Topple dangers posed by free-standing soccer goalposts


Owain Pedgley, Sports SET Network, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Sheffield, Mappin Street, Sheffield S1 3JD, UK. Tel.: +44 114 222 7897, Fax: +44 114 222 7855. E-mail:


The toppling (or `tip-over') of soccer goalposts has resulted in many human injuries and fatalities worldwide. One design of a soccer goalpost, the `free-standing' type, is particularly susceptible to toppling. This paper presents analyses of the safety and design issues surrounding free-standing goalposts. First, a mathematical route for the generation of topple data is outlined. Second, data-sets for Mini-Soccer goalposts are used to scrutinise real-world toppling scenarios. Design steps are proposed for reducing the likelihood of (and subsequent severity of injury from) goalpost toppling. The results are compared against current safety provision contained in the British Standards Institution's (BSI) documents BS EN 748:1996 and PAS 36-1/2:2000. It is intended that manufacturers apply the analysis techniques outlined in this paper to gather quantitative data on the safety of their own products.