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One of the key elements of Respect in youth football is the creation of designated areas for spectators.

 

In the 2007-08 season The FA ran a Respect pilot study in 19 leagues across England and these spectator areas had a hugely positive effect on behaviour. The barriers literally draw the line which parents and spectators should not cross.

 

Thanks to the Football Foundation, youth leagues will be able to apply for a grant to provide Designated Spectator Barrier equipment to every team within the league. The Football Foundation will supply a voucher for 50% of the cost of the equipment with the league/clubs asked to contribute just 50%. 

 

Once this application has been made, and the equipment received, you will need to supply it to clubs to mark out the Designated Spectators' Area on one side of the pitch - it is recommended that fans and parents/carers from both sides stand behind this barrier on one full length of the pitch.

 

This allows the coaches of both teams to stand on the other side of the pitch, meaning players get instructions from just one side of the pitch.

 

You may prefer an alternative form of marking a Designated Spectators' Area, but you must ensure this is safe for both the spectators and the players. The FA strongly recommends you obtain formal agreement from the facility/pitch provider about which method of marking is most suitable for the pitch, before beginning any work or buying any new equipment.

The safety of the players, officials and spectators is paramount.

 

The size of the area around home pitches will dictate whether you are able to use:

  • Poles with rope

  • Cones

  • Spray paint to mark the designated spectator areas

The spectators' area should start two metres from the touchline on one side of the pitch. Each area should run the full length of the pitch. This means no-one should be watching from behind the goals.

Where there is not enough room, you must speak to the club and agree what distance from the touchline is realistic to ensure marked areas are safe for players, match officials and spectators.

Both the poles and rope must be removed in the interests of safety after each game unless they are to be used for subsequent matches that day.

Where cones are being used club officials should ensure these are still in place at the start of any subsequent games to be played on the same pitch.

Where spray paint is used, club officials must check the lines have not faded between games.

The FA-endorsed Respect Zone Barrier Kit consists of:

  • 120 metres of specialised Respect Zone tape (2x 60 Metres lengths)

  • A complete set of safety poles

  • A simple to use and effective reeling system

  • Assembly kit comprising of mallet, securing pegs and instructions

  • Lightweight carry bag

You can apply for the equipment via your County Football Association once you have signed up to Respect.

 

Designated Spectators' Area Barriers can be used in adult football and, in fact, some adult clubs involved in The FA's Respect pilot in 2008 saw a positive change in spectator behaviour. There isn't a grant available at this time (the key aim with the barrier is to promote better parental behaviour in youth football) but barriers can be bought or adult clubs can use the alternative markings detailed above. 

 

FA+endorsed barriers can be bought from www.respectzone.com

Talk to your league secretary or County FA football development team if you have any queries on this 

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Copyright 2008 by RUGFC: All rights reserved. Revised: 07/11/07 23:01:38 +0100.