Subs Benches (also known as substitute benches) are an important part of any sporting venue as the athletes need to sit somewhere comfortably.
But with many options for team seating, it can be difficult to know which seating best fits your venue and athletes.
Continue on to read up on all the information you need to have to make a confident decision.
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What Are Subs Benches?
Substitute benches or team benches is the area that players who are not currently playing in the game will sit on.
These benches are single row and can consist of one long bench or multiple benches sat side-by-side to keep the team in one accessible area.
Teams usually are not more than a few handfuls of players but in cases of American football more subs Benches are needed.
Figure 1 Sub Bench Example
Where Are The Subs Benches Positioned?
Subs Benches are put right on the sidelines of any court or field.
This is so that players can come out from the game easily and sit down in one area so the coach can speak to the whole team.
Subs Benches are almost always positioned separately from the stadium seating and bleacher seating.
This is especially true for professional sports. In professional arenas, there will be a lot of divided space between the fans and the subs benches.
Usually, team subs Benches will face opposite each other in certain sports but also sometimes on the same side of the venue next to each other.
Depending on the venue the home team will sit behind their athletes and the away crowd may sit behind the visitors.
For baseball specifically, subs Benches are placed inside the dugout.
The dugout is usually engulfed in the stadium or grandstand seating.
Figure 2 Baseball Dugout Sub Benches
What Do Subs Benches Look Like?
Subs Benches or players benches can look different depending on the budget and needs of the team.
A subs Bench could look as simple as a single row from a bleacher or it could also be more elaborate with individual cushions and a covering if the venue were to be outside.
They can be made of different materials and colors also depending on a number of factors and venue preferences.
They vary sport by sport and can be broken down into a number of classes from simple to elaborate.
Why Wouldn’t Subs Benches Be Attached To Bleacher or Stadium Seating?
It’s not ideal for any team to be positioned close to the crowd.
One of the main reasons there needs to be quite a bit of spacing between the athletes and the crowd is for safety and disruption.
If subs Benches are placed too close to the crowd it’s possible that rioting can happen and the players could be injured by getting things thrown at them or disturbed by the amount of yelling.
It’s also important for the coach to be able to communicate with their players without other people hearing. This could ruin a team’s game plan or again cause distraction.
What Kinds Of Materials Are Used To Build Subs Benches?
Subs Benches most represent bleacher-style seating. The difference is they may or may not have a backing.
They are usually made up of some sort of metal and steel and may be used in combination with wood or plastic.
The materials used always depend on whether the venue is an indoor or outdoor space.
Plastic seating is commonly made from High-Density Polyethylene which is a durable and moldable plastic that can withstand extreme temperatures.
HDPE is usually used as a layer on top of the steel or aluminum benches as either individual seating or the bench as a whole.
Plastic may also be used in part of the covering if the subs Benches are at an outdoor venue.
This offers a less cool touch to the metal and may also provide some comfort to the players.
It can be customized with color and style and still remain cost-effective with makes it attractive for those looking for something extra.
If the entire team bench is made out of this, that that’s normal.
But it’s guaranteed that at least some part of the subs Benches is made from a type of metal/steel/aluminum as a strong base.
These materials are not only lightweight but have been able to fight off any kind of weather which makes them great for both indoor and outdoor subs Benches.
If you are using metal alone in your team bench this can be even more cost-effective than a multi-part team bench.
It’s good to keep in mind that if the subs Benches are going to be in outdoor weather, the metal should be galvanized and coated so it doesn’t rust out quickly.
This can especially true for humid and coastal towns as the salty air can speed the oxidation process up.
This is a lot less common for subs Benches but sometimes seen at the professional levels or high revenue sports.
This is because it actually offers a more custom feel for the athletes and they may feel it’s a personal space just for them.
The individual seating may have a cushion per seat or just have fabric-like materials covering certain sections.
Wood subs Benches can sometimes be found in indoor venues, specifically basketball and hockey.
Wood is great for cold venues because of its ability to not feel as cold as a metal framework wood.
Wood also adds a very classy looking upgrade as most of the benches are made from Pine, Oak, or Ashwood in which all are beautiful.
When wood is used it is often understood that customized seating is not going to be an option as the moldability is a little more difficult than metal.
Figure 3 Wood Sub Bench Material
What Types Of Options Are There To Choose From For Subs Bench Seating?
