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Question Number: 32000

High School 11/6/2017

RE: High School

Tony of Sandwich, MA USA asks...

Is it mandatory in Massachusetts high school games that fans must watch from the other side of the field, where the team benches are not?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Tony
My understanding is that there can be designated spectator area which have to be a minimum of 10 feet from the touchline. Spectators should obey all local instructions as to where they can locate.
A general principle is that the home club has ownership and control of its ground. The home team can designate where spectators can view the game based on its own local rules and policies.

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Answer provided by Referee Gary Voshol

That will depend on the rules of the competition. You'll have to ask the State HS athletic association. I'm sure your athletic director can find out.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe Manjone

The Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) has very strict rules on Spectator Behavior. The MIAA requires the involved schools to control their spectators. In searching the MIAA Web site, the only spectator seating requirements that I could find were: spectators are not allowed to be behind the goals and that students be seated together in a student section with school chaperones present. I could not find a rule requiring spectators to be on the opposite side from the team benches.

If you have been at games where all spectators are seated opposite the team benches, I expect that this is a school rule or policy rather than an MIAA rule that is being enforced to promote spectator sportsmanship.

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