The Crest of the Commonwealth of Australia Treasury Portfolio Ministers
Picture of Chris Pearce

Chris Pearce

Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer

26 October 2004 - 3 December 2007

Media Release of 10/10/2005

NO.030

DON'T SWING ON THE RING

A mandatory safety standard for basketball rings and backboards introduced today by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer, the Hon Chris Pearce MP, will help parents keep children safe from falling basketball hoops and debris.

"Since 1996, three people aged from nine to 20 years old have died when the structure supporting a basketball ring collapsed on top of them", Mr Pearce said.

"Injuries resulting in hospitalisation are equally alarming. Many of us recall the tragic incident involving Terry Vo, a ten year old boy in Western Australia, when the wall holding a basketball ring collapsed on top of him, severing both his hands and one foot.

"The new mandatory standard requires that a warning notice and symbol accompany a basketball ring and backboard at the time of sale. In addition, a label must be permanently fixed to the backboard; warning that swinging on the ring may cause serious injury or death," Mr Pearce said.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is responsible for enforcing the new standard.

The ACCC’s safety education campaign, supported by Basketball Australia, accompanies the introduction of the new standard. The campaign aims to raise consumer awareness of the safe use, installation and maintenance of basketball rings and backboards.

The campaign is supported by Canberra TransACT Capitals Head Coach, Ms Carrie Graf, at the Australian Institute of Sport, Canberra.

“ 'Don’t swing on the basketball ring’ is the key message for this education campaign and I would like to thank the AIS and Canberra TransACT Capitals for their support", Mr Pearce said.

Mr Pearce warned that the weight of the player can dislodge an unsafe basketball ring and backboard installation, placing the player at risk of fatal or serious injury from falling debris such as bricks and gutters.

"Basketball rings and backboards installed on brick walls found on many garages and above doors are easily dislodged", he said. "I strongly encourage all home owners to check the safety of existing installations of basketball rings – and take prompt action to remove unsafe hoops.

"The new safety standard and campaign are part of a national plan developed by Commonwealth, State and Territory fair trading agencies to safeguard and educate consumers”, Mr Pearce said.

Copies of the safety brochure can be ordered from the ACCC Infocentre on 1300 302 502 or by visiting the ACCC’s website (accc.gov.au).

Contact: Andrew Conway (Office of The Hon Chris Pearce) 02 6277 2088

ACCC Infocentre: 1300 302 502