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SG01: Safe standing in seated areas

Safe standing in seated areas is distinct both from persistent standing in seated areas and from safe standing in conventional terraced standing accommodation.

Standing in a seated area may be considered safe when each of the following conditions are met:

  1. standing spectators are protected from the risks of forward movement by the installation of suitably designed independent barriers in front of each seat, or by the provision of a suitably designed seats that incorporates barriers
  2. the design of each seat and seating row allows for free-flowing lateral movement into and out of the seating row
  3. safety management procedures are in place to mitigate against encroachment onto the gangways
  4. safety management procedures are in place to manage the numbers of spectators entering the safe standing accommodation
  5. safety management procedures are in place to manage the behaviour of spectators.

This guidance – Supplementary Guidance 01 (SG01): Safe Standing in Seated Areas – advises on how these conditions can be achieved.

This Supplementary Guidance builds on information within the sixth edition of the Guide to Safety at Sports Grounds (Green Guide). It stems from a recognition that, at some sports grounds, and at some events, a number of spectators stand persistently in seated areas, and that this practice has significant safety implications.

Persistent standing, it is emphasised, is when spectators in a seated area stand for prolonged periods throughout an event, rather than stand intermittently or for brief periods in response to moments of excitement (for example when a goal is scored).

The contents of this guidance are based on our experience, as well as the findings from independent research commissioned by the SGSA.

Licensed standing

This guidance should be followed by football grounds in England and Wales subject to the all-seater policy which want to offer licensed standing areas. 

SG01: Safe standing in seated areas is one of 16 criteria which must be met before licensed standing is granted by the SGSA.  Full details are available on the Licensed Standing page.

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