Goal Post Safety

Safer Football Goals

The safe use of football goal posts is essential as new corporate manslaughter legislation has highlighted the responsibility of those buying, using and maintaining football goal posts and what can happen if they fail in their duty of care. Goal Post Safety should be the top consideration above price constraints for any buyer and user of football goals whatever type or make is used.

Replacement of Unsafe Goalposts

Help is available from the Football Foundation goalpost grants to replace dangerous and dilapidated goalposts. Unsafe goal posts will include these with the problems we have highlighted including goalposts that are falling apart due to the constant  movement of the frames.

Football goals with heavy rear rollers only held together with bolts may also be beyond repair and need replacing. We would recommend replacing such goals with fully welded aluminium goalposts frames.

The final problems are goal posts with flip lever wheels many off which just do not work as the wheels have buckled over and become unusable. This type of goal can damage expensive artificial grass pitches and are impractical to use on the muddy grass playing surfaces. For more information click on the three links below or read our goal post guide.

Aluminium Goalpost Safety

Steel Goalpost Safety

Plastic Football Goal Safety

 

Football Goals, Ten Goal Post Safety tips:-

1 –  Anti-vandal lockable steel ( permanently sited)  football goal posts offer a higher level of safety and accountability than Nut & bolt versions.

2 –  Lighter aluminum free standing goalposts offer additional safety over heavy steel moveable goal posts.(see impact test videos below).

3 – Plastic Goal Posts need net supports secured to the goal frame and not just pushed into a hole they should ensure the tube does not crease or break and leave dangerous protrusions.

4 –  Folding goal post should have secure lockable side frames that do not swing freely when in use or whilst being moved or stored.

5 –  use goalposts with side returns at least seventy-five percent of the upright length to improve stability- short run back goals need much more counterbalance weight.

6 –  Freestanding goal posts with wheels should allow for safe use on muddy grass pitches, allow sideways as well as forwards and backwards movement and wheels should not buckle.

7 –  Quick removable net support tubes help prevent vandalism on exposed steel fixed position goalposts.

8 –  All bolts used on goalposts should have domed head nuts.

9 –  Goalposts should not have finger, foot or hand entrapment areas on uprights, crossbars or ground frames.

10 –  All children’s goalposts should have a smaller net mesh (100 mm sq) to avoid head entrapment. Use goal posts with these basic safety features and it will reduce the risks at your school or Junior football club.

Safety Goalpost Standards  V   Safer Goalpost Standards

All  ITSA Goal posts and football equipment is manufactured to the most rigorous standards and most comply with safety standards where appropriate.

We do supply certain Goalposts that conform to safety standards and some that are extraneous to the goalpost crossbar strength tests on the goalpost safety standards. This is in order to reduce the overall mass of the goalpost structure. to enable us to supply safer, movable, lightweight goalposts.

We indicate all products that conform to the current safety standards BS 8462 and  En 748.

It is crucial that the end user should take responsibility for the installation, correct use and care and maintenance. In particular, heavier free-standing movable goalposts must be adequately anchored and secured at all times in use, during storage, installation and movement of the goal posts.

Installation of goal posts should always be carried out under the supervision of a competent person using due diligence and risk assessment. Installation of ground sockets must be carried out by appropriately qualified personnel with grounds care experience in accordance with instructions.

Children should not be allowed to assemble or move any goal posts under any circumstances.

Do not install permanently sited socketed goalposts with children present. Any joints on the goalposts including welds should be checked regularly for signs of wear.  Any damage to the posts especially the corners and the goal posts should be taken out of use repaired or replaced.

Check for hairline cracks in corner welds on a regular basis on goalpost posts especially crossbar connections and if the weld is weakened stop using the goal posts until the welds are repaired and made safe. If in doubt replace the goalposts.

Any goalposts damaged in any way should not be used and appropriate remedial action should be carried out before they are brought back into use.

