Soccer enjoyed the international spotlight earlier this month, with more
than 18 million Americans tuning into the FIFA World Cup action. While
the U.S. team was eliminated in the round of 16, soccer fields across
the country are still filled with children hoping to be the next big star.
In total, more than 16 million Americans play soccer at least once a year.
However, most are unaware that many soccer goals are unsafe because they
are either unanchored or not properly anchored or counter-balanced.
According to the latest statistics from the
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), 28 Americans have died since 1979 as the result of soccer goals
tipping over. In addition, an estimated 120 injuries involving falling
goals are treated each year in U.S. hospital emergency rooms.
As the agency warns, many soccer goals are not professionally manufactured,
but rather constructed by high school shop classes, custodial members,
or local welders. The goals can weigh up to 500 pounds and are often unstable.
To help prevent deaths and injuries associated with soccer goals, below
are several important tips from the CPSC:
- Securely anchor or counter-weight movable soccer goals at all times.
- Never climb on the soccer net or goal framework.
- Always instruct soccer players on the safe handling of and potential dangers
associated with movable soccer goals.
- Use movable soccer goals only on level (flat) fields.
- Check all connecting hardware before every use. Replace damaged or missing
- Make sure safety labels are clearly visible.
- Remove nets when goals are not in use.
- Anchor or chain goals to nearby fence posts, dugouts, or similar sturdy
fixtures when not in use.
- Fully disassemble goals for seasonal storage.