Our New Tetherball/Swingball Court
Announcing... a great new way for our guests to have fun at the Evergreen Forest! We just completed a regulation-sized tetherball court. The entire area is filled with sand, so you can play in bare feet if you like! We call it our Beach Tetherball Court. We had such a great time building it (the kids didn't think so), we thought you might be interested in seeing how we did it.
Build Your Own Beach Tetherball Court
Step 1: Drive a stake into a reasonably level part of your yard and use a 10-foot string or rope to scribe a 20-foot diameter circle on the grass. Follow this line with a sod-cutting shovel, and remove all the sod from the enclosed area. Make your sod pieces about 2 inches thick. If your site is perfectly flat, use the sod somewhere else on your property. If not, place the sod on the low side of the hole, but a few feet away from the edge. Now dig a level-bottomed hole such that you're down at least 8 inches on the high side of the hole. On the low side, the depth may only be an inch or two; that's OK. If you have to dig deeper than 12 inches on the high side to make a level bottom, it might be wise to choose a more level site! Place all soil in a ring around the low side, but not too close to the edge.
Step 2: If you have anxious children waiting to play tetherball (I did), do this step right away. The concrete base needs a few days to harden enough for use; let it harden while you do the landscaping work. Get a 12" sonotube, and use a piece at least 24 inches long to make a pole base. This will hold about three bags of quick-mix concrete. Don't embed a permanent pole in the concrete; much better is to embed or bolt a pole base, into which the pole can be socketed. In this manner, the tetherball pole can be removed and replaced with one for another game (swingball comes to mind) .
Step 3: Use some strips of thin plywood or 1/4-inch floor underlayment to shore up the low side of the hole so that a new edge is created that's level with the high side. For my hole, I had to go about two-thirds of the way around to achieve this, and I used 8-inch strips. Back the plywood with wood stakes; it may be necessary to screw the plywood to the stakes to hold them level.
Step 4: Now smooth the soil around the low side of the hole, and bring it up to within 2 inches of the top of the plywood strips. You'll need that room for the sod. Try to blend this soil at the edges to the existing grass.
Step 5: Install the sod on the landscaped soil. Water it well if you're working in hot, dry weather. If necessary, leave a blending ring of soil around the edge of the sod, through which your existing grass can grow. Doing this will prevent a bump at the transition between the original and new grades.
Step 6: Fill your hole with about 1 cubic yard of sand for each inch of depth. Beach sand is nice and soft; screened sand gives better grip. When the sand is well settled (a good rain helps), pull up the stakes, plywood and any remaining fasteners. A nice touch is to install a garden divider around the perimeter. It doesn't really keep the sand in, but it looks professional. Install the pole and tetherball and start having fun!