My kids received a badminton set from their grandmother last summer which we have enjoyed immensely and play it often especially as an after dinner family game. The problem is that it is cumbersome to set up and take down for mowing the grass and the kids keep tripping over the guy wires when running through the yard, especially after dark. I decided to make a PVC net holder that didn't use guy wires to hold it up.
UPDATE May, 2019: We moved after 15 years at our old house. My "kids" are in college now but we still play badminton a lot. I used the same setup at our new house except the net I bought is nicer and a little heavier so I used 1" PVC poles with 1-1/4" PVC anchors and they fit inside just fine and are much sturdier than 3/4" pipe.
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Here is the net set up as it was designed. It uses two 3-section metal poles that are starting to rust with guy wires on either end to hold them up. I replaced the cheap strings and plastic stakes with heavier duty nylon cord and metal tent stakes but it was still a pain to set up and take back down.
By now ya'll know my fondness for PVC so I decided to replace the metal poles with PVC pipe so we could leave it up all the time without it rusting apart. That isn't too much of a problem but I also wanted to eliminate the guy wires if possible. The problem with PVC is that it is flexible so it isn't very sturdy unless you build a framework out of it using connectors. I researched professional badminton and volleyball net systems and came across this volleyball net that uses flexed poles instead of guy wires to keep tension on the net. I decided to adapt that concept for PVC but also to sink permanent female anchors into the ground instead of using temporary male anchors.
I bought a 10-foot long piece of 1-1/4" PVC pipe and cut off about a 2-foot section and drew a line around the pipe at the 18" mark. I drove the pipe down into the ground with a mini sledge hammer at about a 10 degree angle away from the center of the net. I would beat the PVC pipe down into the ground several inches then pull it out and bang it against the edge of the driveway to knock out the packed dirt and then repeat the process until the 18" line mark was at ground level.
After I finished coring the holes with that scrap piece of 1-1/4" PVC, I cut two new pieces of 1-1/4" PVC pipe 18 inches long and beveled the top end roughly the same angle I had driven the pipes into the ground. I then gently tapped them into the holes until the ends were flush with the ground.
I then inserted a 10 foot long piece of 3/4" PVC pipe into each 1-1/4" anchor sleeve and then cut off the top so the top of the net would be regulation badminton height of 5 ft 1 in. I drilled a hole through the top of each pipe and threaded a nylon cord through it and tied off the top of the net. I then drilled another hole a couple of feet further down and secured the bottom of the net.
Here is the finished product. The tension of the flexed PVC pipe holds up the net perfectly. No more guy wires and it can easily be pulled up temporarily to mow the grass or store for the winter. An added benefit is that you can literally push the net down all the way to the ground and then let go and it just springs back up so hopefully that will help the net last longer and if anyone accidentally gets clotheslined it won't hurt them.
Now I can throw all this junk away :) Thanks for looking!
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