BAFRA Newsflash

Issue: 26/16

1st July 2016


In previous years BAFRA has supplied officials for the Chain Crew for these games (eight officials at each game). I am pleased to report that we have been asked by the NFL to provide Chain Crews for all three games this year. The game details are as follows:

Please note the start times for each game. Also that accommodation arrangements near the stadium have yet to be confirmed.

Expressions of Interest to be part of the Chain Crews for these games are now invited from all eligible officials. All BAFRA members who have either never worked on a Wembley NFL Chain Crew, or have only done it on one occasion are welcome to apply. Please clearly state for which games you will be available. Note: Ideally we need to schedule officials for two games in a row to ensure crew continuity. The selection criteria is clearly explained in the members area of the BAFRA website and I would encourage all eligible officials to consider applying. However please be aware that we are always heavily over-subscribed.

If you require further information about any aspect of this important role please contact me directly for an informal discussion.

The closing date to inform me of your interest will be Friday 15th July 2016. On submission of your Expression of Interest you will receive an acknowledgement from me. If you do not receive a reply then contact me to ensure your application has been received.

Richard Vernon


We have a large number of fixtures on this date and an unusually low number of active officials. If you are showing unavailable but are now able to work a game please contact I am sure we will have a game for you. Your assistance will be much appreciated.

Richard Vernon


The next BAFRA Elite Training Day will be held at the Premier Inn, Glasgow (Argyle Street) on 30th July 2016.

The clinic will start at 10:30 and finish around 16:30, refreshments and lunch will be provided. All Elite Panel members are expected to attend and all BAFRA members are welcome to attend. If you wish to attend, please register by emailing

Ben Griffiths & Pete Thom


Can all officials ensure their Arbiter availability is fully updated, as the Selection Committee is meeting on 16th July. I will publish a list of all Bowl Games together with dates, venues, etc shortly.

Richard Vernon


I have now circulated personalised information to officials who have requested it concerning the BAFRA Spreadsheet. If you have requested it and not received it or would like to know this detailed information please contact me at my email address that is on the BAFRA website.

Richard Vernon


At the Convention this year, you again voted for Cancer Research UK to be the BAFRA Charity for 2016. This coming weekend has been designated as the BAFRA Charity Weekend and you are requested to contribute all or part of your game fee to this worthy cause.

Each year since we have been running this, the amount donated has increased so let’s see if we can keep breaking records.

There are a number of ways in which you can make your donation:

If you have any queries, please contact either me or BAFRA finance directly. BAFRA finance may be contacted on If sending cheques, please send to:

BAFRA Finance

18 Southgate



OL12 8UQ

Thank you in advance for your support of this initiative.

Paul Sutton









New this week

Lee Lamb


Halton Spartans



In retaliation to taunt from opponent (see below), threw a punch.

24/07/16 v Leeds Bobcats

Barry Williams


Chester Romans



After the play, stood over an opponent and taunted them, causing the opponent to retaliate with a punch.

03/07/16 v Leeds Bobcats

Kevin Keohane


London Warriors



The player committed two unsportsmanlike conduct fouls, both for contact fouls that occurred after the ball was dead.

03/07/16 v London Olympians

Pete Horgan


Merseyside Nighthawks



Player grabbed an opponent by the face mask with 1 hand & punched him with the other.

03/07/16 v Sheffield Predators

Kevin Gray


East Kilbride Pirates



After the play was over, the player head butted an opponent

10/07/16 v Coventry Jets

Previous weeks

Alfanso Litchmore


London Hornets



Kicked an opponent after the play.

03/07/16 v Cambridgeshire Cats

David Trevor


Shropshire Revolution



Player made forcible contact to an opponent using the crown of his helmet.

03/07/16 v Leicester Falcons





New this week

South Wales Warriors

Field markings (especially the inbounds hash marks) were faint. No numbers or 9-yard marks.

Amir Brooks #593

10/07/16 v London Blitz

Bristol Aztecs

Changing room was not lockable

Julian Mallia #336

03/07/16 v Farnham Knights

Swindon Storm

No limit lines. Chain set broke multiple times during the game. One member of the chain crew changed during the game. Changing rooms not lockable.

