Football field composite fencing
Rebound boards, barriers and walls
Five, six and seven-a-side football pitches are normally enclosed. On indoor pitches the walls of the building are often used to form some or all of the boundaries. Walls must be impact resistant and smooth and finishes should prevent flaking or dusting. There must be no protrusions (structural columns, beams, etc) extending from the walls into the pitch i.e. the face of the wall should follow a straight line. Doors should be avoided, but where no other option exists they must only open outwards.
Where rebound boards (permanent or portable) are used these should be at least 1.2m high. The use of suspended nets above the boards is also common to ensure balls remain within the area of the pitch and do not interfere with activities on adjacent areas.
Wood plastic composite Fencing
Perimeter fencing is erected around the pitch to contain balls, to protect the playing surface from contamination and to help prevent unauthorised use and vandalism. For small sided football the fencing may also form the boundaries of the pitch.
Fencing heights vary but 3.0m is often used with 4.5m or higher behind goals or where the site requires as many balls as possible to be retained within the playing area (typically adjacent to roads, etc).
There are many factors that need to be considered when designing a fencing system and site developers should undertake an assessment of the site, its proposed use and adjacent properties. The local planning authority will also often have requirements and conditions which need to be met and early consultation is advisable.
Typically football areas are enclosed by 50mm square weld mesh panels or rolls that are suspended from box section posts. Weld-mesh is used, as it is better suited to the repeated impacts of footballs.
The use of more closely spaced 358 gauge weld-mesh is worthy of consideration behind and alongside goals etc (on pitches where rebound walls are not required) as it offers even greater resistance to the repeated impacts of footballs.
Steelwork should be galvanised to minimise premature corrosion and can be plastic coated to improve its appearance and provide a bright colourful appearance.
Where appropriate, on small sided football pitches, rebound walls can be installed. These are normally 1.2m high and constructed from a variety of materials (normally exterior grade timber panels that are stained or painted, homogenous resin based exterior grade boarding, timber planking or block/brickwork). Whilst the use of exterior or marine grade timber panels and pressure treated timber planks will extend the life of the boards, cracking and delamination can occur in the longer term meaning periodic replacement will be required and this needs to be budgeted for in the life cycle costs of the facility.
If timber planks or slats are used they should be smooth planed to a minimum thickness of 20mm. Mounting bolts for planks and panels should be roundhead on the inside face of the pitch. Suitable provision for expansion and contraction of the boards or planks should be allowed for in the design.
The repeated noise of balls rebounding from the boards can also be a source of great annoyance to neighbours of small sided football pitches and is often a contentious issue when planning approval is being sought. The use of rebound fencing manufactured from dense (358 gauge) weld mesh panels seems to reduce the noise generated by balls striking the fence and also overcomes many of the cracking and delamination problems associated with timber panels. The open nature of the mesh is also particularly desirable on sites where bulling or abusive of the area is likely, as there are no areas that are out of site allowing supervision and viewing of the total area.
Access gates and doors should open outwards to ensure the safety of players. Single gates should be at least 1.2m wide to allow sport wheelchair access and gate thresholds should be level or slightly ramped (i.e. not stepped). Gates should also be positioned so they do not to create congested gathering points.