Subs Bench seating depending on how elaborate it is can be either temporary or portable as well as permanent.
For the venues that tend to have multiple events a year tend to be more permanent than the quick setup where you may come across temporary grandstands for a single event.
Permanent subs Benches can come in any material and customizations that a venue wants.
Permanent structures are often mounted to the ground to either cement or concrete ground.
Permanent subs Benches can be a lot safer than temporary as players are quickly moving on and off the bench changing the weight distribution frequently.
They are mounted in two ways.
- A surface mount – mounted on to the top of the ground with the product not going below the surface (grass, gravel, concrete).
- An in-ground mount – the mount is in the ground below the surface level (grass, gravel, concrete).
Temporary subs Benches are for events that occur less frequently and are not needed on a regular basis.
They are also used in youth sports as the demand for upscale subs Bench seating is a lot lower than for a professional event.
These can be easily put together and broken down in less than an hour or so and stored for another time.
Temporary benches are the most standard subs Benches and are not customized.
Besides the permanent structure subs Benches, all other subs Benches are easy to transport as they are not very large and often lightweight.
Portable subs Benches are often used for many different events and are customized less often than permanent structures.
A scenario in which subs Benches are both portable and customized is when a school that has multiple sports will use it as the colors remain the same.
A portable team bench can be mounted or rested on a level surface.
In the semi-permanent solution, the mounts can be permanently put in/on the ground and the bench can be attached and unattached when needed.
How Many Athletes Can Fit On A Subs Bench?
Subs Benches can come in many different lengths as team size varies. A football team will most certainly need more space than a tennis match.
Subs Benches can be categorized into essentially three categories based on these sports team sizes.
These sizes are small, medium, and large.
Small team benches can be something as small as 1 player for individual sports.
For instance, tennis has two benches for players who are facing each other. One for each player.
In tennis team events like World Team Tennis, you may find 4 people on the bench while one person is playing.
A small subs Bench is considered to be anyone from one person to really no more than a handful.
Figure 4 Small Sub Bench Example
Medium subs Benches are comprised typically of five people to 20.
These are teams like basketball. However, the maximum number of players allowed on a bench varies from league to league.
For college basketball, which follows the NBA rules, can have a maximum roster of 15. However, while five are playing only eight players can be on the bench at a single time.
This means two players will not dress or sit on the bench.
This is a medium-size subs Bench that will typically accommodate 10 players comfortable and allows for 18 inches of seating per person.
Large subs Benches are for NFL football teams that need to seat a lot of players.
Rosters can include up to 47 to 48 players depending on how many offensive linemen there are on a team.
In traditional cases, only 11 players are on the field at once which means about 45 are seating on the bench at once.
In the off-season, during training campus, around 90 players can be on a roster at once.
For these scenarios, there need to be multiple large benches to comfortably sit the team.
Sometimes an organization may have seating for everyone or may have players rotating from those who stand and those who sit.
What Are The Dimensions From The Varying Sizes Of Subs Benches?
Below are average estimates of the varying sizes of team benches.
The dimensions vary depending on whether a bench may have a backing and how long the benches are.
Subs Benches can also vary in distance from the seat to the ground depending on the audience being catered to.
It can be said for all categories if a covering/roofing goes above the heads of athletes and will add multiple feet roughly around 10-12 feet.
A standard bench with no backing that sits one to five players can change in dimensions by a lot.
For instance, the bench maybe four to eight feet in length.
Figure 5 Tennis Team Bench Example
The seat is self is about 10-12 inches in depth and remains similar no matter how long the bench is and for how many people.
A standard seat of the ground is about 18 inches and resembles what a chair would feel like.
The bench thickness is usually 2-3 inches in thickness.
If a backrest is added to the bench usually another 16 to 18 inches can be accounted for.
There is open space between the seat and the backrest for about six inches and then the backrest starts and is about 12 inches for a supportive back.
Medium size subs Benches that need to hold roughly 15 people should account for about 18 inches a person.
This turns out to be around 22 feet in length.
While this is not impossible to have a bench this long most manufacturers would recommend dividing the benches up into two sections
This is for better support and makes assembling the team benches easier.
The seat width will stay standard from 10-12 inches unless customizations are made with individual seating.
The height will remain roughly 18 inches from the ground, give or take a few for larger male athletes or youth.
Large team benches are meant for football teams and sports such as.
