I recently was the referee for a Upper level youth match hosted at a local high school. Because of where each team originally located their equipment, they chose to locate their substitutes and coaching staff on opposite sides of the field. There was no obvious technical are or seating drawn. I allowed it to proceed because I cannot recall any instruction to point to which does not allow for this kind of arrangement. However, it made substitutions often confusing/difficult as there were no limit to substitutions in this match.
My question: Is there any documentation/instruction that would forbid this kind of arrangement, other than local policy? Is there any restriction on the location of benches at all? behind the goal area for instance?
Answer (June 6, 2007):
What you describe is a typical high-school type of arrangement. Although contrary to the arrangements indicated in Law 1, it is no more illegal than other arrangements in which both teams are located on one side of the field and their supporters on the other.
As to team areas or benches being located behind the goals, that is strictly forbidden by tradition, common sense, and the Law.