigger is on. Keep the trigger on while moving and try not to stop along the path, until you get to the end. The other type of field marking tool that you can use is the 4-wheeled line marker also known as a striper or striping machine. There are 5 types of line markers or stripers classified by their paint application mechanism and system. Most modern line markers apply paint in liquid form via a jet or nozzle, but there are dry line markers which make use of dry powder. The paint application mechanism for a liquid paint striping machine usually includes systems such as pressure pumping, electric pumping, moving belt system and wheel transfer liquid conveyers. Alternatively, if your football field is very big and looking to improve your labour output rates, you can use a self-propelled paint striping machine with driver also known as a ride-on line striper. However, the best option would be to hire one because the cost of this machine is like $5,000 and above. Find out what’s suitable for you.

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Tools:

  • Athletic field aerosol paint if you are marking with your hand or paint stick
  • Athletic field super striper or line marker machine with 4 wheels, push handles and trigger/button, side striper or wheeled knib, nozzles,  speed indicator and onboard paint storage tank or container.
  • Painting sticks
  • 2 x 400 foot tape measure
  • 2 x 300 foot tape measure
  • Line marking hand reel with 400 foot string
  • Steel pins, spikes or stakes
  • 2 x Paint sticks
  • Line marking hand reel with 400 foot cable

 

Painting Numbers and Logos on Football Field:

So how do they paint logos on football fields? How do you paint a logo on grass? It’s easy, you need a football field stencil kit to paint those awesome college logos, mascots and numbers on a synthetic or natural grass pitch. An American football field for 11 players has nine numbers painted on infield sidelines. College logos and mascots can be painted inside the field, especially on the centre yard line and end-zones.

Football logo stencils are custom-made because clients cannot have the same logo. Thus, logo painters will make a stencil, cut out on a canvas to your required design. This stencil can be used many times over in painting field logos. A stencil provides the basic outlines or traced lines cut out to make slits. To paint these lines on a football pitch, just place the stencil over the ground and spray the slits with some athletic aerosol paint. After completing the outlines, remove the stencil and join the dashed lines with spray paint to make solid lines. You should then start filling the spaces with suitable colours and doing some freehand art if required. That’s all it takes to make these turf logos.

 

Goal Posts for Football Field

Goalposts – British Football (Soccer):

The design, construction, installation and safety requirements of goal posts for British Football (Soccer) is governed by the BSEN 748 (2004) standard specifications developed by the FA and BSI. The BSI codes recommend the use of sturdy and stable metal goalposts (steel, galvanized steel, alloys etc.) Aluminium and u-PVC are also recommended. Wood or timber posts are no longer recommended, approved or allowed by the Football Association. Further, socketed goal posts, your typical traditional goal post that is embedded in the ground, must be embedded in a concrete base, of minimum size 600 x 600 x 600mm. Metal ground sockets or sleeves are hollow steel tubes with square or rectangular base plates welded on. They are usually 460mm high, and come in different diameters such as 60, 76, 80 and 110mm. Ground sockets have their full length embedded below ground level and should not protrude from the surface as this may be hazardous to people walking or running on the field when the upright posts (columns) are not in place. Embed the sockets into the ground so that the top of the socket is at least 20mm under ground level or pitch surface. When the upright posts are not in place, the sockets should be plugged with an end cap. Plastic caps are recommended for their safety by the FA, and any metal cap, clip, hook or fixing is not allowed, since these items were banned in 2007.

Socketed goal posts are cast in-situ goal posts. Basically, you have to excavate holes on the pitch end zones to install these goal posts. They are usually made of circular hollow steel sections, but the FA also allows square, rectangular and elliptical hollow metal tubes. Dig holes to an appropriate depth and diameter, then compact the bottoms. Spread a layer of sand blinding, gravel, soilcrete or weak concrete on the bottoms of the holes, then position the goal post columns in the centre of the hole, making sure the columns are plumb. You will need to support the columns with temporary bracing until the concrete is set. Ensure that the goal post bar is horizontally level and at a suitable height from the ground.

For your backyard turf football field, you might want to install freestanding goal posts instead of socketed goal posts. Freestanding goalposts have a side frame on both sides as well as a base frame which provides stability, so you don’t need to dig holes and build concrete bases for these goalposts. What you only need to do is move the goalpost to the right position on the pitch, and then hold down the back bar of the base frame with weights or ground anchors (eyebolts) embedded in concrete.

