You Can Make It: a (PVC) Field Goal

  by Erik Wolgemuth

There’s a scene that unfolds repeatedly over the fall and winter months that generally solicits little response to those familiar with it. Envision a pile-up of roughly two tons of bulk, add in blistering speed and muscle collapsing from the outside and an oblong stitched pigskin ball booted with precision and force. Just the run-of-the-mill extra point or the only slightly more appreciated field goal. The skill and orchestration required to execute an extra point (or three) is remarkable … but — for those of us who have seen it happen a thousand times — we expect flawless execution. Not so with younger observers.

For all the action that takes place during a battle on the gridiron, it seems that kids are often drawn towards plays of the kicking variety. The massive punt. The booming kick-off. The field goal and extra point. Watch a game or two with your kids and don’t be surprised when their awe transforms into random objects (footballs or otherwise) getting the boot.

In order to effectively convert this newfound interest to the out of doors (where there are significantly less breakables to be found), and enthusiastically so, it’s time for construction of the PVC variety. If you’re less than handy, no fear, there’s minimal expertise needed in assembling your own set of uprights.

Goal posts can be constructed in just about any size, but for a unit that works well for (approximately) four- to eight-year-old kickers, you need about fourteen and a half feet (which can be purchased in two eight-foot lengths) of 1.5 inch thick PVC pipe from your local home improvement store. You’ll also need the following joint pieces: two 90-degree elbow joints (use this link for reference more than anything – these parts can be found cheaper elsewhere), one tee joint, and (if you can find it) a five-way connector. And, finally, a trusty hack saw. (If you can’t find the five-way connector, you’ve got two alternative options: 1. Dig a hole and plant the goal post in the ground; 2. Get a cross connector and drill out a fifth hole in the top…this is a bit tricky and needs to be done really carefully – for your own well-being and to keep the joint from cracking.)

Cut two two-foot lengths for the two upright pieces, four one-foot lengths for each of the four base legs, a one-and-a-half-foot piece for the post, and two two-and-a-half foot long segments for the crossbar. Your two elbow joints connect the uprights to the crossbar, the tee connects the crossbar to the post, and the five-way connector links the post to the base legs.

With construction complete, your job now involves taking a knee, extending a brave index finger, gritting one’s teeth and hoping your youngster strikes true. And, of course, breaking into jubilance when that rookie kicker nails the backyard 50-yard game winner.

With construction complete, your job now involves taking a knee, extending a brave index finger, gritting one’s teeth and hoping your youngster strikes true. And, of course, breaking into jubilance when that rookie kicker nails the backyard 50-yard game winner.

DadCraft Pro Tip: If your family finds itself of the diehard variety when it comes to a particular football squad, it wouldn’t be out of line to decorate your new goal post accordingly. Paint the posts in team colors, attach some flags to the tops of the uprights, and/or use markers to write your team’s name along the crossbar.

###

Interested in reading about a former NFL pro’s dadcraft? Check out our interview of Ben Hamilton. Or if you’re ready for some downtime after the game, Big Hero 6 is good for an unwind.