Cheap and Easy Upper Hub - Practice Field Element

For teams that want a simple solution for Upper Hub but do not have the resources to build the Simple or Complex version. The following was made from PVC and PEX which you can purchase at most hardware stores. The PEX is not attached to the PVC, it just floats instead of the Tees. There is a PEX Coupler that keeps the PEX together.

I wish that FIRST would build more Practice Field Elements out of PVC because it is very accessible for most teams, no carpenters are needed.




Excellent. We were thinking of just using a hulahoop I have around the classroom. It’s smaller than the hub, but that would make for better shooting.


And to boot, they still design with wood like it’s aluminum.

Seriously First, hire a carpenter for like 3 months and have them prototype and build the elements.
You’ll get double the functionality and accuracy with half the material.


Not gonna lie, until I realised just how big a 4 foot diameter circle is, I fully thought this was a hula-hoop being used here…

1 Like

Can you post the CAD? Thanks :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Jokes aside, this is awesome!


Important that your team realizes the difference in how shots will act here vs actual field feature. If planning lobs only, great solution. Also terrific for prototyping. If you can shoot into this ring, continue developing.

1 Like

Hmmmm. my first thought was why PEX…we are just making a low hoop and could use a few more of those supports. And some garden hose?

Not using it in Wi this time of year anyway!

1 Like

Not sure that what you have this strapped to is PVC, but I do like the PEX idea. We were heading in a similar direction but hadn’t settled on how to build the hoop. Thanks!

This is incredible. Thank you. Not to ask for the moon, but if only we could figure something out like this for climibing :).

Thanks for the inspiration! I like it and I think I’m now off to do something similar…

Already talked and we stopped the purchase of our wood to go grab materials to do this!


Saw this post on my way home from work tonight, drove straight to Home Depot and constructed the upper hub in 15 minutes. This will save my students about 5 hours of carpentry work so we can focus on prototyping instead. Thanks for the tip


Thanks for posting this pic. Please let us know what diameter pvc that is and how difficult it was to bend it into a circle.

1 Like

1" black plastic irrigation pipe, 4 tees and EMT conduit and fittings


I like these, wrap some cardboard to put vision tape on for targeting and we are good

Used 3/4” PEX for the hoop. PEX is actually sold pre-winded if you want, so no bending required — BUT, my local Home Depot only sold it in increments of 100 feet. So instead I bought their 5’ straight sections which could be bent easily after applying some pressure. Used butt connectors and a little duct tape to hold its shape until it naturally wanted to stay circularized


I’ll be honest. I love how quickly this suggestion has spiraled into so many people immediately heading to the store to build their own.


Seriously. I’m an upholsterer and build custom furniture frames, and it’s wild looking at the construction of the official “simple” wood elements.

Not to mention that like most teams, we have to move these elements in and out of storage as we use them in the high school gym.


Thanks to everyone who posted a picture of their simple upper hub setup for practice. These are all great and much easier to build than the wood-based official one.
Any simple ideas for attaching reflective tapes to this hub? I was thinking sticking them to a cardboard and hanging it from the loop with zip tie / wire may be sufficient.

1 Like