Soccer Entering the Opposing Technical Area

Soccer Entering the Opposing Technical Area

Entering the opposing technical area is a foul in soccer that occurs when a member of one team enters the technical area (bench or dugout) of the opposing team, an act that is prohibited. Depending on the offender's perceived intent, this foul results in either a caution or an ejection.


Definition

Entering the opposing technical area is a cautionable offense in soccer that occurs when a player or team official enters the technical area of the opposing team. The technical area is often called the bench or the dugout. It is a rectangular space located on one side of the field near the centerline, which contains chairs and an overhanging shelter. The size of the technical area varies among different fields, but its boundaries are typically defined by a solid or dashed line on the ground. Each team has a technical area located beside each other on either side of the centerline.

Only certain personnel are permitted inside the technical area during a match. They include coaches, team physiotherapists, and substitute players. No one else may enter, including players not on the substitute roster, who must sit in the stands behind the area. The laws of the game especially prohibit players and team officials of an opposing team from entering the technical area. If someone from an opposing team does enter the technical area, they will have committed an entering the opposing technical area offense. If the referee determines this has occurred without intent to start a confrontation, it will be announced as deliberately entering the technical area of the opposing team (non-confrontational). However, if they determine the offender entered the area to cause a confrontation, the foul will be announced as entering the opposing technical area in an aggressive or confrontational manner. Any player, substitute player, or member of the coaching or physiotherapy staff may be called for this foul and thus receive a yellow or red card accordingly.

Result

The result of an entering the opposing technical area foul being called is an indirect free kick being awarded to the non-offending team, as well as the offender receiving a caution or ejection. Committing the foul in an aggressive or confrontational manner will result in a red card and ejection. When committed in a non-confrontational manner, the foul will result in a caution or yellow card. This result is the same at all levels of play, as the IFAB rules are followed by both amateur and professional soccer leagues worldwide.

Referee Signal

Soccer Entering the Opposing Technical Area Referee Signal

When an entering the opposing technical area offense is called, a referee will whistle to stop play. Then they will point straight up in the air to signal an indirect free kick. Finally, the referee will walk over to the offender and show them a yellow or red card. If the foul is committed in a non-confrontational manner, they will show a yellow card; if it is committed in a violent or confrontational manner, they will show a red card.

Examples

  • During the match, a substitute player on the bench is having a friendly conversation with a substitute player on the opposing team. In order to hear better, they step into the opposing team's technical area. Deliberately entering the technical area of the opposing team (non-confrontational) has occurred.
  • A coach walks into the opposing team's technical area to argue with an opposing coach. Entering the opposing technical area in an aggressive or confrontational manner has occurred.
  • A player runs into his opponent's technical area shouting, attempting to intimidate his opponents. Entering the opposing technical area in an aggressive or confrontational manner has occurred.

Similar Violations to Entering the Opposing Technical Area

  • Excessive Use of Review Signal
  • Entering the Referee Review Area (RRA)
  • Entering the Video Operation Room (VOR)
  • Dissent

FAQ

What is the technical area in soccer?

The technical area in soccer is on the side of the field where a team's coaches, substitute players, and physiotherapists observe play, give instructions, and wait during a match. Each team has a technical area located directly across from the center line and offset 1 yard (1 meter) from the touchline outside the field of play. The technical area typically contains chairs and a shelter from the weather, and is usually outlined by a solid or dashed line on the ground.

What are the consequences of being called for entering the opposing technical area in soccer?

The consequences of being called for entering the opposing technical area in soccer are being cautioned or ejected, depending on the manner in which the foul was committed. If the referee making the call determines that the offender entered the opposing technical area in an aggressive or confrontational manner, they will show the offender a red card and eject them from the match. If the foul was committed in an accidental or non-confrontational manner, the offender is shown a yellow card and cautioned.

Who is allowed in the technical area?

Coaches, substitute players, and physiotherapists are the only people allowed in their own technical area. Assistant and position coaches are allowed in addition to the head coach, but only one coach at a time may give verbal instructions to the players on the field. Players who are present but not on the roster as a substitute must sit in the stands. During the match, coaches are never allowed to leave the technical area. Players and physiotherapists are only allowed to leave for substitutions or on-field injuries, respectively.