Goaltimate Hoop for Under $30

I built a goaltimate hoop (arch?) out of hardware store parts for under $30 and thought I'd share the details.

Back story: For a little over a year I've been playing frisbee with a group at work at a nearby park. We play Ultimate Frisbee most days but have been adding in some variations like hotbox and Goaltimate (usually because not enough players showed up). I like that frisbee games focus on skills and "spirit of the game" rather than lots of rules that often detract from game play. Lately we've been playing more Goaltimate and I decided to try my hand at building a goal.

I started with these instructions for building a goal (this drawing was also helpful). Works fine but I wasn't able to find a store that would cut down the belled, female-end pipe and only charge me for the 50" length out of a 10 or 20 foot length of pipe. Standing in the hardware store I came up with a way to build a goal from two 20 foot lengths and one 2' length of pipe. Here is the materials list:

2$6.80$13.601" PVC Schedule 40 pipe, 20' long with bell "fitting" on one end
1$2.60$2.601-1/4" PVC Schedule 40 pipe, 2' long
2$5.00$10.003/8" steel rod, 3' (36") long

You may also need PVC pipe primer and cement, if you don't already have some. My primer had dried up so I just used cement and it seemed to work OK so if you really want to save a few bucks you could just get a can of cement, but I recommend the primer as it cleans and preps the surface of the pipe so the cement sticks better.


  • Saw to cut the pipe (you may be able to use shears, just make sure they don't distort the ends of the pipe so they won't go in the female fittings).
  • Mitre box - optional but cheap and healpful for cutting the pipe square
  • Sand paper
  • Tape measure and pencil or other marker


These steps will produce eight 4' lengths of pipe that can be fitted together to make a 32' long goal arch.

  1. Measure 50" from belled end of the 20' lengths of pipe and mark and cut both pipes.
  2. For the remaining length of pipe, measure, mark and cut 48" long.
  3. Clean up cut ends of pipe segments, remove burrs so end slides cleanly into the 1-1/4" pipe and bell end.
  4. Take the 1-1/4" pipe and measure, mark and cut 5 pieces 4.75" long. This will make 5 couplers. Clean up the cuts ends.
  5. Take 5 of the 1" pipes (NOT the bell ended ones, in fact they are done so put them aside) and measure and mark 2.25" from end. Lightly sand this end of the pipe so the cement sticks better.
  6. Lightly sand 2.5" inside one end of the five 1-1/4" couplers.
  7. Before gluing, double check that this will produce 5 pipes with couplers, 2 pipes with bell ends, and 1 pipe with no coupler or bell end (just a straight length of pipe).
  8. Apply primer to the sanded ends of the pipes and inside of the couplers. See can for application instructions.
  9. After primer has dried, apply cement to ends of pipes and inside couplers, don't use too much. See can for application instructions.
  10. Allow cement to dry and that's it.

I also cleaned the oil off the steel rods. I left mine bare but Matt primed and painted his. I may paint mine too if they start to rust (probably will).

Follow-up Notes:

I've used my PVC goal 3-4 times now and it's worked well. Here are good instructions for setting up the field. We've played "full court" Goaltimate (two goals) a few times and I think it's more fun that regular "half court" Goaltimate - the fast breaks on turnovers add a new dimension.

I was a little concerned that the 1-1/4" couplers would be too loose and might fall apart if a player ran into the goal, but they've been hit several times and have stayed together. Since the assembled poles are bent into an arch, the flex helps the joints stay together.

The 3/8" steel rod stakes are holding up OK but are getting bent. I can straighten them with a hammer easily. But perhaps 1/2" rod would be better. Some people use rebar and they report it works fine.

I was tempted to try 3/4" PVC pipe but it felt too flimsy in the store. Now that I've built the goal from 1" pipe I can attest that this is the right size. Even 1" sways so 3/4" would have been too floppy.

The poles are a cumbersome to carry so I bought a tent pole bag (60" long, $10) to hold everything. Old golf club or ski bags may also work.


I built a second hoop a few months after I built the first one. I've been using these hoops for over a year now and both have held up. I even used them a few times in winter - I was concerned the plastic would be brittle in the cold but they didn't break.

I did have one problem, a few of the glue joints broke. The fit between the 1" and 1-1/4" is a little sloppy so it puts stress on the glue. I solved this problem by putting a screw into each coupler to fasten it to the 1" pipe.  I used a 1/2" long flat head screw and countersunk it into the coupler to make it flush so no one would get snagged on the screw head. This fix has worked well and I recommend gluing each coupler and screwing it to the pipe.

You can spend less on the stakes by using rebar instead of rod. I bought a 10' length of 3/8" rebar for $3.58 and cut two 3' lengths from it for the second hoop. This puts the total under $25. The rebar stakes have worked as well as the rods.

We play with relaxed rules like Seattle. We mostly play Ultimate but break out Goaltimate once in a while  for variety.

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