A crossbar is the metal structure frame of the goal that measures 7.32 meters or 24 feet wide by 2.44 meters or 8 feet tall. In majority of the tournaments, it comes with a net that is used to catch the ball and makes it easy for officials to see that a goal has been scored. Though many crossbars come with a net, the laws of the game do not mandate or require it. What is being regulated is that the net being used should not interfere with the movements of the goalkeeper.
History of the Crossbar
When talking about the crossbar, one will automatically think about the football goal. In the history of football, it was in the late 16th and early 17th centuries that these goals were mentioned and described. It was Richard Carew and John Norden who described how goals were made in 1584 and 1602. Their description suggested that a ball should pass through two bushes in the ground which should be at least 8 to 10 feet in height.
Around 1866 and 1872, tapes were used to connect two posts that were used as goals. In fact, tape was used during the final rounds of the 1872 FA Cup. Both Queens Park and the Sheffield Football Club initially used or installed and even claimed that they were the first clubs to have done so in the entire world. After 10 years, this kind of crossbar became a standard requirement for all goals. Several years later, the Sheffield Rules introduced solid crossbars.
In 1891, John Brodie of Liverpool invented the football nets. The invention was made to help determine if a goal had been scored.
It is very interesting to note that the crossbar’s shape or structure have evolved. When it was first introduced as a standard requirement by FA in the 1800s it came with square posts. Square posts for crossbars remained the official shape until it was banned in 1987 and was replaced by spherical posts.
The decision to use spherical posts was due to a controversy that happened during the final match between Saint Etienne and Bayern Munich of the European Cup at Hampden Park. Saint Etienne lost the match and blamed the shape of the crossbar. They claimed that they would have made two goals if round frames were used. After the said match, the goal frame at Hampden Park was dubbed as, “the square posts” by the French press.
When it comes to materials used, the crossbar come with steel sections made out of aluminum. Specifications of these materials follow strict safety criteria.