Football Goals Buying Guide

From Premier League to grassroots football, Stadia Sports range of football goals is one of the largest ranges available in the UK with goals to cater for every situation. However, we appreciate that having a large range can be confusing in making the right choice of goal posts for your teams requirements.

 

Straight Runback Football Nets | Football Net Size

 

We have created a buying guide to football goal posts that will help explain the key differences in football goals and help you choose the right goals for you.

Goal Post Safety

With only a handful of ‘proper’ goal post manufacturers in the UK, it is important to know that the goals being purchased are safe to use. Fortunately, we have a British Standard (BS 748 for senior goals & 8462 for small sided goals) that specifies the minimum quality standard that goals must be manufactured to. There are too many companies trying to make goals that don’t meet these standards and quite frankly just aren’t safe for use. Always ensure that the goals that you are buying have been tested to meet the British standard.

Goal Posts VS Goal Packages

Stadia Sports offer what we describe as goal posts or goal packages. The difference is the goal posts consist just of the goal frame itself whereas the goal packages consist of the goal frame, any additional net supports and the nets. Both are supplied in pairs (single goals can be purchased on request).

Which Goal Post Size is Right for You?

Goals are available in various sizes to suit a specific age range of player, number of players on the pitch or even the type of game being played. Below is a list of all the options followed by a table of which the size of goal that the FA specify for a particular age range and size (number of players per team) of game.

11-a-side Football Goals 

This goalpost is sometimes referred to the full game and goals will be either one of two sizes. The main size known as senior size is a 24’ wide x 8’ high (7.32mtr x 2.44mtr). These are the most popular size of goal used in the UK whether in a park or major stadium and is used for players aged 15 and above. The second size of goal used for 11-a-side football is 21’ wide x 7’ high (6.4mtr x 2.13mtr) known as a junior or youth sized goal. This goal is used by players of under 13 and under 14 years old.

11 a side football goals sizes

 

9-a-side Football Goals

9-a-side football goals are the latest addition of goal size used by the FA and only one size of goal is used in the 9 a side game. The size of goal is 16’ wide x 7’ high (4.88mtr x 2.13mtr) and is used by under 11 and under 12 players. The goal is also found in parks and increasingly common on 3G artificial pitches.

9 a side football goals sizes

7-a-side Football Goals

 

The 7 a side goals are available in two sizes. The most popular of which is commonly referred to as a ‘mini soccer’ goal at 12’ wide x 6’ high (3.66mtr x 1.83mtr). This size of goal is typically used by under 7 to under 10 years olds but is also commonly used on 3G artificial pitches players across a full size pitch by players of all ages. Also available in the 7 a side game is a 16’ wide x 6’ high (4.88mtr x 1.83mtr) goal. This goal isn’t as popular as the mini soccer goal but is used where a small sided goal is required but needs to be wider than the 12’ goal for senior users playing a 7 a side game. 

7 a side football goal sizes

5-a-side Football Goals 

The FA actually specify the Mini Soccer goal above for 5-a-side football for under 7 and under 8 year olds. So when we refer to 5-a-side, we are referring to the traditional 4 foot high posts. There are 3 sizes available in 16’ wide x 4’ high (4.88mtr x 1.22mtr), 12’ wide x 4’ high (3.66mtr x 1.22mtr) and 8’ wide x 4’ high (2.44mtr x 1.22mtr) of which the 16’ and 12’ are the most popular sizes. These goals are most commonly used either inside a sportshall of on a fixed size artificial pitch such as those used in football centres. The age of the players using this sizes of goal varies from players of the youngest age to seniors.

 

FA Goalpost Guidelines for Different Ages

Please now find a table showing the FA’s recommendations for different age groups:

 

Age Game Goal Size
Under 7/8 5 a side 12ft x 6ft
Under 9/10 7 a side 12ft x 6ft
Under 11/12 9 a side 16ft x 7ft
Under 13/14 11 a side 21ft x 7ft
Under 15/16 11 a side 24ft x 8ft
Under 17/18 11 a side 24ft x 8ft
Over 18 11 a side 24ft x 8ft

Table data reference FA recommended goal sizes.

So, you’ve decided on if you want goal posts or a goal package, you know what size of goal you require, now you need to know what type or configuration of goal is required. There are 4 types available all made to suit a purpose.

The 4 Main Types of Football Goalposts

1. Socketed Goals

Socketed goals are still the most popular choice. What we mean by socketed is 2 sockets or metal sleeves are set into concrete below the level of the ground per individual goal. The goal uprights (posts) then simply slot into the sockets to hold the goal upright in position. A socketed goal is used mainly on grass pitches such as schools playing fields, parks or stadiums where the goals are left in position for a period of time.

