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goalkeeper pushing the ball over the soccer crossbar

Soccer Goal Posts: Safety Guidelines To Follow When Buying

Soccer goal posts have been involved in fatal accidents and death. More than 500 people are seriously injured in the United States each year. The majority of serious incidents resulted from soccer goal posts tipping over. Most of these soccer goals are unsafe since they are unstable and unanchored or aren’t properly counterbalanced or anchored.

We want to help readers know what to look for when buying new soccer goal posts and describe what they need to do to ensure they are safe by publishing this article. Installed and used correctly, soccer goal posts that follow the correct safety instructions and are maintained shouldn’t cause any injuries.

A goal’s design and construction incorporate three essential aspects that are potential hazards and accident-prone areas.

  • How the soccer goal posts are attached to the net. Amputations, deep penetrating wounds, and injuries involving trapping parts of the body (fingers, heads, and so on) have been caused by metal hooks.
  • The actual net. Too big of a mesh or too thin a cord can cause a soccer net to cut or trap parts of the body.
  • Goal frame. A falling or collapsed goal has caused severe impacts and crushing injuries due to poor design, poor maintenance or modification, or improper installation.

We address each of these issues directly in these notes.

Introduction

Safety standards are a good starting point. EN 748 is the standard for full-sized soccer goal posts or larger than 5 meters (m) wide by 2 meters (m). Metal and plastic goals with dimensions of 4.9 m wide by 1.85 m high are covered by British Standards Institution Publicly Available Specifications, PAS 36-1 and PAS 36-2. As far as we know, no published standard addresses other sizes of soccer goal posts. However, several North American leagues follow the FIFA Laws, including the MLS, NWSL, USL, WPSL, and US Soccer.

image of 3 different styles of soccer goals

Soccer goal posts that comply with standards for toys (for instance, BS EN 71) are designed for that purpose only. Therefore, they should not be used in formal, organized soccer practices or games.

Soccer Goal Terminology

Soccer Goal Posts: Includes posts and crossbar and any other parts, such as nets, sockets, net support posts, etc.

Soccer Goal Frame: The uprights and crossbars only. Goals are measured by the distance between the insides of the posts. The height of the crossbar is measured from the ground to the underneath of it.

Soccer Net: This net is suspended behind the goal frame to catch the ball, so it is evident whether a goal was scored or not.

Soccer Net Support Posts: Some goals suspend the top back corners of the net from two or more separate posts.

Net Headline: Suspended from the posts of the net support.

Cross Brackets: An element that connects the posts to the sidebars or the elbow brackets to the crossbar at the top or bottom of a goal.

Elbow Bracket: The frame on top of a goal post that supports the net in the correct position behind the goal frame. This is called the roof support frame.

Ground Frame: At ground level, a horizontal frame with three sides. Contains two sidebars and a back bar.

Back Stanchion: Part of the goal that is parallel to the goal line and mounted on the ground or in a plane parallel to the goal line is connected to both the post and the ground frame. A ‘free-standing’ goal and a ‘socketed’ goal are shown in the diagram.

Socketed: Socketed goals are those whose posts are permanently inserted into sockets in the ground. Without sockets, a socketed goal will not stand upright.

Free-standing: ‘movable’ or ‘non-socketed’ goals will stand upright on any flat surface. When using free-standing goals, they must be firmly and adequately anchored or fixed. Weights are often part of free-standing goals, while others are permanently attached.

Fence-hung goals: Typically, a fence-hung goal hinges from the fence or a permanent post of similar size and strength to the fence posts, and it folds or swings back flat against the fence when not in use.

Goal Post Standards And Recommendations

Companies can make and sell soccer goals and nets regardless of whether they follow our recommendations. However, it is recommended that you purchase soccer goal posts that meet the latest standards (PAS 36/2000 or BSEN 748). The manufacturer will be able to show that a goal meets these standards if it does. Avoid buying soccer goal posts that do not satisfy relevant standards.

