Everyone probably knows already that I’ve been the coordinator of Burnaby Ultimate and Disc Sports since it was started back in 2005. More recently we’ve diversified and have been offering a Goaltimate option as well. The original kit was donated by Doug, but required modifications to work on turf.
Brief explanation: Goaltimate is an Ultimate [Frisbee] variant which is roughly the equivalent of half-court basketball. That is there’s only one goal which can be scored in, and after each turnover you must clear the disc before you can score. The other key difference is that instead of a football style endzone, you have a much smaller endzone with a croquet wicket on steroids in front of it. The disc must go through the arch and be caught by someone who is in the endzone. That’s a simplification, but it gives you the basic concept.
The regular game is played on a grass field, so they take a hammer, some rebar and pound it into the ground, they then put an arch (typically made of PVC pipe) over top of the two pieces of rebar, which anchor the arch (it’s supposed to be 18 feet wide at the bottom, and 11 feet high in the middle, requiring a total length of 32 feet of pipe). This is a very simple system that works great, the ground adequately anchors everything, and the anchoring system is internal to the pipe and not exposed. So why didn’t we use this mechanism? Well unfortunately we play of field turf fields which you can’t pound rebar into.
At the beginning of the season we used a creative solution of old tortierre bases with the bottom segment still attached. This bottom metal piece was big enough to allow the pipe (our set is 3/4 inch PVC) to fit inside. This worked pretty well, but the lamp equipment wasn’t ideal, as the bases weren’t heavy enough to support the weight of the pipe themselves (we added Ulti bags for extra weight), and they weren’t engineered with the intent of being put together and taken apart regularly, not to mention the strange angular forces we were applying with the arch. So although a decent solution in the short term, in the long term it was inadequate (we broke 3 bases over the 14 weeks or so we used that solution).
This past week after having yet another base fail, it was time for a change. I had frequented Home Depot which is next door in search of a better solution, but failed to find something adequate there. So I changed tactics and went to Rona, where I found some different supplies which either weren’t at Home Depot or I failed to find there. A small amount of assembly later, and we had a new working support design that held the arch better than everything else we tried, and didn’t break or fall down even once in our 3 games, despite the fact it was particularly windy (which the old support did not handle well).
And to the purpose of this post, sharing the design and materials needed to make a viable Goaltimate base for turf fields. Total cost on the base was$66.48 (after taxes) although I suspect that with a little creativity and comparison shopping you could bring the price down (perhaps dramatically). So this is what was used:
- 2 – 4″ to 3″ Toilet Flange (ABS) – $9.19 + HST ea
- 2 – Reducer Coupling 3″ to 1.5″ (ABS) – $3.99 + HST ea
- 2 – Bushing 1.5″ to 1.25″ (ABS) – $1.37 + HST ea
- 2 – 1.25″ x 3′ pipe (ABS) – $6.81 + HST ea
- 1 – 1″ x 12″ x 3′ laminated pine – $10.77 + HST ea
- purchased but not used ABS cement (couldn’t get the container opened) – $5.82 + $0.05 ECO fee + HST
- not purchased but used 16x 1″ wood screws
- cut the pine shelf in half so you have two 18″ by 12″ pieces.
- at one end of each piece screw a toilet flange to the wood
- put the bushing on the ABS pipe (cement if using)
- put the reducer on the bushing (cement if using)
When at the field, put the wooden base 18′ apart, put the ABS uprights onto the base, assemble your PVC arch and insert into the uprights. Additional weight is probably required to keep everything stable, Ulti bags work fine. Because of the stiffness of the ABS pipe you are able to mimic the rigidity of the rebar mechanism, creating a very nice and stable arch.
As mentioned we didn’t cement anything together, and the friction fit worked fine for us. One of the nicest things about this design is each piece in the ABS construction has sufficient overlap that if desired (or required) a hole could be drilled through the two pieces and a bolt could be used to secure the pieces at the field.
If you wanted to reduce the number of pieces and the cost a little you could cut out the bushing and go with 1.5″ ABS pipe instead of the 1.25″ stuff, but I wanted the tighter fit. Note: the 1.25″ ABS pipe has a large enough internal diameter to support 1″ PVC pipe or the 3/4″ stuff we’re using.
Overall we’re very satisfied with this solution so far, and the fact that it’s fairly simple, that the pipes should break apart in the event of a collision, and the fact that all the parts should be easy to find, and are replaceable makes this a very attractive and sustainable solution for regular use.
Hope this helps someone out there who is trying to build one for themselves, let me know how the experience goes for you.
P.S. Another solution that we’ve seen used is those giant 18 gallon water jugs (used for water coolers) as the anchors, but we don’t have an easy water source at the field to fill them up with and fundamentally I object to such a waste of water.