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New Standard for Soccer Goals Helps Prevent Tip-Over Deaths Linked to Unanchored Goals

Release Date: May 04, 1999

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the soccer goal industry helped develop a new safety standard that will reduce the risk of soccer goal tip-over. Since 1979, CPSC has learned of 23 deaths and 38 serious injuries from soccer goals tipping over and crushing children who climb on them or hang from the crossbar.

CPSC Chairman Ann Brown said, "We want kids to have fun, be active, and play soccer with goals that are safely anchored into the ground. The new standard makes soccer goals stable and, therefore, less likely to tip over on children."

The "Provisional Safety Standard and Performance Specification for Soccer Goals" (ASTM-PS-75-99) was approved March 2, 1999. The standard requires that movable soccer goals, except very light-weight goals, not tip over when the goal is weighted in a downward or horizontal direction. The standard also specifies warning labels that must be attached to the goal, such as: "Warning: Always anchor goal. Unsecured goal can fall over causing serious injury or death."

Most of the deaths and injuries occurred with unanchored homemade goals including those assembled by high school shop classes and community businesses. People were killed when they climbed on the soccer goal or while attempting to do chin-ups, pulling the goal down. All goals, whether homemade or manufactured, should be properly secured to the ground to avoid injuries or deaths associated with tip-over.

There are several different ways to properly anchor soccer goals. The number and type of anchors used will depend on factors such as soil type and goal weight. Anchor types include:

- Auger-style anchors that are screwed into the ground.

- Semipermanent anchors, which require a permanently secured base that is buried underground combined with the use of tethers or bolts to secure the goal.

- Peg, stake or j-hook style anchors that are driven into the ground.

- Sandbags or counterweights for indoor facilities.

CPSC developed safety guidelines for soccer organizations, schools, and recreation departments to use to help prevent tip-over of soccer goals. For a free hard copy of the CPSC "Guidelines for Movable Soccer Goal Safety," send a postcard to CPSC, Washington, DC 20207.

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The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of thousands of types of consumer products. Deaths, injuries, and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the nation more than $1 trillion annually. CPSC’s work to ensure the safety of consumer products has contributed to a decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 40 years.

Federal law bars any person from selling products subject to a publicly-announced voluntary recall by a manufacturer or a mandatory recall ordered by the Commission.

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