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stay on the sideline(s)

1. In sports, to stay outside the boundaries of the playing area because one is not participating in the game, due to being a substitute, injured, etc. Unfortunately that knee injury will force her to stay on the sidelines for the rest of the season.
2. By extension, to not be an active participant in something. If you want the boss to notice you, you can't just stay on the sideline during these meetings. Speak up and suggest some ideas! It appears as though the superpowers will be staying on the sidelines, rather than taking an active role in this conflict.
See also: on, stay

on the sidelines

In a position in which one is not actively participating in something. If you want the boss to notice you, you can't just stay on the sidelines during these meetings. Speak up and suggest some ideas! It appears as though the superpowers will be staying on the sidelines, rather than taking an active role in this conflict.
See also: on, sideline

on the sidelines

Observing rather than taking part, out of the action, as in Bolivia's neighbors remained on the sidelines, waiting to see which faction in the dispute would prevail . This idiom comes from sports. The sidelines are the two lines defining the sides of the court or playing field and the area immediately beyond them where, in such sports as football, the non-playing team members sit. [First half of 1900s]
See also: on, sideline

on the sidelines

If you are on the sidelines in a situation, you watch it happening but are not directly involved and cannot influence it. France no longer wants to be left on the sidelines when critical decisions are taken. The government has just stood on the sidelines up to now and let the situation get worse.
See also: on, sideline

on (or from) the sidelines

in (or from) a position where you are observing a situation but are unable or unwilling to be directly involved in it.
In sports such as football and basketball, the sidelines mark the long edges of a playing area, behind which spectators, coaches, and other non-players must remain.
See also: on, sideline

on the ˈsidelines

watching something but not taking an active part in it; waiting to take an active part in something: The Prime Minister’s husband talked about what it was like on the sidelines of political life.He’s waiting on the sidelines for a chance to re-enter politics.
The sidelines are the lines along the sides of a sports field that mark the outer edges.
See also: on, sideline
References in periodicals archive ?
Players say the sideline stunts bring more joy to the game.
We first examine if Sideline operates independently of other play and game characteristics by using [chi square] tests with each play's down, distance, and score.
MAKING CONNECTIONS: Why does sideline anger sometimes turn to violence?
The new line will push newspaper and other photographers three more feet back to 15 feet from the sideline. The new rule, effective with the upcoming preseason games, doesn't apply to end zones, where photographers shoot from behind a 6-foot line.
"If he's on the sideline he might have to take a lot of stick from people and he mightn't be able to focus on his game but if he's sitting up in the stand he'll probably have a better vision.
The King-Devick Test in Association with Mayo Clinic is estimated to offer "quick, accurate and objective concussion screening" on the sidelines. It can be used by parents, coaches, athletic trainers, school nurses or medical professionals.
And compare the sideline demeanor of both head coaches during the game, and at substitutions, on change of possession, or after scores.
Sophomore quarterback Jimmy Zalatores connected with Thompson for touchdowns on the right sideline in each half, Thompson taking it 20 yards up the right sideline midway through the third quarter as the Cougars took a 48-7 lead.
Canning is the undisputed king of the sideline cut, which is perhaps the most difficult skill in hurling to master.
As in our baseline options, we will sometimes attempt to get a quick score off a sideline inbound situation.
HERIOT'S professional Steve Knox faces up to six weeks on the sidelines after his debut against Grange ended in agony.
In response to media reports about the possibility of the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's bilateral meetings at the Riyadh US-Arab-Islamic Summit, the Spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Saturday said that the format and the very full agenda of the half day Summit, which is expected to have the participation of more than 35 leaders of the Islamic world as well as Secretary Generals of the OIC, Arab League and GCC, does not permit sideline bilateral meetings.
"Miles from the Sideline: A Mother's Journey with her Special Needs Daughter" is the story of what happened in the following decade where her development suddenly slowed, and how her mother, author Maura Weis, has had to deal with all the turmoil and triumph that comes from raising a daughter who just isn't like everyone else in the world, a daughter with special needs.
Though unique in initial appearance, the "3 Press" is similar to the 2-2-1 zone press ("2 Press") in that it is a conservative press that attempts to bait the opposition's ballhandler into dribbling down the sideline before setting a trap on the ballhandler.
Hammers boss Glenn Roeder had already discovered Frederic Kanoute's groin injury, picked up in Saturday's 3-2 victory at Chelsea, will only sideline him for three weeks.