You should also order the extra accessories and items that you might need when buying soccer goal posts. For example, you may also need weights, chains, locks, and clips for anchoring and stabilizing a goal. Safety warning signs may also be necessary.

Test certificates should be checked. The supplier should provide test certificates to demonstrate that their goals are suitable. Make sure that you buy the same type of goal as the one specified in the test certificate.

Home Made Soccer Goals

Do not use home made or modified goals, as these often fail to meet the most basic safety standards. In addition, home made or modified goals have been involved in the majority of goals-related deaths.

Moving Soccer Goal Posts

Historically, goals are most dangerous when they are moving. Consequently, most soccer goals are not stable because they are detached from anchors, separate or loose weights, fixing points, or sockets.

When moving soccer goal posts, avoid bending or distorting them, which can damage the joints. Consult the manufacturers and facility operators for guidance.

Under no circumstances should you move a full-sized goal without at least four adults.

Soccer goal posts should never be dragged across the ground. In this manner, the goal is likely to be damaged, as well as the surface, whether it is natural or synthetic. When moving goals, always lift them off the ground.

According to the manufacturer’s instructions, if the soccer goal posts are equipped with wheels, be sure to use them correctly. If the goal is to be moved across a surface, the wheels should be of a suitable type. When four-wheeled goals are pushed in the wrong direction, they can easily topple. Therefore, the uprights should only be moved by pushing them backward.

When used in sufficient amounts and attached to the goal, weights are a reliable, effective way of stabilizing soccer goal posts. Weights that aren’t attached to a goal cannot help stabilize it, which is evident but often ignored. You can use weights on any surface. Depending on the size of your goal, the number and total quantity of weights you need may be quite large – up to 150 kg.

Weights could be:

  • Part of the soccer goal posts;
  • Attached permanently to the soccer goal posts;
  • Directly fixed to it; or
  • Attached with short, strong wire cords or chains clipped to the ground next to it.

Existing Soccer Goal Posts

Properly installed soccer goal posts should be safe, but this may no longer be the case over time. The goal may rust and become weak. As a result of exposure to the elements, bolts and other fixings can come loose, break, or become lost. In addition, the goal may come loose from its anchors or may be detached from its sockets and not reattached.

It would be best if you made regular checks on soccer goalposts to prolong their life and to ensure that they are not used in unsafe conditions. Unfortunately, the conditions under which goals are set and used vary so widely that it is impossible to say precisely what checks you should perform.

Checking an open space goal that is permanently installed may be necessary every day, but monitoring a locked away goal and only ever used by an organized club may be relatively infrequent. Depending on the goal, the type and thoroughness of checks required will also vary.

To this end, the following inspection procedure is intended as a guide. The frequency and detail of the checks are up to you. You might want to conduct more frequent inspections if your records show you find faults at every inspection.

An inspection and test of all the properties covered in the relevant standard is the only way to determine whether a soccer goal post continues to meet the specifications. The effects of an informal or partial test cannot be compared with those of a formal test. A goal’s general condition can be determined through the inspection procedure. Replace or test if there are any doubts brought up by the inspection. If there are any questions about the safety of the soccer goal posts, do not use them.

Our recommendation is to start with three types of inspection procedures.

Once a week at least.

  1. If the goal is moveable, every time it’s moved.
  2. Every three months and at the beginning of every season.
  3. Visually inspect the entire goal. Pay attention to the following.

A goal that has loose or missing bolts, nuts, pins, and other fixings is inoperable. At any moment, it may collapse.

An anchoring point that is firm or evidence that the socket is moving. Unanchored goals are susceptible to falling over. Goals have fallen over and killed people. This is especially dangerous for children.

Net fixings that are broken or missing. The ball can pass between the edge of the net and the ground or the goal frame, confusing whether or not a goal has been scored.

Broken cords in the nets. The net’s mesh size has been chosen to minimize the risk of becoming trapped within it and sustaining injury. Large holes result from broken cords in the net.

