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Question Number: 32192

High School 1/23/2018

RE: high school High School

concerned parent of Riverside, Ca United States asks...

for high school games is there a rule that specifies where the spectator sits in regards to parents and team on one side. Or as in club both teams are on one side and all spectators are on the opposite side of the field? I have been trying to find a rule for high school but only find that spectators are supposed to be 10 yards from bench and touch lines.

Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

You are right, the NFHS rules do not specify which side of the field spectators should occupy but as has been mentioned in several answers recently, the home team officials or venue management are responsible for the overall maintenance of a safe and non-threatening environment in which to play a game, so if they have come up with a set of guidelines for spectator location (and my understanding is that they quite often do) then those guidelines would be the ones to be followed.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

NFHS has broad guidelines about where spectators can view the game. The main principle is that they must be 10 feet from from the touchline and they cannot be behind the goal areas unless seated in bleachers. In addition States can come up with their own policies on spectator management such as spectators must be on one side of the field away from the team benches. Those state policies are being enforced to promote spectator sportsmanship.
In addition if a particular venue puts in place a spectator management plan that must be adhered to. My experience is that those plans have been developed based on previous experiences of spectator management and safety. Spectators should always adhere to local advice on such matters.

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