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Soccer Goal Safety

In the United States, over the last 30 years there have been more than one death per year due to soccer goal tip-overs. Unfortunately, this statistic is trending upwards with three deaths in 2007 and two more in 2008. This is on top of the 90-200 estimated annual injuries requiring emergency room visits (CPSC estimate) and the countless more unreported incidents.

How Can This be Avoided? Simple, Deploy the Goal Alert™ System and...

Always anchor movable soccer goals in accordance with the recommendations of the Consumer Products Safety Commission (1995 CPSC Guidelines)

In fact, FIFA's "Field of Play" rules clearly state that all goals must be anchored securely to the ground. On top of that, awareness needs to be raised. There are numerous contributing factors to soccer goal post tip-overs:

1. people climbing on or hanging from the goal post
2. the wind blowing over an improperly secured, or unstaked, goal
3. goals toppling on people while the goals are being moved
4. goals not being properly stored (face-to-face) and locked together
5. goals being placed on ground that is not level

However a properly secured goal should not tip over in any of the above conditions.

Studies show that a mere 22 pound force can bring down a 400 pound soccer goal - even without considering wind conditions, slope of the field and/or human contact.

In the past the following guidelines regarding goal to ground security should have been adhered to by parks and recreation departments, with the Goal Alert™ the ease in adhering to these guidelines has been greatly enhanced.

Every Week:
A visual check of the goal to confirm it is securely anchored to the ground.

Each Time a Goal is Moved:
Review goal to make certain it has not been damaged during the move and confirm that the anchors have been securely repositioned.

At the Start of the Season and Every Three Months:
It is recommended that each goal be tested for strength and stability. 

Guidelines for Coaches

When Being Moved:
Goals are very vulnerable to tipping when being moved. If your goal manufacturer has instructions on moving the goal, please follow them. Be sure to use adequate numbers of trained adults for safety, and to avoid distorting the goal in any way. Use at least 4 adults and do not drag the goal across the ground. Goals with wheels should only be pushed backwards as they tend to tip very easily to the front.

Soccer Goal Anchors:
A properly anchored or counterweighted goal is less likely to tip over and cause injury. An excellent anchor should be efficient at preventing the goal from tipping, and should not create additional dangers to the players. Most anchors are best placed near the back corners of the goal. Single anchoring points are typically not adequate (Refer to the CPSC guidelines (above) for further instruction).

Storing Soccer Goals:
Never leave a soccer goal accessible while upright and unanchored. If you can't lock them securely while upright then put them flat on the ground and anchor them to the ground. Two upright goals can be locked together face to face for stability. If no reasonable option is found then it may be best to leave the goal anchored in its place.

Additional Soccer Goal Safety Resources

American Society For Testing And Materials:
F1938-98 Guide For Safe Use of Movable Soccer Goal
F2056-00 Safety and Performance Specification for Soccer Goals

The Coalition to Promote Soccer Goal Safety
c/o Soccer Industry Council of America
200 Castlewood Dr.
North Palm Beach, FL 33408

The Football Association of England:
Goals for Football Technical Details
Goals for Football Guidance Notes

U.S Consumer Product Safety Commission:
326 Guidelines for Soccer Goal Safety
5118 Movable Soccer Goals Can Fall Over On Children