In August 2010, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed “Zach’s Law” which requires that all portable soccer goals sold in Illinois to be tip-proof. The law was name after Zachary Tran, who was killed when a 184-pound steel soccer goal fell over and hit his head. Illinois is the first state to pass such a law, but increased concerns over athlete safety with regard to heavy and possibly dangerous sports equipment will surely lead to similar laws passed in states across country.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, soccer goal tip-over accidents kill at least one child every year, and injure around 200. This is a huge issue especially because 14 million kids between the ages of six and seventeen play soccer in the United States, with 500,000 goals in use. Soccer goals have the reputation of being top heavy; meaning the majority of weight from the soccer goal is directed to the front. These type of incidents typically occur when kids are hanging from the cross bar, which creates additional weight to the front of the goal. Other incidents have occurred where the goal has fallen over just because of wind. During 2010 in Stephens City, Virginia, an accident had occurred during a soccer game when a goalie had the goal fall on top of him. After the accident, the referee showed the mother of the child how easy it is to simply push the goal over. The mother responded, “Wow, and I didn’t even push it that hard.” This example shows the importance of securing the soccer goals because of how easily they can tip over. In addition, in 2008 the Porter Athletic Equipment Company was sued because their soccer goal tipped over during a game and killed a 10 year-old boy. The family that sued Porter Athletics knows that injuries from tipping soccer goals happen too frequently in the soccer industry. The family hopes this lawsuit will help change the way the soccer industry designs, installs, uses, and inspects moveable soccer goals. It is important that schools, coaches, or referees use sand bags, in-ground stakes, or underground anchors to better secure soccer goals especially during practice and games. There are regulations that referees are supposed to check the goals before each game, but that action is rarely supervised.
Soccer is one of the most popular team sports in the United States among children and teenagers. Often times it is introduced at a very young age to kids through camps, leagues, clubs, and grade school activities. This early introduction of the sport makes it extremely important that soccer goals are safe and secure for all young athletes.
GARED® carries a line of soccer goals called Touchline™ Soccer Goals, which includes standard aluminum soccer goals, International FIFA soccer goals, and combination soccer/football goals. Within the Touchline™ Soccer Goals, there are three different types of standard soccer goals: permanent, semi-permanent, and portable. The permanent goals have uprights extended 2’ at bottom end, which are to be inserted into a concrete footing making the structure permanent and immovable. Semi-permanent goals also have uprights extended 2’ at bottom end, which go into ground sleeves that go into a concrete footing. The additions of the ground sleeves make the goal removable from the sleeves when the goal is not in use. The portable goals include “J” stakes that go over the backstay and are inserted into the surrounding soil. Since portable goals are the biggest concern in regards to safety issues GARED® recommends that customers purchase underground anchors to decrease the risk of the goal tipping over. In addition, GARED® also includes several labeled warnings within the equipment that warns users the dangers of an unsecured soccer goal. GARED® hopes this reminder of anchoring all goals, especially portable goals, will help prevent future injuries from soccer goals tipping over. Choose the safest and most dependable soccer goal from Touchline™ Soccer Goals to ensure safe play for all players!