Technical Zone - the basics

The technical zones are areas set out in the laws of the game by the side of the pitch. Depending on the type of game, level of the game, and the stadium arena the game is played in, the Technical Zones may contain medics, physios, water carriers and replacements.

Technical Zone: “A designated area shown in Law 1, where replacements, water carriers and coaches must remain until required.” 

In a stadium environment, the technical zones may be in front of, or behind advertising hoardings or display boards. Here are some examples from recent Rugby World Cup settings.

In larger scale environments, the replacements often sit outside of the playing enclosure until they are needed to warm up or enter the technical zone ahead of coming onto the field. For example, they may be in the stand or a designated dugout area. Coaches are often seated elsewhere in the stadium – in the stand, on a gantry or in a coaches box overlooking the field of play.

It is important that you familiarise yourself with any competition/Union regulations which may cover variations to who can, and can’t be in a designated area of the match you are involved in.

Figure 1. below indicates the dimensions of the Technical zones as set in Law. In Fifteens and Sevens variations, competition/game regulations are used to allowed designated personnel only to be in these areas. (Law 6 makes clear that medical personnel may roam on the permitted sides of the pitch to fulfil their player welfare responsibilities without being constrained by being in the technical zones)
Anyone in the Technical Zone is now covered by a Global Law Trial in law 6.29 which prohibits them from interfering with a ball which is live (penalty sanction where play would restart).

Figure 1. Technical Zone dimensions (15s)

Figure 2. Technical Zone (15s) indicates the dimensions of the Technical Zone in Fifteens and the allowed personnel in these areas. 

Figure 3. Technical Zone (7s) indicates the dimensions of the Technical Zone in Sevens and the allowed personnel in these areas.