Paintwork on goalposts should be checked regularly especially steel posts and this should be treated promptly. (see care & maintenance information).

Football goalposts with Nuts and bolts should be checked and all fixings need to tightened before use.

IF IN DOUBT ABOUT THE SAFETY OR STABILITY OF AN ITEM OF EQUIPMENT – DO NOT USE IT. Contact our Technical Director for help and guidance

 

Freestanding Goalpost Impact Tests

An independent test house is used to ensure our goalposts conform to the latest British & European goal post safety standards and certificates are available to download.  We also carry out additional tests to evaluate the Impact of falling goalposts.

Heavy free standing goalposts can be dangerous and cause serious injury if they topple forward. We have recommended to the British Standards and the Football Association for many years that  children’s free-standing goalposts be made to a lower mass/weight and the videos below indicate clearly why this needs to be done. View both videos and ask yourself which goal would you prefer your children to play with.?

We are the only goalpost manufacturer in the UK that impact test every free-standing goal post design to evaluate its safety. This is why the company refuses to make or supply heavy steel free-standing goalposts. The videos below show clearly why we feel this is common sense. Our competitor ‘ Harrod UK ‘ proposed an increase in weight  to the Football Association, which was then introduced into the BS 8462 standard in 2009  and after we asked that the standard be withdrawn on the grounds of safety they further compounded the problem by recommending a maximum weight of 75 Kilos for children’s goalposts in October 2012 at a meeting with the British Standards Institute.

Our recommendations based on Blunt thoracic trauma research and a University report we commissioned on the dangers of toppling goalposts was much lower at 45 Kilos. To date our work has in the main been ignored however we have not given up as we see this as just common sense.

The videos below show impact testing of the largest children’s goalpost used (size  21 ‘x 7’ ). The lower video shows a goalpost made to a lighter weight and the top video shows a goal made to BS 8462  which has a crossbar to the 1800 Newtons strength test.  It is this crossbar strength test  that is too high in our opinion and it is this test that ensures the goal posts be heavier and therefore more dangerous.

Impact Test  – Free-standing 21′ x 7′ Goal posts made to the current safety standards
with crossbar tested to 1800 Newtons.

Impact Test – Lightweight  Free-standing 21′ x 7′ Goalposts made to crossbar
strength test of 800 Newtons.

If a goalpost was to drop on your head which one would be best the one to the safety standard or the lighter goal posts not to the safety standard? The lighter safer Goalpost  bounces on our test melon four times without leaving any noticeable damage.  We also have living proof  that these lighter goalposts may save lives as one of our goals did fall onto a youngster and the result was a small bump and after an Ice pack was applied  the young lad was up playing again within minutes..

 ” Hi John, I have just read an article on the new guidelines for goalposts and note that  some of your lighter aluminium goalposts do not now meet the current  BSI safety criteria. This is ridiculous! As you know we purchased several goalposts from you over the last five years and to date we have not had a single serious accident or problem with your goals. We try to stop goalkeepers jumping up onto the crossbar but it is very difficult, especially when away team goalkeepers do it during a game. However, out of all the sets we have, not  one crossbar has even the slightest bend in it. We always get complimented on our goals,the fact that our club appears to have the safest and best equipment in the area.”

Boy Survives Goal Post Impact at Local Junior Football Club

Last year at Woodbank Junior Football Club we had an accident when a goalpost fell onto a child. This was because the children started playing in it while it was still being erected. I am pleased to say that although the child got hit on the head he only had a slight bump that an ice pack quickly sorted it.  I would also like to say that a few years ago we were sued by a dog walker.

We play on a public park and his dog got its leg down a goalpost socket where the cap had been stolen by vandals. The dog broke its leg which resulted in hefty vets bills. I am glad to say that the dog recovered but we had a large claim on our insurance. After this incident we decided to switch to free standing goalposts and fill in all the sockets in the park.

