Tuesday, June 15, 2010

That's netting to joke about

Earlier we spoke about the critical need to inspect the ball, not only before the match but also during any change of a ball as required by the Laws of the Game [LOTG] (see pages 13, 21, and 77). Doing this small thing can save a match from going into disrepute.

Today, a quick comment regarding pre-game inspections and goal safety. While some areas of inspection are less critical than others, one that requires early scrutiny is the condition of the goals used during a match. Particularly, if these goals are properly anchored down. Here too this is a requirement of the LOTG (see pages 9 and 77).

This one is not about a game going into disrepute, this very simply is to save lives.

Don't believe me, look here for a blog entry from Mary Ellias of Virginia detailing the death of her 10 year old son Hayden tragically killed by a goal that fell on him. This post states in part , "What I remember seeing was our son lying face down lifeless on the ground".

A series of law suits were filed, and one of the named defendants was USSF. You can bet your badge that whoever was refereeing that match was asked some very upsetting questions.

That discomfort however is meaningless in comparison to the tragic loss of a young boy and the pain to his family and friends.

Next time your out refereeing, take an extra second, just one, to make sure the goals are anchored and appear safe. If they do not, my opinion is not to start that match until they are, or abandon it, if they can not be made so.

Check a goal - Save a life.

1 comment:

  1. For officials that do games on fields that in the day see games for 11 v. 11 than 8 v. 8. Be sure to check those 8 v. 8 goals as they get dragged into position on the field usually just as the game is about to start. The parents doing the dragging, have no clue about the goal weights being required. And at the same time check the 11 v. 11 goals as they sometimes will take the weights form those goals to anchor the smaller goals down.

    I have been doing a game on an adjacent field and looked over and seen 8 v. 8 goals not anchored and the game is about to start or in progress. I have stopped my game and than gone over and gotten the attention of the official and the home coach to point out the safety factor.

    I have also seen coaches holding practices where goals are moved to shorten fields and the like with no weights on the moved goals. So all who read this please anchor those goals. and yes I have seen unanchored goals off the field topple over in wind. Being used or not they always should be anchored.

    If you don't think it can happen here, in 1998 in Sudbury a youth soccer player was seriously hurt when a goal fell on his leg fracturing it.