Starting in the 2017 season, The TRU will now require technical zones in addition to all other normal field policies. The technical zone consists of three separate areas: a coach’s box, a bench zone that all teams and assistant coaches must stay inside of for the duration of the match, and an administrative zone. These technical zones will be painted/roped/coned on the field along with the field of play markings.
What is a Technical Zone?
‘Technical Zones’ are a catch-all term for a way to set up and run a field for a rugby match in an organized fashion. Simplified, it is a box painted on the sideline of the field meant to contain coaches and substitute players, a designated place for a stat taker or #4 referee (if applicable to your match) as well as a area for spectators.
Technical Zone Diagram – This diagram is an example of an International match’s technical zone. Your setup may differ slightly due to available field space.
- Each home team is responsible for paining/roping/coning clearly marked technical zones to include the following areas: coach’s box, bench zones, and administrative area for every home game
- There will be one coach’s box and one bench zone designated for each team and one administrative area positioned between both teams.
- Coach boxes should be no larger than 5m (16.5ft) wide and 2m (6.5ft) deep. The coach box will start at the 10 meter line of the playing area and measure 5 meters toward the goal line, and start 2m (6.5ft) away from the touch line and measure 2 meters away from the playing area.
- There should be no more than one coach in the coach box at any given time during the game. This coach MUST be a CURRENT Level 200 certified coach with USA Rugby.
- Team bench areas must be located behind the coach box, with no required minimum or maximum amount of space between the two.
- Bench areas should be no larger and no smaller than 12m (20ft) long and 3.5m (10ft) deep, allowing space for tents or canopies. This bench area must be roped off so that it can be clearly seen by the referee, touch judges or assistant referees, and the fourth official. No players may leave this area during the game other than at half time, or in the event of a substitution. Players preparing for a substitution may warm up outside of the bench zone with the permission of the 4th official/field monitor.
- The space created between the two team areas (coach box and bench zone) will be no larger than 20m wide and no smaller than 15m wide. This area will be sectioned off for the fourth official, field monitor(s) and medical personnel, also known as the administrative area. This area should be no deeper than 10m, and should start 2m from the touch line.
**NOTE: A Referee or Match Official may remove any coach, player or spectator from the playing enclosure at any time for negative behavior. This includes stopping the match until the person has left the playing and spectating enclosure.
Stat Taker – These positions can be a parent, a player or volunteer. A #4 referee should be required at every match and is easy to implement. They keep the score, track substitutes and keep the time for sin bins or blood subs. All the #4 referee paperwork is available on the TRU resources page and is extremely simple to use. The paperwork tracks all the information needed to properly score and track a match and is also great for reporting box sores to the newspaper or online media!
There is a free course on Worldrugby.org that anyone can take to learn this position officially. It is a simple addition to make a game that much more structured.
Sideline Behavior – Unfortunately we have to bring this up, as it does occur. We get reports weekly of coach, player and fan behavior issues. Although a TZ box does not inherently diminish the complaints a coach or sideline might have, it adds structure to a chaotic sideline and allows a referee and players to know where communication is coming from.
Referees – Refereeing the game of rugby is a lot to handle and the game is only getting more complicated every year. The players are getting faster, stronger and more knowledgeable, and referees have to up their game on the field. TZs drastically help referees to keep non-playing items organized and orderly. Until every match has Assistant Referees and #4 referees assigned, the referee in the middle is responsible for refereeing the match, keeping the score, tracking the time, tracking the time of sin bins, tracking the time of blood subs, tracking the number of substitutes and when they can come on and off the field, and lots of other items. Having designated spaces for other aspects of the game and a stat tracker can greatly help a referee manage the game.
The TRU understands that not all clubs will be able to comply with these new requirements due to field space or limitations with their facility. Clubs can submit a waiver request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The TRU Board will review each waiver request and let teams know if they are granted. We would recommend including as much detail and supporting documentation as possible.