Background and Context
The Department for Communities role in relation to safety of sports grounds is to seek assurance that the legislation is being implemented consistently throughout Northern Ireland. This assurance is provided by authorised persons from Sport NI and the Sports Grounds Safety Authority (SGSA). Details of the roles and responsibilities of the Department, Sport NI and District Councils are detailed in the Safety of Sports Grounds Information Circular No: - DfC/SSG/03/2018.
Public Order laws connected with regulated matches are governed by Part 4 of The Justice Act (Northern Ireland) 2011.
Advice and guidance
The SGSA acts for the Department for Communities through a service level agreement with Sport NI to provide advice, guidance, deliver training and undertake visits to sports grounds.
In November 2018, the Department endorsed the SGSA Guide to Safety at Sports Grounds (Version 6) and recommended its use by all involved in the safety of sports grounds.
In terms of the built environment, the SGSA guidance does not apply retrospectively and where appropriate, the Northern Ireland Guide to Safety at Sports Grounds - second edition (commonly known as "the Red Guide") remains relevant.
As part of its support for the sports grounds sector, the Department has, on an annual basis, delivered a number of Safety at Sports Grounds Conferences.
On-going advice and guidance on sports grounds safety matters is available from Sport NI.
Requests for advice and guidance can be directed to Sport NI by e-mail at: email@example.com or by Telephone: (028) 9038 3842.
Sports Grounds Order: Information Circulars
In accordance with its guidance making powers under Article 13(7) and Article 22(2) of the Safety of Sports Grounds (Northern Ireland) Order 2006, the Department issues Information Circulars to District Councils in respect of sports grounds safety matters when required.
The information circulars can be found on the following page:
The primary legislation governing spectator safety at sports grounds in Northern Ireland is the Safety of Sports Grounds (Northern Ireland) Order 2006, which commenced in 2009.
The Safety of Sports Grounds (2006 Order) (Commencement) Order 2009.
The Safety of Sports Grounds (Designation) (No.2) Order (NI) 2009.
The Safety of Sports Grounds (Fees and Appeals) Regulations (NI) 2009.
The Safety of Sports Grounds (Fees and Appeals) (Amendment) Regulations (NI) 2012.