This was quite an expense for us but we purchased our goalposts from ITSA Goal and have not had any problems. Our goalposts have to be carried nearly 100 yards every Saturday and Sunday and a lightweight goal is essential for us.

The goal posts you manufacture are light enough for a few children to carry them out on their own supervised by an adult. If the standard is changed we would be faced with purchasing heavier goals in future which is going to affect our finances, as I assume they would be more expensive, but also would be completely unnecessary. The goalposts that ITSA Goal  supply are more than adequate to do the job.
Regards,

Dennis Hickford  Woodbank Junior Football Club. July 2012

 

ITSA GOAL is the oldest uPVC football goal manufacturer in the world and a leading innovator in football goal post design.

The company was the first goalpost manufacturer to represent the UK on the European Normalization (CEN) Safety Standards, which was the first committee set up  to look into the issues surrounding goalpost safety. The introduction of uPVC football goals for children by ITSA GOAL in 1989  made a huge difference and ensured young children at long last could play football in proportional safe football goals.

The EN 748  committee was set up soon after the death of Jonathan Smith in 1991 when the BBC program “That’s Life” highlighted the serious injuries caused by poorly designed goal posts.The momentum and drive towards safer goals started and we can be proud that uPVC football Goals have gone a long way towards reducing serious injuries to children around the world. Sadly fatalities continue with heavy free-standing goalpost frames still in use, and that is why we are fighting to remove these types of goalposts.

Our company has been involved more than most to try and introduce safer football goals. When you have a distraught mum crying “if only my son had been playing with your goals John he would still be alive” it does focus the mind somewhat. The lessons are still  not being  learned and other young footballers are still being fatally injured by heavy free-standing goalposts. Even though we have been trying for years to make changes The British Standards Institute still is advised by others in the industry and sets standards that encourages the manufacture of heavy free-standing goalposts.

Goal posts and  the Dangers of toppling

Our company in 2001 commissioned a detailed report by Sheffield University Sports & Science department which looked at  the dangers of toppling freestanding goal posts and the overwhelming conclusion was that the mass of the goal and the speed generated by that mass from the fulcrum point was the main reason why such goalposts cause fatalities. Goal post toppling report Since introducing the first lightweight safe uPVC goalposts for children it has been our mission to reduce this total mass on all freestanding goal posts to a safe and survivable limit. The incidents and deaths caused by football goal posts outlined below explain why the need to change the goalpost safety standards is so urgent.

WHY WE NEED CHANGE

UNITED KINGDOM

In 1986 a seven year old boy died in Morecambe – crushed to death by a goalpost. In 1988 a 14 year old boy suffered serious injury whilst playing in goal the goalpost was dislodged by another player and the goal post fell onto his arm. He can now only partially move his right arm. In1990 young boy died on the Isle of Wight whilst his father was present when a heavy free-standing goalpost overturned trapping him. The goalpost was chained at the back to prevent it from being stolen. 1990 a nine year old girl in Sandend – Scotland  sustained serious injury  when a top heavy goalpost fell onto her stomach and broke her pelvis in three places leaving her with lifelong pain and injury. IN  1991 An 11 year old boy died in Stoney Strafford when home made goalposts weighing 200 lbs fell onto him and ruptured his heart. In 1991 Jonathan Smith died when a very heavy free-standing goal post fell onto his chest. Boys were running up and swinging on the goal when it overturned.

After a lot of publicity a Goalpost safety standard committee was set up in conjunction with the BSI with the aim to prevent further deaths – EN 748 was started in the Manchester offices of the BSI.

In 1992 a twelve year old girl in Oxford died when socketed goalpost were taken out and stored intact against a shed. These goalposts weighed 132 lbs and when the posts toppled forward she could not get out of the way. The impact ruptured her heart . In 1994 a boy aged six from Croydon died in Devon when a goalpost made from scaffold poles fell onto him whilst on holiday. In 1995 a thirteen year old boy died in Blackburn when a goalpost collapsed onto his head fracturing his skull. He had been swinging on the goalpost during a kick about (a common activity).

