IMPORTANT: Check goals before EVERY match...

Discussion in 'Referee' started by Tarheel Ref, May 11, 2007.

  1. Tarheel Ref

    Tarheel Ref New Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2007
    Location:
    Chapel Hill, NC
    Got this email from one of my assignors...please make sure the word gets around how important our jobs are and that they be done correctly.

    "
    Soccer Officials, Athletic Directors and Soccer Coaches
    Please check to make sure your soccer goals are secured!
    Boy, 10, dies when soccer goal crashes onto him
    WRC-TV
    Updated: 3:54 p.m. ET May 9, 2007

    WINCHESTER, Va. - A young soccer player died during a scrimmage Monday evening in Winchester , Va.
    Investigators said 10-year-old Hayden Barnes Ellias was playing goalkeeper for the Winchester United under-11 team. They said he was positioned in the goal on a Millbrook High School soccer field. Coaches said action was taking place on the other side of the field when they heard a loud crash.

    Police said the goal toppled over on Ellias, killing him. They are investigating how the incident happened.
    "At this point we're unsure of exactly what happened," said Steve Edwards of Frederick County Public Schools. "Frederick County Sheriff's Department is doing an investigation. The only thing we can say with any certainty is that it was a terrible, tragic accident."

    School officials said the independent soccer league -- a partnership between Frederick County Public Schools and the park system -- used school equipment.

    Officials could not specifically identify which goal was involved in the accident.

    "The goals are portable, the goals that they were using last night, and they were owned by the Frederick County schools, but in terms of how they were secured and so on and so forth, I don't have any information on that," Edwards said.

    That is a question we must have answer to!"


    REMEMBER THIS AS WE GO OUT THIS AND EVERY WEEKEND...thanks


  2. FIFARay007

    FIFARay007 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2004
    Location:
    CT
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    Country:
    United States
    This was a horrible tragedy. My thoughts and prayers go out to his friends and family.

    As refs, please make sure you forward this to your assignors and other refs, so that everyone is aware.

    Here's another link from msnbc http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18580434/

    There have been times I haven't started games because of this. 99 times out of 100 everything is fine, but there's still that 1%, and I never want to be responsible for it.
  3. Tarheel Ref

    Tarheel Ref New Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2007
    Location:
    Chapel Hill, NC
    From your postscript:

    "A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.
    - D.A."

    How about the "ingenuity" of these portable goals...
  4. Chiller15J

    Chiller15J New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2007
    Location:
    Chicago Area
    I got this e-mail from my AYSO regional commissioner a few days ago. It's so horrible that simply checking the goals might have saved the kids life. Thats why every week, I'm usually the first one at the fields, I check as many fields and goals as I can before the games begin.


  5. FIFARay007

    FIFARay007 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2004
    Location:
    CT
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    Country:
    United States
    I'm just trying to figure out what portable goals would be heavy enough to do this. I have some pop-up goals which are great for 3 v 3 or something, but can't imagine why you'd have big portable goals. Either way, if they were big enough to cause harm, someone really should have weighted them down.
  6. Tarheel Ref

    Tarheel Ref New Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2007
    Location:
    Chapel Hill, NC
    FROM THE ARTICLE:

    "Officials could not specifically identify which goal was involved in the accident."

    I had a really really horrible "joke" in extremely poor taste about this line but will use my personal editing function and refrain.

    Upon further review, maybe they aren't sure of the manufacturer or maybe it was a homemade deal done on the cheap.

  7. blech

    blech Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2002
    Location:
    California
    I got a "stake" for being one of the first three to arrive at a ref clinic a few years ago, and then picked up another one along the way, so I always have a couple in the side pocket of my bag when I head to the field just in case. (If you're in a position of running such clinics, it's an inexpensive and easy way to send out this message).

    I've never had to use them, but I am ready, and won't start a game if the goal is not secure. No exceptions.
  8. Tarheel Ref

    Tarheel Ref New Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2007
    Location:
    Chapel Hill, NC
    Great idea...I keep adding to my kit and that seems like the next smart thing. I keep twine, rope and tape to fix nets but never though to add anchors.

