Connacht Rugby’s latest initiative to help improve sideline behaviours from coaches and spectators focuses on getting the pitchside infrastructure right.

Over the coming weeks every club in the province will be provided with sets of technical zone bibs as well as detailed guidelines on setting up and marking out appropriate areas for subs dugouts, coaches and medical personnel, and roped off areas for spectators and supporters.

Speaking about the initiative Connacht’s Head of Rugby Development, Joe Gorham, said: “We’re delighted to provide clubs with this extra bit of guidance on setting up technical zones for their support personnel, as well as the bibs to identify who should be in these zones. Our aim is to assist the match officials in any way we can and an orderly sideline that doesn’t have coaches pacing up and down the length pitch goes a long way towards achieving that aim.

“The majority of our clubs are very compliant in this regard and for others these bibs and guidelines will be a nudge in the right direction as we continue to provide quality experiences for everyone involved in the sport.”

Helping drive the project is Connacht’s Spirit of Rugby Officer, Luke Murphy, who added: “Providing practical support to clubs in this manner is one of the most effective ways we can help influence and promote positive sideline behaviour.

“Our hope is that regardless of level or grade of match that every pitch will have well defined technical zones and strict adherence to the correct support teams being in there. The template outlines the layout of these technical zones as well as suggesting where supporters should, and shouldn’t, be positioned and reaching this standard across all levels will help provide quality environments for everyone to enjoy rugby matches”.

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