2 Goalpost safety guidance

Goal post safety shutterstock 78921229Serious and fatal accidents have occurred due to inappropriate use, maintenance, construction, design and/or installation
of goalposts.

This guide has been designed to provide important facts and guidelines to ensure that all football goals and equipment are safe in use and whilst being stored.


BS EN 748:2004

  • Applies to socketed & freestanding full size posts
  • All free-standing goals must be anchored in use and during storage
  • All socket type goals should be concreted into the ground
  • Steel cup net hooks shall not be used - illegal since 2007

BS EN 8462:2005

  • Applies to all non full size goals
  • All free-standing goals must be anchored in use and storage
  • All socket type goals must have weighted bottom back bar
  • All socket type goals should be concreted into the ground
  • Steel cup net hooks shall not be used - illegal since 2007

There are standards specified for other sports, they follow the general guidance laid out below. The relevant standards are:
Hockey BS EN 750
Badminton BS EN 1509
Basketball BS EN 1270
Handball BS EN 749
Volleyball BS EN 1271-2/A

World Rugby supplied the following statement: "For World Rugby and our member unions, player safety is the number-one concern in all aspects of the game and the structure of goal-posts is no exception. With advice from World Rugby if required, it is up to our individual member unions to work out their own approach to matters such as these. We do, however, recommend that all equipment on the field complies with the requirements of EN 748 or an equivalent standard applicable within their jurisdiction. We have had input into the development of the EN standard, which is formulated as a best-practice guide with safety in mind."

There are other goals that are not covered by specific standards ie netball and basketball. These need to be checked also for stability and general upkeep. For example, netball goals should not be left upright as they are easily blown over in high winds. Portable goals, such as basketball goals, should be adequately weighted.

The Football Association has produced its own detailed guidance, which you may also find useful.


Check at least ONCE A WEEK and before any game or training activity. Look for:

  • Loose and missing nuts, bolts, pins and other fixings
  • Firm attachment to anchoring posts or signs of movement in sockets
  • Broken or missing net fixings
  • Any broken cord in the nets
  • Bent sections or other damage to any part of the goal
  • Check all label are firmly attached and fully legible

Check EVERY TIME a goal is repositioned

  • Firm re-attachment to all of its anchors
  • Check that anchors are secure
  • If weights are used, check they are present
  • Check that the goal has not been bent or otherwise damaged whilst being moved
  • That if removing the posts, the sockets are covered with appropriate covers

Check ANNUALLY (ideally prior to start of season). All items as above and in addition, the goal must be tested for strength and stability using a test rig, and never by hanging or swinging from the crossbar.



A permanent identification label should be attached to every goal.

On receipt/installation of a new goal, a logbook should be established to record when the goal was purchased and first erected, together with how it was installed and how it is maintained.

Logbooks should be kept for a minimum of 21 years to ensure that evidence of good practice is available in the event of any subsequent legal proceedings.

Basketball postsSTORING GOALS

Goals should be:

  • Properly stored when not in use
  • Locked securely and safely to a wall or fence or flat on the ground
  • Note that portable posts may be chained face to face in pairs or by putting them in securable enclosures

Should not be:

  • Accessible, left upright or un-stabilised


Replacement items should always:

  • Be purchased from the original manufacturer or supplier
  • That the combination of goals and new components will conform to BS EN748 or BS 8462 as appropriate.
  • New goals should conform to the latest British and European standards (BSEN748 or BS 8462:2005)
  • Manufacturers should be able to supply test certificates, if needed
  • No home-made or modified goals should be used
  • Wooden goals should not be used and do not meet the European Standard

Copies of the standards can be found at:
The Football Association - www.thefa.com
The RFU - www.englandrugby.com/governance/legal-and-admin/health-and-safety

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