How to Build a Water Polo Goal

Growing up I use to play water polo with my swim team, and we loved it.

I live in a little cove that I thought would be great for playing the sport so I set out to buy a couple of goals and balls.

The balls were easy: one for the adults and one for the kids.

The goals, that was a different story…

The only goal that I thought was worth buying cost $2000!!!

Anything else had just terrible reviews or was too small.

The solution: DIY

The best video I found was just ok:

Making a Floating Water polo Goal from Mladen Grabovac on Vimeo.


The video above did not do it for me so I kept looking and found this website: How to make a water polo goal

I followed most of the directions on the website except welding (which would have added $200 or more to each goal).


I bought most of the materials at Menards:

  1. 2 sheets of Marine plywood: $110
  2. 4 x 4 x 12′ timber, treated, green, 2 of these. $30
  3. 1/2 inch metal pipes. $20
  4. Connecting pieces. $20
  5. This tool is essential: Bender head and handle. $80
  6. Lots of deck screws and some marine glue.
  7. A net (Amazon): $35

8. Something to make it float: I used a combination of noodles and boat bumpers that I bought at Costco.

The connecting pieces are shown below and consist of a circular plate and a short tube that screws into the plate. The frame tube goes inside the short tube and is secured by drilling a hole through both and placing a nut and bolt:

Water polo goal frame


Material costs total around $220. You will also need basic tools and a circular saw.

How to build a water polo goal

  1. First, you need to cut and join the plywood as explained in this document (from How to cut plywood for a water polo goal
  2. Step 2 is to cut the 4 by 4 (or 2 by 4’s) as explained here: How to make the frame of the water polo goal
  3. Next, you have to bend the 1/2 inch pipes. There are 2 methods for this:
    1. Trial and error
    2. For the math inclined: calculate angles and use the numbers on the bender to approximate the angles, then adjust as needed until both ends reach the frame and base perpendicular to them (this is how I did it).
  4. Lastly, place the circular plate and the short screwable segment on the frame and base, followed by the 1/2 inch bent pipes and proceed to secure the 2 by drilling a hole through both (short screwable segment and 1/2 inch pipe) and the pass a nut and bolt.
  5. Would recommend staining the wood with any deck stain to protect it further from the water.
  6. Place the net
  7. Add as many floaters (boat bumpers, noodles) as needed to make the thing float (trial and error).


After doing all the above I concluded that a fancy $1900 water polo goal was not as unreasonable as I originally thought!

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