Introduction: Soccer Penalty Kicks Game With Wiring and Arduino

About: My hobbies are surpassing the time I devote to my (serious) work!

This is an interactive electro-mechanical game situated between electronics and the real world, making you part of the action. You save goals using a control device and kick the ball with your fingers.

The more players the better (we have played 8 people!). The video above shows the construction phase of the project and several sample penalty kicks. The project involves a variety of electronic components such as:

I'll describe the main parts of the game. Please leave a comment if you want more details on a particular step or any detail at all from non-described parts. I'm not an expert on electronics, but I'm aware of several improvements for the game, please be gentle if you want to suggest me one ;)

Step 1: Game Controller

We will use the game controller while playing the game to decide to where and when to move the goalkeeper. To build it we need LEDs, push buttons, capacitors, resistors, and a 74HC595 Shift Register. This was one of the toughest parts to make, but after some attempts it works very well.

Step 2: Move the Goalkeeper (horizontal and Rotational Movements)

The goalkeeper will have 3 movements, here we'll see the first two. Rotational movement will allow the goalkeeper to save low balls with his hands, whereas the horizontal one allows him to reach the vertical goalposts.

We need a micro gearmotor, a servo, some rope, a pulley system, and some kind of toy car.

See Step 4 for the circuit.

Step 3: Move the Goalkeeper (vertical Movement)

To make the goalkeeper jump we use two servos and a wood made structure with pulleys.

Step 4: Main Circuit

Here we connect the control device with circuits for goalkeeper movements as well as with a power source. In the diagram, you can see the electronic components employed.

You can have a look at the source code of the game at:

Step 5: Assembling All Together

At this point, we have the main mechanism working. Now we need to work on how players will use it and interact with it.

We use wood agglomerate (MDF) for the game structure. All 8 boards are 1.5cm thick with these other dimensions:

  • 62cm x 15cm: Support for the grandstand
  • 62cm x 55cm: Support for the artificial grass
  • 65cm x 70cm: Base of the structure
  • 15cm x 70cm (2 of these): Lateral inner boards
  • 22cm x 70cm (2 of these): Lateral outer boards
  • 59cm x 15cm: Front board of the box (seen from the kicker player's perspective)

Between the first 2 boards we opened a little rectangular hole to let the base of the goalkeeper move.

We also used artificial grass; curtain rod and net for the goal itself; and a switch and a potentiometer to control game modes: 1) Control device or 2) manually resetting the goalkeeper to the initial position.

Step 6: Whistle

Yes, we need some signal to let both players (goalkeeper and kicker) know when exactly to start the action. We use both audio and light signals to indicate it.

Hear the whistle here:

To build the whistle we use:

  • ATtiny85
  • Piezo speaker
  • Capacitor (10µF)
  • Resistors (3x330Ω, 1x10KΩ)
  • Push button
  • Batteries (2xCR2016)

You can have a look at the source code of the whistle at

Step 7: Accessories

Finally, we add some accessories to the game in order to count goals, catch the ball after each penalty kick, let others know which teams are involved, fill the grandstands with people, and let the trophy visible, among other details.

Step 8: We're Ready! Are You?

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