Feb 1, 2013 11:35 PM by Kristi Tedesco
TUCSON - Soccer is a very popular sport but did you know it could be deadly.
Thousands of our kids play the game in Tucson and it turns out there is a hidden hazard that can cause death or serious injury.
Kristi's Kids investigated the problem of portable soccer goals tipping over.
At Rillito Park we found a group of guys practicing soccer on one of the fields. One of their friends was injured. "He was hanging on those portable goals," explains Stefan. "And he was trying to carry it and he pulled down and it landed on his arm and broke it."
"They've actually been killed?" Elaine Paddy is a soccer mom Kristi's Kids talked with at the Ft. Lowell Shootout. She was shocked to the number of fatalities we showed her.
Dozens of kids killed in fact. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission 35-people have died since 1979 from falling soccer goals.
We found at least 10-unsecured goals at Jacobs Park on the west side.
It didn't take much to pull them over.
One of the goals has warning labels stating the goals must secured with spikes or sandbags.
At Kino North Soccer Complex, FC Tucson head coach Rich Schantz, knows the danger.
He demonstrates how easy it is for a goal to flip over.
"You can just lift the back as such, and once it comes up, it's really hard to control."
Permanent goals are being phased out because when a player hits these at full speed they can be seriously injured.
Portable goals will give when a player runs into them. They are also useful in practice.
"You don't want to the kids to be playing on a full field all the time because it limits the amount of time they're actually spending on the ball."
Newer "tip-proof" goals are now available. Several were installed this month at Kino North.
"The design is so that the back is longer than the face of the goal. So there's more weight to the back of it," explains Coach Schantz.
But what about those unsecured goals at Jacobs Park?
Kristi's Kids caught up with Tucson Parks and Recreation Director Fred Gray. We told him about those unsecured goals.
"We will look into that because I know we play numerous tournaments there and league games and stuff there. So that's a surprise to me. So we'll take a look at that to see."
And they did. After our investigation, the portable goals were removed from Jacob's park.
Gray says most of the city goals are permanent and they ask local leagues to make sure the portable goals are used correctly.
The parents Kristi's Kids talked to now see these goals differently.
"Well initially I would not believe that soccer goals can tip over," says our soccer mom Elaine. "And secondly I wouldn't believe that they would tip over and actually hit a kid hard enough to make them die!"
We checked on the goals during the recent Ft. Lowell Shootout and they were properly secured.
For the complete list of fatalities and injuries visit anchoredforsafety.org by clicking here.