How To Make Your Own High Quality Goaltimate Kit

by | March 10, 2015, 7:45am 20

Author’s Note: As of 2016, this article is now out of date. Skip Sewell has innovated and created a USA Goaltimate-approved kit that is both more transportable and less expensive. It can be purchased at http://goaltimatekits.ultimatecentral.com.

With the oft-repeated lore that players from teams like Sockeye, Revolver, Ironside, Fury, and Nightlock play during the offseason to keep their throws sharp and their disc movement speedy, it’s no surprise that players from around the country (and even the world) are showing increasing curiosity about goaltimate.

A new league has sprouted up in Portland, Oregon, joining cities like Seattle, Madison, Atlanta, San Diego and New Orleans, and this weekend, the second Golden Gate Goaltimate Games will reunite 11 men’s and 8 women’s teams from around the country to battle for the championship in the USA’s biggest nationwide goaltimate tournament.

Goaltimate is easy to set up, can be played with only eight players (and as little as six, if you want to go down to three on three), and due to the fact that everyone gets more touches, is a lot more fun than pickup ultimate, in this writer’s opinion. There’s only one problem: getting one’s hands on a kit.

Rick Conner, the man credited with taking goaltimate around the nation in the 2000s, used to sell official goaltimate kits on his website. They were made out of PVC and featured their own carrying case, a rulebook, an disc, cones, and stakes. Not a bad deal. But in 2009, the site went offline. Since then, avid players have shared tips for homemade PVC kits, like this one from the Albuquerque Ultimate Association. The problem with these cheap plastic kits, however, is that they’re bulky and fragile. There’s always that guy in every group that constantly runs into the kit, and before long, all that’s left are shards of PVC.

Luckily, there’s a better way. Circling around the Bay Area for many years now has been plans for a kit using sturdy metal tent poles, sold by a vendor with the unfortunate name of polesforyou.com (thankfully, they’ve since rebranded to tentpoletechnologies.com) TentPole Technologies happens to sell custom tent poles, which are easy to assemble, very slick-looking, and best of all, can be folded down and easily transported.

Note: I have no professional relationship with TentPole Technologies. They just happen to have a great product.

Here’s what you’ll need to do:

  1. Contact the folks at TentPole Technologies and order 14 sections of Easton tubing, .625 inches in diameter, and 364 inches long. The tubing comes in black, silver, or gold. The total should be around $131 (not including shipping).
  2. Go to your local hardware store and buy your stakes:  1/2 inch steel rods, 36 inches long. Here’s an example from Home Depot.
  3. Optional: When you’re at the hardware store, buy some buckets with lids and fill them with sand. You’ll need these if you’re playing on turf.
  4. Once everything comes together, simply stake the poles 18 feet apart (you’ll want to use a rubber mallet if you have hard ground, using a hammer can destroy the ends of the poles) and slide the tent poles over the stakes.
Once assembled, it should look something like this

Once assembled, it should look something like this

You’re now free to enjoy your own high quality goaltimate kit! With proper care, this should last for years of once-a-week play.

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  • RobbieS49

    Looks like they don’t carry Easton anymore? Is the brand particularly important?

    http://tentpoletechnologies.com/?p=596

    • Liam

      When I last ordered in June 2014 they seemed to. However, I wouldn’t recommend using their cart system, it’s best to contact them (http://tentpoletechnologies.com/?page_id=13) with your custom order to make sure they get it right.

      • RobbieS49

        Good call, thanks Liam!