In 1996 a ten year old girl in Manchester died when a metal crossbar fell on her head as she played footbal. Inl 1996 a small two year old girl died in Ipswich whilst she played under a small set of goalposts which were used for training. In 1999 a seven year old boy died in Dewsbury when a free-standing goalpost weighing 154 lbs fell on his head shattering his skull. The children as in many cases were swinging on goalposts that were not secured prior to a match being played. In 2012 Young eleven year old was fatally injured at a local football team in Wales when goalpost made by a local steel fabricator overturned onto him. In 2012 A young eight year old boy had his arm seriously  broken  when an folding  side frame  swung over like a guillotine on to his arm at his local junior football club in Norwich. In 2014 a teenage lad playing in goal had to undergo  two hours surgery, after playing in a school football match ,when he collided into the corner on a square steel upright post.

How many more accidents and fatalities  would have occurred had we not invented the lightweight plastic Mini Soccer Goalposts for children?

IRELAND

A ten year old boy died when an unsafe goalpost fell at Holy Cross Summer camp near Bruff. The goalpost was not properly anchored and was blown over in a strong wind. User do not think the heavy goalpost can be blown over. This was reported as a freak accident however it was the fourth such death in Ireland. A ten year old in Donegal, A  girl in Cork and another ten year old in Dundalk in 2003.

DENMARK

Between 1989 and 1997 117 Danes were injure by falling goalposts. Half of them were swinging or doing chin ups on the crossbar at the time. ( A common activity that spans the borders of countries )

GERMANY

The latest accident in 2014 has been reported in Germany. Youth football in Frankfurt might not re-start on time, because the authorities confiscates over 350 goals, to add additional weights. This was after (it seems) a child died in an accident in Hamburg, when a goal toppled over. http://www.spiegel.de/sport/fussball/im-frankfurter-jugendfussball-fehlen-361-tore-a-954689.html

PORTUGAL

In Portugal as in the U K around four hundred accidents are reported each tear involving goalposts. Between 200 & 2002 five children died and two were seriously handicapped due to overturning or falling goalposts. All were boys between the ages of 8 and 16. The injuries took place when children were playing by themselves in public playing fields or school playgrounds. The injuries were the result of blunt trauma impact to the head, neck, chest and limbs. In one incident a child’s father lifted back the base of the goal causing it to fall striking his three year old on the head causing a fatal injury.

MOROCCO

2007 a young teenager playing on San Javier municipal football suffered serious injury when the goalpost fell on top of him hitting him on the head.

USA

We have a separate sheet for the recorded goalpost incidents in the United states that is too long to incorporate however that gives details of thirty eight deaths and fifty six serious injuries. other goal post accidents

RUSSIA

2008 a girl aged twelve died whilst at school in the republic of Baskiria in the south west Urais during a school lesson 2008 a ten year old boy died at school in a handball game in Motygino, Krasnoyarsk region again not anchored. Handball goals are unstable as many have short run backs that make the free-standing goal an unstable design. 2008 an eight year old girl died when goalpost fell onto her during a mini football match in the central Russia’s Penza region.

AUSTRALIA

1978 a boy of thirteen died at a sport s day in Ingham Queensland 1990 another thirteen year old suffered when a heavy free-standing goal post fell onto him in Hobart. He survived the incident but is now a paraplegic 1997 a boy aged twelve had seven teeth knocked out by a falling goal post Holy Cross Primary school in Cairns. 1999 a boy of ten died when an un-anchored goal post fell onto him at Sydney’s Serbia Club 2003 a three year old girl died at a soccer gala at Moss Vale soccer club when an un-anchored 180 kg goal post frame fell onto her. The police were able to push it over with one finger. This goal post may well have had a very short run back to be that unstable. Thirteen people have been seriously hurt between 1998 and 2003 in Queensland & Victoria in Australia.

