Football is a passionate sport, and the fans are no different. From face paint to tattoos, fans love to celebrate their gladiators on and off the field. Tailgate parties play an important role in the comradery and rivalry of the season. To keep the crowds content, there must be food and entertainment lest the masses turn on each other instead of letting their teams decide who will rule the day.
Part of the entertainment includes games that are portable, easy to set up and break down. Sure, there are bean bag tosses and frisbees, but this is football, people! “Who brought the football?” is a question posed at every tailgate party. It is just a matter of time before the pigskin comes out and the games truly begin.
Playing catch with fellow fans brings people together while spreading them apart. “Go long!” means the football is now spanning far beyond your parking space in the lot or taking up the entire yard. A throw that goes wrong can crash into items like a grill, causing dangerous fires.
Running wild to catch the ball, especially after a beer or two, can end with bystanders or the participants getting seriously hurt during a collision. Keep the fun safe by building a target. A DIY football toss is easy to make, impresses your friends, and limits the space needed to play.
Materials / Tools
You can go as simple or decorative as you like by choosing team colors and logos to put on the back of the toss board. This tutorial is designed to be easy to follow and yield a sturdy project, so don’t feel tied down when it comes to the paint scheme.
You may need some special tools for this project, so maybe recruit a friend with a workspace or garage in case your DIY takes longer than expected.
- Sandpaper or sanding sponge
- Staple gun and staples
- Safety equipment (goggles, gloves, etc.)
- Measuring tape
- Wire cutter
- 1/2 and 1/8-inch drill bits
- Reciprocating saw
- Circular saw
- Go the extra mile with your team colors
- Small nails (any type) – quantity 1
- Twine – 1 foot
- Wood screws
- 1 ¼ in (#10 screws) – quantity 16
- ¾ in (#10 screws) – quantity 12
- Plywood boards
- 1/4” x 2’ x 4’ board – quantity 1
- 1’ x 4’ x 12” board – quantity 2
- 2 ½ in utility hinges – quantity 2
Begin by measuring out and marking the boards with all the needed cuts. Laying out this plan will keep you on track, especially if work is interrupted.
- Measure the frame
- Leg pieces
- Take one of the 1’ x 4’ x 12” boards and measure out three leg pieces. They are 48” in length, and four inches across.
- On the other board, measure out the last leg. Again, it is 48” in length.
- Brace pieces
- After measuring out one leg, use the remaining portion of the board and pencil out four braces.
- Each brace is 1” x 4” x 2’
- Front board
- Using the 2’ x 4’ board, measure out a 1’ x 3’ section. This is the target face of your DIY football toss
- Leg pieces
- Cut the legs, braces and front panel using the circular saw.
- Sand off the edges with the sandpaper or sponge.
Set the front panel aside for later and assemble the frame.
- Lay two legs flat and make sure they are two feet apart from each other
- Put one brace across the front of the legs, flush with the top.
- Place the second brace three feet from the top.
- Secure each brace with the 1 ¼” wood screws
- To avoid splitting the wood, drill a smaller hole with a 1/8″ bit first
REPEAT STEPS 4 – 7 to make a second, identical frame.
- Measure the front panel
- Mark two spots in the center of the board.
- One spot nine inches from the top, and
- One spot nine inches from the bottom
- Hammer a small nail into each mark made above
- Draw circles using a nail and twine
- Attach the one foot of string or twine to your pencil and the other end to a nail. Draw a circle around the center point (keep the string tight!)
- Repeat the process, but use only four inches of the string instead of the whole foot
This will leave you with two circles – one 12” diameter and the other an 8” diameter.
- Remove the nails and drill a small hole in the center of each circle
- Using the reciprocating saw, cut out both circles
Finish the assembly
- Line the front panel flush with the top, in between the braces. Attach the panel using two ¼” wood screws.
- Line up the two frames (one with a front panel, one without) flat and end to end with the braces facing up (plywood facing down so the frame folds correctly)
- Attach the hinges to the top of each frame.
- Check the folding capabilities for securing and function before moving on to paint. If the legs are uneven, some extra sanding may be in order.
- Paint or stain the football toss in your favorite style
Professional players know that being a successful quarterback is more than just arm strength. Chucking the football 50 yards is impressive, but only QBs with “the touch” win games. Accuracy and precision are arguably more important than brute strength. Quarterbacks with long-standing careers have also suffered injuries and learn their limitations. The calculations for passer ratings involve more than just yardage.
Using your DIY football toss is perfect for honing passing skills and learning touch. Slamming the ball into the board doesn’t score points. Set the board up at home or in the park, at birthday parties and family reunions. This portable game is playable year-round so make it solid and have fun!
Feature Image via Hallmark Channel