DIY a Tetherball Set in 7 Steps

An orange tetherball hanging from a rope on a galvanized pole surrounded by dirt.
What You'll Need
Tetherball pole: 8-foot galvanized steel pole (16 gauge)
2 pieces of rebar, 1 foot long each
¼ inch eye bolt, longer than 2 inches
2 washers, ¼ inch
1 nut, ¼ inch
1 lock washer, ¼ inch
Galvanized wire (14 gauge or more)
2-3 bags of cement
Water (for cement)
Helping hands (1-3 people)
An old tire (optional)

Tetherball is an outdoor game that's fun for both kids and adults, and it's easy to set up in your own backyard. There are a couple different ways to create a tetherball pole, depending on whether you want one that’s permanent or one that can be moved around the yard. You only need a few items to get started, and the next thing you’ll know, you have your own tetherball set that doesn’t take a big chunk out of your wallet.

Step 1 - Gather the Materials

You must have all materials together and ready to go to make a tetherball that’ll stay in place. Make sure all nuts and washers are ¼ inch, and that your eye bolt is long enough to go completely through the galvanized pole and be bolted in place.

Step 2 - Drill Holes in the Pole

Your galvanized steel pole should be 8 feet long. Drill holes into both ends before even thinking about putting it in cement. Drill a hole about an inch and a half from one end, straight through the pole where the eye bolt will go. This requires two holes in a straight line, so make sure to just keep drilling straight through to the second side.

Additional drill holes are required on the opposite end of the pole, just a few inches up or down from each other. Again, drill straight through the pole, making a hole for one of your 1-foot pieces of rebar. Drill another “line” of holes straight across from each other for the second piece of rebar, about 3 inches away (up or down the pole) from the others, creating an "X" effect so the rebar is crisscrossed.

Step 3 - Attach the Eye Bolt

Push the eye bolt through the steel pole at the first end you drilled to make sure it fits. Use a washer and nut on each side to ensure the eye bolt stays in place. This is where you will attach your tetherball at the very end of this process.

Step 4 - Insert the Rebar

The rebar will help hold the tetherball pole in place, whether you decide to make one that is movable and in a tire or not. One of the biggest complaints about a tetherball pole is that they loosen and begin to lean and wobble after multiple games and usage. To prevent this, put both pieces of rebar through the holes you already drilled at the other end of the pole to create an "X" shape. Make sure the poles are within a few inches of each other so they can be bound together in that "X" shape with the galvanized wire. Wrap the wire around the middle cross section of the pole, where the rebar comes together. Wrap it around the rebar and pole multiple times until the rebar is bound tightly in place.

Step 5 - Mix the Cement and Place the Pole

If you want to have a permanent tetherball pole, dig a hole with the shovel that’s around 2 feet deep and wide enough for the pole and the rebar. If using the tire to create a movable tetherball, lay the tire flat on the ground. Mix the cement according to the directions on the package, using the bucket and water. You will need a few helpers to hold the pole in place while you pour the cement either into the hole or the tire, but over the rebar. Without helpers, the pole can easily fall at a tilted angle, and can be very difficult to move back into place once the cement has been poured.

Step 6 - Allow the Cement to Dry

Once the cement begins to dry, you should be able to let go of the pole and allow it to dry completely. Drying time will depend on the cement you use; refer to the instructions on the package. Don't attempt to use the tetherball prematurely, as it could push the pole loose.

Step 7 - Attach the Tetherball

When the cement is completely dry, the only thing left to do is attach the tetherball. It can be tied to the eye bolt at the top of the pole, or connected with a metal clip for easy removal.

Play the day away and have a blast with your new tetherball pole!