JAPAN

2004 a fourteen year old boy died at Shimizu Dairoku Junior High School in Shizuoka when a goal post collapsed in strong winds on to his head .He died of brain damage shortly after the incident. The goal post was a full size adult goal and was not anchored. (again a heavy goal post is assumed not to blow over !) This death in Japan happened on the 13th January 2004 thirteen years to the day that Jonathan Smith died.

SLOVENIA

Many different kinds of injuries are apparent in Eastern Europe , from legs, to fingers, head, stomach, neck, hands, and all are reminiscent of accidents we have come across in the UK over the last twenty five years. Injuries seem to be the result of poor design and the quality of goalposts in use.While deaths mainly occurred because of the heavy weight, the risk during the transportation and storage plus a lack of any maintenance on the goalposts. Expansion and contraction on football goals are common problems and users often attempt poor add hock repairs themselves on site. No warning labelling is evident, no anchoring and no education as to the kilo counterbalance weight required to conform to EN748 is available especially on shorter run back goals. Coaches do not seem to be aware of the dangers and adult supervised sessions often use heavy free standing goalposts without anchors or weights. Currently safe plastic goalposts for use around young children are not available in many countries especially in Eastern Europe.

On 17.08.2008 heavy steel fee standing goalposts were responsible for the death of a 6-year old whilst playing with his team mates, 70 kg steel goalpost fell on him. Even though he was rushed to hospital he suffered such severe injuries on his body, that he died in hospital.

slovenia-poor-quality-goals-2

On 22nd of May 2011 a 51 year old was killed on concrete football field in town Podbrežje. While playing he hung onto the crossbar and because the goalpost was not anchored it moved and he lost his balance and the goalposts fell on his neck and injured him so severely he died on the spot.

20.03.2014 free standing goalposts fell on 9 year old. Accident happened, when he wanted to transport one meter high steel goalposts, which overturned and fell on him in a boys arcade. Boy suffered severe injuries.

In Slovenia there were severe football accidents, mainly with children and three deaths were recorded and one severe injury. There were a lot of minor consequences caused by unanchored and unattached goalposts.At the end of May 1999 unstable steel construction of a goalposts killed ten year old »Denis Ozmeca«.March 1994 during the PE lesson , again unattached goalpost killed twelve year old »Bojan Mlakar«.Year 1990, goalposts which was not anchored and attached to the ground killed again a child in primary school. October 1993 lesson, during the PE, goalposts fell on ten year old »Dejan Novak«, which survived despite severe injuries caused by goalpost.

CROATIA

A thirty seven year old goalkeeper was killed during a game with friends when the goalpost overturned on top of him. Whilst warming up he dived to make a save but got entangled in the net and this pulled the heavy iron goalpost over .The goalpost struck his spine and head killing him instantly.

On 23.march of 2015 goalpost fell on a boy and broke his leg. April 2003 steel goalpost killed seven year old. A goalpost that had been repaired several times. Like many children he started hanging on the upper crossbar, when 3m x,2m goalposts fell on his head. He was killed at the site, despite medical attention.

In April 2008 at town near the Orašje, 70 kg steel goalpost killed 12 year old boy. It happened during PE lesson. He hung up to the goalpost and because goalpost was not anchored, it fell on boys head. He died on the way to the hospital. Parents warned the school on numerous occasions that the goalposts were not appropriate. Similar accident happened one month ago in town Tomislavgrad.

In June 2009 goalpost severely injured an eleven year old girl on her stomach. Between the football matches she jumped and hung on the crossbar She fell on the ground, and pulled 100 kg goalpost down on top of herself. Six children, younger than eight years of age succeeded lifting the goalpost from her. Her internal organs were so badly injured that she had to have a liver transplant. The same type of goalposts injured another five year old which broke his leg/arm. Goalpost was only anchored with a boulder.

In April 2014 goalposts killed a twelve year old »Luka Milković«. As all the previous deaths the boy hung on the ten year old steel goalposts, which broke in the middle. Goalpost fell onto his head and killed him on site, despite immediate medical attention from the coaches.

