By now most of you have read or seen the news about the tragic death of a 10 year old soccer player who was killed when a goal fell on him during a scrimmage earlier this week. Our thoughts, prayers, and condolences go out to his family, to his teammates, and to the coaches and administrators of his team.
All of us must use this tragic event as a reminder that the safety of the players is our number one responsibility on the field. This includes ensuring that the field of play is safe. Law 1, "Field of Play," requires that goals be securely anchored to the ground. Law 5, "Referee," requires that referees inspect the field and ensure that it is safe. This includes ensuring that the goals are securely anchored.
As this tragic incident shows, goals can tip over and players can be injured and players can be killed. It is everyone’s responsibility to see that this never happens again in any soccer match played in Metro DC and Virginia.
Referees, you must inspect the goals before every match to ensure they are securely anchored. Do not let a game be played if they are not anchored. Don’t let players hang on the crossbar.
Instructors, no matter how many times you think you have said it, say it again, "Referees must ensure that the goals are anchored." We need to reinforce the tragic lessons learned from this event.
Assessors, if you ever witness a game where the goals are not anchored, do two things: get the match stopped until the goals are anchored and then fail the referee.
Assignors, please communicate with all your referees. Remind them that they must inspect the goals and ensure they are securely anchored.
This is a zero tolerance area. We need to work as one unit to make sure we do what is right. The safety of the players is paramount. All of us must do our part to ensure that such a tragic incident never happens again.
Please keep in your prayers the family of the young boy who was tragically killed.
Scott K. Meyer
State Referee Administrator