2. Freestanding Goals

With the growing popularity of artificial and 3G pitches, freestanding goals are becoming much more popular. The clue as to what a freestanding goal is its name, as its a goal that sits ‘free standing’ i.e. standing upright on its own on the ground. This is done by adding a couple of runbacks along the ground to a backbar which makes up the goal frame. Freestanding goals will usually have full international net supports (explained below) which join the crossbar to the backbar in the corners. I will note here that goals will need to be anchored to ensure the goal meets the British Standard.

3. Self Weighted Goals

As a development on a freestanding goal for artificial pitches which tend to be multi-use (multi-game football or multi sport) where are goal needs to be moved quickly into or out of position. The self weighted goal in reality is a freestanding goal with wheels and a fixed weight added to the backbar so becomes portable and has no need for any additional anchors (the fixed weight must be tested to ensure the weight is enough to stop any tipping to meet the British Standard).

4. Fold to Wall Goals

Originally designed for football training grounds, the fold to wall goals are used in similar circumstances to self weighted goals on 3G pitches where multi sports may be played. The Goals are fixed on 4 (or 2 in some cases) hinged arms that extend from a wall/fence (or posts fixed by a wall if the wall/fence isn’t load bearing) and fold back against the wall/fence when not required. The most common use of this type of goal is when the distance from the touchline to the wall/fence is too small for a freestanding/self weighted goal to be used.

Hopefully you now have your goal size and how you want it to be fixed, so we need to decide which material to make your goal from. There are 3 main materials used for football goals – Aluminium, Steel or UPVC.

The 3 Main Materials Used for Football Goalposts

1.  Aluminium

Aluminium goals are the elite goals used in the world. Being lightweight and durable, this material is used on goals in football stadiums, club training grounds and on most 3G pitches in the UK. There are usually 3 types of aluminium profile available being elliptical, 80mm diameter and 63.5mm diameter. The latter 2 being used mainly on training and small sided goals respectively, elliptical is the most popular and is used on stadium and all self weighted goals. One small point on elliptical aluminium profile is that it is quite weak compared to steel. To compensate for this, four strengthening bars are added down its length to improve the material.

2. Steel

Although aluminium is considered the elite material, steel goals are still the most popular in terms of numbers used and with good reason. Steel goals are by far stronger than aluminium goals and when goals are used in parks and open playing fields they are susceptible to misuse, mainly becoming a climbing frame and the goal needs to be able to stand up to this punishment. Steel goals are available in 3 size profiles similarly to aluminium – 60mm diameter, 76mm diameter and 76mm square with the latter only used in the most demanding of areas. It is worth noting that we don’t consider steel goals to be safe as freestanding in senior, youth or 9 a side goals offering these sizes as socketed only.

3. UPVC

Originally developed as a back garden type product, the UPVC goal has been developed into a quality product used in small sided goals games. Only available as freestanding, these goals can be packed away into a handy carry bag after the game making transport and storage easy.

So, we got most of the goal figured out, we need to start thinking about the net. Before we decide on which net, we need to decide how we are to hang the nets.

The 4 Ways to Support Goal Nets

1. International Free-Hanging Net Supports

Used in the majority in football stadiums, the international free-hanging net supports use no metal support inside the net. This prevents the ball from rebounding when entering the net which is very important to a professional game of football. These supports are used only with the ‘Box’ shape of net (explained below).

 

Freehanging international net supports

2.  International Net Supports

Not to be confused with the above, an international net support is a tube that extends horizontally from each corner of the crossbar for a short roof section before dropping at an angle to the ground. The supports suit the traditional shape of net and are most commonly used on freestanding goals.

International Football Goal Net Supports

3.  Continental Net Supports

Better known as a ‘D’ shaped net support, the Continental net supports form a loop from the corners of the crossbars to a short distance down the post. The top of the D creates a short roof section for the net before the net falls away diagonally to the ground. The Continental net supports are used for the exact same shape of net as the International net supports.

Continental Net Supports

4. Straight Run Back

This is when no net support is used so the net falls diagonally from the crossbar to the ground. Although never used in the professional game, this is quite commonplace in parks games.

The Thickness of Football Nets

Finally, we can now put a net on the goal. We have 3 shapes to choose from and 3 thicknesses of net available. We can offer box shaped nets, the more traditional shaped net with a short roof section and then a diagonal fall, and the straight run back net which has no roof section. The three shapes aren’t all available in the various thicknesses as for example, a stadium box shaped net will be the premium thickness. Basically, the thicker the net, the better the quality and the longer it will last – although the thicker the net, the more you will pay. Typical thicknesses are 2.5mm budget net, 3mm mid range net and 4.5mm premium net.

Hopefully by now we have gone from the largest range of goals available to just one of a couple of options from our range. The above is only an overview so if you need more advise contact us  for more assistance.