Turn Your Garden into Your Own Footy Pitch, Complete with Posts & Lines!
With the AFL season now in full swing, you might be itching to get out there with the kids and kick the ball around yourself. But why wander down to the local footy oval when you could have a private DIY footy pitch in your own backyard?
Actually, creating your own footy pitch isn’t all that hard either. You just need to have a solid surface, a bit of paint to outline boundaries, and some goal posts. So far, easy peasy.
A Solid Surface
Making the actual pitch is the biggest amount of work you’ll have to put in to make your own backyard footy field. You want it to be hard so the ball will bounce nicely. And the grass should be short enough to keep up a fast-paced game.
Firstly, pick an area of the backyard that would suit a mini footy oval and remove any obstacles such as rocks or shrubs.
Mark out the dimensions. Unless you’ve got a humungous property it’s unlikely you’d be able to fit a real-life MCG into your backyard, but you can make a small one to proportion. Or you can scale down half a pitch for a helpful practice ground. The centre circle should mark the opposite end to the goal posts.
Flatten the pitch as much as possible. This could mean mowing the grass as short as you can. Or you could install artificial grass, which has the added bonus of not needing continual maintenance to keep the pitch looking pristine.
Whichever way you go, make sure the surface is compacted so it is hard, and that you’ve smoothed out any mounds or bumps that could trip up footy legs.
Paint your boundaries
You will need boundaries to keep any family games honest and fair. You can use your everyday white spray paint to outline the oval. Include the centre circle, centre square, 50 metre line (to proportion, of course!), and the goal square.
Add some posts
What’s a footy ground without some goals to target?
You can get creative with your goals. Maybe you want to use the natural elements in your garden, such as two trees or shrubs close together. Make sure they’re nicely trimmed so the ball doesn’t catch in the overhead branches.
If you’d rather the real thing, you can make your own using thick PVC pipes or wooden posts. Dig a really deep hole to implant them, or pour in some homemade concrete for good measure.
Make sure there is a bit of padding around the lower portion of the post to prevent any nasty head bumps during a rowdy game.
And don’t limit yourself to a stock-standard, all-white footy field either. Give the pitch a bit of colour; get the kids involved and decorate the posts with family team colours – or with stripes of the family’s official footy team.
Once your pitch is all ready to go, it’s time to get out there! Arm yourself with a footy ball, invite the family round and kick off a friendly match.