One of the main focuses of a soccer game is the goal. When you strip soccer down to its bare bones, the goal is the most important aspect of the whole sport.
You cannot win a game with the goal, or more specifically without getting the ball into the goal. When you play soccer casually as a child, you can make a goal out of anything including sweatshirts and trash cans.
However, when you play the game on a professional basis or as a competitive sport, there are more standard goals. In this article, we will look at how big a soccer goal is for adult and youth classifications in the US and UK.
Does Size Matter?
One of the main questions that get asked when people think about the size of a goal in soccer is, does the size actually matter? The answer to this is, yes.
Not only does Fifa (see also: What Does FIFA mean?)have strict outlines of what size goals should be, but it also has a bearing on how coaches choose to train their players from a tactical standpoint.
Official Adult Soccer Goal Dimensions
As mentioned above, Fifa oversees and regulates soccer around the world. They are the ultimate authority and as such, they are responsible for setting the acceptable dimensions of soccer goals.
The goals in adult soccer leagues, the crossbar of the goal, the bar that goes across the top, should stand at 2.44 meters high.
This is also the mandated height for the goal posts. The distance between the two goal posts must be 7.32 meters across or 24 feet.
The goal line is drawn between the base of the two posts and should be directly in line with the crossbar.
The three bars that make up the frame of the goal, the two posts and the crossbar, should all measure the same depth and width as each other.
The painted goal line should also be the same width as the posts. The widths of the posts, crossbar, and goal line cannot be more than 12 centimeters.
It is these four boundaries that make up the goal area. A net is added to the back of the goal to prevent the ball from going too far. The net can also help to protect any spectators that are sat behind the goal.
There are also rules and regulations that apply to the net of the goal. A net on a soccer goal is only permitted if it is properly attached to the posts, the crossbar, and to the ground a distance from the goal line.
The net should also not get in the way of the goalie or hinder him in any way.
The net and the frame of the goal must be white to be approved by Fifa to help keep it visible to the players.
The posts and crossbar themselves can be round, square, or rectangular in shape and should be made out of wood or metal.
If the posts are square or rectangular, they should not pose any threat to the players on the pitch. The goals at both ends of the pitch should be positioned directly in the middle of the goal line.
These dimensions are standard and apply to all adult soccer matches around the world. However, the dimensions obviously change as you move down into youth divisions.
Official Youth Soccer Goal Dimensions
It goes without saying that the further down the youth divisions you go, the smaller the goals are going to be.
This is because you can’t expect a child to successfully defend a goal that has been designed for someone who is 6 foot tall (see also: How Tall Is Neymar?).
Although Fifa have strict regulations about the dimensions of their adult soccer goals, the size of goals for youth divisions tends to change depending on the league that you are in.
If you are looking to purchase a goal for a child’s club, you should check the recommended size for your league with the coach.
The difference in the size of the goals between youth leagues is largely due to the size of the teams that play.
Younger soccer players often play 5-a-side, 7-a-side, or 9-a-side matches instead of a full 11-a-side match that teenagers and adults play.
The goals for youth divisions are also different when you are in the United Kingdom and the United States.
In the United Kingdom, a full-sized goal isn’t used until soccer players turn 13 years old. Before this point both the pitches and the goal sizes are significantly smaller.
At the ages of U7 and U8, children play 5-a-side soccer that is designed to hone their ball (see also: How To Deflate A Soccer Ball)skills and build their team work.
The goal size for this age group is 6 feet tall and 12 feet wide. This goal size is also used for U9 and U10 leagues.
U11 and U12 play on slightly larger goals. These goals stand at 7 feet tall and 16 feet wide.
U13 and U14 leagues begin playing 11-a-side soccer. Fifa recommends that they use goals that are 7 feet tall and 21 feet wide. If this size isn’t available, it is possible to use full-sized goals at this age.
In the US the goal recommendations are slightly different. For the U6 league, Fifa recommends goals that measure 4 feet tall by 6 feet wide.
Soccer players at this age play 3 or 4-a-side games to hone their ball skills. The goals remain the same for U8 but the teams increase to 5-a-side.
The goal dimensions change when you reach the U10 leagues. At this point the goals measure either 6 feet tall by 12 feet, or 6 feet by 18 feet. The teams in this league are 7-a-side.
At the U12 league, goals can either be 6 feet by 18 feet, or stretch to 6 feet by 21 feet. The teams at this level are between 9 and 11 players. After this, the soccer players graduate to a full-sized goal.
There are standard regulations that dictate the size of the goals used in soccer matches in adult leagues. The regulations are less strict for youth leagues although there are still recommendations.