Question:
Law 1 tells us that goalposts and crossbars must be white and that they must be shaped a certain way (e.g., if the goalposts are rectangular or elliptical, the longer axis must be perpendicular to the goal line).

In Tennessee, we have goals that aren’t white (they’re bare metal), and it’s not uncommon to see portable goals that aren’t shaped as now specified in Law 1. For example:

http://www.hayneedle.com/sale/alumagoal7x21rectangularsteeljrgoalspair.cfm?srccode=cii_10043468&cpncode=00-36212823-2&source=channel_intelligence_shopzilla

If a referee notices unsanctioned goals (wrong color, wrong shape, or both), does US Soccer really want that referee to mention this in his/her referee report? Also, should goals that are the wrong shape be treated the same way as goals that aren’t white?

Should these two parts of Law 1 be ignored (by referees)? After all, neither infraction is a safety issue, and neither should be the reason for preventing a match from being played.

I’m asking how we should handle such goals because my instructors are asking me how they should teach the material and how they should respond to “What do I really do” questions.

USSF answer (August 12, 2011):
The safety of the players and other participants always comes first. Referees should conduct a complete inspection of the field and its appurtenances before every game (and again if something happens to endanger a participant). If there is a problem, such as the goal made of steel 2 x 4s in the hotlink you provided, the referee must judge whether or not the item is truly safe for the players. If the referee decides that the goal or any other appurtenance is unsafe — and there is no viable alternative — then the game cannot be played.

IN all such cases, the referee must include full details in the match report.