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MARFU Sideline Management Policy

(approved December 5, 2010)

In order to maximize safety and allow match officials to do their job unencumbered, the sideline must be kept clear.  To that end, the following sideline policy has been established.

1. A sideline barrier will be set up for each MARFU sponsored match. The barrier (e.g., rope) will be at least 5 meters from the sidelines and will extend from try line to try line. The barrier will be present on both sidelines. This bounded area will be referred to as the "roped area".

2. Up to two (2) CIPP-registered coaches will be allowed inside the roped area. 

3. Referee assessors and MARFU and/or Tournament officials will also be allowed in the roped area if the referee grants prior permission.

4. Team medical personnel or medical personnel available to all will be allowed within the roped area.

5. No players will be allowed within the roped area, except when being prepared as substitutes. Substitutes will be brought the roped area near the touch judge.  The touch judge or assistant referee will notify the referee at the next opportunity and the substitution will be made. Substitutes will not be allowed to warm up within the roped area.

6. Individuals allowed within the roped area must not obstruct or interfere with the assistant referee or touch judge or the ball in any way. Being allowed in this area is a privilege and not a right; those inside this area must respect the referee and the assistant referees or touch judges and not hamper their performance.

7. When a water opportunity comes up, water personnel will be allowed on the field as long as their presence doesn't interfere with a conversion kick. If the opportunity is the result of a try, the water personnel of the team scored upon will need to enter the field from behind the goal line after a try is awarded. Water personnel from the kicker's team may enter by the shortest means available.

8. At any time during the match: if a player goes down, designated medical personnel will be allowed on the field during play to attend to a fallen player.  They will not need the referee's permission to enter the field, but it is their responsibility to avoid interfering with play. The referee may stop play if play gets close to the injured player and/or the medical staff.

9. If any issue exists related to the above, the touch judge or assistant referee may signal the referee at any stoppage and explain the concern. 

10. If an issue arises, referees will be encouraged to work with the Captain of the offending team as follows:

      a. Warn the captain that sideline personnel associated with his/her team are not following policy and ask the captain to convey that message to the offending parties.

      b. At any time, the referee will have the discretion to completely clear the roped area (both teams will be cleared).

      c. At any time when the referee believes there is a safety concern, the referee may use their discretion to abandon the match.

      d. In any violation, the referee always has the right to file an administrative complaint.

11. The referee will always have the right to supersede this policy in the interest of game and field management.

It is hoped that this policy will allow the referees and touch judges to concentrate on the match in front of them and not be distracted by inappropriate sideline behavior.