National guidelines for the safety of junior goalposts were launched in the UK on Wednesday July 12, 2000 following a number of recent child deaths from falling crossbars.
Nine children have been killed in Britain by falling crossbars in the past ten years, and the new guidelines, from the British Standards Institution, lay down minimum safety requirements for the 25,000 sites where junior goals are used throughout the country.
The BSI guide, PAS 36-1:2000, covers both seven-a-side and five-a-side goals used in schools, private and local authority sports clubs, and private football clubs. It includes guidance on strength, stability and anchoring systems, together with basic dimensional requirements and test methods. The guide also calls for product information marking and a warning label on the goal frame.
David Lazenby, director standards of BSI, said:
"We must all learn from these tragic deaths, and this guide should help prevent further deaths from happening. Our new guide will enable manufacturers and operators to prove that they're the best - and only the best is good enough for Britain's children."
The guide has been backed by the Football Association, the Health and Safety Executive, and the UK Department for Culture, Media and Sport.
The Minister for Sport, Kate Hoey, said:
"I welcome any move that will help to improve the level of safety in children's football. Our children should be able to enjoy sport in this country in the knowledge that they will be able to do it safely. We must do everything we can to ensure that this type of accident does not happen again."