We tested the 5X8 model of the GAMEMAKER portable goal which will be available July, 2013.
The description from their website describes the goal as:
The 5x8 GAMEMAKER goal is an excellent starter goal with a variety of uses: a match play goal for the U5’s & U6’s, a training goal for the U9’s to U11’s and a backyard practice goal for players of all ages and abilities. Don’t be fooled by the conventional goal appearance and playability, this goal is transportable and the soft flexible PVC tubing makes it safe during play as well.
Surprisingly compact, the goal arrived in an easy to transport and light weight bag which allows coaches, players, and parents the ability to take the goal with them to practice, a friends house, or even to the beach.
The goal is designed with an inflatable frame which I initially imagined would take a while to "pump up". Anyone who has ever had to inflate a backyard swimming pool knows how time consuming inflating something large can be. This was not the case with the GAMEMAKER because the pump that is included is extremely light wight and effective. The goal was set-up and ready for action in less than 5 minutes!
On to the action, my test subjects where both my children and neighborhood kids as well as a test with my u10 girls team. On grass the goal is easy to secure given the hooks included however since my girls team practices on turf, hooks are not an option. The directions suggested the use of small sand bags to secure the goal but we did not have any available. So we pressed on.
The results from the backyard session with the kids from the neighborhood where great. The children where impressed with the look and size of the goal and the GAMEMAKER easily handled any and all punishment handed out by the kids. Our backyard already contained a trampoline and swing set and the addition of the 5X8 goal did not really take away much more of our play area which was a good thing.
During the practice session with the girls the goal was much more steady than anticipated even without sand bags and since the frame is constructed of an inflated PVC tubing there was little to no risk of injury should the players run into the goal during our drills. Again, the GAMEMAKER did an excellent job standing up to everything the girls could dish out and believe me they where doing there best to "test the limits" of the new practice goal.
Overall with the compact, light weight, portable design, along with the ease of set-up and durability of the GAMEMAKER - VA Soccer News and the kids that helped us test the goal all highly recommend this as a perfect option to add to your backyard collection or coaching tool box. Our only wish is that the goal where more easily secured when used on turf fields. A near perfect 9 our of 10.