Goal post makers say building them higher isn’t easy


The NFL has decided to make the uprights five feet higher this season, and the manufacturers of goal posts say that’s a harder job than the NFL realized.

David Moxley, director of sports construction sales at goal post maker Sportsfield Specialties, told Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic that his company is in the process of an engineering study to determine whether changing the goal posts from 30 feet to 35 feet will make them more susceptible to potentially blowing over on a windy day.

It’s actually pretty significant,” Moxley said. “It isn’t as easy as putting 5-foot extensions on each side.”

Neil Gilman, president of Gilman Gear, agreed.

“I think the NFL thought, ‘Just weld on five more feet and everything will be cool,'” Gilman said. “That’s not the case.”

The companies aren’t saying they can’t add height to the goal posts, but they are saying it’s not as simple as the Competition Committee and the owners might have thought. It’s worth the work necessary to get the call right when a ball passes more than 30 feet over the cross bar, but the work is significant.

52 responses to “Goal post makers say building them higher isn’t easy

  1. that isn’t just the case to just slap 5 more feet on the goal posts. they have to get out of bed, drive into work and actually do stuff. Its a whole ordeal

  2. That is why they pay you to make the goalposts. Get your engineer to redesign using a thicker post to hold the weight and reduce the swaying.

    Yes it will cost more. Yes the NFL has the money.

  3. Seems like they’re clamoring for attention because they want someone to pat them on the back and tell them how much they appreciate what a good job they did.

  4. Composite, anyone? Or still go with steel but set the base in a concrete pillar. Or, you know, actually engineer something…

    What a bunch of lazy, whiny weenies.

  5. If it’s over the height of the existing upright, it’s no good. Why do we do everything to help kickers? We should be making it harder for them.

  6. Why not go with rugby-style two-legged posts then? Is there some charm to the 1-legged variety that we are overlooking?

  7. Holy crap batman…..you don’t have to extend the physical posts 5 ft,,,,either use a laser at the top of each….or do what BB wants…..make the damn thing REVIEWABLE…..thats what he was arguing at the end of the ravens game…a TD,,,a run,,a fumble,,, a completed pass..all reviewable….but a FG is not? why is that diff from a TD? Even today..you cannot review whether a FG was good or not. WTH not?

  8. Everything is so over thought, engineered and studied these days that we never get anything actually done. The interstate highway system was built in basically 4 years, Hoover Dam built in 5 years….Now a days, add 5 feet to a goal post for a game and they want to do a 2 year study…..

  9. Sounds like the NFL needs to put out a request for proposals. Heck, I’ll give them a new design that has a giant razor blade across the crossbar. That way Jimmy Graham will have to decide if losing a hand is worth the 15 yard penalty!

  10. Simply drill small holes in the upright so they’re lighter and allow the wind to pass through.

  11. I’m no engineer, but the obvious answer is to incorporate perforations into the posts to reduce the effects of wind. Now go make millions off my idea.

  12. They are complaining that the are getting more work out of this?

    Pay me, i’ll be more than happy to redesign it for them.

  13. I’m laughing at all the experts that say use PVC, lights or lasers – sorry, that won’t work.

    What happens when the ball breaks the PVC? Was it a good kick?

    What happens when the ball passes through the light or laser?
    Was it a good kick?

    They need something that will deflect the ball when it hits the post. The ball either bounces through the goal post or it bounces away – but you know definitively that the kick was good or not. You can’t achieve that goal with lights or PVC…

  14. This is the green light for the goal post manufacturer to invoke a very big markup. “This is going to be very hard. We will do it but this is very hard to engineer and manufacture. This is like constructing something very big and very costly”

  15. This might be completely crazy but instead of a Y they should look at possibly uses and H shaped. If it had two legs supporting the structure in the back of the end zone you can make it as high as you want.

    I think I have even seen this once somewhere.

  16. Seriously.

    We can put men on the moon to hit golf shots and do doughnuts in lunar rovers – and then return safely to earth — and nearly a half century later, we have a highly compensated supplier of NFL goal posts whining about adding a mere 5 feet to the height of the uprights?

    Unbelievable. I’m sure German engineers are snickering at this pitiful display of incompetence.

    Strengthen the base, put composites in the uprights, you could even make the posts partially meshed to allow air to pass through, etc.

    The last thing I want is some guy who I’m writing gargantuan checks to — is for him to complain that it’s a major inconvenience or it’s simply “too hard for him” to deal with.

    It would be like, NEXXXXXT!!!

  17. Quick, easy and cheap solution that won’t add much in extra weight:

    Rather than have the extra height be metal, simply create stiff foam pylons (like the endzone corner markers) that simply screw into the top of each post.

  18. why not make it a rectangle by putting a bar at the top? If a kicker has to make it through a rectangular box that will also make the extra point harder. You would kill 2 birds with one stone. If it doesn’t go through it’s not good. You will never miss another call again. Simple fix.

  19. Everything in life doesn’t have to be 100% correct all the time. Goal posts are fine as they are and the refs standing underneath each post are more than capable of making the correct or mostly correct call.

  20. All this is is a notice to the NFL that they are going to get charged a premium for this.

  21. You don’t just slap on 5 feet and call it good unless you want lawsuits. Want to design it right? You model the structure, it’s anticipated loads, and do an engineering study to determine the correct materials, design, and assembly process. It’s called engineering.

  22. If this is too difficult for the current goalpost makers, find some new ones that can do it minus the drama and hardships….

  23. Instead of raising the height of the UPRIGHTS, how about raising the height of the CROSSBAR 5 or 10 feet by using a taller base post?

    Then put the ball on the 1 yard line for both PAT kicks AND runs. Kickers would need to loft the ball more to clear the higher crossbar from point blank range. That would result in more 2-pt attempts.

    higher crossbar would encourage more 4th down attempts vs. long field goals. Would serious football fans object to that?

    It would also eliminate the need for the silly “no dunk celebration” rule – If someone can dunk at 15 feet, that would be worth the ticket price all by itself! Heck, anyone who can dunk a football at 12 feet should be awarded another point.

    Of course, any of those changes would tick off the oddsmakers, so the crossbar ideas have absolutely no chance.

  24. Everyone is spot on with their comments here,
    What real corporation makes comments like these? You are in the business of making goalposts, why are you complaining about that.
    The NFL wants you to change a specification, so you can change it and received e revenue. That’s the nature of the business/product cycle.

  25. A couple observations:

    1. More difficult = more money.

    2. At no point did it occur to anyone to consult with the company that engineers and manufactures the goalposts to inquire what the potential challenges would be?

  26. Just have the two tallest dads of some of players join hands and put their outside arms up to make goal posts like when I was in pee wee league.

  27. I don’t see any reason why we don’t just go to some kind of laser for the whole vertical post. Make it the rule that if the ball touches the laser at all, it doesn’t count. They are going to do away with the kicking game eventually, why go through so much trouble to change things now?

  28. The goal post folks are brilliant. They know that they can practically duct tape extensions to the top but they see re-engineering fees and expediting fees and know that the NFL will have to pay now that the rule has changed. Brilliant.

  29. Love all these people saying how simple this is. Pretty sure what the engineers are saying is “We have to do a lot of stuff to make sure these things never break or fall over during a game because if someone got hurt they’d sue us for millions.”

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