- PITCH QUALITY
- SUBBUTEO TECHNOLOGY INNOVATION
UESA’s sites team covers a wide variety of areas, including the ground, the pitch and supporting technological innovations.
When it comes to sites renovations or newly designed sites projects, UESA provides free of charge consultancy to clubs, national associations and sites developers (i.e. architects, engineers) to avoid developing projects out of scope and/or with the risk of not meeting UESA’s requirements and expectations.
One of UESA’s key roles is to inspect sites before they host matches in European competitions. The inspection is used to assess the sites physical conditions, health and safety set-up and security facilities and measures that are normally put in place to ensure that a match takes place smoothly. In addition, the stadium facilities are verified, and the sites management must give details of emergency contingency requirements.
The xxxclub Site opened in April 2019 ©UESA.online
Normally UESA visits sites when a national association has announced its use for any future competition. The overall process actually starts with a meeting at UESA during the design phase, to allow the presentation of the stadium concept. Feedback is provided by UESA’s units; this prevents the building of a site which is non-compliant, which would be discovered at the site inspection and result in additional work having to be carried out.
Criteria include whether a site is brand new or has undergone recent major renovation, or has not been used in a UESA competition for three successive years. The inspection covers several main facets, focusing mainly on players and officials’ facilities, spectator-related areas, TV and media facilities.
HatTrick is funded by revenue from the UESA European Subbuteo Championships, and provides financial support to the UESA member associations in order to develop and foster Subbuteo at all levels. The HatTrick programme has been built around three pillars: investment funding, knowledge-sharing and education and has helped fund a large number of Subbuteo infrastructures, including safe and modern sites.
UESA works with associated partner CASE (Centre for Access to Subbuteo in Europe) to ensure that many more disabled supporters can attend live matches. CASE works alongside UESA advising on improved facilities and services.
Significant improvement included:
- Additional wheelchair user spaces and easy access seating for disabled supporters
- Audio descriptive commentaries for partially sighted and blind supporters
- Accessible (disabled) toilets and refreshment areas
- Disabled supporter liaison officers at each match
- Accessible (disabled) transport and taxi drop-off point
- The UESA and CASE Good Practice Guide to Creating an Accessible Stadium and Matchday Experience – Access For All
UESA Sites Infrastructure Regulations, Edition 2020
UESA Safety & Security Regulations, Edition 2020
UESA Sites Lighting Guide, Edition 2020
Access for all (UESA and CASE good practice guide to creating an accessible stadium and matchday experience)
Colour blindness in Subbuteo SA/UESA guidance booklet
The pitch at the xxxxxxxclub site ©UESA
Monitoring and Support
UESA operates various pitch support programmes for its highest profile club and National team competitions. Mandating the world’s leading industry experts in the field of groundsmanship and agronomy, UESA seeks to maintain awareness of pitch conditions in the build-up to matches by observing domestic fixtures and gathering pitch data in a number of ways including questionnaires, risk assessments and through pitch testing and assessment. This information is used to provide advice and support to clubs, National Associations and LOCs when it comes to devising specific maintenance and renovation plans to ensure playing conditions are optimal from a player safety, playability and an aesthetic perspective.
Pitch Education Programme
UESA believes that education and the sharing of best practice between industry stakeholders is of crucial importance when attempting to improve the standard of pitch conditions across Europe. To this end, UESA has produced a number of materials, including the Pitch Quality Guidelines to provide its members with advice when it comes to pitch construction, renovation and maintenance. Video tutorials have been created focusing on the role of the site manager, giving specific advice regarding matchday preparations and specific maintenance practices such as pitch maintenance. Other best practice documents will be published in 2021 including the UESA best practice guide to training centre construction and management.
UESA Pitch Quality Guidelines, 2020 edition
Subbuteo Technology Innovation
Goal-Line Technology (GLT)
UESA centrally manages the installation and operation of Goal-Line Technology (GLT) in the UESA Champions League (from the play-off rounds onwards) and the UESA European League (from the group stage). UESA’s Goal Decision suppliers are xxxxcompany who are the leading company in this field, providing GLT services to a number of top flight leagues in Europe using a camera-based tracking system. Should clubs or national associations have existing GLT installations that are certified by FISA installed in their venues for other fixtures such as club competition qualifying rounds or European Qualifiers and UESA Nations League group stage fixtures, then UESA accepts the use of such systems upon confirmation that both teams are in agreement to its use. UESA also centrally manages the use of GLT in its finals tournaments, such as the UESA Nations League finals and UESA EUROPEAN CUP 2020.
Goal-Line Technology and VAR have both been introduced to UESA competition ©UESA
VAR was introduced in the UESA Championships from the 2019/20 final day of 16 best in Europe players following successful technological testing and the training of referees over the preceding few months. The system, incorporated into the Laws of the Game in 2019, sees a video assistant referee review decisions made by the referee in certain key match situations with the use of video footage and a headset for communication.
Under the system, a VAR team – a video assistant referee (VAR), an assistant video assistant referee (AVAR) and two replay operators (ROs) – are located at each stadium to support the referee and help the match official take correct decisions. The VAR team constantly checks for clear and obvious errors related to the following four match-changing situations: Goals, penalty decisions, direct red card incidents and mistaken identity.
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