The kids have been begging for it and you’ve got plenty of space. So why not build them the ultimate soccer field? It may look like a big project, but it’s easy enough to accomplish. All you need are the right skills and equipment like flag poles, goals and a few helpful tools. The fact is not all kids are interested in doing bootcamp workout, so soccer offers a great way to captivate the attention of these kids while helping to keep them in shape.
Mark off the Soccer Field
An ideal size for a soccer field for a child is 100 yards by 60 yards although there’s nothing wrong with playing on a smaller field. Measure out the dimensions with a surveyor’s wheel. Place a stake in the ground, then roll the wheel to measure the desired length. Place another stake at the end of the desired length. Tie a string between the two stakes and check to make sure that you measured a straight line. Repeat for all four sides of the field and make sure that the sides meet at 90 degree angles.
Grade the Soccer Field
First, remove any large rocks, weeds and other debris from the field. Next grade the field to facilitate drainage. Soccer fields drain best when they have a one to two percent grade that slopes down from the center of the field. First, create a wide 9 to 15-inch high mound in the center of the field that runs from touch line to touch line.
Place a stake in the center of the mound. Place a second stake at one end of the field in the center of the end line. Use the line to guide you as you create a sloping soil grade that goes from 9 to 15 inches high in the center down to level with the surrounding soil at the end of the end line. Create the same sloping grade on the other side of the field. Smooth the soil down with the help of a rake and a level.
The best times to lay seed are spring and fall. Keep in mind that it may take 12 to 18 months for the grass to support regular play. Choose a durable species of grass like Kentucky bluegrass, tall fescue, annual ryegrass or perennial ryegrass. Lay the seed at the density recommended for the species and keep it well watered.
Create the Lines
The easiest way to make professional-looking field lines is with an athletic field marker. Create the touch lines and end lines with the athletic field marker using the sting lines as a marker. Next create the midfield line. Use stakes and string to make sure that the line is straight. Then use it as a guide to draw the midfield line with the athletic field marker.
Now make the center circle. Place a stake in the center of the mid line. Tie a string to it and extend the line 10 yards. Hold the string in one hand. Walk the athletic field marker around the stake in the circle. Use stakes, string and the athletic field marker to make each penalty box 44 yards wide, 18 yards deep and centered on each mid line.
Place a stake on each penalty mark. The penalty mark is the point 12 yards infield from the center of the end line. Extend the string 10 yards. Start inside the penalty box on the left hand side. Walk the string forward along its natural arc as you did with the center circle. Use the athletic field marker to mark the arc made outside the penalty box.
Now you’re ready to make the goal areas. Center them on the end lines and make each 20 yards wide and six yards deep. Last are the corner kick marks. Stake your string in each corner. Make the string one yard long. Trace the arc it makes with the athletic field marker to create to quarter circles in each corner.
Now you need goals and balls. Lastly, pick up the flagpoles. Use them to clearly mark the corners and ends of the fields for professional-grade play on the ultimate soccer field!