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How far should spectators be from a playing field?

Each sport is different in nature, so the distance spectators should be from the area of play will vary by sport. People standing on the sideline should be able to move out of the way of a player should the player travel out of bounds (like in football), and athletes should have enough space to travel along the sidelines.

In gyms and pool settings, spectators typically have seating provided, so it is essential that bleachers and stands are moved far enough away from the field of play so that athletes will not run into them.

(This answer provided for NATA by the Washington State University Athletic Training Education Program.)

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.