What’s new in the 6th edition of the Green Guide?

This page summarises the key areas in which this, the sixth edition of the Guide to Safety at Sports Grounds, differs from the fifth edition, published in 2008.


General issues

  • Management responsibility is extended throughout the Guide from ‘all spectators’ to ‘all people present’ at the ground (including sports ground staff, sub-contracted staff, media personnel, medical providers and so on)
  • New guidance is offered for the co-ordination of circulation and movement in the area immediately beyond the outer perimeter of the sports ground, an area described as Zone Ex.
  • This edition takes fuller account of the need to understand, monitor and control crowd densities on circulation routes and on concourses, and acknowledges the increasing use of crowd simulation modelling.
  • This edition provides additional guidance on counter-terrorism, including such contingencies as lockdown, partial lockdown, partial evacuation and invacuation.
  • The Guide takes into account the greater use of fire engineering in the design process.
  • The Guide recognises the increased use of, and dependence on digital technology.
  • More emphasis is placed on the risk of potential slip hazards caused by rainwater and other sources of contamination arising from the provision of partial cover, or from having no cover.
  • Purchasers of the digital edition will be able to source additional guidance, plus alerts to newly published information, FAQs and to news of innovations related to sports ground safety, design and management.
  • Certain annexes and all worked examples are now located on the SGSA website (see Contents page).
  • Recognition is made of the need to present visual information (such as signage, tickets, maps, display boards and safety-related documentation), in a form that should not be misunderstood by people with colour vision deficiency, or colour blindness. A new Annex C (available via the SGSA website) offers further guidance.
  • All references to British Standards, Building Regulations and other advisory documents have been updated, and in the digital edition provided with hyperlinks to the official source.


Guide to Safety at Sports Grounds

The new edition of the Guide to Safety at Sports Grounds is now available.

Government review of evidence relating to the all-seater policy

Government has recently announced that it will commission an external analysis of evidence relating to the all-seater policy. Its aim is that initial analysis work will be completed by the end of 2018.

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Tools and resources

Installing dual purpose seating and standing areas

Guidance for stadiums considering the installation of dual purpose seating and standing areas.

Historic Circulars

Historic Home Office and DCMS Circulars affecting football and sports grounds.

Guide to Safety at Sports Grounds During Construction

Guidance on how to ensure that reasonable standards of public safety can be maintained whilst construction operations are in progress.

Concession Facilities at Sports Grounds

Guidance on concessions and other allied services at sports grounds, such as food stalls, broadcast equipment and retail shops and kiosks.

Guide to Electrical and Mechanical Services at Sports Grounds

Detailed advice on electrical and mechanical services at sports grounds for Certifying Authorities and for those responsible for crowd safety at sporting events.

Counter terrorism awareness online course

Action Counter Terrorism (ACT) Awareness eLearning is a free online counter terrorism training course for all UK based companies and organisations.

Standing in Seated Areas

In this paper we examine the nature and causes of spectators standing in seated areas at Premier and Football League grounds.

Temporary Demountable Structures

This guidance from the Institution of Structural Engineers provide guidance on the procurement, design, erection and use of temporary demountable structures.

Preparing Counter Terrorism Measures

Guidance for sports grounds and local authorities when considering their responsibilities to counter the terrorist threat to sports grounds.

Alternative uses of Sports Grounds

Alternative Uses provides guidance to stadium owners, operators, local authorities, promoters and event organisers to help adapt existing sports grounds to safely accommodate a range of events.

Safety Advisory Group – Terms of Reference Checklist

A checklist for making any changes to the SAG Terms of Reference as a result of the wider understanding of safety.

Safety Management

Our Safety Management guidance brings together good practice on safety personnel, safety management procedures, event management and preparing for incidents.

Preventing Crowd Disorder and Anti-Social Behaviour

Guidance on preventing crowd disorder and anti-social behaviour at sports grounds.


Our Concourses document contains helpful information including advice on occupancy levels and floor space factors.

Safety Certificate Checklist

This checklist may be helpful for certifying authorities when checking safety certificates for possible changes as a result of the wider understanding of safety

Safe and secure sports grounds for all sports

Counter terrorism advice for all sports grounds.


Reducing slip hazards on concourses

Advice and guidance on reducing slip hazards on concourses. with links to additional guidance via the Health and Safety Executive website.

Counter-terrorism in sports grounds

For a number of years the UK has been at a threat level of severe (an attack is highly likely) and ground management should have developed plans that are in place to provide protective security appropriate to that level.

Advice on Drones

You may be familiar with the scenes from the Partizan stadium during the Serbia v Albania Euro 2016 qualifying game, when a drone carrying a pro-Albanian flag landed on the pitch. The violence that ensued both on the pitch and in the stands is a reminder of how quickly situations can change.

What does Zone Ex mean?

In the planning, design and management of sports grounds it may be helpful to consider the circulation area in terms of zones.

What are P and S factors

The safe capacity of a sports ground should take account of both its physical condition and its safety management. These are known as the (P) factor and the (S) factor respectively.

Dynamic Performance and Testing of Grandstands

Dynamic performance requirements for permanent grandstands subject to crowd action - Interim guidance on assessment and design.The principal advice given in the Guidance concerns the recommended vertical natural frequencies and horizontal load resistance of grandstands considered necessary to provide the safety and comfort of the public at a range of sporting and other entertainment events.

How to calculate the safe capacity of a sports ground?

The responsibility for calculating the safe capacity of a ground rests with the ground management. Where any part or parts of a ground are covered by a safety certificate issued by the local authority the capacity calculated by ground management should be reviewed by the local authority and if validated included in the safety certificate. Further information and detail is available in the Green Guide.

When should the first annual inspection and structural appraisal be undertaken at a new, or recently completed, stadium?

It is usual that the safety certificate or operations manual will require ground management to obtain every 12 months , a report from a competent person that the structural elements have been inspected and found to be adequate.