At the November 2006 AGM, the MYSA membership passed rules concerning unanchored goals and league play. It is now the rule that goals must be properly anchored or the game will be rescheduled. See Rules 18.104.22.168 and 22.214.171.124. In addition, home teams (and their clubs) can be fined or games forfeited if the goals are not properly anchored. See Rule 126.96.36.199.
“Home built” goals are not recommended. They do not conform to safety standards and may contain design or construction flaws that are not obvious. In addition, they present liability issues both to the party that manufactured them and to the club that uses the goals.
Permanent or portable goals need to be anchored according to the manufacturer or the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission standards. The use of sandbags alone is not allowed. Goals should be anchored at all times, not just during games and practices. Portable goals need to be secured, or removed and stored if not anchored, during off game/practice times. Inspections should be done at both regular times and spot checks on an irregular basis to make sure the anchoring system has not been tampered with.
Safety also includes such things as looking for sharp edges, protruding bolts or hooks, tampering, wear and tear, torn nets, etc., on a regular basis. The goals should be looked at with an eye towards player safety.
While the main educational focus is on clubs and coaches, parents also need to be educated to keep their players and non-playing children off the goals at all times. Goals are not balance beams, playground climbing apparatus, or chin-up bars to be used when the field is not in use.
Goal safety should be everyone’s concern. We owe it to the players so they can enjoy the game. Feel free to contact MYSA with any questions.