Goalposts – American Football (Gridiron):

In American football, an NFL goalpost is a U-shaped bar supported by a column (post or boom) embedded in the ground. The U-shaped section consists of a horizontal bar (crossbar) 18.5 feet long and two vertical goal posts (uprights) at each end of the crossbar, 30 feet high from the top of the crossbar. The top face of the crossbar should be 10 feet above ground level. End caps, 4 inches in diameter must be fitted on top of the goalposts. Alternatively, orange ribbons 4 x 42 inches high can be attached on top of goal posts.

There are two types of football goalposts, the flat goalpost and the gooseneck goalpost. A gooseneck goalpost has the boom 8 feet from the end-zone goal line. The advantage of a gooseneck goalpost is that it provides a flexible configuration for multi-sports. A freestanding soccer goalpost can be installed under the space provided by the gooseneck boom shape.

Gooseneck College Goalposts – American Football

A gooseneck college goalpost also known as a swan-neck goalpost has a bent column or boom with a smooth-rounded corner or offset. The crossbar is 18.5 feet long and its top face is 10 feet above ground level. The goalposts are 20 feet high, measured from the top face of the crossbar. The gooseneck column is 8 feet (centre to centre spacing) behind the suspended goalpost. End caps, 4 inches in diameter must be fitted on top of the goalposts.

How To Install Goalposts – American Football

There are two goalposts on an American football field, situated on each end-zone. The goalpost column or boom must be embedded in a concrete base under the ground. You will have two parts, the metal column projecting above the ground, and the metal socket or sleeve embedded in concrete below the surface. After the sleeve and concrete base is installed,  the metal column has to be inserted inside the socket and fixed with threaded bolts and nuts across the sleeve diameter.

Dig a hole 36 inches wide x 74 inches deep from ground level. Level and compact the bottom of the hole to 95% Mod AASHTO density (until the ground is firm and stable). Add a 12.25 inch layer of sand blinding, gravel, soilcrete or weak concrete (10 to 15 Mpa) to the bottom of the hole, compact the layer with a ramming rod and level the surface. On this level bottom, you must place the metal sleeve in its upright position, making sure its plumb (vertical) using a spirit level. The metal sleeve is about 58 inches high (1473mm), so you may need some bracing to hold it stably in position. Packing stones or metal rebar may be placed at the bottom of the sleeve to stabilize it. Temporary horizontal bracing placed at the top of the sleeve to keep it centred and vertical will most likely be needed.

After positioning and bracing the metal sleeve inside the hole, prepare a mixture of wet concrete on the site and pour it inside the hole around the sleeve, spreading and tamping the wet concrete vigorously with a rod to remove air bubbles. Make sure you do not pour concrete inside the sleeve. To prevent concrete or other foreign matter from entering the sleeve, you might want to cover the sleeve tops with end caps during work in progress.

The height of concrete poured inside the excavated hole around the sleeve will be about 55.75 inches from the top of sand blinding or gravel. The depth of all backfilling excluding topsoil (sand blinding + concrete) will be 68 inches from excavated bottoms. Topsoil or surface covering will be 6 inches.

The metal sleeve must project from the concrete surface by about 4 to 4.5 inches, but it must be buried under the ground by 2 to 2.5 inches.

After the concrete base is set and hardened, you can insert the goalpost boom or column inside the sleeve. Fix the column with threaded bolts and nuts.

 

Soccer/Football/Rugby Combination Goal Posts

A football/soccer combo goalpost is preferable for your backyard turf pitch because with this multi-purpose goal post, you can play American football, British soccer, rugby and Gaelic football. An example of a multi-sport goalpost is the Forza Steel42 which comes in three sizes, the 8 x 5ft, 10 x 6ft and 15 x 7ft. It’s a freestanding goalpost with a galvanized steel base frame and side frames of 42mm round tubes. The two uprights forming a U-shaped rugby/football goalpost are 4.1 foot high (1240mm) and also made of 42mm thick steel tubes. Some models of the combo goalpost are made of u-PVC posts and components. The goalpost is sold as a complete package consisting of all goal posts (the crossbar, uprights, back bar, side bars etc.) It comes with a 50mm knotless mesh net made of durable 3mm thick braided HDPP twine, net clips and U-shaped anchor pegs. The goalpost is assembled by the locking system whereby parts are slotted together to form a stable and rigid frame. The Forza goalpost is available from retailers and sports equipment stores from $216 to $320 depending on the size.


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