Case Study: What's Wrong With This Picture?, Vol. 2

It’s hard to know what’s wrong with this picture unless you were there, so I’ll tell you: this portable goal is not anchored. Note that the GK is on the field as the match was just about to begin.

There are a lot of grey areas in our jobs, but goal safety isn’t one of them. According to the website Anchored For Safety, 27 people in the USA have been killed by unanchored goals.

I was passing by when I noticed this goal and snapped the photo on my phone. The young referee had just whistled to start the game when I yelled at him and walked out on to the field to get him to stop the game. To say that he was upset with me is an understatement. But safety is our number one priority, even if it means stopping a game and embarrassing a referee. (At halftime, I went over and spoke to him and patched things up.)

Take a moment to learn more about the importance of goal safety by watching this important – and gut wrenching – video.

The sport we love should never be associated with this kind of senseless tragedy, and we have the power to do something about it.

Let’s make a commitment to ALWAYS check goals for safety before EVERY match, without exception. Furthermore, let’s pledge to check on each other and to not be offended when a referee spots an unsafe goal on our field.

For more information on goal safety, visit the Anchored For Safety website.

4 responses to “Case Study: What's Wrong With This Picture?, Vol. 2”

  1. A typical experience is: AD/field guy says, “Oh yeah, I don’t have any stakes/sandbags/anchors.” Then when you say, “sorry folks, no game without anchored goals,” the local league/school, etc. never lets you ref again. *facepalm* A very disagreeable situation. I’ve taken to putting anchors AND zipties (nets are often a terrible mess) in my bag because inevitably, it happens. I write up the report and I realize there’s a liability issue I’m risking by anchoring things myself, but it’s like a ball pump… no one ever has the basic gear and I wanna play.


    • If you’ve been black listed for following the LotG, then you need to contact your RDO or some other person with the referees’ association. The LotG are freely available for all people, it isn’t your fault if they don’t want to follow them. Also, there already IS a Zach’s Law — it’s Law 1.


  2. Just refereed an adult rec game and checked the goals prior (as I’ve done for 17 years as a Grade 8 ref.) During the match, a player who had just missed an easy shot slapped the goal (apparently applying the stated 22 pounds of force,) which caused enough motion to slam the goal back, then it toppled forward and onto its face. No one was hurt, but I stopped the match until we could fix it. The ground around the anchors had dried out, and it wasn’t an obvious problem when I checked them. I immediately reported it to the venue staff. I warned the adults to not touch the goal unnecessarily, and have sent off players (kids) I’ve witnessed swinging from the top bar. I know I have a responsibility as a referee, and so do the players, coaches, and field staff. This situation calls for everyone’s awareness.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: