21 September 2022

Goal Posts and Nets

By Tolga Genç

Under the 1863 laws of the game, there was no crossbar, band, or rope in the goal. However, to mitigate the controversy, a tape had to be used from 1866, and its first final application was for the first FA Cup final in 1872. Experiments with permanent rods began over the next few years, Sheffield FC and Queen’s Park used them in England, and eventually, rods instead of strings became mandatory in 1882.

Source: A History of the Football Goalpost

As with the crossbar, goal nets were not considered necessary under the 1863 rules. However, the transition to goal nets quickly began to appear as a measure to help determine which side the kicks went. Within the next decade of the permanent crossbar, goal nets also became regular. The 1892 FA Cup final between West Bromwich Albion and Aston Villa was the first to use the crossbar and net.

Source: A History of the Football Goalpost

In the construction of goal posts, wooden and usually fir square or round cross-sections were expected from the 1860s to the 1970s. In the 1980s, most professional clubs replaced wooden posts with more substantial, durable aluminum/steel. Aluminum soon gained popularity as elliptical poles became more and more common. However, the oval mast was developed in Nottingham in 1920 by the company Standard Goals, and Nottingham Forest is thought to have been the first team to use them. When the poles were installed, they were more substantial, durable, easier to maintain, and lighter.