  • RobbieS49

    Looks like they don’t carry Easton anymore? Is the brand particularly important?

    http://tentpoletechnologies.com/?p=596

  • Emory Crane

    I’m happy to hear Goaltie is growing so quickly! I always keep my homemade set in my trunk, just in case of pickup, a dull practice, or a reason to stay active during a long bye between tournament games. I would offer some points in favor of the pvc piping: 1) I made my set for $50, and most of that money went to bright yellow paint meant for outdoor furniture. The paint makes the piping easier to see at a distance and also around dusk, in addition to protecting the pvc from sun damage. I used the Albuquerque design, but forwent the clasps in exchange for buying more poles and just cutting them into parts so I had an open end on each pole. Saves money and setup/takedown time. 2) For the price I paid, I could make 3 pvc sets for the price of just the poles for the tent option. The pvc are thicker, more easily visible while playing, and can sustain a sharp impact from a disc. People running into them dies cause damage over time, but it’s nothing a new $2 pole and leftover paint can’t cure. Because they’re so cheap, easy, and long lasting, I’ve even considered them for presents to friends and teammates. Goaltie 4 lyfe!!!

  • Joaq

    100% chance Shy travelled on the throw in the top picture.

    • Shy

      Fact, I traveled before, during, AND after. I’m totally honored to be a part of this article.

  • BrookDaves

    Got my PVC kit in the back of my truck always – cost me ~$25 for the 1″ pipes (cut them at Home Depot), the 10-pack of 1″ couplets and the two 2′ rebar stakes. Got it ready to go.

    I would rather be playing goaltimate.

    • Anyone who’s had a game come to a screeching halt for 10-15 minutes because the PVC came apart during the game will love these hoops. They take an amazing amount of collisions but you do have to be careful. They shear apart sometimes where the rebar meets the aluminum leaving a 10 inch serrated piece of aluminum sheathed by a rebar stake sticking out of the ground. Very dangerous.

      If you’d rather be playing Goalty, try giving dischoops a try sometime. It’s fun.

  • jK

    Sometime in the early 2000’s he let the goaltimate.com domain name lapse and now it’s owned by a Russian domain poacher. I talked to him a few years back about selling the name and he wanted thousands.

  • I invented this 10 years ago. Here’s a photo of Ben Wiggins in 2005 in Santa Cruz under one of my hoops.

    • Liam

      Frank, was it you who found the poles4u site? Always thought it was Pete Washington.

      • I got my tubes originally from Easton back in the day and subsequently I was referred to the poles4u site by the Easton rep when Easton stopped selling to me directly.

        I just would like credit where credit is due. Both the shocked corded, brushed aluminum kit plus the artificial turf holders are my invention. Here’s another photo from 2005, Santa Cruz with Pete Washington at the game. If Pete’s taking credit for my invention, that’s unfortunate, but not surprising. Just like so many of my innovations in Ultimate, credit is not forth coming and others take the credit for things I’ve developed

        Play dischoops sometime Liam. It’s a much better all around game than Goalty. Talk to Conor Ranahan this weekend at the tourney. He’s dying to play ‘schoops! I’m sure you could get Taylor and another 6 together to play (you’ll need to gather 9 players all together so that you can have a ref).

    • Alex

      Not trying to troll here but this reminds me of something hilarious;)

      • I was never someone who was a big Wiggins fan, (in fact 100% the opposite) but when you’re trying to establish a date to verify an invention and you’ve got a photo with someone in it, you use it.

  • If you really want to get classy, build your own astroturf hoop holders. They rock. 80 Pound Steel plates with high tension springs welded on to them, and with turf glued on to cover the steel.

    • Liam

      Now this is intriguing. Where did you buy the parts?

      • I had them manufactured. This kit is awesome but expensive. Each plate was about $100 to make, and so for Dischoops that’s $400 plus two hoops, but worth it.

    • gman

      Can you buy these bases already welded? Or do you need to forge them yourself?

      • I had a blacksmith do it for me. I’ve got extras but they’re expensive and you’d have to pay freight, they’re not light.

        I had to make a lot of prototypes to finally figure out the right combination of spring strength and plate weight. Springs were either two ‘springy’ which meant they couldn’t hold up the poles, or they were two stiff in which case they didn’t have any give.

        After I found the best spring, I also had manufactured some regular sod holders with about an 8″ rebar with the spring welded on. I had the rebar ground to a point so they go into the ground easier and stay.