DC Soccer Club recognizes the inherent dangers associated with unanchored or improperly anchored soccer goals tipping over, and that care must be taken to ensure proper setup, maintenance, and transportation of movable soccer goals. This policy is to inform and instruct anyone involved with soccer goals of the potential dangers posed by soccer goals and ways to ensure safe operations around goals. While DC Soccer Club only uses fields that are owned and maintained by others, and therefore does not have full control of the goals and other field equipment, these policies are intended to prevent, to the extent possible, injury or death as a result of soccer goal misuse. The guidelines in this policy have been adapted from safety tips provided by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

This policy applies to all DC Soccer Club management, coaches, managers, parents/guardians, spectators, and athletes. The use of the term “goals” in this document refers to metal-framed soccer goals, typically with dimensions ranging from 6’ x 18’ to 8’ x 24’. Such goals may be anchored in place in the ground, or they may be moveable. This policy does not apply to small “pop up” goals like PUGG and KICKSTER goals (usually 4’ x 6’ flexible frame goals) or plastic-framed portable goals that are 4’ x 6’. These goals are deemed safer than larger, metal-framed goals; however, much of the information on the safe usage of portable goals that follows still may still be taken into consideration when handling these smaller goals. 

The following policies are in place to keep goals and nets secure and youth athletes safe.  Coaches, parents/guardians, and spectators should advise children, youth athletes, and any other person accompanying them for whom they are responsible for these policies.

General Goal Safety

At the start of each season, DC Soccer Club staff will inspect goal equipment to identify and remedy any safety issues. DC Soccer Club management, coaches, team managers, parents/guardians, spectators, and athletes should be aware of, and, to the extent possible, follow the following goal safety guidelines, provided by the U.S. CPSC:

  • Check for structural integrity and proper connecting hardware before every use; replace damaged or missing parts or fasteners immediately.
  • NEVER allow anyone to climb on the net or goal framework.
  • Ensure safety/warning labels are clearly visible (placed under the crossbar and on the sides of the down-posts at eye level).

Goal Use

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, playing, climbing, or hanging on any part of a soccer goal can result in serious injury, including death. Therefore, any use of a soccer goal that is inconsistent with soccer-related activity, including without limitation, playing, climbing, or hanging on any part of the soccer goal is strictly prohibited.This especially applies to children climbing on or hanging from nets or goal frames.

If a coach, parent/guardian, or spectator observes any child inappropriately using a soccer goal or net, they are to immediately and politely ask that child to stop. If the activity continues, they are to notify a coach, referee, or the child's parent, if known, as soon as possible. 

Weighting Goals

Goals should be anchored or secured in some fashion so that they are less susceptible to tipping over. If a coach, parent/guardian, or spectator sees any soccer goal that is not anchored down or otherwise secure during a training session, practice, tryout, or other DC Soccer Club-sponsored activity, they are to contact the coach or DC Soccer Club management immediately.

Moving Goals

Goals should be moved by club personnel, which includes staff coaches, volunteer coaches, and team managers. Older players (ages 16 and up) should only move goals with appropriate adult supervision and involvement.

Policy Enforcement

Any DC Soccer Club coach or manager who does not adhere to this policy will be considered in violation of DC Soccer Coaches Code of Conduct. Any parent/guardian who does not adhere to this policy will be considered in violation of the DC Soccer Club Parent Code of Conduct. Any player who does not adhere to this policy will be in violation of the DC Soccer Club Player Code of Conduct.