In April 2014 goalposts killed 12 year old »Luka Milković«. Boy hung on the ten year old steel goalposts, which broke in the middle. Goalpost hit him on head and killed him on site, despite immediate medical attention from the coaches.

ITALY

On May 2009 steel goalpost fell on thirteen year old boy. Again the same as all the other children he swung on the crossbar. This seems to be a natural instinctive thing children do all the time all over the world. The goalpost fell on his head and killed him instantly.

In August 2011 a ten year old boy was killed by a goalpost at a tourist camp. The goalpost fell on him and crushed his chest. He died on the way to the hospital.

In June 2011 goalpost fell on a ten year old boy. The boy was playing with his team mates, when at the end of the game he swung on the crossbar to imitate other players he had seen doing it. At that moment goalpost fell. Despite medical interference, boy died on the way to the hospital. On October 2013 goalpost again injured a six year old youngster.. Injuries were bone fractures. It happened during the organized event.

In April 2015, while playing with his team mates a youngster was injured with a free standing goalpost, which was being used in a junior football championship. Goalposts were not anchored properly. Boy suffered heavy injuries, but he survived. These are common short run back goals that are not stable and require a considerable amount of counterbalance weight much more that goalposts with longer run backs

In April 2015, while playing with his team mates a youngster was injured with a free standing goalpost, which was in a junior football championship. Goalposts were not anchored properly. Boy suffered heavy injuries, but he survived. These are common short run back goals that are not stable and require a considerable amount of counterbalance weight much more that goalposts with longer run backs.

In April 2015, while playing with his team mates a youngster was injured with a free standing goalpost, which was in a junior football championship. Goalposts were not anchored properly. Boy suffered heavy injuries, but he survived. These are common short runback goals that are not stable and require a considerable amount of counterbalance weight much more that goalposts with longer run backs

SERBIA

On September 2013 goalpost fell apart, when a ten year old boy hung onto the crossbar and it fell onto him. The boy suffered severe neurological injuries.On October 2014 a broken frame of a goalpost fell on twelve year old and killed him on site. While the ball was on the other side of the football field during a game, he decided to hang on the goal which fell onto him.

This is why we do not make heavy steel free-standing football goals

Free-standing football goals with a rear integral weight is one type of free-standing goalpost that should help prevent the overturning of goalposts but in many locations these are not practical. Our company has always concentrated and made the priority of providing lighter and therefore much safer free standing moveable football goals.

The current crossbar topple testing requirements make goalposts with integral weights impractical to move around easily which defeats the object of having a free-standing goalpost to move around. The counterbalance weight needed is so high (around 120 kilos) that the actual frames which only rely on bolts just work apart due to dragging such an unbalanced heavy weight around. The main problem with these goalposts, apart from the impracticality, currently is the cost as they are so expensive it may well encourage and increase the amount of home made goal posts which will make the situation even worse.

Lighter free-standing goalposts in conjunction with a lower testing would require much less counterbalance weight to prevent overturning. Such free-standing goal frames would be safer in instances where goals are not supervised or properly anchored. At about one fifth the cost they are more affordable, stronger, last longer and are easier to use.To prevent junior clubs from using such products by removing them from the goal post standards is inexcusable.

To date the BS 8462 2007 committee that introduced this dangerous change has not answered our questions. What evidence was presented to the committee for change? what was the reasoning behind the 1000 newtons increase in testing from the safer 800 newtons test already on the 2005 standard ? Were the members shown the evidence put forward by our company? To make such a change that has effectively increased the number of heavier and more dangerous free-standing goalposts in use around children in our opinion is scandalous.

The most historical football ground in the world, Sandygate in Sheffield, where organized football was first played in 1860 uses lockable stadium aluminum ITSA Goalposts …. the latest innovation in goalpost design on the oldest football pitch!