Sideline Conduct

Okay, we all know the rules pertaining to our behavior when watching our kids out on the field. After all, that’s part of what we agreed to when registering our kids and joining the US Lacrosse organization. Here are some things you might not have known:

Stay Out of the Endline

Stay Out of the Endline! Those balls travel at speeds in excess of 100 MPH!

Where do I sit? You’ve arrived an hour early to deliver your player for pre-game warm-ups and, since the game is the first scheduled on the home field, no one else is set up. So, where do you sit? Because lacrosse is played with balls just as hard and as big as baseball and shot at speeds exceeding 100 m.p.h. officials will usually require no one stand or sit anywhere within the end zones. Beware of that as it’s for your safety (as well as the players who might become distracted). It’s wise to not sit in the sidelines near the end zones either for that same reason.

Teams and score/time keepers are always on one side of the field, along the sidelines. Fans are to gather on the opposite side of the field. It’s best to set up your seat a good six-to-seven feet from the sideline (see image below).

Where do I put my umbrella/pop-up shade? Umbrellas, pop-up shades, such as First-Up, and other forms of shelter are perfectly fine alongside the field. If you are using a shelter that extends down towards the ground, such as a beach shelter or an all-weather umbrella, please be considerate of other fans and situate yourself where you are not blocking the views down the line of the field from others seated alongside the sidelines. A few things that should also be considered: wind, stakes, turf, and playing fields.

The wind can kick up even on the seemingly calm day. Tethering your shelter is always advisable, just be certain to make stakes and lines visible with fluorescent flags, cones, or similar items to prevent injury.

Sports Shade Shelter

Sports Shade Shelters should not impair another fan’s ability to see the entire field.

Never stake a shelter when the field is turf or another synthetic surface as this will cause expensive damage and possibly result in a stiff fine.

Stakes should be covered to prevent puncturing wheelchair/stroller/bicycle tires and avoid injury to pedestrians. Be certain to count the number of stakes you use and retrieve all of them before leaving the field.

When the sidelines area is also used for playing fields, such as the fields we currently use in Chico, use the golfing rules: if you rip up the ground, be sure to put it back into order before leaving. The majority of injuries incurred below the knee stem from uneven playing surface that catch and twist the ankle while running.

Sideline Conduct

Sideline Conduct

Shooting: Photographers and videographers are common when it comes game time. As a photographer/videographer, it’s understandable you’ll want the best seat in town to get those action photographs, which is typically around the face-off line. Please be mindful of the other spectators and either sit or kneel along the populated sideline areas. If you expect to be moving around a lot, please do so behind the seated fans or during time-outs/end of quarter/half-time. Never step onto the field. Officials have been known to penalize a team due to interference on the field!

If you are planning to be stationery, it’s advisable to arrive early and set up ahead of time to ensure the area you need to remain clear of bobbing heads and interference with your equipment can be staked out. As with seating, remain six-to-seven feet back from the marked sidelines. Stationery photography and videography should stay out of the endlines for your safety. Only those able to quickly move should be alongside the endlines and no one should be in the endline where the game is in play.

Enough of the trash talking, already! It happens whether it’s in the stands at a Little League game, courtside at a pro-basketball game, even at the Olympics; fans will trash talk the opposing team, the refs, even the other fans. But this is an activity we do not allow or tolerate. If you’re finding the trash talking is getting out of hand or has become offensive, rather than taking it upon yourself to interact with the hothead, look for the sideline manager (person wearing a reflective yellow or orange vest). This person is assigned specifically to diffuse tense sideline situations and, if necessary, evict the offending fan.

Do you have questions about sideline conduct? Some advice of your own to dispense? We welcome your comments!


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