The dimensions typically change for large orders unless there are multiple benches or a bleacher like a setup for a less professional atmosphere.
In the most standard options, the numbers from small and medium will apply.
In extravagant individual seating, the dimensions change closer to a chair setup.
For example, Nagai Stadium in Osaka has individual seating for the team benches adding a lot of dimensions.
Figure 6 Nagai Individual Sub Bench Chairs
These portable team benches could have something like The Diamond Series which would offer 18 inches in width, 22 inches in height.
What Are The Costs Of Subs Bench Seating For Teams?
Outdoor bleachers follow the same cost standards as any other set of bleachers would.
The most basic seating with subs Benches as an actual bleacher row can range from $50-$150 depending on things like having backing or not.
Aluminum and metal benches for teams are the most affordable and cost-effective way to support a team with minimal needs.
Something like Nagai Stadium with big chairs and covered seating can cost $250 to $500 a seat because of the level of comfort, materials used, and amenities added.
What Can You Expect For Replacement Costs Of Subs Bench Seating?
The amount that you can expect to replace your seating can directly reflect the amount you paid per seat.
So this number really ranges from $50-$500 per seat depending on whether you need to replace an entire bench row, individual chairs, or other parts.
Replacing something like the roofing or a covering will either be covered in the warranty if within the time frame or roughly a few hundred to thousands depending on the enormity of the area.
Benches that don’t have individual chairs can actually be more expensive sometimes because the whole row needs to be replaced rather than the part actually damaged.
What Kinds Of Design Features Can Someone Choose From For Subs Bench Seating?
Subs Bench seating can have a wide variety of options to choose from materials to additional benefits.
These options could include:
1. Seat Style Customization:
Examples: Hilo Series, Diamond Series, Coolin Series
2. Color Customization
3. Material Use
4. Portable Verse Permanent Structures
5. Additional Amenities
- Covered Roofing
- Upgraded Comfort Materials
- Table Trays
Figure 7 Diamond Series Chair
Teams often personalize their seating with color customization based on their mascots.
Luxury stadium often provides comfortable resting benches that may include electronics for practice when reviewing plays, or audio inputs to communicate between coach and players.
Extra cushions and materials that add comfort are offered to help athletes prevent stiff uncomfortable positions that may lead to injuries later or cramping.
How Are Subs Benches Installed?
Small orders can be easily installed on-site and come partially or fully installed upon delivery.
For more advanced features and team benches, a professional crew of a few people should install the seating as it becomes more complicated when things such as electronics are added.
What Regulations Do Indoor Subs Bench Need To Follow?
Team benches follow the same exact regulations that any stadium seating would need to follow.
Any indoor subs Benches will have fewer restrictions than any outdoor venue with subs Benches.
The National Fire Protection Association provides all the necessary regulations that a stadium seating and subs Bench seating would need to follow.
The main areas that are covered with over 300 regulations regard fire safety, life safety, and weather-related safety.
The ones listed below most apply to subs Bench seating.
- All materials used for subs Bench seating need to meet fire-resistant material codes.
- The subs bench needs to be positioned so that it has easy access to pathways for exit in case of a fire.
- Inspections of the team bench should be done regularly in order to prevent any injury to any of the players.
- Team benches if raised should have adequate safety rails and steps for safely moving up and down the elevated platform.
- Metal and aluminum subs Benches that are outside should not be conducive to lightning.
These are a few of the many safety regulations that a venue must follow to ensure the safety of the athletes.
Figure 8 Nfpa Hazard System Coding
How Much Maintenance Is Required For Subs Benches?
Subs Benches need to be properly maintained in order to avoid any extra expenses like replacement costs.
It’s also important to maintain players’ safety by inspecting it according to NFPA codes, and hygienic standards.
Below is the minimum needed to successfully maintain your subs Benches.
After every use, the subs Benches need to be thoroughly swept.
When they are not swept and dusted dirt and debris can make their way into the small parts of the individual or benches and corrode them in a way that they’ll no longer function.
Non-acidic cleaners should be used to wipe down the seats to further eliminate dirty and also get rid of bacteria and sweat from the athletes.
Per NFPA subs Benches need to be fully inspected at least once a year but are recommended to do so much more often.
While injuring a fan is equally as important, injuring a player could cause a threat to their career and have implications as a venue owner.
Any parts that have metal/steel/aluminum should be thoroughly lubricated to avoid rust and erosion.