Technical Area Protocol

  • January 14, 2020

Lancashire Disciplinary have outlined the Technical Area Protocol as below:

RFU North have similar instructions.



There is a growing trend to ignore the technical area. Clubs and coaches use the excuse “the referee didn’t tell me to stay in it”. It is now important that it is self-policed for removal of doubt this document sets out the technical area protocol.

The Technical Area                                                                                                                                  

The home club are responsible for the following.

  1. Providing a permanent or temporary barrier.
  2. A marked technical area. If it is not possible to mark a permanent technical area one should be marked out with cones.

Permitted Personnel

  1. Coach
  2. Replacements
  3. Physio
  4. Yellow Carded Player

Responsibilities of Permitted Personnel

Coach or DOR

The coach or DOR must stay within the technical area at all times. He can enter the field of play only at half time. If the coach wants to move up and down the touchline it must be done from behind the barrier. However, it must be one or the other he/she cannot switch it must be technical area or behind the barrier not both.


Replacements must stay in the technical area and have shirt/top on that differentiates them from the players on the pitch. The only exceptions are.

  1. During a break in play replacements can take water on to the pitch. If a player requires water at any other time he /she must come to the technical area.
  2. One replacement may enter the field of play to take on the kicking tee.
  3. A player may leave the technical area to warm up prior to replacing a player. This must be done in an area that does not impact on the match in progress.


The Physio must stay in the technical area except when entering the field of play to attend to an injured player. It is advisable to agree a protocol with the match referee prior to kick off.

Yellow Card

When a player is temporarily suspended (yellow card) the player may stand in the technical area subject to the following.

  1. If agreed by the match referee. The referee may require the player to stand elsewhere.
  2. The player must stay silent and not shout instructions to the players.

Red Card

The player who has been sent off must go behind the barrier and cannot be in the technical area.

Discipline Sanctions

Coaches & DOR

If a coach or DOR is ordered from the technical area (red card) sanctions will be based on the equivalent on field offence.

  1. An additional sanction will be added as the Coach or DOR would be expected to set an example to the players.
  2. An additional sanction will be applied if the referee reports that staying in the technical area at the appropriate times was not adhered to.


If a replacement is ordered from the technical area prior to replacing an on field player that player can take no further part in the match.

Overall Conduct

All people in the technical area are under the same jurisdiction and control as the players on the field and are subject to refereeing sanctions. Any person, including replacements, can be asked to leave the technical area. Serious offences can result in a red card being issued and reported in the normal way. Players and coaches often think that because they are in the technical area they have licence to complain or abuse the opposition or the referee, they do not.