Safety at sports grounds relies to a great extent upon the deployment of an appropriate number of well trained and suitably equipped individuals whose role is to provide a safe, secure and welcoming environment. Collectively, this role is known as stewarding. Stewards – known at some sports grounds as marshals – provide a direct and ongoing interaction between the ground management and spectators.

The main duties of most stewards are:

  1. to assist with the circulation of spectators
  2. to prevent overcrowding
  3. to reduce the likelihood and incidence of disorder
  4. to provide the means to investigate, report and take early action in an incident.

As such, the individual efforts and attitudes of stewards can have a strong bearing on achieving safe conditions.

In carrying out their duties stewards should also, always, be aware of, and ensure the care, comfort and wellbeing of all categories of spectators. In many instances it should be remembered that stewards may be the only service personnel representing the management with whom spectators have any contact during the course of an event.

Check the regulations

Pyrotechnics at stadia

Guidance on the safe handling and storage of flares and pyrotechnic devices.

I’m a new Safety Officer, what do I need to know?

As a Safety Officer, you will need to be aware that the primary purpose of a safety certificate is to set the safe capacity of a designated ground or of a regulated stand at a non–designated ground.

All Seated Football Stadia

Background information on all seated football stadiums.

Alcohol – what are the rules?

The Sporting Events (Control of Alcohol etc.) Act 1985 legislates the use of alcohol at football matches.


National Occupational Standards for Spectator Safety Review

Final chance to have your say on the new occupational standards for spectator safety.

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


Information on the use of CCTV at sports grounds

Preventing crowd disorder and anti-social behaviour

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

National Occupational Standards for Steward Training

The National Occupational Standards (NOS) for Spectator Safety are standards which set out the skills, knowledge and experience needed to work in spectator safety.


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


Electronic gates

Operations Manual

Details of what should be included in the operations manual of a sports ground.

Stewarding and SIA licence

Information about stewarding and the SIA licence.

Can I hire Stewards whilst they are still training?

Yes. If they have undertaken all aspects of relevant familiarisation and induction training they may start work accompanied by a qualified steward.

What are the alternatives to level 2 NVQ in spectator safety?

Questions and answers about alternatives to qualifications in spectator safety.

Control Rooms

Control Rooms provides an invaluable source of information for sports ground managers, designers, safety advisors and agencies involved in the upgrading of an existing facility or the design of a new one.


Drones are an emerging issue and we have not seen widespread use of these at sports grounds in the past. These recent incidents have highlighted the potential safety and security risks.