Pete Parsons #321


Manchester Titans

Good field markings except for marking of 3 yard line (at nine yards!), no numbers or nine yard markings - we used rugby field markings to denote nine yards. No visible team areas. Down box (numbers) in need of urgent TLC

Mike Cavanagh #465


Jurassic Coast Raptors

Field markings were generally good. Changing rooms not locked during game, the whole building was supposed to be locked but this did not seem to happen in the second half. Game was very chippy but controlled well by the crew

David Knight #135

10/07/16 v Swindon Storm

Tamworth Phoenix

Game abandoned with 7 minutes remaining in the 4th quarter due to lack of fit linemen for Coventry. Plaudits and thanks to the Coventry players who changed the referee's tyre after the game when a puncture was discovered.

Jed Brookes-Lewis #395

07/08/16 v Merseyside Nighthawks

Outstanding items from previous weeks

Lancashire Wolverines

After the pitch had been remarked for the junior game which preceded this game we had 5 yard lines, endzones and hash marks in the middle. The coaches boxes and sideline hashes were faint but the official agreed the game could go ahead. By the end of the game the central hash marks had all but disappeared due to the inclement weather

Lee Taylor #183

03/07/16 v Tamworth Phoenix

Kent Exiles

Plaudits to the game day staff for remarking lines between games which had become faint in the heavy rain of the first game.

Lee Wood #517

10/07/16 v Solent Thrashers

Solent Thrashers

Field markings were faint in comparison with some other sports' lines. Goals beyond end line by about a yard.

Jim Briggs #31

17/07/16 v Sussex Thunder

Staffordshire Surge

Field markings quite faint. Game delayed for approximately ten minutes in the second quarter due to a stake snapping after it was hit by a player. Eventually a repair was fashioned using a tree branch and copious amounts of tape.

Jed Brookes-Lewis #395

03/07/16 v Lincolnshire Bombers

Dundee Hurricanes

The balls presented by the home team did not have white stripes - the away team did not object or offer any alternate balls.

Ian Sneddon #427

24/07/16 v Northumberland Lightening

London Blitz B

There was no team area. Hash marks went into the endzone (although the centre markings were erased by the team) and the down box broke during the day preventing a 1st or 2nd down being shown

K Wickham #423

03/07/16 v Wembley Stallions

Essex Spartans

Changing rooms not lockable, no private shower/toilet. Numbers marked on field are too wide - although correctly placed with the top at 9 yards.

Phil Clarke #262

10/07/16 v London Blitz B

Portsmouth Dreadnoughts

End zones are only 7 yards deep. Field markings were faint and became fainter after a mid-game shower. Field surface uneven with patches without grass.

Jim Briggs #31

10/07/16 v Bournemouth Bobcats

London Warriors

90-yard grass field, although surface was uneven with patches of bare earth interspersed with large tufts of uncut grass. No numbers, 9-yard marks or limit lines and team areas marked out with cones. Two of the game balls provided were under-inflated and all were well worn. Away team were offered the option to provide game balls in better condition but declined. Away team changing rooms were a tent compared with the home team changing indoors. Prior to the officials taking the field there were reports of altercations between players interfering with opponent's practices by entering their half of the field.

Tim Ockendon #481

03/07/16 v London Olympians

Hastings Conquerors

Well marked 90-yard field although markings were quite faint. Inbounds lines not always 1-yard apart & numbers too large and at incorrect depth.

Tim Ockendon #481

10/07/16 v East Kent Mavericks

Bournemouth Bobcats

The standing water meant one end line was incomplete and the game was played using only one goal

Julian Mallia #336

07/08/16 v Maidstone Pumas

Bristol Apache

Field is generally well marked out, but the limit lines are too close to the sidelines (approx 6 foot), and the coaching areas are only marked out to the 30 yard lines.

Colin Edwards #76

10/07/16 v Torbay Trojans

Glasgow Tigers

Endzones were 8 yards.

