16th February 2016
We’ve all been there. There are five minutes left. Your team has dragged itself back from three goals behind to level pegging. Chubby Keith has just won the ball back, and he’s played it through to you. You only have the ‘keeper to beat. You can see your name in the headlines. BANG! The ball goes sailing over the crossbar and ends up stuck in a tree over the road.
Ballooned shots aside, there are also issues such as broken windows, unauthorised access, vandalism and forming the playing area boundary. Clearly, perimeter fencing is a must.
There are a number of considerations when it comes to erecting your fence. Not least of which is that they’re going to be under some duress – we all know Chubby Keith can’t always stop in time. Close-gauge meshes can be used in high-impact areas to provide greater resistance. When it comes to rocket-shots, the addition of rebound walls, made from stained or painted exterior-grade timber, are a suitable choice, and don’t make too much noise.
Size is another factor; you want your fencing to be high enough to cover any skyward balls. Typically, fences are installed with a height of between three to four and a half metres.
Let’s not forget that outdoor five-a-side pitches are at the mercy of the elements. To prevent weathering and corrosion, steelwork should ideally be galvanised. It can also be coated in plastic to provide a more professional veneer.
Well, you’re going to want to let players in and out, aren’t you? The access gates should open outwards for player safety, and should be wide enough and level enough for wheelchair access. You’ll also want them spaced out so that no area is too congested, and so that emergency services have access in the event of a ‘coming together’.
So there you have it! Your outdoor five-a-side a pitch is majestically fenced off. All you need now is 10 players, maybe a brave referee, and a ball. Game on!