[this is a reaction to an article circulated on the howardpubliced list. allen]
----- Original Message -----
From: Richard A. Wilson <raw@...>
Sent: Friday, September 29, 2000 8:41 PM
Subject: [howardpubliced] Article: Holding parents accountable: soccer kids need
> Soccer Safety: Awareness Is the First Step
> So, how can parents help protect their children from soccer injuries. ....
[the full article is at: http://www.eurekalert.org/releases/aca-hpa092700.html ]
i served one year as a soccer coach in the western howard county rec league
and i felt quite uncomfortable with the training i received (none) regarding what to
do if there was an injury during a game or practice (this was about 7 years ago).
also, while i was doing my soccer coach research (no, i wasn't a 'natural') i read
somewhere that the most dangerous part of soccer was the possibility of the goal
falling over (usually with several children hanging on it) and seriously injuring
or killing a child.
i would place both of these problems at the feet of the organizers/schools/county
rather than anything inherently "risky" with soccer or a lack of "responsible parenting".
dealing with the "on-field emergency" should be the first thing a new coach is taught.
in addition, in howard county, the problem of goal post safety is almost impossible
to deal with because NO ONE seems to be responsible for maintaining the fields.
are the schools responsible for field maintenance or is the department of parks & rec.
responsible? and, how do you get any kind of TIMELY response?
there was one soccer goal at the glenwood middle fields that had a makeshift repair
using duct tape and a traffic sign post (with protruding bolts). i made numerous
complaints to the league officials and finally got so frustrated i removed the
"repair" myself (fortunately the glenwood principal didn't see me do this so i
i think a review of the more serious soccer injuries will point to problems from
field maintenance and lack of medical support more than any parental "neglect".
last minute web research -- apparently, the greatest risk from soccer goals
relates to portable goals that the kids lug on and off the field (at least 21 deaths
and hundreds of injuries in the US since 1979). for a good article on sports
injuries (direct and indirect) see "Playing it Safe" by mark briggs at --
see also, "Movable Soccer Goals Can Tip Over, Causing Injury Or Death" --
soccer IS a great, low risk sport. but, considering the popularity of soccer in howard
county, not enough field maintenance funds are available -- of course the need for
better funded playing field maintenance applies across the board to lacrosse, football,
field hockey, etc. we are an active county and our playing fields are one of the few
places where we can come together as a community. and, as gen. macarthur said:
"Upon the fields of friendly strife are sewn the seeds, that upon other fields,
on other days, will bear the fruits of victory."
now -- regarding the relationship between community building and lighted fields.....
p.s. my single season as a volunteer soccer coach certainly made me much more
aware of the time and energy committment that the many howard county volunteer
coaches give to our children year after year. thank you coaches.