    A couple of horseshoe stakes is a smart idea and could even save a life
  9. refmike

    refmike New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2003
    Location:
    Cal North
    Most of the goal post injuries in the last few years were from goals the coach set up for a scrimmage that did not use a referee. Referees are trained to check the goals but coaches are not. There is no statement in the article about the presence of a referee so don't assume there was one.
  10. DC Braveheart

    DC Braveheart Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2001
    Location:
    Oak Hill, VA or RFK
    Club:
    DC United
    Country:
    Scotland
    I was at a game a few years back - U10 rec All Stars in Sterling, VA. It was a very windy day. Midway through the second half, while the ball was in the other half I heard a loud bang and looked back to the other end of the field to see a rather shaken looking keeper staring at a goal that had overturned and landed just 3 feet behind her. Scared the ***t out of me to think what might have happened.

    So what did the ref crew do? Well abandoning the match did not appear to be in their vocabulary. They simply had some parents lift the goal back into position ... they had them stand on the rear of the goal for the rest of the game. I headed off to the field marshall's tent ... :mad: ... I hope they never ref'ed a game after that.

    I spent today sending e-mails out to the coaches in my league about this incident (quite local to us - I coach a team in the same league) and at practice today was still having to warn kids away from climbing on goals while their parents sat in the chairs oblivious to the danger their kids were putting themselves in. :(
  11. Chiller15J

    Chiller15J New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2007
    Location:
    Chicago Area
    I can't believe they continued the game:eek:.

    Why do kids hang on goals? Come on especially the plastic tube goals, those can snap!! The bigger metal ones, I can understand them thinking it won't break, but I doubt they think of it falling over on them. I hope the coaches who see this send it to their players and they will think twice about hanging on goals.
  12. roby

    roby Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2005
    Um....just curious. Wouldn't you be assuming liability in the event "your " staked goals failed to hold?

    Play on......
  13. socref79

    socref79 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2007
    NCSL and WAGS have both put out emails to assignors, and I have notified the referees working for me. NCSL will take action if any referee does not heed its advice. Good move on their part.
  14. gosellit

    gosellit BigSoccer Supporter

    Joined:
    May 10, 2005
  15. roby

    roby Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2005
    C'mon now! It's not like this is an issue that just suddenly reared it's ugly head. It's always been the match official ('s) duty, among other things, to insure that a fair and "safe" atmosphere be present. I'm not sure of what any rulebook says but any Ref pounding stakes into the ground would probably be held liable should they fail. Kinda like your passenger in an auto not wearing their seatbelt.

    Play on.....
  16. Tarheel Ref

    Tarheel Ref New Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2007
    Location:
    Chapel Hill, NC
    Of course this isn't just now rearing its head. I posted this article to REMIND all referees how important it is to inspect goals. I'm not an attorney and am unsure exactly how your liability issue would apply, but I'm addressing the more practical and important issue of preventing the serious injury or death of a child because of less important considerations like starting a game exactly on time or simply assuming that because I worked a field last week that the goals are still OK.

    Are you advocating that referees should abdicate their responsibility to ensure a safe playing field because of the potential liability? Personally I'd rather sit in court for weeks on end than know that my irresponsibility had led to the death or serious injury of a child. That's just me, though. To each his (or her) own.

    SAFE, fair, fun.
  17. roby

    roby Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2005

    Well, I re-read my post and I think I was saying that if the pitch did not meet the required safety standards the match should not commence until the problems are addressed and corrected by the local club officials....not the Refs. Yes...I've done matches in remote cow pastures where I had to improvise using baling twine to repair the nets and numerous bags of "fresh fertilizer" to weigh the goals down. Sometimes being Mr. Nice Guy comes back to bite you in the a55!

    In this day and age it would not be wise to pooh pooh any potential liability issue. Your AR might bump into a spectator sipping a piping hot Mc'D's coffee and we all know what the result was when that happened before.

    play on.....
  18. Tarheel Ref

    Tarheel Ref New Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2007
    Location:
    Chapel Hill, NC
    Roby I'm glad to hear that we are in agreement. I was a bit sharp and I apologize for that.

