SD9 - An Examination of the Safety Issues Associated with Movable Soccer Goals

Executive Summary:
In accordance with Enactment Clause 3 of Chapter 375 of the 2013 Virginia Acts of Assembly, the Department of Conservation and Recreation convened a stakeholder workgroup, which included representatives of the Department of Education, the Department of Health, the Virginia Recreation and Park Society, youth and adult soccer associations, referees associations, professional soccer associations, the YMCA, and the Virginia Retail Merchants Association to examine the safety issues associated with movable soccer goals. The workgroup reviewed practices in other states including laws, regulations, policies, and protocols that promote safety for players, especially youth; and reviewed the current safety practices associated with movable goals followed by soccer programs sponsored by schools, public parks and recreation programs, and private associations in the Commonwealth.

The Movable Soccer Goal Safety Act created by the 2013 legislation requires every organization that owns and controls a movable soccer goal to establish a soccer goal safety and education policy that outlines how the organization will address any safety concern related to movable soccer goals, including the dangers of unanchored or improperly anchored soccer goals tipping over and the care that must be taken to ensure proper installation, setup, maintenance, and transportation of movable soccer goals; prohibits the sale of movable soccer goals that are not tip-resistant beginning July 1, 2014; and requires the Department of Conservation and Recreation to convene a workgroup to examine safety issues related to movable soccer goals. This bill contained a reenactment clause.

The report makes recommendations with regard to the Movable Soccer Goal Safety Act enacted by the 2013 General Assembly. The consensus of the workgroup resulted in the recommendation that in lieu of reenacting the 2013 legislation in 2014, the Virginia General Assembly should officially recognize the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission publication, “Guidelines for Movable Soccer Goal Safety,” through a Joint Resolution. Additionally, the Board of Health should be charged with developing technical assistance materials and promoting the safe use of soccer goals in the Commonwealth with the purpose of preventing, to the extent possible, injury and death as a result of soccer goal tip-over.