World Rugby Officiating : The home of Rugby officiating on the web : Technical Zone Programme

Roles and responsibilities

The touchline management role was originally created for ensuring precise interchanges of players during international fixtures. Originally, this was achieved by appointing a so called 4th Match Official.

As the Game evolved, coaches began to utilise substitutions in a more astute manner, so the interchange process, particularly in the last 20 minutes of a game, became so hectic that much more precise monitoring of the situation was required.

What became evident was that the responsibilities and the level of concentration required of this person became so great that a need was identified to have more distinct roles for sideline personnel.

Whilst most Referee Societies and Referee Associations around the world are struggling for sufficient members to regularly appoint a Match Official to act in any technical zone role, as part of the modern game, World Rugby now appoints to specialised roles for international fixtures:

Sideline Manager

Oversees the management of the sideline area, technical zones, the playing enclosure and all personnel within the sideline area.

Technical Zone Manager

Manages information from the Substitution Controllers to the Match Referee and is the point of contact for the Substitution Controllers.

Substitution Controllers

(Formerly no. 4/5 in Fifteens or no. 6/7 in Sevens)

Substitution Controllers manage the TZs, work closely with each team management for efficient operation of substitutions and liaise directly with the TZ Manager.

Further appointments for roles such as

Manual Recorders & Timekeepers

can be made, if logistics allow.