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Anchor, Check, Respect: The game plan for moveable soccer goal safety

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Unsafe soccer goals can kill. We've partnered with Football Federation Australia for a national safety initiative helping to prevent deaths and serious injuries to kids and teenagers – and make soccer a safe activity for everyone involved.

Are you a soccer coach, parent, teacher or kids' soccer volunteer?

Do you work at a school, soccer club or sports club?

Are you part of a soccer association, children’s sporting association or local council?

Identify the type of goalposts on the field – if they’re freestanding and not the lightweight plastic kind, follow the simple steps below to help make them safer to use.

There have been at least 49 deaths and a range of serious injuries worldwide related to moveable soccer goals. In Australia there have been at least seven deaths and one incident resulting in the person becoming paraplegic. Unfortunately, the victims are often young kids and teenagers.

Video 'ANCHOR, CHECK, RESPECT: The Game Plan for Moveable Soccer Goal Safety'

Check out the video featuring Melbourne Victory Captain and safe goalposts ambassador Adrian Leijer.

Hazards

Death and serious injury can happen if moveable soccer goals are installed incorrectly or when they are used inappropriately. Specifically, blunt force injuries and trauma to the head, neck, chest and limbs can occur from moveable soccer goals due to:

  • instability
  • goals becoming unanchored
  • goals with inadequate anchoring
  • inappropriate or ineffective installation
  • inappropriate use, such as swinging on goalposts or
    cross bars.

Anchor, check, respect – the safety steps

By ensuring that the goal posts are safe, correct and used with respect, they are much less likely to injure.

ANCHOR

Anchor moveable soccer goalposts securely into the ground. It takes 200 kilograms to properly anchor a full size portable soccer goalpost, which equals:

  • 10 stakes
  • 12 bags of sand, or
  • 10 bags of cement mix.

CHECK

Check that your moveable soccer goal is anchored correctly:

  • ensure there are no children around the goalpost
  • shake the goalpost using both hands and push it from behind
  • if the goal post falls, don’t use it until it has been properly secured.

Before every game or training session, test that the moveable soccer goal is properly secured and safe to use.

Don’t use it if it’s not safe.

For a more detailed guide on securing moveable soccer goals, refer to the stability checklist on this website.

RESPECT

  • Ensure that no one climbs, swings or plays on a
    moveable goalpost.
  • Store the moveable goalposts safely when not
    in use.

Injury and death cases

Below are death and injury statistics related to moveable soccer goal posts in Australia and around the world.

  • 7 deaths have occurred in Australia since 1986, plus one injury resulting in the person becoming paraplegic.
  • At least 35 deaths related to moveable soccer goals have occurred since 1979 in the United States as a result of blunt force trauma to the head, neck, chest, and limbs.
  • 49 injuries were sustained from 1979 to 2003 in the United States as a result of blunt force trauma to the head, neck, chest, and limbs.
  • Around 120 injuries were treated annually from 1989 to 1993 in the United States as a result of blunt force trauma to the head, neck, chest, and limbs.
  • 7 deaths in total have been recorded in the United Kingdom, Malta and Japan.

Get resources for your club or school

Use the Publications links below to download or order soccer goal safety education resources for teachers, coaches, parents and volunteers including a guide, brochure, poster and DVD.

Our partners

Football Federation Australia logo Melbourne Victory Football Club logo

Videos

This video shows how to to help prevent deaths and serious injuries to kids and teenagers associated with moveable soccer goals – and make soccer a safe activity for everyone involved. Featuring former Melbourne Victory Captain Adrian Leijer.

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