02 Feb Soccer Goal Safety in 2011
Each New Year brings the hope that we will make the changes necessary to improve our lives. I would sincerely hope that 2011 is the year that we take seriously the safety of our portable soccer goals and create a truly safe environment for the soccer players and all kids exposed to the danger of portable soccer goals. In the late eighties The Consumer Product Safety Commission assembled the US manufacturers of soccer goals to review the large number of deaths and injuries caused by accidental soccer goal tip overs since 1979. At the time, the manufacturers were able to convince the CPSC that most of the accidents were caused by “homemade goals” although the record to date indicates that only four of the accidents through 2010 were caused by “homemade goals.” These accidents occurred in a variety of ways with kids climbing on the nets; hanging from the crossbars; trying to move the goals; and even goals blowing over in the wind. In March of 1999 the CPSC approved “The Provisional Safety Standard and Performance Specifications for Soccer Goals (ASTM-75-99) which concluded that warning labels, hooks, stakes, permanent and semi-permanent anchors and sand bags would reduce the rate of accidents. In a perfect world of ideal soil conditions (i.e. no Astro Turf) and 24 hour supervision, some of these recommendations may actually prevent a horrible accident. In truth, hundreds of near accidents occur everyday and go unreported because, thankfully, no one is injured. However, 8′ x 24′ soccer goals can weigh up to 450 lbs and take ten to twelve people to safely move. Not really what we would call a portable soccer goal. I have traveled throughout the US and walked on to hundreds of soccer fields and have seldom if ever seen a soccer goal with a foolproof anchor system that prevents the goal from tipping over and still allows the maintenance staff or players to easily and safely move the goals. Wheels sometimes work to move the goals -until they go flat – but do not provide any safety ballast. Polyethylene rear rollers filled with sand are the perfect solution.
CPSC ASTM-PS-75-99 can be reviewed at http//www.kidsource.com/CPSC/soccer.safety.cpsc.html