Shawn Sombati #15

03/07/16 v Dundee Hurricanes

Farnham Knights

No limit lines. Other than that, a well marked field.

Pete Parsons #321

26/06/16 v London Blitz

Birmingham Bulls

One set of goalposts were too wide: they were Gaelic football posts.

Darryl Morton #493

31/07/16 v Ouse Valley Eagles

Lincolnshire Bombers

On arrival I was informed only 1 set of goal posts were available. So all offensive plays were played towards the goal. 4 different colours painted on field and the ones we use were in dark red and not that visible. 90 yard pitch only.

Larry Rigby #269

17/07/16 v Humber Warhawks

Cornish Sharks

The field is generally well marked out, although the sideline yard marks were too short. The goals were soccer goals with long planks strapped to the uprights, and are therefore wider than regulation (24', rather than 18'6"), and the crossbar is lower than regulation (8' rather than 10'). Only one ball boy was provided by the home team, leading to the down box man acting as ball boy. With approximately 6 minutes remaining in the 2nd quarter, the game was suspended for 10 minutes to treat a suspected neck injury. He later requested to re-enter the game which the home team head coch initially disagreed with. After lengthy discussion between the head coaches and medical staff (which led to the half time interval lasting for more than 30 minutes), the registered paramedic who was providing medical cover cleared him to play.

Amir Brooks #593

10/07/16 v Oxford Saints

Merseyside Nighthawks

Field markings in yellow - generally very good but not always level across field

Mike Cavanagh 465

17/07/16 v Tamworth Phoenix

Oxford Saints

Nine yard marks were marked near the hashmarks. No numbers on the field. Changing room was too small for a five man crew and not enough seats for all officials.

Mike LeFevre #341

03/07/16 v Bristol Apache



New this week

Play: 4th and 5 at the Team B 22 yard line. Team A line up to kick a field goal. After the snap, B90 rushes past the offensive line and towards the holder. B90 kicks the ball out of the possession of holder A12 as he is holding it in place for the kick. There is a scramble for the ball, and eventually the ball is blown dead with A12 in possesion at the Team B 29 yard line. Ruling?

Last week

Play: A's ball, 4th and 1, on B's 6. The score is tied with 13 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter. A4's attempted Field Goal is wide. Team B was offside at the snap. The penalty is enforced with seven seconds on the clock. The referee starts the clock on the ready for play and time expires before the ball is snapped. Can the officials correct this timing error?

Ruling: The clock was stopped at the end of a legal kick play and so should have started on the snap (3-3-2-d-8). Timing errors on the game clock may be corrected but shall be corrected only in the period in which they occur (3-2-2-b). It is reasonable to assume that this is still the 4th quarter even though time has expired. The referee, after restoring order, will put seven seconds on the clock and give the ready for play signal. The period is not extended with an untimed down. A's ball, 1st and goal, on B's 3. The clock starts on the snap.


New this week

Game Situation: True or False: the Umpire should give a tipped ball signal (S11) when the kicked ball is partially blocked at the line of scrimmage?
Answer next issue...

Last week

Play: As team A are huddling before a PAT, the Linejudge on a 5 man crew notices that the Referee is rolling his hands above his head. What is the Referee trying to signal? How should the Linejudge respond?
Answer: This is supplementary signal Sup10, signalling that team A are 'going for it' rather than kicking for 1 point. The Linejudge should quickly move so that he is positioned underneath the post on his side of the field. The Backjudge should move across accordingly.




Contact for details


July 23rd (Sat)

BAFRA Board Meeting

July 30th (Sat)

BAFRA Elite Training Day

August 27th (Sat)


19th November (Sat)

BAFRA Board Meeting

BAFRA Directors


David Parsons

General Secretary

Paul Sutton


Charlie Dean Young


Richard Vernon


James Meredith


Pete Thom

Director without Portfolio #1

Peter Parsons

Director without Portfolio #2

Steve Tonkinson

The opinions expressed in this Newsflash are those of the contributors, and not necessarily of BAFRA or its Directors.

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Deadline for articles submitted by email ( is midnight Tuesday.

Editor: Dean Wright - Email: