Communicating with teams

The guidelines are designed to service both teams, to keep disruptions to a minimum and therefore keep game in flow. It is therefore crucial to make the best of efforts to establish positive working relations with both team managements.

  • Always deliver a coherent and consistent instruction by all technical zone management to the two teams as part of the pre-match instructions. This should be led by the Match Manager, if one is appointed, or the Technical Zone Manager
  • Be clear that replacements can only be accepted if the information on the Replacements Card is complete.

Communicating with on-field match officials

There may be occasions when the on-field officials will need to communicate with the Technical Zone. This is mainly be done through electronic communications, but also signals may be used. Technical zone officials should be aware of the game in play and be alert to those communications.

Relevant match official signals

Physio required

Doctor required

Head Injury Assessment (HIA)

Blood Injury

Yellow Card

Red Card



The timing of communications into the referee about replacements is crucial. Before the match, agree with the referee on what is required and wait for a stoppage in play before communicating with referee.

  • Observe play has stopped or is restarting before calling the referee
  • Beware of penalty kicks and where the ball/play is still live (quick throw ins etc)
  • Ensure the referee is not dealing with incidents or managing issues
  • Advise team colour and number of player who needs to leave the field
  • Once the player being replaced starts moving and is clearly identified, send the replacement player on.
  • To ensure that players exiting or entering the field of play do so from the halfway line, allow the players to use a halfway line corridor between the two Technical Zones.

Video example – Replacements

  • Playing time for the sinbin (two minutes in Sevens and 10 minutes in Fifteens) starts once the referee blows time on after the award of the card.
  • Actual time is the elapsed time. Playing time is the time that has been played excluding time lost for injuries, player management or replacements.
  • To ensure the sin-binned player is prepared to return, allow the player to stand and/or warm up close to the designated place.