    I carry rope, twine, electrical tape and a knife (don't tell anyone that) to repair nets but prefer to simply hand it to the home club reps rather than do any repairs myself. I've never run into a "dangerous" goal situation and was simply working towards the same thing you say at the end of your post...play on. Folks would go ballistic if we said the goals were unsafe and then simply left.

    As for liability, I really need to learn more about our insurance through USSF but until then I generally try to rely on common sense (although I know any PI lawyer would disregard that in favor of big $$$). On other issues, I don't touch injured players or try to break up fights, just back up and tell the closest players that they really need to stop whatever's going on...although I rarely have serious physical altercations when I'm in the middle.

    As for the anchoring the goals issue, I'd do it only after hanging on the crossbar and shaking the goals to make sure they were solid.

    Play on...in a safe, fair fun manner (kinda cheesy but makes sense).
  19. Chiller15J

    Chiller15J New Member

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    Apr 9, 2007
    Location:
    Chicago Area
    What are you allowed to do with trying to break up fights?
  20. Tarheel Ref

    Tarheel Ref New Member

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    May 3, 2007
    Location:
    Chapel Hill, NC
    Be proactive and address physical play before it gets to that point. Once something starts, take numbers, back up and watch your back.
  21. Chiller15J

    Chiller15J New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2007
    Location:
    Chicago Area
    So we pretty much just watch it once a fight begins, can we get in between people to prevent a fight from starting? I would think so?
  22. blech

    blech Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2002
    Location:
    California
    Getting in between two (or more) players is definitely not recommended, especially as you get into the older age groups for your own safety (but some basic common sense is that the last thing you would want to do is be in a situation where you suddenly have a player who deserves a red card accusing you of having put a hand on him). Agree with the post above about hopefully avoiding it beforehand by being proactive. If it's happened, sometimes a strong loud whistle nearby ought to do the trick to snap them out of it (but be careful when putting the whistle to mouth that there are no stray fists flying). And, no, I wouldn't be encouraging other players to get in there and break it up - anyone going in even with good intentions only adds to the problem.

    Re the liability issue, I could be wrong but I would think that many are going to be protected by insurance through whatever organization you're working with. I also don't know that it necessarily makes any difference whether you supply the stakes or force them to go to the store to buy some if they're not readily available. If something were to happen and you were the ref on the field who made the check on the goal and then had the club fix it (and then presumably checked it again but failed to catch whatever problem still existed), you could just as easily end up being named in a lawsuit by an aggressive attorney. The fact that you made them fix it with their own equipment as opposed to using your own stakes doesn't seem significant to me from a legal perspective. And, it would also be a pretty good defense from a negligence perspective to have been prepared and to have used equipment that you believed to be sound, even if an unfortunate situation ended up occurring anyway. So I get the point you were trying to make, and I suppose anything is possible in this day and age, but it seems pretty farfetched to me and I'm going to continue to carry my stakes just in case of emergency. (I mean if you're going to get that scared about the lawsuits, you might as well not step out there in the first place.... and what's the fun of that for you or the kids!)
  23. roby

    roby Member

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    Feb 27, 2005
  24. NHRef

    NHRef Member+

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2004
    Location:
    Southern NH
    Had a net blow over yesterday on a game I was coaching. The keeper had just stepped out a few steps and it missed him by about 2 feet. There where sandbags on the goal, they were on the netting the keeper said. As a coach I hadn't checked beyond just shooting a glance down at the net and seeing the bags.
  25. Tarheel Ref

    Tarheel Ref New Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2007
    Location:
    Chapel Hill, NC
    Your point about a strong whistle in their ear is excellent...and another point of support for my Acme Thunderer.

    I can understand your point about not encouraging others to join, and I probably wasn't clear about specifically how I handle this. If something does start I'll look for the aggressor's teammate and tell him "You need to make your teammate stop" or something like that but I see how that could backfire too. I'd be interested in hearing how you try to handle this situation. Like I said, I don't have this happen often because I try to aggressively punish rough/careless/reckless play early, but sometimes things degenerate for seemingly no apparent reason...especially in the Latino leagues.

    I've learned a lot by participating on this board since I joined (this month) and any tips or tricks you've got would be appreciated.

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