Way back at Keene Public School, we used to play volleyball on an uneven dirt and rock basketball court with a net strung between two metal poles stuck into a car tire full of concrete. I think that public schools are prohibited from using anything so practical (or cheap) anymore, but if you look you'll still find a few here and there on church playgrounds or gyms. It's likely some kid turned one on its side and rolled it over his own or someone else's foot. One lawsuit and anything good gets banned. Still, these sturdy volleyball goals are really handy and if the folk using it have a modicum of intelligence and supervise their children, they should be safe enough. They are portable, hold the net tight and can be built out of scrap materials with minimal cost.
- Two tires with good tread and no steel wire poking through. (It's worth buying used tires to get good tread. They look better and are safer)
- Four to six bags of concrete depending on how big the tires are. (Get extras, you can always take them back or make yourself a small sidewalk or some stepping stones or something)
- Two metal pipes or two 4x4 posts, at least 8 feet tall.
- Steel drill bit
- Adjustable wrench
- Plastic 5 gallon bucket
- Tape measure
Lay the tires on the ground.
Prop the poles or posts upright with the bases of the poles in the exact center of each tire. Tie or brace the poles so they won't move while the concrete is setting or the pole will be loose inside the concrete.
Pour concrete into the tires around the base of the poles or posts. I prefer to scoop the concrete into a plastic bucket so I can control the wet concrete more easily. You have to pour slowly so you don't move the base of the upright out of center and it's hard to control that if you pour directly from the wheelbarrow. Tires hold a deceptively large amount of concrete, so you may have to keep mixing bags and adding them till the concrete fills the tire to the top rim. Mix quickly so the first pour is still wet when you add more. Don't run concrete over the top rim of the tire or the dried overflow will break off in thin sheets later and make a mess.
Let the concrete cure overnight.
Remove the braces and check out how sturdy the pole is.
Lay the pole over and mark holes for the eyebolts at 2 feet from the ground (for the bottom tie of the net) and at 7 feet 4 inches for women's volleyball and at 7 feet 11-5/8 inches for men's v-ball. You'll be installing 3 eyebolts or screws for tying the net to.
Install the eyebolts or eye screws so the eyes are all on the same side of the upright pole or post.
Roll the volleyball standards into place on either side of the center of a large flat area 30 feet wide by 60 feet long. String up the net and you're ready to go.
Note on Playing Volleyball:
I always use the women's height for groups of kids or church groups to make it easier to play. That is, unless it's an all men's group or you have one of those pesky ego-maniac show-offs who thinks it's fun to spike a volleyball into a kid's face to show off his prowess in front of the women-folk. Then, I put the net at full height so they can't spike the ball so easily. Men, even church-going men, are dreadfully competitive. I've even resorted to using nerf volleyballs and beach balls to reduce the danger to smaller players and to make the game more fun to play.
|Here are Marc St. Angelo's |
tire & concrete volleyball poles.
Thanks for pic, Marc.
I called these "movable" volleyball posts and not "portable", because, though you can move them around your backyard or playground, I wouldn't want to haul them across town without a really big trailer and possibly a crane. There is a lot of concrete inside one of those tires and they are extremely heavy. To move them around, you merely lay them over on their sides, have one person lift the pole end to guide it and another one or two to roll the tire. Don't let it roll over your foot whatever you do because, as I said, all that concrete is really, really heavy. It's pretty easy to move them, though and it's obvious how heavy they are so you have to be pretty thick to want to get in front of one when it's rolling. Don't let small children turn it over or play "pole vault" with it. I can tell you from bitter childhood experience that when the pole starts upward, a lightweight child can get flung a goodly distance when the pole snaps him off the ground. And if he does manage to hang on, he can pull the whole pole over and conk himself on the head. I was more curious than bright in them days. Like anything you have around children, you have to watch them and sometimes think for them. It's a bloody miracle some of us ever managed to grow up in one piece at all.