Building a Tetherball Set for Your Backyard

A backyard tetherball set.
What You'll Need
Pole (about 12 feet long)
Tetherball and rope
Mounting clip
Level (4 foot or longer)
Post hole digger
Water/ Hose
Wooden braces

A game of tetherball is a popular activity that people of all ages can enjoy. While these game areas are normally found on playgrounds, homeowners can easily set up their own. The tools and equipment are relatively inexpensive for this DIY installation, and you don’t need much outdoor space. Here's a brief guide on how to build a tetherball set for your backyard.

Step 1—Select an Appropriate Location

Location will be the most important decision when considering your setup. The pole for the game should be located several feet away from any wall, building, or obstacle. This will ensure plenty of room for the ball to swing, regardless of how long the rope is or how high it swings. Remember to consider the safety of those playing and give them enough space to run around freely.

Step 2—Clear the Area for the Pole

A backyard tetherball court.

Next, clear the area of any outdoor furniture, toys, or lawn features where you want to place the pole. Give yourself lots of room to work. Make sure that you don't run the risk of digging into any electrical or gas lines, as this could be very dangerous. Remove any debris, plants, or rocks that might be in the area as well, making a flat, safe surface for future players.

Step 3—Dig a Hole

Use a shovel to roughly level out the area. It doesn't have to be entirely level yet, as you'll return to this part after the pole is mounted, but a flat base will make it easier to install the pole. You’ll want to dig a hole two feet into the ground using a post hole digger. Measure the tetherball pole base to ensure that the hole is wide enough. Read all instructions before doing any digging to make sure of any specific requirements.

Step 4—Mix and Pour Cement

Once the hole is dug, make sure that the pole base fits nicely. Then, mix the cement with water according to the instructions on the cement packaging. Quick setting cement can be handy, but if you don’t have a lot of experience mixing cement it may be best to go with a standard variety so you aren't worried about it setting too fast. Pour the cement, only filling the hole halfway.

Step 5—Mount the Pole

Place the base of the tetherball pole into the cement in the bottom of the hole before it has a chance to set. Use a level (minimum four-foot) to ensure that the pole is mounted straight. Pour in the remaining cement to bring the hole up to ground level, being careful not to overfill. It’s easier to place dirt, gravel, or grass over top of the cement, but any raised bump will be difficult to flatten once the cement has hardened. Use wooden braces to ensure the pole stays in a straight position while the cement sets overnight.

Step 6—Complete the Tetherball Area

Lastly, attach the tetherball and rope to the top of the pole using the mounting clip. Make sure that the rope is as long or as short as you'd like so that it doesn't drag the ball on the ground or hit any other items in the area. Figure out the diameter needed for the play area and level out the ground around the pole to that distance.

Installing a tetherball set is an easy and fun DIY project you can finish in under a few hours. With these simple steps, you'll have a fun outdoor game that friends and family can enjoy for a long time.