It’s estimated that 12 million kids play soccer in the U.S. each year. To serve the needs of these young players, there are upwards of 600,000 soccer goals. Now that’s a bunch of metal or wood out in them fields! Unfortunately, with those types of numbers it’s inevitable that we would experience some problems with the mix of heavy goals and kids being kids. While pretty rare there are injuries, including fatalities, that are associated with unsecured goals falling on and injuring kids. It’s thought that about 120 people are treated in emergency departments each year as a result of contact with soccer goals, either colliding with them or the goal falling onto a person. Most of the serious injuries are due to blunt force trauma to the head, neck, or limbs.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) movable soccer goals should be anchored to the ground to prevent tip over. Tip overs usually occur from kids hanging on the cross bar of the goal or in some cases strong gusts of wind. Recent news stories have documented tragedies associated with these top heavy goals falling onto kids. As parents, coaches, and officials, we need to advocate for safety on the pitch in all forms, including the gear that our kids come into contact with. Keeping this in mind, we advocate the following:
•Teach our young athletes to never hang from, climb on, or “mess with” the goals
•Make certain that goals are securely anchored of have counterweights (sandbags) in place
•Remove the nets when goals are not in use
•Exercise extreme caution when moving the goals
•Instruct all players, particularly keepers, on the potential dangers of the goals
For more information on soccer goal safety, visit the following websites:
And as always, Play Hard/Play Safe!
By Carlos Flores RN FCN
Note: If you would like to connect with Carlos Flores to suggest topics or receive personal feedback, he can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.