Any part of the goal that is bent or damaged. The bends or other damage in the goal are indications that the goal has been over-stressed or misused. In addition, the goal may still have more damage that is not visible, but which could lead to it collapsing or tipping, such as broken internal fixings or sheared pins.

Dimensions

Players of varying ages should use soccer goals that are appropriate to their height.

In adult soccer, the goal is 7.32 meters by 2.44 meters in size, which is the full size of the goal. However, the goal should be modified for players under 16 and for women, veterans, and players with disabilities. Futsal, which has laws different from soccer, stipulates that goals should be 3 meters by 2 meters.

Based on the game’s rules, the following table shows the size of the goal considered appropriate for the different age groups.

recommended soccer goal size for different age groups

It’s even more challenging by a large number of governing bodies at different levels. These governing bodies may have different regulations regarding soccer goal dimensions and size, including FIFA, US Youth Soccer, NCAA, AYSO, and NFHS.

Soccer Goals For Sale

FIFA provides licensed providers of soccer goal post manufacturers on their website.

Our favorite is the Forza Soccer Goal Posts. These are made of top-notch material, offering high quality at a reasonable price. This premium package of soccer posts and nets is made of 11mm aluminum reinforced with a 5mm braided HDPE net that will bring consistency and quality to match days.

Stadium-style box goalposts are available in five different sizes, so there’s one for your needs. The multi-season net tensioning system keeps nets taut and in pristine condition throughout use. In addition, the free-standing design of the goal means that it does not need to be rooted in the ground, and its weatherproof construction allows it to remain in place all year long.

More importantly, they meet the European, British and American standards.

FORZA Alu110 Freestanding Stadium Box Soccer Goals

For Backyards

The Franklin Sports soccer goal post is easy to assemble and use, making it an ideal addition to any backyard or to play a quick game in the park. This galvanized steel portable soccer goal features a durable all-weather net and is great for practicing for all ages! These high-quality professional soccer goal posts and net feature easy-to-assemble pieces that will securely lock, and it comes with six stakes for more stability. With this durable soccer goal, your children will be able to improve their shots and experience the thrill of scoring for hours upon hours.

Franklin Sports Competition Soccer Goal

Portable

Pop Up soccer goals as the safest option for young children. Not only are they portable, but the lightweight fiberglass material also will not cause serious injury if they were to fall. However, it is still imperative to use the metal pegs to secure the soccer goal. There are many brands available. Our favorite is the USA-based Franklin sports brand who has been manufacturing since 1945.

Franklin Sports Blackhawk Backyard Soccer Goal

Soccer Nets

According to FIFA rules, soccer nets are not mandatory. In the case of using a net, however, it must be securely fixed to the goal posts and ground behind the goal line, and must not impede game play in any way, or inconvenience the goalkeeper or players.

Many soccer nets are constructed from three main materials: high tenacity polypropylene (HTPP), polyethylene (PE) and nylon. The most common options are PE and nylon; both are available in a variety of sizes and knot styles.

Knot Styles:

  • Twisted nets are the most commonly used type. They are very strong, durable, and flexible.
  • The strongest netting is braided. It is commonly used in colleges and professional settings.
  • Knotless: A sturdy, one-piece design that is incredibly strong.

From our experience, we would advise purchasing your soccer nets from the same supplier of your soccer goal posts. They will be able to recommend the correct size and material for your needs.

The History Of Soccer Goals

After a proposal by Queen’s Park FC, the laws allowed either a crossbar or tape in 1875. In December 1882, the International Football Conference voted to require a crossbar, incorporated into the Football Association’s rules in 1883. Eight yards wide and eight feet high have been the dimensions of the goal since 1866.

A soccer game in Nottingham in 1891 saw the first use of soccer nets. The Football Association accepted it within a year, and the rule was used as part of the final of the 1892 FA Cup.

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