TO: NCYSA Member Associations
FROM: M. Keith Price, President, NC Youth Soccer
NEWS ALERT Bentonville AR.
(Bentonville, AR) -- A fourth grader from northwest Arkansas dies after a soccer goal falls on top of him. It happened in Bentonville about 2:30 Wednesday afternoon at Elm Tree Elementary School.
Bentonville Superintendent Dr. Gary Compton says several students were leaning against the goal when it toppled over onto Jonathan Nelson, fracturing the 9-year old's skull. School officials say the goal that fell on Nelson was an older goal that wasn't anchored to the ground. Compton says two nurses were on scene, and the boy was rushed to Northwest Medical Center in Bentonville where he died a short time later.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, 34 children have been killed by soccer goal tip overs since 1979. 200 are injured every year.
We've discussed this issue often but we can never discuss it enough. Nine year old Jonathan Nelson dies from a goal tip over. Thirty Four children have died since 1979 from tip overs. Two Hundred are injured every year from tip overs. This is very disturbing to me and I hope it is to you as well.
I want to urge you all to preach goal safety all the time. Make sure your goals are anchored properly. DON'T FORGET goals that are not in use that surround a field. These can be more dangerous than those on the field if they are not anchored. If you see kids hanging on goals, not only tell them they can't do that but share with them why. Let them know just how dangerous it is. Make sure your coaches, team managers and parents are on board with the message. IT IS EVERYONE'S RESPONSIBILITY TO MAKE SURE NO ONE ELSE BECOMES A STATISTIC FROM GOAL TIP OVERS.
This message was sent by John Bouda, North Carolina State Referee Administrator to all NC Soccer officials.
Law 1 is very specific about safety 'Goals must be anchored securely to the ground. Portable goals may only be used if they satisfy this requirement'.
We, the referees, are responsible for the safety of our fields and the players. Please, ALWAYS be the referee who handles this duty and responsibility seriously. Anchored and secured goals are the ONLY way a game may be played. And, don't trust that the referee crew before you handled it properly either.
We prompt all tournament directors, club officials, staff, team managers and referees to take this matter in serious consideration.
Remember, the safety of the players come first!.
NC Youth Soccer greatly appreciates the referee's commitment to goal safety and supports them 100% with their game time decisions regarding this very serious issue. Their responsibility is for the safety of the playing field and the players on it. You are responsible for the goals that surround the field not in use as well as those on the field in use. PLEASE, do all you can to make sure no one in N C becomes a statistic due to goal tip over.
Best wishes to all teams and associations as we move into the spring season.
M. Keith Price
N C Youth Soccer