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Insight from a Children's Pastor & Awana Commander

The Electra-Tarp Awana Game Floor

As I begin this post, I need to disclose that I did not acquire the game floor to evaluate it for the website. Our church opted to use this option in our facility. These are my personal observations from our use of the game floor and are not geared as an endorsement, nor promotion, of this product.  I am a customer and I am receiving no compensation for this evaluation.


We laid the game floor out when we received it to give it a quick look and to make sure it would fit in the area we planned on using it (picture to the left).

Yesterday, we used the game floor for the first time in a club setting.

The clubbers were excited to see it (whether it was this tarp, or a regular game floor they would have been excited as we have not used a “game floor” for years) as well as the game guy. Overall, everyone is very pleased with the tarp. The comments on the tarp are from a single use to this point and I will probably add additional reviews as we use it more. For reference, we had (5) T&T clubbers and the (10) Sparks clubbers using the floor during gametime.

General Comments:

  • The tarp does have some weight to it. Ours is 35′ x 35′ and weighs around 200 pounds
  • The game floor is 30′ x 30′ (3/4 scale) allowing a 30″ area outside the square for the clubbers to stand on the mat, on their line. Generally the team line is near the edge of the tarp unless other wise requested (as I did).
  • We used (3) people to put it down and we folded/rolled it up with (2) people
  • We purchased the tarp lifter to lift the folded/rolled tarp and we then placed it on a small dolly to move to where we store it currently, which is under a table. It was easy to handle and maneuver that way.
  • “Bunching” and “shifting” – there was a little bunching off the tarp during gametime with the Sparks and the tarp did shift a little bit. Electra-Tarp did provide vinyl tape to help secure it to the floor which we did not use. We will look at using it next week and see how that goes. The tarp can be purchased with velcro in the corners to help secure it on carpet. I opted not to get velcro in the corners.
  • The tarp was easy to adjust and removing the bunching was also easily achieved.

Answers to FaceBook questions:

The following are answers to questions/comments posted on our FaceBook page.

Amaris asked, “what does something like this cost?

Depending on the size of the tarp, the material you select and options with painting, you can expect to pay in the neighborhood of $2,000 – $3,000. You can get a rough estimate on their website.

Vicki asked, “How does it compare to the carpet velcro strips? As far as price, durability and labor?”

When you purchase the velcro tape from Awana, your cost is approximately $250, or about 1/10th of the price of the tarp. With the tarp, you lay it out and your done… with the velcro tape, if you pick it up each week, you have the lengths cut, but need to position it and line it up each week. It would take longer to put the velcro tape down each week.

If you leave the velcro tape down (which I did at a previous church), then you do not have the set-up time. The carpet around the velcro will fade, so after a while if you pick the velcro tape up, you will clearly see where it was on the carpet. Velcro can stay on the carpet for years, though is can shift slightly as people lift it and move it some and smaller pieces (foot markers along the diagonal line) are easily unlodged by vacuum cleaners, etc.  I cannot personally attest to the durability of the tarp now as we have had it less than a week.

Nathan said that, “We tried this concept with an indoor/outdoor carpet we’d lay over the sanctuary carpet–our biggest problem was “wrinkling” which tended to trip the kids (not a good thing).”

As noted above, it did “wrinkle” a little and was easily removed. To my knowledge, no clubbers tripped over the wrinkles and they were on the edges where the clubbers were standing. We had the tarp “loose” on the carpet. Next week we plan to secure the corners with the vinyl tape that Electra-Tarp provided with the tarp. They did offer velcro in the corners to help secure the tarp which I opted to not use.

Again, overall, everyone was very pleased with the game floor tarp from Electra-Tarp.

For more information about Electra-Tarp, please visit their website (Awana Game Floor Page) at: electratarp.com

If you any other questions, feel free to post them below and I will give you my honest, unbiased, evaluation of the tarp.

 

The Author

2 Comments

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  1. Would you please update me on this game floor? Has it held up well? Did it present any problems as it aged and acquired some use on it? We may be purchssing one in the near future for our AWANA game time.
    Thanks.

    1. Since I wrote this post, I have left that church. I was there and used the tarp for about 2 years. I checked with the current Commander and they are still using it on a weekly basis. They said that it is still in great shape except for a few small holes at a fold line. They put duct tape on the back and it is fine.

      Here is my experience and the experience of the current commander:

      Negatives:

      1) It does not always lay flat. If you need to fold it in order to store it, the places where the fold is does not always settle to the floor and can remain a “bump” in the tarp. When I was there, I tried to lay out the tarp on Sunday after service so it had until Wednesday to settle. In their current situation, I believe they put it down on Wednesday before club begins which would make the “bumps” more pronounced.

      2) It can be difficult to fold and roll because of the weight of the tarp. We also stored it in an adjacent hallway which was not easy to maneuver through the doors to get it there.

      3) There was some unexpected wear (as noted above), but from my perspective, it was minimal and you expect some wear. It also depends on how it is treated when it is unrolled. Because I had it unrolled after services on Sunday, there were times when parents allowed their children, wearing boots, dress shoes, etc to run and play on it which I’m guessing added to some of the added wear.

      Positives:

      1) You can quickly have an Awana circle and it is much better than having to lay the temporary floor tape or Velcro lines.

      2) The lines are consistent. When using Velcro before, people would play with, move, etc the Velcro lines

      3) It protects the flooring. In our case, the carpet

      Summary:

      It my case there, the church was moving from meeting in a theater to their own facility. There was much discussion about the Awana circle and how to accommodate it. Many not involved with Awana gave their views and offered uneducated solutions. My preference would have been to use Velcro tape and keep it down, but people were concerned with the appearance of the floor during Sunday morning services and other events. Their solution was to get the tarp. In that situation, with the experience I had, and they still have, I would make the purchase. The cost would still make me look at it hard, but in the end, it is worth it – from my perspective.

      The one thing that I would recommend is to get the tarp with space on the sides for the clubbers to stand (if you have the room). I saw one club where the tarp ended with the team lines (exactly 40’ x 40’) and then they had to step onto the tarp to play the games. I believe it has worked well for them, but my personal preference would be to have the clubbers sanding on the tarp. It also can help keep them organized as they could be instructed to stand on the tarp during gametime which may keep kids form “wandering”.

      The dollies I used were standard dollies that I purchased form Home Depot (or similar). You just want to try to make sure that the dollies can handle the distributed weight of the tarp. The dollies help greatly in moving the tarp and making the tight turns we had to make to store it in the hallway.

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